MA Garden Design - Writtle University College

MA Garden Design

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  • This course is designed to increase the student's professional skills in the theoretical and practical aspects of the garden design discipline with an emphasis on promoting gardens that are aesthetically pleasing, functionally appropriate and ecologically healthy, while at the same time being able to accommodate the diverse and changing needs of society. The course benefits from the cultural tradition of garden making, appreciation and horticulture in Britain, though an international and historic perspective is taken.

    The MA in Garden Design allows students to take the next steps in developing the theories and practice of garden design by providing more advanced perspectives and applications to undergraduate studies.

    Garden design is concerned with creating new gardens and designed landscapes and sustaining and restoring existing ones. The curriculum allows students to employ a different emphasis to design in their approach, application and scale. It focuses on the meaning of gardens, their history, conservation and restoration whilst remembering that they form part of the fabric of a wider rural and urban landscape, with social, economic and ecological values. Students will organise, plan and design gardens in collaborative, productive and creative interdisciplinary ways.

  • Course Modules

  • Information about each module can be viewed by clicking on the module title within the table below.




    Core Modules must be taken and passed.
    Compulsory Modules must be taken but could be condoned subject to the Rules of Assessment.
    Optional Modules may be taken and could be condoned subject to the Rules of Assessment.
    180 credits required for the named award MA Garden Design.

    These are the modules that are offered in this academic year; however, the optional modules available may be subject to change for the following reasons:

    • Staff availability - for example the availability of staff to deliver specialist modules, which cannot be delivered by staff who do not have the relevant specialist expertise.
    • In response to feedback and annual review processes to ensure we continually enhance our programmes. Changes in these circumstances will usually be made for the benefit of students.
    • Student demand - to ensure there are adequate numbers on a module to support the provision of an excellent Learning & Teaching experience.
    • The currency of the relevant module. Some modules are specified at a time when they reflect the issues that are currently topical in the subject area. They may have lost that currency by the time that the student is required to exercise the option. In the circumstances, in order to ensure that students are provided with an appropriate learning experience, those modules will be replaced by those which are relevant to the changing nature of the subject area.

    The Writtle University College will endeavour to ensure that any impact on students is limited if such changes occur.

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  • Delivery and Assessment

  • The most successful teaching method across the UK for Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Garden Design, Art and Environmental Planning and Design has been this combination of design studio and classroom.

    The MA in Garden Design course engages in this method of teaching by organising its professional programmes through lectures, seminars, studio and site visits as a critical combination for learning. As a studio-based design course, Garden Design is taught through core seminars and lectures in landscape and garden theory, landscape ecology, history and advanced design studio. These modules are accompanied by study i.e. in professional practice and garden technology and construction. The course promotes thinking in terms of place and identity, physical and phenomenal relationships at a wide range of scales, social and ecological systems and informs the design process in terms of context, meaning, function and form. The MA in Garden Design proposes a new emphasis with a similar platform of knowledge and understanding that underpins both garden design and landscape theory, yet is a very distinct pathway and discipline both independent of and related to Landscape Architecture.

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  • Career Prospects

  • Graduates will gain the intellectual, organisational, communication and technical skills and tools needed in a profession that must understand and create gardens and designed landscapes through social, cultural, ecological and economic implications of sites, communities and regions.

    Career possibilities for graduates include working for garden design practices, private or public organisations and gardens, community-led outreach work, writing and media projects, and teaching in the fields of garden design.

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  • After Completion of Your Course...

  • Writtle University College offers doctoral studies for those who wish to further their academic studies.

    Doctorates are awarded for the creation and interpretation of knowledge, which extends the forefront of a discipline, usually through original research. A PhD is awarded for research that takes the equivalent of 3 years full-time study. Writtle has a thriving and enthusiastic postgraduate student group studying gardens from historic and international perspectives.

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The MA Garden Design Course can be studied in one year full-time or two years part-time.

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