Landscape Architects work to provide innovative and
aesthetically pleasing environments for people to enjoy, whilst
ensuring that changes to the natural environment are appropriate,
sensitive and sustainable.
The work covers diverse projects (both urban and rural)
that range from designing the layout of parks, gardens and housing
estates to city-centre design to improving land affected by mining
or motorway construction.
A landscape architect collaborates closely with landscape
contractors, as well as other professionals, especially architects,
planners, environmentalists and people working in surveying and
To become a Landscape Architect, you will need good
design/drawing skills including computer-aided design (CAD) as well
as excellent communication and negotiating skills.
You should also be creative and imaginative with plenty of
enthusiasm. You should have a practical concern for the
environment and be interested in conservation issues. Good
observation skills and an eye for detail are also
Most landscape architects who plan to specialise in design
start their careers by taking a recognised undergraduate course
followed by a postgraduate diploma, accredited by The Landscape
Institute (LI), which is needed in order to qualify.
Accredited subjects include:
- landscape architecture;
- garden design;
- landscape design and ecology;
- landscape planning;
- landscape management.
If you have a first degree, you should be able to
undertake a two year accredited postgraduate course (usually an MA)
in landscape architecture.
For entry to an undergraduate course, you will usually
need a minimum of two A-levels or their equivalent. Subjects such
as geography, art, graphic design, environmental science, biology
and maths are a particularly good foundation for landscape design.
However, universities do not usually require 'set
subjects'. Universities will take into account any qualifications
you have obtained or relevant work experience, particularly if you
are applying as a mature student.
For undergraduate applicants the average entry
requirements are usually 280 UCAS points or two Bs and a C at
A-Level. Some universities may have higher or lower requirements
Starting salaries can be around £20,000 per
year. Experienced chartered landscape architects can earn from
£25,000 to over £40,000.
(This information is intended as a guide to average
Around 55% of landscape architects work in private
practice. Companies are often small and may specialise in certain
types of landscape. There are a number of large multinational mixed
practice firms who employ landscape architects, architects and
You could also find work with local authorities, the
construction industry and voluntary organisations. There are
increasing opportunities to work overseas, often in Europe, China,
Australia and the Middle East.
With experience, you could progress to a supervisory or
management position, become a partner in a private practice or set
up your own practice.