Landscape Architecture with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
Full Time (4 years)
September 2018

Landscape Architecture is the design of the world outside, as a combination of art, utility and natural systems. The aim is to create rich, positive experiences and to provide designed environments, which engage users with character and a sense of place.

Through guided exploration of personal design and research process, you will explore and unwrap many layers to reveal the unlimited storyboard of design options that our landscape presents.

About foundation courses

This four year programme has been specifically designed to allow students who do not initially meet the entry requirements for a three year degree, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree programme.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within Birmingham School of Architecture and Design.

Why study a degree with a foundation year?

Foundation years are a great option if you have the talent, ambition and potential to thrive at Birmingham City University, but do not meet the entry requirements for your preferred course. It’s ideal if:

  • You want the flexibility of a year’s study on a more general course to find out the best degree choice for you.
  • You have changed your mind about your career since you chose your A-levels or BTECs and need to improve your skills in a different subject area.
  • You would like extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree.

What's covered in the course?

Covering all aspects of landscape architecture, our course is fully recognised and accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) and supported by a leading design team in its field. 

You’ll work in a design studio culture, which mimics real-world creative practice for landscape architects and prepares you for your future career.

Experience on live local sites and project briefs in landscape studios will develop your design creativity and hone your professional practice skills. Placements and competitions will give you fantastic opportunities. There are also chances to compete for industry connected awards.

You’ll have the chance to be part of collaborative architecture and design initiatives within the School of Architecture that give you the chance to work on a diverse variety of live projects. Past examples include: explorations in timber construction in the Wyre Forest, communicating with the public about what they really want from design for Stirchley High Street in Birmingham and implementation of a viewing structure to observe wetland ecology at Henbury Ponds.

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend lectures and take part in workshops from a large variety of international and award winning professionals. Previous guest speakers have included Martha Schwartz, Andrew Grant, Andrew Wilson, Jeppe Aagard Anderson, Neil Porter, Chris Beardshaw and Kim Wilkie.

You’ll be based in our multi-million pound City Centre Campus within our Parkside Building, where you will have access to digital studios and 3D design workshops. The proximity of the newly built Eastside Park provides inspiration to your studies, introducing a strong example of contemporary civic space and park design.

“The University provides the support you need, while giving you a freedom that allows your projects to be as creative and individual… and the experience allowed me to gain employment at a landscape architect practice straight after my degree.” Jocelyn Bennett

Why Choose Us?

  • The course is fully recognised and accredited by the Landscape Institute, allowing you to work towards full UK chartered membership.
  • You’ll gain real industry experience, working on a wide range of briefs, from broad strategic scale, down to detailed design for construction.
  • Our connections with the region’s best landscape architecture practices give you unrivalled work experience while studying and helps you secure employment after graduation.
  • 91 per cent of leavers from the School were in employment or further study, according to a recent survey.
  • Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is highly respected and has a rich history of providing education and opportunities. It celebrated its centenary in 2009.
Talk to the Course Director

If you would like to ask any questions about the course, you are welcome to email the Course Director on . Alternatively, you can register for our next open day.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 24 March 2018. Come and see how our campus has transformed after our £260 million investment in facilities.

Book your place

This course is not open to International students
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Discover Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Concerns Cover

Read our Annual Review

Concerns is an annual publication by Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. In this issue, you can view final year student work and read more about the activities within the School.

Read the Annual Review 

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • BDP
  • Fira Architecturer
  • Atkins

And in jobs such as:

  • Graduate Landscape Architect
  • CEO - Founder

This course is accredited by:

Landscape Institute (LI)

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of design and is due to be reviewed and approved to meet our quality standards.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of enrolment, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu as long as the required subject is covered.

80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
A level  CDD. A maximum of three subjects are considered. Other 6-unit qualifications can be considered in lieu of one or two A-level subjects.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall - 15 credits at level 2 and 45 credits at level 3
GCSE English language at grade 4 (C) or above or equiivalent qualifications must be achieved at application stage.

Scottish Higher

BBB. 80 points from 3 higher level passes Must include English Language at Standard Grade

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Total of 10 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects. Successful completion of IB Diploma with minimum IB point score of 24 or more

English Group A - Grade 4 or above, or English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

OCR Cambridge Technical Certificate

Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas of 80 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

MM. Can be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.

Scottish Advanced Higher

DDD. 80 points, from 3 advanced higher level passes Must include English Language at Standard Grade. Maximum of three Advanced Highers can be considered together.
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 per year* Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Portfolio Guidance

If your application is shortlisted you will be invited to attend an portfolio review. This will give us the opportunity to ensure a good fit between you and the course in terms of your interests and aspirations.

Please visit our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on how to create your portfolio. 

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

Foundation year

The foundation year provides an opportunity to explore the exciting world of contemporary design through various scales and develop creative solutions, encapsulating Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design, and Product and Furniture Design.

It provides a supported learning environment to explore conceptual ideas through to detailed design, mapping and modelling and is assessed through mini design-focussed projects and a specialised final project in a chosen field.

The foundation year is ideally suited to students who need to develop their design, drawing, technical and presentations skills before entering a BA course, or for those who have not yet decided which specific design discipline or career to pursue.

Communication Skills
20 credits
  • Freehand drawing and sketching skills
  • Physical modelling
  • Orthographic and technical drawing skills
  • Adobe Creative suite (Basic Photoshop and InDesign)
  • An introduction to studio culture.

This module focuses on developing the 2D design skills and techniques required to communicate and visualise design concepts around, space and form.  You will work on a series of mini projects using predominantly manual techniques such as freehand sketching, technical drawing, and physical model-making. You will also explore some digital techniques such as Photoshop.

It will provide you with the experience of working in a studio environment, where you will have regular tutor and peer feedback to hone your creative skills to a proficient level.

Professional and Academic Development (PAD)
20 credits
  • Critical writing and reading skills
  • Protocols for plagiarism and copyright
  • Critical reflections
  • Self-reflection and audit of design skills
  • Project and time management techniques
  • Research methods
  • Verbal presentations
  • Introduction to live journals and blogs

This module is designed to develop your academic skills and make the transition to degree level study.  It specifically focuses on your ability to critique, reflect and verbalise your thoughts and concepts through channels such as presentations, blogs and live journals.

You will learn how to use research methods to inform your practice and have the opportunity to advance your academic writing and referencing skills.

You will reflect on your professional skills such as project, time and team management and develop techniques to work effectively as an individual or as part of a group.

Regular tutor support through verbal and written feedback together with group and one to one tutorials will support you to reach your potential.

Design Techniques
20 credits
  • Working effectively in different scenarios
  • Understanding human scale via anthropometrics and ergonomics
  • Understanding context and generating briefs
  • Fundamentals in design principles
  • An introduction to precedent study and analysis
  • Generating and developing design concepts
  • Exploring design devices and themes through mini projects
  • Experience of design studio culture

This module is designed to give you an introduction to the design processes for each discipline and includes appraisal of design briefs, understanding context and the development of concepts and visuals through design feasibility studies.  You will begin to understand how to turn your ideas into designs and the level required to reach a professional standard.

Underpinning the practice, you will explore and discuss fundamental concepts, particularly relating to human scale, ergonomics and anthropometrics. Looking at design and its relationship to the physical aspects of the environment.

Design Disciplines
20 credits
  • Contextual studies, to include historical introduction across design disciplines and current practices
  • Introduction to each design discipline
  • Explores fundamental concepts, theories and movements in architecture, landscape, interior and product design
  • Theoretical underpinnings of the disciplines
  • Evaluates and interrogates case studies within the various disciplines
  • Understanding how to use precedent studies as part of the design development process
  • Study visits to reinforce discussions around each discipline (such as building visits, exhibitions, practice visits)

This module is designed to encourage you to make connections between theory and practice and engage further in critical analysis.  You will explore the historical aspects across the various design disciplines and scales and current practices.

You will explore the use of precedent studies, which will provide you with the tools to respond to the challenges and changes in different environments and habitations.

There will be opportunities to evaluate and interrogate case studies and live projects, through site and practice visits, talks and exhibitions.

Presentation Skills
20 credits
  • Techniques to enable communication of concepts through the design development stages and the involved processes to the final product
  • Development of visual and graphic presentation techniques for design communication
  • Adobe Creative Suite (introduction to Illustrator and InDesign)
  • 2D CAD fundamentals (Vectorworks)
  • Introduction to 3D software (Sketch-up)
  • Pitching / presenting ideas
  • Basic workshops skills induction e.g. metal, plastics and contemporary production processes
  • Portfolio development and presentation

This module focuses on developing presentation skills, from visual and graphic presentation techniques to pitching and presenting ideas. You will have opportunities through workshops and online tutorials to learn Adobe Creative Suite and 3D software such as Sketch-up. Hands on workshop practice will be introduced across a range of materials.

Place and Space and Objects
20 credits
  • Feasibility concept design project within your chosen design discipline
  • Recording the design process (e.g. via sketchbooks and a blog)
  • Shadow Undergraduate studio activity in your chosen discipline

The aim of this module is to develop a concept design within your chosen discipline.  You will document the design process, reflect on the experience and the final outcomes and the reasons for selecting your chosen field. The project will culminate in a comprehensive presentation, which will capture the whole design process via a design portfolio.

Year one

Laying the foundation for deeper understanding, this year covers a broad spread of study areas, moving seamlessly, connecting abstract design theory and consideration of global scale contexts, to micro-scale understanding of materials and technology.

Through this process, you will gain an understanding of the scope, scale and connectivity of landscape architecture, its transformative abilities and power to help ensure a global human future. Modules include:

20 credits

Looking at the sources of inspiration within the international subject of Landscape Architecture, the module provides a broad introduction for you to begin to engage with the dynamics of a structured design process. Focus on each of the core principles will allow you to develop overall structural understanding of the subject, as well as the fundamental academic and design skill sets that will be required through the course and your future career, be that in Landscape Architecture, or a related field. 

20 credits

Developing a core transferable graphical skill set for Landscape Architecture and aligned, wider designed-environment industries. The module introduces industry standard methods and building on these to promote exploration of innovation and self-derived techniques in representing architectural space and site characteristics. Approaches introduced, will consider the benefits of physical and digital production methods, two dimensional and three dimensional representation, and frameworks for self-guided, work allocation, and time management in production

20 credits

Exploring the contextual framework within which the contemporary Landscape Architect practices:  students will research and explore the scale, scope, and timeline of human impact on the Earth’s landscape and the impact of environmental factors on human development and systems.

20 credits

Setting out a fundamental understanding of the broad design palette available to the Landscape Architect, including the key considerations for specifying and sourcing materials, systems and ecologies. Focus will be on curating the design fabric, aiming to emphasise character and function: through explorations in visual composition, colour, texture and form; to uncover deeper understandings on the emotive effects, cultural-historical references of association and the fundamental practical requirements and benefits of various design applications

40 credits

Moving up through scale, from the human perspective of 1:1, up to the common Landscape Architecture scales of 1:1000/1:1250, you will look at composition of increasingly large landscape components. As the scale range widens you observe the increasing considerations coming into play: physical and psychological interactions between the human and physical environment; a study of mass and void, of textural, sound, smell and colour qualities. 

Year two

You'll develop professional approaches to design and construction in your second year.

You will develop connections between key design theories and real-world practice, through debate of current topics, placement study, collaborative projects (Co.LAB), and the exploration of two different multifaceted design processes.

Modules include:
20 credits

Building on an understanding of materiality, particularly from the previous year one modules, Inspiration, Components and Formation, this module develops your understanding of fully constructible, detail design and material specification. The outputs will be research led and focused on deepening and refining your understanding of how structure, technologies and living systems are integrated within real-world applications.  

20 credits

Developing a refined and deeper understanding of key socio-historical and artistic influences on contemporary Landscape Architecture. You will look at major movements, influences and their key proponents through specialised study areas and group debate. You will be encouraged to develop critical thinking in the review of a variety of theoretical positions, cultural beliefs and physical processes and historical context. The aim is to explore and debate on the common preconceptions and design practices of contemporary practice.

Co.LAB Practice
20 credits

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff.

Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available. For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.

20 credits

The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place or a live case study, and to critically reflect upon your learning and future options in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and BCU Careers. Typically, the placement duration is 1 or 2 weeks. This should be achieved in one block where possible. It is also possible to fulfil this module through a case study, via physical interview of a current practise if placement becomes unattainable.

The outcomes of this module will be supported with a lecture series and tutorial input in enabling an understanding of your industry in context, business operations, and industry expectations. In order to secure your placement you will undertake a pre-placement interview to understand your personal preferences, followed by collation of CV and on-line / off-line portfolio presence to substantiate your application.

The work placement will be considered and approved by the Module tutor in order to ensure that the learning opportunity is of benefit to you. BCU procedures for assuring the health and safety of students on placement will be followed. 

Urban Design
20 credits

The Urban Design module consists of a design project for redevelopment of a pivotal civic space network, with a focus on making dynamic, lively, places for people. You will develop proposals for a layered vision for reinvigorating and enlivening a ‘sense of place’ across a broad area, supporting the masterplan design/redesign of one key plaza, with multiple designed interventions for improving use and local identity.   

Designed Ecologies
20 credits

Designed Ecologies is an exploration of multi-layered systems, incorporating and integrating social and ecological components within design of space. You will undertake a design project working down from a strategic level of green-network or parkland landscape, moving down into detail design for enhancing specific ecology and linking to visitor experience and resource production.   

Year three

Through guided but self-directed investigations, you will define your own academic pathway.

Built on research and led via creative but pragmatic exploration in design, you will successfully communicate connections between theory, contextual analysis, project brief, conceptual proposals, design development and design detail, to produce a broad-scale, multi-layered design project.

Modules include:
Major Study
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome will take the form of a written dissertation

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help in the development of your Major Project.

This module is an opportunity for you to develop not only academically, but it will also help you to acquire life-long skills and attributes that identify you as a graduate of BCU; a creative problem solver, entrepreneurial, professional and work ready, and having a global outlook. In addition to this and in the context of the creative and cultural industries this means developing an ability to: create work which demonstrates an awareness of professional standards relevant to your discipline; gain an understanding of successful project planning, which may include budgetary and other relevant constraints; be innovative and experimental and to push at the boundaries of your discipline; to self-evaluate and reflect critically on your work, being able to place it within the context of relevant debates within your chosen medium.

Major Project: Define
20 credits

You will start by defining a project site at strategic scale, which aligns to a sophisticated set of aims and identified contextual and/or theoretical issues (such as that explored in the Major Project module) and design potentials. Critical analysis will be required to consider and decide on a suitable site for study. Further to this you will be expected to explore site conditions and design ideas to create an integrated conceptual design brief and vision the specific chosen site.

The ‘concept design’ will set out the key design principles of the project proposals, use, character and experiences, with the aim of selling the design to the client, stakeholders and public audience. Final outputs will form the basis for a Masterplan design in Major Design: Deliver.  

20 credits

Building from the Praxis approach utilised within the School of Architecture and Design, this module completes the conceptual thread of modules which connect a Professional practice suite through from LAN4002 Skills and LAN5002 Practice, developing and integrating industry aligned skills and approaches, preparing you for entry into competitive professional contexts after study. A fundamental aspect of the module is to increase your self-reliance and confidence in communicative approaches and contextual understanding of their application. 

Major Project: Deliver
40 credits

Through the production of a masterplan, students will refine a set of complex physical and cultural site specific issues, to define creative and sophisticated solutions. This will demonstrate the broad range of technical and communicative skills, as well as a breadth and depth of understanding in creative design, process and context, aspects which make up the core areas of Landscape Architecture.

Finally, through research, exploration and guidance, students will produce accurate detailed, construction design and planting design proposals, which communicate a comprehensive hard and soft materials specification, using appropriate techniques in representation.

Our landscape architecture degree is assessed on 100 per cent course work, with no practical or written exams. We feel this best mirrors the way you’d work in the real world and so better prepares you for a career in the landscape design industry.

You'll benefit from our extensive resource base, including digital studios and 3D design workshops. There will also be traditional drawing workshops with observational and technical drawing, model-making and digital visual communication skills. You'll begin to develop a strong portfolio and confidence with design principles and all aspects of communication.

The course follows a clear development path over its duration.

  • Year One – foundation principles of landscape architecture
  • Year Two – Realism, collaboration, design sectors, practice and construction
  • Year Three - Bespoke study integrating theory, practice and professionalism

Teaching breakdown

28 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
72 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

Classroom Activities

  • Design studio – working on design projects with tutor and peer discussion and guidance
  • Study trips – see exemplary and interesting projects and sites with great opportunity
  • Workshops and skills training of key software and approaches to visualisation
  • Industry-aligned course, supported by collaborations with external partners and real projects, with potential opportunity for a work placement.

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Landscape Institute (LI)
Landscape Institute

The course is fully recognised and accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI), the UK national organisation for landscape professionals concerned with enhancing and conserving the environment.

Our accreditation shows employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need. The revalidation process takes place annually by the Landscape Institute’s Professional Review Group and they look very closely at the way the course is designed to meet the requirements of today’s profession.

Overseas opportunities

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students in 31 European countries to study for part of their degree in another EU country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Landscape Architecture students have a number of opportunities available. Trishna Patel spent a semester studying in the Netherlands, giving her insight into how the subject is taught in other European countries. She said: “Studying, living and working in a different country is the greatest opportunity you can take. I have experienced different cultures and made friends beyond borders. I would recommend this to everyone.”

Further Study

The BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture course flows naturally into postgraduate study for MA Landscape Architecture, allowing progression into Landscape Institute-accreditation of ‘Pathway to Chartership’ or further academic study in PHD routeways. Look at our range of courses.

Trips and visits

You’ll find inspiration and add context to your studies with the opportunity to visit sites of interest. A three-day trip to Paris examined 15 different landscape architecture projects. Students have also visited the Eden Project in Cornwall. You’ll also be taken to undeveloped sites where you will use your imagination and skills to work on potential landscape architectural proposals.

Student stories Scott Dyde

China based Freelancer

Enhancing your employability skills

You’ll have a sound knowledge of the physical, economic and social factors which influence contemporary built environment practice. You’ll also understand the professional, legal and institutional framework of landscape architecture.

You’ll develop a comprehensive portfolio that shows employers a range of skills in design practice and academic study.

Experience on live local sites with client-driven briefs in landscape studios will develop your design creativity and hone your professional practice skills.

You’ll be skilled in the latest techniques, including rapid prototyping and 3D design.

The course supports student employability and long-term career opportunity  through enhancing your development and instilling an understanding of life-long professional progression.

You’ll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. You’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.

Your skills will be in demand - architecture, building and planning courses are one of the top 12 degree subjects for getting a job according to a recent article in the Telegraph.


Opportunities for placements are promoted, facilitated and available during summer breaks and during year two study. We have connections with landscape architecture firms and our students benefit from these outstanding links, particularly through placement opportunities. Landscape Architecture student Daniel Watson completed a three-month paid summer placement at one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, Atkins.

Daniel was awarded the prize of a placement after demonstrating technical excellence and design innovation in a submission looking at uses of land within a flood plain in Shrewsbury. He said: “My placement has given me a unique glimpse into working on ‘real life’ projects, learning from a team of experts every day.”

The prestigious competition will continue to run as part of the course and other placements are widely available.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

OpportUNIty Student: Ula Bujauskaite

Ula worked as both a student consultant and a student ambassador while she studied for her Landscape Architecture BA.

She found the University to be flexible and very much enjoyed her experience, balancing work and study life. “I found it both interesting and easily manageable,” said Ula. “It was great that you could easily adapt or combine working hours with studying time.”

Graduate jobs

Typically, graduates go on to do landscape architecture roles, including construction design, regional master planning, landscape reviewing and development proposals. 

Work is often sector-based, though most landscape architects work across sectors in multi-disciplinary projects, which may include residential developments, civic space (streets, parks, plazas), waterways, transport networks and so on. Large-scale UK examples include projects like High Speed 2 (HS2) and the London Olympics parkland design.

Graduates have secured roles with firms such as Node, Camlins, Arup, Fira and Atkins, and have positions ranging from graduate landscape architects to founding CEOs.

Andy Williams is director of practice at Define and Laura Bradley set up Bradley Murphy.

Graduate Nathaniel Hanna worked freelance and after being approached by a client who wanted a yard space converted into an outdoor venue, set about using wooden pallets he had to hand and created spectacular outdoor furniture. He began to buy the planks in bulk and produced his own range of pallet furniture. Stax Creations now operate out of a 50,000 square foot space in Digbeth and employ five people – four of which are also our graduates. Nathaniel said: “Studying landscape architecture essentially taught me to add value to a space using design and innovation.”

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

You’ll be based in the multi-million pound Parkside building – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. We offer facilities which will accurately reflect the work environment you will enter after graduating. These include Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, creating real life scenarios for you to work on.

While based in The Parkside Building, you will get sharpen your CAD and digital visual communication skills, prototyping and digital production, while also having access to a range of specialist software, workshops, computer and project learning laboratories, and a social learning space.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • Design studios
  • Computer and project laboratories
  • Social learning space
  • Café
  • Meeting point

Photo Gallery

From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion. 

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
3D Printer - Arch and Design
CAD LAB - Arch and Design
Laser Cutter - Arch and Design
Spray Booth - Arch and Design
Kiln Room - Arch and Design
Glass Cutting - Arch and Design
Plaster - Arch and Design
Ceramics - Arch and Design
Water Jet 3 - Arch and Design
Woodwork 2 - Arch and Design
Bag Press 1 - Arch and Design
Bag Press 2 - Arch and Design
CNC Router - Arch and Design
4 Axis Miller - Arch and Design
Metal - Arch and Design
Product Studio - Arch and Design
Product Studio 3 - Arch and Design
Product Studio 4 - Arch and Design
Arch Studios 1 - Arch and Design
Arch Studios 3 - Arch and Design
Arch studio - Arch and Design
Floor 4 - Arch and Design
Arch Collab Space - Arch and Design
Lucas Hughes

Lucas Hughes

Senior Tutor/ Programme Director

Lucas Hughes holds qualifications in landscape architecture and urban design. He has a broad range of interest and experience within several professional sectors linking across the built-environment industry. His core focus is to promote high quality, integrated, design-led processes for the creation of characterful and sensitive built environment solutions.

Read Lucas' full profile

Eccles Sze - Landscape Architecture Lecturer

Eccles Ng

Deputy Programme Director BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture

Eccles Ng is a Chartered Landscape Architect who became a Chartered Member of Landscape Institute (CMLI) in 2009. He has been in the landscape architecture industry since 2003 and designed on a variety of education, healthcare, housing and urban design projects. With a wide ranging portfolio from art to architecture and landscape architecture, Eccles has developed strong interests in concept design, philosophy of play and sustainability, utilising them in different elements in his design work and reflecting them in tangible landscape architectural forms.

Read Eccles' full profile

Mark Cowell

Senior Lecturer Landscape Architecture

Course Director for the Graduate Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Landscape Architecture. Mark is qualified in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Art History and, prior to teaching he worked in Landscape/Urban Design practice in the UK and overseas for around 15 years.

He had been through various posts as Landscape Architect and Group Leader Landscape Arch. as well as in many professional roles, where some of them are Chair of SCHOLA, Member of Landscape Institute Education, Member of QAA National Benchmarking Panel for Architecture & Landscape Architecture, Chair of Organising Committee, Member Bid Group.

He has led various course programmes of which an intensive 2-week Programme in Landscape Architecture at LAU for Arch. and Interior Students in April 1996 and also visited various parts of Lebanon at that time seeing both the landscape (Mount Lebanon, Chouff Mountains) and urban development (Beirut, Jbeil Tripoli) of this extraordinary country.

He is an external examiner of landscape architecture courses in universities around UK, for more than 15 years.

Russell Good

Senior Tutor/ Postgraduate Course Director

Russell Good’s research explores ecological and hydrological systems in the context of climate change, in order to inform and develop new aesthetic codes in landscape design. Using the urban River Rea in Digbeth, Birmingham as a laboratory, he is examining how ecological processes can be used as a device in place making, to enhance biodiversity and draw upon the richness of new layers of animal and plant life to provide a living dynamic that informs our sensory perception of place.

Professor Kathryn Moore

Professor of Landscape Architecture

Professor of landscape architecture Kathryn Moore has published extensively on design quality, theory, education and practice. She is also President of the International Federation of Landscape Institute and past President of the Landscape Institute, UK.

Read Kathryn's full profile

Professor Richard Coles

Professor of Urban Landscape and Environmental Interaction

Richard is Professor of Urban Landscape and Environmental Interaction, having a strong interest in the environment both from biological perspectives and the ways that individuals use and perceive it. His original discipline is forestry but, working within an architectural school and within an art and design faculty, he is in a unique position to consider environmental interaction combining scientific knowledge with arts-based practice.

His research embraces such aspects as community and urban forestry, undertaking work for the original community forests and urban greening where he has developed tools and concepts, such as social criteria, which explore how individuals react with the environment.

Emphasis is on a user-centred approach to consider the nature of environmental interaction, where more recent work focuses on the wellbeing agenda, embracing, in particular, qualitative methodologies which explore such facets as 'being in nature', and the connections and flows that occur, or can be induced by various interventions. He supervises a range of PhD students in associated subject areas.

Read Richard's full profile

Jim Sloan

Jim Sloan

Director of Technology

Jim Sloan joined BCU in 2010 as Director of Technology for Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. His role involves an overview of the technical curriculum across all courses in the school. This includes teaching on materials, material assembly, structure, environmental comfort and regulatory compliance for the built environment. His PhD research is looking at the processes, strategies and methods for detailed design evident in architectural practice.

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Dr Ying Li

Dr. Ying Li

Visiting Tutor, Researcher / Practising Landscape Architect

After qualifying in Landscape Architecture in China and the UK, Ying obtained a PhD in Urban Landscape Design in London, involving practice-based research on The Assessment, Planning and Design of Small Public Spaces in Urban Areas. She has worked as a landscape architect and taught urban landscape design in London, Birmingham and Hong Kong.  Ying is dedicated to helping to develop landscape architecture as the most comprehensive of the arts, believing it to be a cross-disciplinary, cultural, ecological and design-based profession.

Adam Carthy

Adam Carthy

Visiting Tutor, Practising Landscape Architect / Architectural Designer

Adam Carthy has qualifications in Landscape Architecture and Architecture as well as ten years of experience in practice working on urban planning projects. He has particular interests in Ecological Urbanism and has worked on developing ecological strategies for city expansions and urban regenerations.

He currently runs a Birmingham based design practice which explores creative processes and relationships between art, architecture, and technological production. 

Sam Roberts

Sam Roberts

Visiting Tutor, Practising Landscape Architect

Sam, a former student of the school, has been a visiting lecturer on the Landscape Architecture course since 2013. He has worked in several practices across the UK with project experience ranging from large masterplanning to small scale garden design - from concept through to construction, giving him an extremely broad knowledge of the design profession.

Sam has a passion for creating meaningful and beautiful spaces. His philosophy that “Stories of landscapes are embedded in human history; our marks etch stories on the landscape. As Landscape Architects we have the opportunity to convey stories through the landscape” means he takes particular care to ensure every project takes the concept story right through to completion. A deep enthusiasm for landscape detailing and planting reflects this philosophy. 

Simon Ronan

Simon Ronan

Visiting Tutor, Practising Landscape Architect

Simon began his education in Ireland, studying Horticulture at the National Botanic Gardens before delving into the world of landscape architecture at University College Dublin. Since then, he has been involved in a wide range of UK based and international projects ranging in scale and typology. Prior to setting up his own practice, Simon worked within Aecom’s Leisure & Culture team for a number of years leading the landscape design of projects such as: the Rio 2016 Olympics Masterplan, Innareha resort- Maldives, North West Cambridge Development and Park Hyatt Mallorca.

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