ChooseLandscape - Landscape Architect
Hysan Place Rooftop Park. Matthew Pryor, University of Hong Kong. Image credit: Julian Cho, University of Hong Kong.

Landscape architects are the dreamers.

They imagine what an outdoor space could become, and then use their creative skills to solve problems and make it happen. They work with local communities, in harmony with nature, to create somewhere special for everyone.

“Seeing how my work improves people’s lives and the way they interact with their surroundings and the wider community is the ultimate reward for working in the built environment. Getting the opportunity to breathe new life into areas that have faced deprivation is extremely fulfilling.”
Donald Roberts, landscape architect

How to become a landscape architect
How to become a landscape architect. Image credit: Drawn by RobynButcher, CMLI, The terra firma Consultancy

How to become a landscape architect

You’ll need an undergraduate and postgraduate degree recognised by the Landscape Institute. Each route will have its own entry requirements, which might include:

  • a mixture of academic and creative qualifications like art, science, geography or maths
  • at least three A levels (or Highers in Scotland)
  • a portfolio of your drawings and photographs

Unis may also accept equivalent qualifications like BTECs (or SVQ 3s in Scotland). If you already have a BA or BSc degree in a non-landscape subject, like art or geography, you might qualify for a conversion master’s course.

Once you are accepted, you’ll study for five to six years – with the option of a year of practical work experience in the middle. Then comes further on-the-job training and registration with the Landscape Institute.

Find landscape architect courses

What would I be doing day-to-day?

  • Sketching out ideas to meet your brief
  • Writing proposals and presenting them to clients
  • Choosing construction materials, street furniture and plants for your space
  • Visiting the site to check the progress of your project
  • Meeting clients, consultants and communities to involve people in your design
Landscape Manager
The Magic Garden at Hampton Palace, by Robert Myers Associates. Image credit: David Hedges
Top: Design for a multi-purpose public space. Image credit: Claudia Yu

Bottom left: Arnold Circus, project by LDA. Image credit: LDA

Bottom right: Burgess Park, project by LDA. Image credit: LDA

What kind of person am I?

  • Creative – able to use your imagination and put your ideas onto paper
  • A problem solver with a positive approach
  • Excited about protecting the environment
  • Methodical with an eye for detail
  • Good with numbers and managing money
  • Comfortable with all sorts of people and able to inspire and convince them
  • Happy at a computer in the studio and outdoors in all weathers

What Our Landscape Architects Say

What hours would I work?

Landscape architects work 35-40 hours a week, with occasional evenings and weekends when needed. They divide their time between the studio and out on-site, which can mean travelling around the country and sometimes overseas.

How much would I earn?

Landscape architects
The Magic Garden at Hampton Palace, by Robert Myers Associates. Image credit: David Hedges
Landscape Architect Career
Katie Jackson and David Thompson - LDA, presentation about the landscape design of the Olympic park and Victoria Park restoration Image credit: Harrison Phair. © Landscape Institute

What opportunities would I have to progress in my career?

In the private sector, you could become a partner or associate. In the public sector, you might become a head of service.

You could also go freelance or set up your own business, working on specific projects that interest you. Or learn new skills to move into landscape management or planning.

See landscape jobs

What sort of jobs could I do?

  • Landscape designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Third job
ChooseLandscape - Landscape Architect