ChooseLandscape - How to become a Landscape Scientist
Eden Project by LDA. Image credit: LDA

Landscape scientists are the brains.

They use their expert knowledge of plants and animals to make sure outdoor spaces work for wildlife as well as people. They test and monitor sites to make sure they have a positive impact on the environment. When species are at risk, they come up with a plan to protect them.

“I had a light-bulb moment; walking through an ancient woodland in spring, I was struck by the ‘natural’ beauty that surrounded me. This sparked my passion in studying landscapes from an ecological perspective and has influenced my career path ever since.”
Rosie Whicheloe, landscape ecologist

How to become a landscape scientist

You’ll need a degree recognised by the Landscape Institute. Each degree course will have its own entry requirements, which might include:

  • GCSEs in art, geography or maths
  • level 3 qualifications like A levels or BTECs
  • a portfolio of your drawings and photographs

You may also be able to get onto a course with TBC.

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

Find the landscape course

What would I be doing day-to-day?

  • Taking samples and carrying out surveys on site
  • Analysing your data and spotting patterns in nature
  • Writing reports on potential risks to local plants and animals
  • Advising designers how to make their plans more eco-friendly
  • Creating habitats that protect at-risk species
  • Giving expert scientific advice to landscape planners and managers
Landscape Scientist
Seaburn recreation ground entrance gates, Sunderland Seafront. Project by Sunderland City Council. Image credit: Sunderland City Council
Landscape Scientist
Top: New perspectives on Calais - student dissertation by Joelle Darby. Credit: Joelle Darby

Bottom: SLIC Skip garden - mobile gardens in the Kings Cross area. Image credit: Harrison Phair. © Landscape Institute

What kind of person am I?

  • A nature lover with knowledge of plants and animals
  • Passionate about conservation and tackling climate change
  • A problem solver with an evidence-based approach
  • Good with detail and able to spot when others have missed something
  • Happy in the lab and being outdoors in all weathers

What Our Members 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?

Your starting salary would be around £xk rising to around £xk with experience.

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