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Landscape architect: Entry requirements

Landscape architecture is a chartered career and undergraduate degrees which can be completed as the first step towards chartered status are accredited by The Landscape Institute (LI) . The degrees typically last four years and are available in topics such as:

  • landscape architecture;
  • garden design;
  • landscape design and ecology;
  • landscape planning;
  • landscape management and/or restoration;
  • environmental conservation.

If you already have an undergraduate degree that isn't accredited by the LI you can still enter the career by completing an LI-accredited postgraduate conversion course. You will need to check with individual institutions offering the courses that you qualify for entry.

The courses are usually most relevant for those with a related undergraduate degree such as architecture, horticulture or botany. A full list of all LI-accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses is available on Be a Landscape Architect .

The undergraduate and postgraduate courses lead to Licentiate Membership of the LI, which is the first step towards becoming chartered. Some employers will look for landscape architects who are already chartered, while others will be prepared to support you on the path towards qualifying.

When applying for jobs, candidates need to show evidence of the following in addition to their formal qualifications:

  • good design/drawing skills including computer-aided design (CAD);
  • excellent communication and negotiating skills;
  • creative ability, imagination and enthusiasm;
  • a concern for the environment and understanding of conservation issues;
  • a practical outlook;
  • good observation skills and an eye for detail.

If you are considering self-employment, a sound business sense and cross-functional awareness are essential.

Relevant pre-entry experience is desirable as it shows your interest and commitment to the career area. Some courses include industrial placements but if yours doesn't, consider finding vacation or part-time work. Anything in a landscape-based area will be useful, as will any work that involves design or creative skills. Volunteering projects linked to the environment can also help.

Two types of student membership are available with The Landscape Institute:

  • full student membership and;
  • free online student membership.

All students are eligible to join but students on accredited courses who take up full membership will receive an automatic upgrade to licentiate membership with no further charge in the year in which they graduate. Becoming a member of the institute demonstrates your commitment to the profession.

For more information, see work experience and internships and search postgraduate courses.

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Written by AGCAS editors
September 2014

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