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MLA Masters in Landscape Architecture

2020 Details

Programme Commencing:

September 2020

Programme duration:

2 Years Full-Time

MLA Masters in Landscape Architecture

Focused on modern urban everyday life, climate change and our need for a healthy natural world, the MLA at UCD is taught as a profession of the future. UCD’s MLA is a multidisciplinary course delivered by specialists that include landscape architects, ecologists, hydrologists, engineers, planners, geographers and artists, and others. We make connections across disciplines to prepare students for the complexity of professional life in the built environment. Our programme focuses on designing with nature in a context that pushes typical urban analytical and project boundaries outwards from the city. Our studio sites include coasts and rivers, hills and valleys, farmlands and woodlands as well as the town. At the interface between the human and the natural world, our approach marries spatial design skills with an understanding of nature-led solutions, engineering, urban and rural planning, natural and social sciences and the humanities. We review traditional planning and engineering approaches critically and explore alternatives, seeking better, more beautiful, more sustainable solutions that work with nature to the benefit of all.


  • UCD’s MLA is accredited by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)
  • Graduates of IFLA recognized undergraduate programmes can opt for advanced entry into the final year of this 2-year programme.


UCD is highly attractive to students due to the exposure to world leading researchers as well as the significant career prospects.

  • UCD is at the forefront of Landscape Architecture education in Ireland
  • Ranking top 1%
  • Modern parkland campus located in the capital of Ireland
  • Over 6000 international students from 120 countries

What will I study?

The MLA programme includes lectures, design studios, field trips and research into topics of contemporary significance. The final year research-led design studio is embedded within an Irish town and deals with live issues raised by the community.

Indicative Module List:

  • Landscape Research methods
  • Rural and Urban Planning
  • Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Landscape
  • Psychology of Landscape
  • Urban Rivers
  • Soil Resources
  • Urban Design
  • Nature-based Solutions
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Landscape Studio
  • Minor design thesis
  • Landscape Architectural Thesis (final year study)
  • Landscape Architectural Dissertation (final year study)
  • Landscape Trees and Shrubs
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Landscape ecology
IFLA Europe

Programme commences: September 2019,
Duration: 24 months (with advanced entry possible for graduates of IFLA recognized undergraduate programmes in Landscape Architecture)

What past students have to say:
Yu Sun
When I first came from China the beautiful scenery in Ireland impressed me deeply and I knew where I wanted to continue my studies. The Masters has endowed me with deeper knowledge of the complexities of the landscape and the final year real-world studio opened my eyes to trans-disciplinary thinking and the potential of a landscape approach. This year was challenging, but a unique way to learn - we spent a lot of time on site, students worked together closely, teachers were supportive and helpful - and I am very proud of my part in creating an exhibition of work that made a real difference to local people. My future as a landscape architect will be in helping find solutions that improve local and global environments and bring comfort to human souls, and I am looking forward to starting my first job, here in Dublin.
Yu Sun
What past students have to say:
Alan Butler
After hearing from previous students at my school how amazing UCD was I did not believe it until I stepped off the plane in Dublin. Waiting for me was the best semester I have experienced so far in college. Everyone at UCD was friendly and willing to help the lost international student. My Landscape Architecture projects were challenging where I was able to grow as a young designer.
The tutors were always eager to help me as I was trying to learn the metric system and aspects of the Irish landscapes. In my landscape modules I was mixed in with both the local students who accepted me into their group. One of my favourite experiences here was when some the landscape architecture tutors took the first years and international students on a trip to show different landscapes around Ireland. As sad as I am to see this semester come to an end, I am glad for all the opportunities UCD gave me and would not change a thing about my experience.
Alan Butler
What past students have to say:
Dominic Comerford
I came from 15 years in the world of mainstream commercial architecture and wanted something more. Landscape Architecture introduced me to many additional subject areas relating to design in our environment - with an emphasis on natural, ecological and cultural values. The MLA at UCD opened my eyes and I now see the world around me in a much more exciting, stimulating and interesting way. I gave myself the opportunity of complete immersion in order to ‘get it ‘ as they say. The learning is ongoing, this is a wide and beautiful subject. I found the tutors very supportive and encouraging, some with infectious enthusiasm, which has stayed with me and is definitely the best way to learn. Having completed the MLA in 2006, my practice in Ireland now specialises in smaller scale Architecture and Landscape Architecture. I also tutor on the undergraduate programme at UCD.
Dominic Comerford

Entry Requirements:

A 3-year Bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture with minimum 2.2 award (NFQ level 8) or international equivalent in a cognate discipline such as landscape engineering, landscape planning, architecture or environmental design.

Other programmes of interest:

While the MLA is of interest primarily to students from landscape architecture, it will also appeal to graduates from a variety of other disciplinary backgrounds. Contact the Programme Director for advice on how to convert your undergraduate degree into a professionally recognized qualification in landscape architecture. Graduates of non-design based undergraduate degrees may be required to undergo a pathway programme.

MLA Pathway

More Information:

See course details How to Apply Ms Katie O'Neill
+353 1 716 3248
Ms Laura Egan-O'Brien
+353 1 716 1781
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