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BA (Hons) Landscape and Garden Design

About the course

This course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. Garden Design is a challenging and interesting career choice. A degree in Garden Design will allow you to become professional, work with other industry experts and produce work to high creative standards. Garden designers focus on the detail in design. Intricate, intimate spaces with plants chosen for their colour, texture, interest and scent are the hallmark of high quality garden design. As a professional Garden Designer, you may become involved with the design of courtyards, school grounds, community gardens, private estates, show gardens, interior design and historic landscapes.

During the course, a range of design projects will be undertaken that cover all aspects of design, beginning with smaller-scale projects and culminating in the final year with detailed design work with the potential to exhibit at a garden festival such as Tatton or Southport.

Here at Myerscough, we are situated within beautiful grounds with an arboretum, ornamental gardens, greenhouses and plots where you can learn about plants and practice your design skills. As students, you will also have access to UCLan in the bustling city centre of Preston.

Another benefit of studying Garden Design at Myerscough is the multi-disciplinary team that you will be working with. We have excellent horticultural facilities and this particular course has a strong horticultural basis. Garden Designers who understand and can use their knowledge of plants are in demand in industry. We also have Creative Design here at Myerscough and you will have access to photography and floristry tutors, and materials should you wish to develop your artistic and presentation skills.

If you have a creative streak, love plants, drawing and design, this is the course for you!

Course modules

Year 1

Surveying and Plan Drawing

Surveying is the art of accurately measuring up a space. You will professionally measure up areas and learn to interpret survey plans produced by professional surveyors. You will also analyse a range of spaces and study site features including climate, topography, drainage and soils. Plan drawing skills will also be developed, enabling you to produce professional drawings using CAD and by hand.

Academic and Professional Skills

This module aims to develop the students’ key academic, cognitive, professional and transferable skills in order to develop more independent modes of learning. These skills will be developed in the subject specific context in conjunction with other year 1 modules and will underpin subsequent years of study. Through personal development, the module also aims to aid future employability potential.

Principles of Design and Photography Technical Skills (Option)

This is a very creative and inspiring module where the principles and elements of design are studied along with photographic technical skills. This will provide you with the underpinning knowledge in design and photography which will be applied to all other practical modules on the course. You will explore each of the principles and elements in practical sessions using a variety of media and abstract forms.

Landscape and Garden History (Option)

The history and development of landscapes and gardens is a fascinating subject. You will be taken on a virtual tour through some of the world’s most important gardens and landscapes. Important designers will be discussed and the influences of social and economic factors on the development of gardens will be analysed. You will study a particular period in depth and produce work inspired by your study.

Garden Design

Designing a range of spaces will give you a chance to develop your design, problem solving and presentation skills. In this module, you will be able to design a variety of concepts for projects. These might include a courtyard, small rear garden, and a back-to-back show garden. Each project will have site-related features that you will have to deal with, whether it is a feature to retain, an awkward brief or a specific soil type to design for.

Plant knowledge

Developing fundamental plant knowledge and learning to “read” plants are the key elements of this module. You will study plant taxonomy/nomenclature, plant identification and recognition of horticulturally significant characteristics.

Plant utilisation

Plants and greenspaces are increasingly important in terms of the ecosystem services they provide and other benefits for society. This module introduces you to the selection of plants for suitable for specific situations, the effective use of plant characteristics for horticultural impact and appropriate management and cultivation techniques.

Year 2

Creative Projects (Double module)

You will explore creative design through a range of projects that could include anything from elaborate water gardens to roof gardens, low-budget patios and expensive outdoor kitchens. This module gives you the chance to explore some of the scenarios that you might come across as a garden designer. As you build up a design portfolio based on a range of design briefs for different clients and sites, you will develop your problem solving and creative skills.

Industry Project

This module applies the practical, technical and personal skills developed in the academic and vocational skills module. It will utilise a structured work environment for students to identify a suitable project, and work with their supervisor in developing and managing the project and reporting on the outcomes. Students will be encouraged to use the work project to develop professional working relationships and identify their chosen career options.

Applied Plant Utilisation and Management

This module allows you to apply your knowledge of plant utilisation by the development of a selection of planting schemes, management plans and maintenance schedules for a range of landscape situations and includes maintenance specifications and contract documentation. You will look at plants suitable for a range of situations including polluted city centres, salt-laden coastal sites, exposed uplands and contaminated soils.

Research Development

You will gain the ability to undertake investigative research for the creative industries. You will develop research skills that will be useful in the professional context should you wish to become self employed, as well as the academic context should you continue with further study. Topics include market research skills, research methodology, information collection techniques, information analysis and writing skills.

Landscape Construction and Specification

The detail is crucial in landscape design. This module will give you the opportunity to design and specify landscape features. You will discover the range of materials available, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their sustainability. Detailed drawing techniques will be practised and you will also create written specifications suitable for a landscape contractor to understand.

Year 3

Planting Design

Designing with plants is a complex subject. In this module, you will study the ways to successfully establish planting schemes, the latest tree establishment techniques and the factors that contribute to plant failure. You will produce a range of planting plans, schedules, specifications and costings for different situations.

Advanced Creative Projects (Double module)

You will undertake a range of design projects. Each will focus on a specific aspect of design. This could be working with an artist, designing a show garden, dealing with a difficult brief or sites with unusual characteristics. You will learn how to produce professional documents and drawings to a high standard.

International Developments in Landscape and Garden Design

Landscape Architecture and Garden Design both operate on a global scale. There are international events, expositions and festivals. This module will enable you to study international design trends and contemporary issues that affect landscape and garden design through a series of international design studies and seminars.

Greenspace Professional Practice

It is very important for professionals to have an appreciation of ethical and sustainable business operation concepts and be able to apply them. In this module you will build upon the principals of strategic planning and corporate social responsibilities to address business auditing tasks, such as re-branding and re-modelling, incorporating company policies; planning; project management; communication and negotiation with clients. You will also critically analyse a range of contemporary issues within arboriculture and associated green industries.


This module will allow students to research an area in detail. Students will become specialised in one aspect related to landscape architecture. The Tutor will guide students as to suitable topics to enable them to find sources of information. The dissertation might be in a particular specialism that the student wishes to progress upon graduation.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 104 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

3 A Levels (A2) at C or above

BTEC/C&G Level 3

4 Scottish Highers at C or above

4 Irish Highers at C or above

International Baccalaureate at 24 points

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at Level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview.

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Learning activities on this course include lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions. Students will be expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support taught sessions. Group work and group presentations will form an important part of the course. In addition, students will have access to Myerscough’s virtual learning environment.


Students will face a variety of assessments, many of which directly reflect industry-related practices. These assessment methods will include technical reports, portfolios, exams, individual presentations, practical reports, research posters and extended project work.

What Work Experience can I get?

There is no formal industry placement on this course but there may be opportunities at the end of the course, for students to undertake work experience or internships with employers throughout the UK and overseas.

Additional Information:

Modules may include guest speakers of standing within the industry. Off-site day visits to landscapes, trade fairs and areas of environmental significance may also be undertaken.


On successful completion of the BSc (Hons) programme, students may wish to apply for further qualifications such as MSc, M Phil, PhD.


With a Garden Design degree, you can become a self-employed Garden Designer or consultant after you have gained some industry experience. You can work as part of a larger organisation such as a garden centre offering design and horticultural advice or work with Landscape Architects and Architects on projects.

Special requirements

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

Camera - £100

Study tours £500-£1000 per year

There may be bursaries and hardship funds available to help with the cost of these.