Master of Landscape Architecture
- CRICOS Code: 061209M
What will I study?
This course is part of an accelerated professional degree for students from non-cognate undergraduate degrees. The dominant mode of teaching and learning is through design studios which are each 25 points. To be successful in this degree, a commitment of at least 25 points a semester is necessary.
The Master of Landscape Architecture will give you the knowledge and skills to help improve our built and natural environments through innovative design. You will gain:
- The skills to design ecologically sound and contemporary landscapes using the latest materials and technologies
- In-depth understanding of international contemporary practice
- The management and communications skills to work effectively in interdisciplinary project teams, directly applicable in professional practice
- An in-depth grounding in landscape architectural history and theory.
The Master of Landscape Architecture offers you flexibility, so you can take a two-year program if you already have a three-year undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture or the three-year program if your first degree is not in landscape architecture and you are making a career change.
Sample course plan
View some sample course plans to help you select subjects that will meet the requirements for this degree.
- Semester 150 pts
- Semester 250 pts
- Semester 150 pts
- Semester 250 pts
- Semester 150 pts
- Semester 250 pts
- Semester 150 pts
- Semester 250 pts
- Semester 150 pts
- Semester 250 pts
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- 25 pts
A studio-based subject that offers speculative investigations for landscape architectural design. Building upon landscape derived theoretical influences and precedent informed by design practice, Studio options will vary from year to year. Framed by contemporary agendas for landscape design, studio investigations will include speculation and experiment with spatial design, materiality and detailing; digital media; heritage and conservation in national and or international contexts.
- 25 pts
A studio-based subject that engages with large scale landscapes. GIS applications are introduced as a tool for exploring ecological and cultural systems across multiple scales to inform better planning, design and development strategies for sustainability.
- Students will be required to design and print A1 or A0 size drawings for pin-up presentations and crits; cost approx. $240 to $300 per person.
- ArcGIS Desktop student evaluation version (1 year trial) is available for free from the Reception Desk of MSD Library.
- 25 pts
One of the primary themes driving environmental design thinking in the first decades of the 21st century is the concept of sustainability. Cities, other forms of human settlements, landscapes and larger bio-geographical regions can be made to be more sustainable through various design interventions. This studio explores different ways of making sustainable environments through addressing a range of environmental (e.g. energy, water, materials, waste, ecology and community) and social/cultural factors (e.g. cultural heritage conservation), and interrelationships between factors. A range of studio projects will be offered in each semester, aimed at exploring how selected sites can be made more sustainable through various types of design interventions.”
- 25 pts
This subject is the culmination of each student's studies in Master of Landscape Architecture. Students will be offered a studio thematic which provides scope for an original approach to design synthesis in landscape architecture, which is based on research and critical thinking. These studios may offer an interdisciplinary experience with students working alongside others in a parallel design discipline.
Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of design resolution, conceptual engagement and aesthetic expression.
With course coordinator approval, high-achieving students may undertake the Landscape Architecture Design Thesis as an individually supervised design investigation. Similarly, under exceptional circumstances and with course coordinator approval, the Design Thesis may be undertaken as a written thesis.
- 12.5 pts
This subject was formerly called Contemporary Theory & Australian Landscape.
This subject explores contemporary theories and modes of critique relating to the modern designed landscape. The lectures and readings introduce and examine significant 20th and early 21st century theoretical writings and design treatises. This will include the contextualization of landscape architecture against theoretical developments in allied design fields including urban design, architecture and the visual arts. Assignments and class papers require students to critically engage with a broad range of theoretical positions, and relate them to built works.
- 12.5 pts
This subject was formerly called Advanced Landscape Technology.
This subject links the creative, practical and technical aspects of landscape architecture design process to construction by developing knowledge and skills that translate and communicate design into the language of construction documentation emphasising the materiality and assemblage of hard scapes. The subject also introduces CAD as the graphic medium for documentation. Knowledge and skills are developed through a series of assessment components:
A group assignment to critically review real documentation packages, conduct site visits and interview designers and present findings to their peers; and the main assignment of a landscape detail design and documentation project that utilises and synthesises skills and knowledge gained in the first two assignments and prerequisite subjects.
The assessment criteria encourage the integration of ESD technologies in the detail design process and the development of CAD skills. The subject is delivered through a series of lectures, CAD intensives, and weekly design documentation tutorials, readings, site visits, interviews with designers and presentations.
- 12.5 pts
Constructed Ecologies engages with the key principles of ecology as a fundamental requirement for landscape architectural practice. Typical topics include biodiversity, soils, changing rural ecologies, wetlands and stormwater design strategies including water flows, environmental history informing design, and performative design. The focus is on ecosystem function. The course emphasises foundations of ecology, suburban design, and designing with water. The course will address case studies from around the world as illustrations of ecological principles informing design.
Note: There might be a field trip with 2 nights away during semester; this is not a hurdle and other arrangements could be made for those students who find it difficult to attend.
- 12.5 pts
This subject covers the documentation and professional practice responsibilities involved with the development of landscape architectural projects and related disciplines.
Students must take 25 points from the following:
- History of Landscape Architecture12.5 pts
This subject was formerly called History of Designed Landscape (PG).
A critical examination of landscape architecture as a discipline that has shaped public and private landscapes through time. Philosophies and theories relating to design and associated professions are discussed in relation to the evolution of landscape architecture on the international scene. The history of landscape architecture in Australia is contextualised and the Australian contemporary landscape is considered as a product of its colonial and twentieth century cultural contexts.
- Performative Ecologies12.5 pts
This subject explores the principles of ecological systems. It will introduce basic ecological concepts and fundamental ecological systems, and their applications in landscape design. It will include plants and biomes, soils and water, spatial geometries, emergence, resilience, and the ecological performance of designs in relation to design speculations. The subject will be delivered through lectures and/or guest lectures, tutorials, field trip/s, and more practical sessions synthesising dominant themes in these areas.
- Urban and Landscape Heritage12.5 pts
The development of landscape design in Australia. The influence and work of Australian landscape designers. Concepts of natural and cultural heritage. Types of landscape heritage: Australian indigenous landscapes, public and private parks and gardens, institutional and industrial landscapes, symbolic and commemorative landscapes. Heritage legislation and organisations. Techniques for the assessment of landscape heritage. Case studies are used to illustrate the theory and practice of planning and managing sites that have cultural significance.
- GIS In Planning, Design & Development12.5 pts
This subject introduces the concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its application in landscape architecture, urban planning and development. It will:
- introduce the origin and development of GIS respect to landscape architecture, urban planning and development;
- introduce basic GIS concepts, data structure, data format, and data management;
- introduce fundamental GIS operations such as digitising, overlay analysis, spatial analysis, hydrological analysis, 3D analysis, etc.;
- address key issues of applying GIS in planning, design and development, such as landscape capacity and suitability analysis, urban heat island analysis, water sensitive urban design, property management, etc.;
- place how GIS will facilitate site analysis, inform decision making and improve efficiency and productivity in planning, design and development.
The subject will be delivered through lectures/guest lectures, lab tutorials, workshops and practical sessions synthesising dominant themes in this fields of using GIS as tool to achieve sustainable design and ecological landscape planning.
- Flexible Urban Modelling12.5 pts
This elective will involve modelling and interacting with complex urban sites focusing on modelling difficult terrains, both existing conditions and topographical manipulation. Students will investigate biomorphic/organic form making and representation techniques utilising procedural modelling using 3DS Max as well as plug-in and script use. Through investigating rapidly emerging digital modelling technologies, students will learn time-saving modelling, how to manage complex files, and how to move information between a range of software.
- Bushfire Urban Planning12.5 pts
This subject sets out the key mechanisms by which land use planning can reduce the risks associated with human settlements located in bushfire prone areas. It begins with an overview of bushfire as a natural hazard that occurs in particular landscapes, and the ways that human settlements interact with these to result in spatial and locally particular risk outcomes.
The ways that urban planning mechanisms can influence risk levels in bushfire prone areas are explored. First principles of planning intervention techniques are set out, followed by a detailed explanation of relevant elements of Victorian planning processes. Current regulatory approaches suitable for the treatment of bushfire risk in Victoria are a core learning outcome for the subject, in parallel with developing understandings of the inter-relations between building, planning, response and land management agencies related to bushfire risk reduction.
- Building Behaviour in Bushfires12.5 pts
This subject covers the fundamentals of how domestic buildings respond to bushfire in a planned environment context. Working from the science fundamentals through to the policy and legislation frameworks that tackle bushfire risk mitigation through to building design. With successful completion of the course, students will be well equipped to judge and implement design solutions within the scope of Victorian building regulations relating to bushfire risk management.
Building behavior in bushfires requires some critical background knowledge in order to be effectively taught, with pre-requisite subjects Patterns and Processes of Landscape Fire and Bushfire Urban Planning. An improved understanding of the broader range of values that are inevitably considered in bushfire urban design will be better addressed in this subject when the subject Bushfire Planning and Management is completed prior to beginning this subject.
- Plants in the Landscape12.5 pts
This subject explores the identification, selection and design use of plants in urban landscapes. The content includes an introduction to botanical nomenclature, plant selection, sources of information, planting design, planting plans, the design use of major plant groups, and recognition and identification of representative plants. Case studies of plant use and management in urban landscapes and relevant site visits are also discussed.
- Designing for Heat in the Public Domain12.5 pts
The implication of climate change on the liveability of cities is becoming increasingly apparent. This seminar explores the issue of heat and thermal comfort in the design of the public domain.
This intensive is open to design students (architecture, landscape architecture and urban design) and planners. We will explore the potentials of contemporary digital tools (simulation, Rhino and grasshopper) and data (including sensors and real-time) combined with current theoretical writings crossing climate change science, cultural studies and digital design to develop innovative design and planning responses.
Students will research and explore a range of techniques including data capture, the use of simulation software and engage critical analysis of design precedents to produce a design proposition for a site in Melbourne which responds directly to the issues of a warming climate.
- Advanced Planting Design12.5 pts
This is a studio-based elective subject that enables students to develop an advanced planting design methodology. Plant characteristics are examined as a material for their uses and effects as an integral component of landscape architecture design. A site-specific design response is formed by addressing environmental, social, cultural and ecological criteria. Strategic approaches are explored through a series of lectures, practice-based case studies, and workshops. A field trip and site visits are included to promote critical reflection and evaluation of planting in built and natural landscapes. Design exercises are staged to develop a whole life-cycle approach to the planting design process, included: collection and exchange of information; development of a plant selection matrix; generation and testing of concepts; production of a detail design proposition; and, devising feedbacking mechanisms. The subject aims to provide students with skills and appreciation for ongoing learning and working with plants as a lively, evolving material in landscape architecture design practice.
Subject may have a full day field trip .
- Design for Ageing12.5 pts
Demographic ageing is creating a shift in how to think and define homes, cities and public spaces. This subject explores feasible and sustainable approaches to keep the older segment of the population physically and socially active. Innovative changes in design can lead to significant advancements in service delivery, transportation models and homes that allow people to age in place. In addition, design principles for dementia and palliative care are a few of the many concepts that help minimise stress on people as they age and their families. Students will explore these topics and develop their own ideas about the way design can optimise the ageing process for comfort, security and overall well-being.
- Design Research12.5 pts
This subject will introduce students to a range of creative research methods. As distinct from traditional ‘quantitative research’ (classical scientific research method involving systematic collection of verifiable data) and ‘qualitative research’ (in-depth inquiry into human perceptions used in social sciences often involving interviews) ‘creative research’ is a relatively new methodology. In this subject we follow de Bono’s definition that creativity involves lateral moves sideways in contrast to the logical, linear thinking inherent to traditional research methods. We follow the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of ‘research’ meaning investigation or inquiry into things. The focus of our creative research will be uncovering new knowledge that can lead to the generation of imagined futures for designed environments.
Note:Students will be required to prepare installations, models, designed assemblages and drawings, as well as written essays during the course. Additional costs should be minimal. Recycling, reusing and scavenging of materials is positively encouraged. And digital presentations are allowed in lieu of costly printing for most presentations.
- Urban Informatics12.5 pts
Urban Informatics is the study of cities using digital data, information, knowledge and models to understand trends, complexities and inform the formulation and evaluation of sustainable urban futures.
This subject aims to arm the student with the necessary fundamental concepts and practical understanding of the rise of the Smart City and how urban informatics can assist in evidenced-based and collaborative decision-making.
The new science of cities (Batty, 2013) is driven by the deluge of data that enables the mapping of the Smart City and new geographies that can be explored, analysed and synthesized. Planners, geographers, urban designers, landscape architects, spatial scientists and other disciplines interest in the urban settlements require a deeper knowledge of digital data and how to access, interrogate, visualize and synthesis such data to realise the vision of the smart and sustainable city.
This subject utilises the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) portal as an e-learning resource for exploring what is possible in emerging in the new discipline of urban informatics. Students will also be exposed to a range of other complementary digital environments including open data repositories, urban modelling and visualisation tools and open source geospatial information technologies.
- Landscape Materialities12.5 pts
The subject engages with contemporary landscape architecture practice through guided investigation projects on materiality and technology. Students will select an area of interest from a list of nominated topics to investigate through research-design exercises. The subject emphasises exploratory investigations (which could extend to fabrication) and encourages the uncovering of new knowledge that can extend the possibilities of landscape architectural design.
The subject establishes research-design approaches that are further reinforced in Design Research, Design Thesis and Landscape Practice subjects.
Students will be required to purchase construction materials for the course including cost to cover CNC routing and 3d printing; approx. $300 per person.
- GeoDesign Models & Applications12.5 pts
GeoDesign is an emerging field in which the analytical rigor and methodological strategies of geospatial sciences are being fused with the forward thinking, creativity, and graphic capabilities of landscape architecture, urban planning and design. This subject explores geodesign models and applications. Specifically, the subject will introduce geodesign methods and their practical consequences in the reconfiguration of vision, knowledge, professional practice and embodied experience in geodesign.
- Placemaking : Design for Landscape12.5 pts
The Placemaking for Landscape is an elective studio. It will establish an interdisciplinary practice-type environment to work with community, traders and Council to design the transformation of an underutilized area in Newport through application of placemaking principles and guidelines. The studio subject site, Market Street to Payne Reserve, has the potential to reconnect and reinvigorate divided public areas, as well as itself providing a valued community space. Using placemaking and design interventions, the studio will address the challenges and opportunities in creating a vibrant community space. The studio will also feed into community processes linking to the Art and Industry Festival to be held in the area in November 2018. The interdisciplinary studio will bring together Landscape Architecture with Architecture and Urban Planning disciplines to apply placemaking, community engagement, urban planning and design thinking.
Note: Classes will be held in the Newport Community Hub, Paine Reserve, Mason St, Newport on 5, 8, 15, 19, 22, 25 January, and 2, 5, 12 February 2018. There will also be student presentations to the local community on 21 February 2018
- Design Strategies of Asian Gardens12.5 pts
This subject introduces design strategies of Asian gardens and explores the aesthetic values and underlying concepts through lectures, readings and workshops. Gardens in East and South Asia, including China, Japan and Korea, are used as primary cases for investigation, but students can select gardens in other parts of Asia as their case studies for class presentation. After having a fundamental knowledge of design principles of Asian gardens, students will be required to apply those design methods and approaches to formulate creative design responses and generate multiple design outcomes.