Master of Arts in Garden Design Year I – Postgraduate DiplomaGarden design courses
Aims of the programme:
The MA programme is validated by Wrexham Glyndŵr University, in partnership and delivered by Inchbald School of Design.
Students can follow two routes: the whole MA programme or Part 1 (120 credits taught modules) followed by Part 2 (60 credit dissertation).
The MA combines a highly intensive teaching programme in Part 1 together with a tutorial based supervised study in Part 2.
The Postgraduate Diploma Course (Part 1 of the Masters programme) is an intensive professional programme enabling students to investigate more fully the impetus and consequences of their design solutions. Alongside the practical content is a more investigative emphasis that prepares students for the demands of this competitive profession or for further research. Students will approach project work through the introduction of the Survey/Analysis/Design method and will develop an approach to design through, learning to explore conceptual method and practice. Projects increase in complexity facilitating the understanding and development of the core skills of design, analysis, presentation, construction, professional practice and research methodology. Contemporary visualisation skills, hand and computer drawn, are introduced and developed throughout the programme enabling the student to prepare a portfolio that communicates a clear and practical approach to professional requirements and client need.
Students have the opportunity to investigate design theory and its impact on their work that of their peers and the wider established design community. Further explanation through lectures, seminars, workshops and site specific projects cover aesthetic and practical issues forming the basis for self-directed study and student led discussion in preparation for possible entry to Part 2, the MA programme.
Postgraduate study at Inchbald is introduced and explored through the Research Methodology module. This module investigates and elucidates issues of place, space, materials and atmosphere, as well as considering the creation of any built or designed environment through seminars and investigations instigated by staff and student contributions.
Students are encouraged to draw conclusions that inform working methods, and produce designs, which communicate authentic atmosphere, design details and decoration. They are also expected to expand on interior design sourcing or planting considerations.
Key factors to be considered are the interaction of human beings to their spaces. The resonance and performance of materials, the understanding of the sensory perception of space and the effects of movement, fashion and interpretation will be considered in depth in both the classic and contemporary context.
Postgraduate students are also required to exercise a greater degree of autonomy in their own studies; through the Personal Development Journal they will chart and analyse their own work, the areas of design they wish to pursue professionally (perhaps to Master’s level) and those issues they consider relevant to the career path they wish to follow. For PG students, the final project is a self-directed study. Site, client and brief are composed in consultation with the Course Director, but the choices and the direction of the project are student-led.
Postgraduate study at the Inchbald builds upon, but is distinctly different from, the Core Diploma. It is designed to exercise the students’ individual responses to those theoretical and philosophical issues, which require a deeper understanding of how we react to constructed space. Importantly, it explores issues that inform and expand the students’ understanding of the professions to which they have dedicated themselves.
- General course informationValidation
Wrexham Glyndŵr UniversityLength
1 Academic Year in 3 termsDates
9 September 2019 – 10 July 2020Days
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and FridayTimes
10am to 4pmStudy Type
Full Time / On CampusStudent / Tutor Ratio
Eccleston SquareCourse Director
Alan HughesCourse Administrator
- Subject Overview
To evaluate site and functional constraints and evolve design solutions through critical analysis and research
To develop in the students an understanding of design as it relates to the garden
To develop spatial awareness, the capability to organise space with a knowledge and understanding of ergonomics
To develop a capability in the knowledge of technical support in hard and soft landscape design
- Course Content
This module encourages critical analysis as a basis for design development enabling students to justify their design approach and solutions. In addition surveying technique teaches the skills and methods of effective site measurement both on a two and three-dimensional basis.
In each live project, across the year students are required to analyse on site gaining first hand objective and subjective information in support of their work. This work is recorded graphically supported by written evaluation producing contextual information that feeds into the design process. In Semester 1, students are also given practical experience of on site measuring techniques and work together on a group basis with the responsibility of producing a successful base plan.
This module enables the student to apply the principles of design theory to a range of projects involving live clients and sites, challenging their abilities and preconceptions. Teaching encourages critical analysis of artistic works, the output of other designers, the application of site survey and analysis work and the understanding of the role of function in the design process. The marriage of functional, decorative and site specific considerations provides the main core of the learning process and studio teaching encourages the exploration and examination of the links between these various design factors. The range of design projects will expand and challenge student awareness of the design process and its application to different sites and circumstances. Students are required to support, justify and defend their work both verbally in studio and crit sessions and with submitted design development material, showing how they achieved their goals.
In addition, they are required to produce two written assignments. The first relates to Project D4, a design proposal supported by a three dimensional model. Students will be required to explore the development of their design from two into three dimensions, taking particular note of the spatial qualities of their proposal. They will also be required to evaluate the success of their design as a whole and to reflect upon the most effective way in which their ideas might be communicated. The second assignment relates to the final project in which students are required to describe and identify their design concepts, thinking and rationale for their entire CDP. They are required to analyse their approach in depth, to challenge pre-conceptions and to produce evidence of dynamic and original thought.
This module enables students to explore the artistic, decorative, technical and practical aspects of problem solving in relation to hard landscape construction. Through detailed investigation outlined at the interim crit stage, students are encouraged to explore and resolve complex junctions and structural requirements involved in the construction of a garden. Students are also encouraged to understand how hard materials perform and how they can or might be used to resolve their own design aims.
Research and the application of the research findings are actively encouraged. Supporting information is delivered through a series of increasingly detailed lectures aimed at developing a problem solving approach in each student. An evolving source book enables students to apply their research and acquired learning.
Major design projects include the exploration of construction technique, technical requirements and the use of functionally appropriate materials and fixings. These projects allow students to connect theory and research to practical need.
This module enables students to explore the artistic, decorative, structural and spatial aspects of planting design. Through detailed investigation outlined at the interim crit stage, students are encouraged to explore and resolve detailed associations, analysing critically the quality and success of existing design solutions and proposing improvements or alternative solutions. Lectures and tutorials refine and resolve understanding.
The module explores the plant kingdom in microcosm through a research project that directs students to the main sources of reference both in the school library and in the nearby Lindley Library of the RHS. Lectures support this research and the widening of student awareness into the design application of plants, seeing them as three dimensional masses rather than horticultural treasures. The three dimensional qualities of plant material are explored particularly through the main design projects, supported by studio teaching, whereas the detailed design applications are dealt with through the directed analysis and research in the planting design source book.
The development of a range of core research skills commensurate with post graduate level study and the identification and application of those research competencies specific to garden design. Students will be introduced to research strategy and practice, the ISD library and other important reference libraries, the use of IT in research and the identification of primary and secondary research resources. Within this module, students will be required to undertake four pieces of coursework including a research report exercise and a proposal exercise linked to the dissertation, which will eventually complete the MA programme. A series of seminars are based on a critical analysis of alternative design theories from renowned practitioners and critics. A critical diary, kept by students throughout the year, encourages an ongoing discussion between the course director and the student, which assists and determines the self-directed scope of each individual student’s work.
The introduction of business linked strategies, guidance and support specifically targeted to the field of garden design. The course also requires specific research in costing and quantifying skills and information relating directly to a previously prepared design. The majority of teaching in this module is lecture based although some open up into workshop sessions in which students can explore and analyse comparative systems and approaches in relation to marketing, fee estimating and contract. Studio based teaching concentrates on the development of detailed costings. Through this exercise, students learn how to quantify the raw materials that make up their designs and the labour and design support required in their realisation. There is also a requirement that students analyse the impact of their cost findings on the quality of their finished design – they are encouraged through group and individual studio discussion to provide solutions to reducing costs without necessarily reducing design quality.
- Entry Requirements
Relevant previous academic qualification / interview / portfolio
Initial degree, a First or 2:1, applicants whose degree is not in the subject or cognate subject should show sufficient experience (usually 2 years) evidenced by portfolio and demonstrate at interview (this is as per the programme specification)
All teaching and lectures are conducted in English and the following criteria may be required if English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (with no individual element below 6.0).
- Tuition Fees
£32,400.00 inc VAT
- Teaching Methods
Places are strictly limited to ensure that students gain close working relationships with teaching staff, and that they are supported in studio at a ratio of 8: 1.
Lectures are discussion based, therefore allowing students, not only to ask any necessary questions but also to facilitate interaction with the other students’ opinions. This is particularly important during the early stages of the course in order to develop ideas and a sense of personal style.
The Inchbald is staffed by working designers who are recognised for their creative input and for their professional standards. Lecturers are drawn from relevant practices and academic institutions and senior designers are invited as guest lecturers. Full time staff are all trained educators.
The course is taught using lecture, studio, group work, workshops and regular visits to major gardens. Students should be aware that this is a very intensive course and tutors encourage the development of independent learning in order that they are able to devote a significant amount of their own time to further study and completion of projects and assignments.
Students are allocated their own drawing space for the year giving them a dedicated workspace to use outside of the two days and full use of the School’s facilities including library and Eccleston Square gardens.Faculty
Garden DesignWork Experience
Applicable to this course usually organised during Easter vacationCareer Development
Ongoing consultation on portfolio and employment during and after the course, CV and exhibition preparation during the courseFurther study
Successful graduates will be eligible for further study at academic level 7, part 2 / dissertation stage.
Interested? Apply for this course