BA (Hons) Garden Design

Dates: 11 September 2017, 10 – 4pm

Length: Full-Time, Taught over 3 semesters

Course Director: Andrew Duff MA PGCE MSGD

Location: 32 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PB

Course Contact: Sharon Booth, Tel: 020 7630 9011

Fee:  £30,858.00 inc VAT.  An Instalment Plan is available, please ask the Course Administrator.

Aims of the programme:

The skills and knowledge undertaking this programme will be applicable, not only to the situations experienced whilst completing their studies, but also to future work opportunities. The programme aims to acknowledge students’ past and current experiences and offer an opportunity to enhance those experiences in the light of new learning. The opportunity to learn from each other is also significant in relation to co-operative and collaborative practice. Embedding theory into practice, which supports the gaining of new knowledge and skills to underpin existing experience, is a key factor for learners and employers.

For many applicants, the intensive nature of the course is the main consideration and this point is emphasised and clarified at interview.

The aims of the programme are to:

    • develop learners knowledge, skills in the creative and technical aspects of garden design and in the specialist skills associated with the profession
    • promote the attainment of the skills and knowledge required to gain appropriate professional status in the design discipline
    • develop an awareness and appreciation of design in general and garden design in particular to enable students to work with confidence and skill in their future careers
    • encourage in depth design analysis
    • introduce or develop research skills in support of design training and practice
    • provide a historical context against which students can develop their ideas
    • encourage individuality and creativity in all design work
    • understand the nature of design as a problem solving exercise and as a relationship between functional, technical and aesthetic elements
    • successfully prepare and present a finalised design solution complete with all the necessary visual material and information to communicate a scheme fully, including a well organised verbal presentation to their client
    • make a valuable contribution within the garden design profession, or multi-disciplinary design practices; or as self-employed designers
    • be able to successfully communicate concepts at sketch design stage with freehand sketches, visual material and rationales
    • be aware of the value of research and sourcing in support of their design work

Course content / Modules


You will practise the principles of design theory in a range of garden design projects involving live clients and sites. Through intensive studio teaching throughout projects you explore and examine the relationships between functional, decorative and site-specific design factors, developing your understanding of the design process and its implementation. You will develop skills in critical analysis to review your project work with the final design project being examined and investigated through a written dissertation.

Design Analysis and Communication

This module encourages you to develop spatial appreciation and the investigation of a garden site in terms of its current and proposed uses and its relationship to the wider environment. Design analysis also facilitates design development. Using diagrammatic assessments of the site together with survey analysis, circulation and ergonomics, you will explore alternative design solutions before choosing the best one and moving on to the design stage. A concentration on graphic communication skills provides a solid preparation for professional practice through an intensive examination of drawing principles and techniques, including orthographic projection, axonometric and perspective drawing, collage, montage, model making and colour rendering. This enables you to establish a high level of confidence and skill in both technical and expressive modes. You will explore both manual and computer-generated communication and presentation skills. Guided by tutorial support you can experiment in your project work to find your own means of communicating at a professional standard.


Through a research project and supported by lectures you will explore the plant kingdom in microcosm developing awareness of the design application of plants, seeing them as three dimensional masses rather than horticultural treasures. Site visits; models, sketches and sequential design studies further reinforce your planting design investigations. You will also examine the psychological aspects of planting design, looking specifically at your responses to chosen garden environments and locations.

Construction, Detail and Business

In this module you investigate the artistic, decorative, technical and practical aspects of hard landscape construction through research and supporting lectures. Within larger design projects you further develop a problem-solving approach through the exploration of construction techniques, technical requirements and the use of functionally appropriate materials and fixings. In this module you will also develop a range of business skills specifically targeted to the practice of garden design, in preparation for professional practice as a self-employed garden designer.

After graduation

Students are supported through the programme and beyond as they move into the professional arena. Building on the work experience undertaken during the course, in the Easter break, students are counselled in how to prepare for interview, deliver a portfolio and approach employers. Jobs, internships and further work experience allow students to decide where they fit within the industry and how they might progress. Graduating Inchbald BA students will be able to call on this service throughout their careers.

Enrolment / Application

Students wishing to undertake the BA (Hons) Garden Design programme will be expected to have completed the appropriate Inchbald Diploma in Garden Design (Level 5) or equivalent Level 5 qualification from another HE provider, supported by an RPEL application, in order to be admitted to the programme.

Applicants applying for the courses are required to come to the School for interview wherever possible. Applicants are required to complete a questionnaire as part of the application form, which should be returned to the School prior to, or at, interview. Explanatory documentation such as a thorough portfolio, accompany the questionnaire to provide more detailed background. This designed to enable the School to make an informed decision.

Experience in the professional/industrial field leading to attainment of similar standing to that of HE level 5 may be considered in place of the academic qualification listed above. Two years experience is required and in order for the application to be considered portfolios are required where appropriate and/or applicable.

Students from overseas must be able to speak and write in English with a minimum requirement for entry in line with the validating university policy. (IELTS: 6.0, with no individual element below 5.5.)

Students must provide two references, preferably one of which should be from an academic referee and original certificates and transcripts of their prior qualifications.

Those applying on experience and/or portfolio need to provide a further reference from an employer / colleague detailing the extent and scope of their experience within the professional arena.

Once the application form and interview process is completed satisfactorily, prospective students are offered a place. The courses are filled on a first come first served basis and waiting lists are introduced as necessary.

For those applying for enrolment on University validated courses, please note that the fee is due at the time of application and will only be refunded if the application is unsuccessful. This fee will not be liable for refund if the enrolled student subsequently requests withdrawal from the course regardless of the duration of study time already completed.

This course is validated by Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

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