FdSc Garden Design

Writtle University College
United Kingdom
Study mode
Full-time, Part-time
2 years
Tuition fee (local)
Information not available
Tuition fee (foreign)
USD 28,248

Entry Requirements

  • UCAS Tariff Points: 120 - 200
  • GCE A Levels: 120 UCAS Tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above
  • Irish Certificate: 120 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x ILC higher at B3
  • Scottish Highers: 120 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x higher at B
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: Minimum of 24 points (pass) (260)
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: PPP (120)
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma: MP (120)
  • C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma: Pass (120)
  • C & G Level 3 Diploma: Merit (160) or a Pass (80) in combination with other qualifications

English language requirements
If you do not have English as a first language, you will normally be required to demonstrate an IELTS overall score (or equivalent) of:

  • 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements for a Further Education course
  • 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements for a Foundation degree, Higher Certificate or Higher Diploma
  • 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements for a degree
  • 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements for a postgraduate degree

If you have lower scores, you may be accepted onto a Pre-sessional English Language course, which can lead to entry to the appropriate programme of study.



  • Visual Design Communication - This module introduces the essential skills needed for designers to successfully learn in Higher Education. It considers individual learning styles, time management, how to use the research effectively, academic writing and using the Harvard referencing system as used at Writtle College. Elements and techniques of visual communication, both hand drawn digital approaches are taught and include 2D and 3D visualisations in Photoshop and InDesign as well as colour rendering by hand. 2D AutoCAD skills are taught in the second semester and will be used in the second and third years of the course preparing students for working in the landscape architecture and garden design industry.
  • Reading the Landscape - This module aims to answer the question ‘How has the landscape come to look the way it does?’ and helps develop an understanding of environmental systems and processes. It looks at the impact of human influence on landscape and introduces the designers role in the planning, design and management of change in the built and natural environment. The module provides the foundation of knowledge required for understanding the contextual issues of landscape providing a basis for the interpretation of natural and designed landscapes and project sites. The practice of landscape interpretation is introduced through identifying the layers of information that communicate how the landscape has developed its current character and qualities. This includes an introduction to ecological theories and principles, geological influences, biodiversity and the historic development of both urban and rural landscape. A part of the learning process will be the collection of information from sources such as maps, reports and images and an understanding of how this data can be collated and analysed. Consideration is given to the psychological affect of landscape through narratives, cultural memory and the recording of phenomena through a variety of media. The module aims to establish a positive and active learning culture in Year 1 with links to future modules.
  • Engaging with Site - This module considers design at the garden scale providing students with there search skills, knowledge and practical application for appraising the contextual issues of wider landscapes. Students explore the physical, social, cultural and psychological issues relating to site context to include surveying techniques such as linear, topographical, & vegetative.. The importance of ecological principles, specifically soil and plant sciences are explored and students consider how to present survey and site information. Students will also explore intuitive responses which along with other qualitative and quantative ways of engaging with place, form a basis for formulating aesthetic, and meaningful design proposal.
  • Spatial Design - The module Spatial Design considers ‘the void’, and the ‘space between’ as an approach to the design of gardens and landscapes a range of scales. The module appraises spatial theory and applies this thinking throughout the function, aesthetics and design intention within particular contexts and places. The module uses a combination of traditional and digital art and design practices and model making techniques as tools to analyse existing space and as methods to explore 3-dimensional and spatial design. Off-site visits and the College's extensive campus are explored to consider real space and time to support studio based learning.
  • Context, Meaning and Form - The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge and understanding of the relationships between the client brief, context appraisal and design process that relate to the design of landscape and garden sites in both bound and unbound contexts. Students will explore the social, cultural and psychological issues relating to the site context as well as apply site investigative techniques to a range of sites. Site investigative techniques include: vegetative surveys; technical and functional surveys; and appraising, evaluating and communicating information through drawings, reports, presentations and design projects. Students will explore the relationships between analytical and conceptual design processes and formulate aesthetic and functional messages and meaning for the development of landscape and garden design projects.


  • ​Research and Representation - This module equips students with skills that will be used in their final design project and for working successfully within the industry. Students are introduced to the methodologies of research as applied to design and how to write a design proposal. The importance of strategic planning is considered in landscape design, as well as health and safety, risk assessment, sustainability, project management and costing and the role of external organisations. Also, the various professional pathways are considered in relation to garden design, landscape design and garden restoration and management. Students develop and refine their 3D CAD skills and learn how to use advanced 3D presentation and visualisation software. They develop knowledge of integrating different software packages to produce a professional portfolio of images. They are encouraged to research and experiment with software and participate in the learning of the peer group.
  • Materials, Methods and Technologies - The student will learn to progress a design from the initial topographic survey drawing of an area of land by producing a range of construction drawings e.g. design proposal, cut and fill, hard landscape, setting out, construction details, Students will understand the requirements to produce suitable information to industry standards to allow contractors and builders to construct the completed design. Areas to support the technical elements of design will be considered e.g. surface and sub-surface drainage, change of levels (steps and ramps), surfaces, walls (free standing and retaining) hard landscape materials. The module reflects on appropriate hard landscape technologies, construction techniques and sustainable methods to enable the student to understand the relationship of natural and man-made systems. The module will allow the student to recognise the potentials and weaknesses of the relationship between landscape materials and construction methods to form and function.
  • Working Cultures in Landscape Practice - The Working Cultures in Landscape Practice module forms part of a programme of self-development in which the student can begin to build a career path and gain an understanding of the professional working environment. In consultation with the teaching staff, the student undertakes an exciting and personally relevant independent research project into a specific area of professional practice that relates to their own vocational aims and ambitions. This allows them to see ‘behind the scenes’ in a design practice and begin to build professional contacts in the world of garden design. This module provides a valuable experience, by making the studio-based project work undertaken in the design modules relevant in the eyes of the participant to the world of business and the market place. The main research resources for this module originate from the differing scales of garden and landscape design businesses. The outcomes are: a case study presented as an illustrated report and verbal presentation. This module will help students to identify their current strengths and weaknesses, the need for development in specific areas, and an increased understanding of the diversity of opportunities presented by the garden and landscape design professions.
  • Evaluating Success in Landscapes - The Evaluating Success in Landscapes module allows the student to develop their own area of interest within the landscape and garden design profession. Students determine the ways in which they will complete the module and the assignment. A finished professional garden or landscape design project is selected by the student and considered from a range of view points to evaluate ‘success’. In undertaking the project students develop their skills of independent enquiry, considering the methods they will use, organising their time and making contacts with professionals. The investigative poster and short report produced for this module reflect the student’s ability to apply knowledge learnt during the module and show how they can use this to evaluate and comment on a specific design project, helping them develop a critical eye. The module offers the opportunity to develop transferable skills in planning, analytical skills, report writing, presentation and communication skills, and self reflection on the process in which they have been asked to participate, all useful abilities in their future professional lives.
  • Site and Concept - This studio based module uses design theories and applied techniques to integrate and synthesise conceptual development, site appraisal, site planning and exterior spatial design into a cohesive, holistic and integral whole for the resolution of landscape and garden design problems. While building upon conceptual rather than formulaic approaches to design, the studio also addresses the importance of plants within spatial, visual and ecological aspects of the design process.
  • The Dynamic Site - This module explores technical skills, presentation and communication and applied design concepts primarily through studio based learning. The module formalises landscape and garden design assessment as a synthesis of concept with survey, analysis and appraisal and considers ‘the site’ as a complex system of dynamic interactions and exchanges Practice and theoretical based landscape and garden design principles are emphasized in both medium to large domestic garden design projects and public/ semi public open space.

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