Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Programme overview

We offer a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) qualification that maximises your experience within and beyond the built environment. We aim to utilise and develop the predetermined ideologies that lead our teaching and learning exchange with your emerging beliefs.  As our experiences, exposure and appreciation of our living environment differ greatly, you will become critically objective and environmentally mindful in your approach to landscape architecture.

Our courses will prepare you to address connections of environmental, social, economic and cultural significance, design impact and decision making. Through a series of conceptual design projects, testing and reflection, refining and presentation you will learn to master these skills and utilise them in your design-based research thesis.

In Part 1 - your first year, you will take courses exploring:

  • the translation of developed designs into documentation to allow others to implement the intended design to an appropriate standard
  • data analysis and research to formulate design strategies and initiate new approaches to landscape projects
  • implementing a chosen design strategy consistently through all stages of the design process at multiple scales and levels of detail
  • engagement with the regulatory bodies that govern the practice of landscape architecture
  • interactions with allied disciplines.

In Part 2 - your second year of study, you will complete a research portfolio or thesis, with supervision from the academic staff in the School of Architecture.

Current research topics or areas with the School of Architecture include:

  • landscape architecture
  • architectural and urban design processes
  • urban space
  • sustainable architecture
  • advanced materials and technologies
  • theory and criticism in landscape architecture
  • drawing and modelling for design
  • virtual design visualisation.

Professional accreditation

A BAS specialising in Landscape Architecture, when combined with a Master of Landscape Architecture, will be recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) as fulfilling the academic requirements necessary to become a professional landscape architect.


Two years of full-time study or up to four years part-time.

Admission requirements

Entry into a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) normally requires one of the following:

  • a Victoria University of Wellington Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) degree
  • a Graduate Diploma in Designed Environments (GDipDE) in Landscape Architecture
  • an equivalent qualification, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning and Students) of the Faculty of Architecture and Design.

Entry into the Master’s programme is based on excellent academic performance in these prerequisite qualifications.

An applicant who has completed a relevant four year degree or graduate study to an appropriate level may be exempt Part 1 and permitted to enrol in Part 2.

Degree requirements

The Master of Landscape Architecture degree requirements are outlined below for each year’s course of study.

Part 1

120 points in courses numbered 400-499 including:

LAND 411Landscape Architecture Design15 pts
LAND 412Landscape Architecture Design Research30 pts
LAND 421Urban Technologies15 pts
LAND 451Landscape Architecture Theory and Criticism15 pts
SARC 461Professional Practice15 pts
SARC 491Research Methodologies15 pts

one further 15 point courses from courses numbered 400-499

Part 2

120 point research portfolio or thesis:

LAND 593Research portfolio120 pts


LAND 591

Thesis (with the approval of the Head of School)120 pts

at least 30 approved points from courses numbered 400-599 in approved courses from the Head of School.

Parts one and two will both include an appropriate level of practical work, as determined by the Head of School.

Students who complete Part 1 and do not proceed to Part 2 may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture (PGDipLA).

Research requirements

All postgraduate students are expected to conduct their research with a high level of competency in the English language.

Victoria University offer a range of University Preparation courses to assist students in English as a Second Language (ESOL) or the English Proficiency Programme.

For a compiled summary of research work from 2012 Master's students, take a look at Design Research @ VUW.

To make an inquiry contact the Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office, include a comprehensive description of your qualifications and your initial research interests.

Career opportunities

Landscape architects work in private, public and academic organisations and typically collaborate with artists, ecologists, architects, planners and engineers to design a wide range of projects.

The skills and training you gain in this programme are broad in scope allowing landscape architects to enter into careers within the mainstream profession including:

  • urban design
  • site planning
  • town or urban planning
  • environmental restoration
  • parks and recreation planning
  • visual resource management.

How to find out more

The Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office offer additional information on:

  • admission
  • qualifications and courses
  • course advice and selection criteria
  • exemptions and prerequisites
  • your Application to study.

Landscape Architecture courses are taught at the School of Architecture, Te Aro Campus, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington.

For further assistance, please contact us:

Phone: 04 463 6200
Email: address

To find out what is available to you as a Master’s student see PostgradLife.