“I first joined the University of Gloucestershire as a mature student, seeking to enhance my career. After having previously spent several years in landscape and arboricultural related work, I had developed an interest in becoming a Landscape Architect.
My experience of the Post Graduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Landscape Architecture commenced as a transitional step, following the completion of the Undergraduate Degree in Landscape Architecture the previous year. The PG Dip was the obvious next stage on the journey to becoming a landscape architect, being a pre-requisite for admission to the Landscape Institute’s ‘Pathway to Chartership’ and a requirement of many employers.
The PG Dip provided the opportunity to polish and refine the skills I had developed over the previous three years, elevating my work to a professional standard. During my studies, I was lucky enough to secure a part time position with a local Landscape Architecture practice, which, whilst demanding of time, accelerated this process.
Landscape Architecture is a deceptively wide-ranging discipline, within which, one could specialise in any number of areas. The PG Dip is structured in a way that enables one to focus on a particular area of interest, or, as in my case, opt to study two core modules in landscape planning and design.
The PG Dip’s core modules covered a broad subject area, ranging from scoping studies, character assessment and planning at a regional scale, through large scale masterplanning, to small scale and detailed design, with both hard and soft materials. The outcome of this work, being a well-rounded portfolio, appealing to a wide range of employers.
The PG Dip is no ‘easy ride’, with a highly demanding workload. However, the pressure is immensely alleviated thanks to the hugely dedicated members of staff, who take the time to get to know each student on an individual basis, enabling them to provide guidance appropriate to an individual’s requirements. This guidance invariably extends well beyond scheduled teaching times and often even beyond office hours.
In addition to teaching support, the university provides a design studio, accessible 24 hours a day. Not only is this an important physical workspace, but it acts as a vital hub, within which piers can work together, in a friendly and social environment, exchanging ideas and critique.
Since completing the post graduate diploma, I have progressed to full time employment with a Landscape Architecture and Urban Design consultancy. I am currently working on a wide range of projects, with a variety of briefs. In a typical week my work might range from the drafting of detailed contract drawings and specification documents, to conducting Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments.
Whilst there is always a lot to learn when embarking on a new career path, the PG Dip has provided me with the ability to work to a level that meets the high standards and level of professionalism necessary to facilitate a seamless transition into practice. The skills I gained on the PG Dip have been directly transferable into the workplace, and are applied on a daily basis.”