March 10, 2009 at 7:28 pm #174823
I applied overseas (to the UK) because i wanted to live abroad and take advantage of the great programs in LA. I was curious if there was a big difference in the degrees granted between US schools and UK schools or if they are on the same playing field. Any ideas? is the UK degree generally accepted and judged similarly as a US degree by LA firms and businesses?March 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm #174839
Kate, A lot depends on the type and size of firm your looking to work for. You will probably find a lot of the smaller LA firms will not know the difference between an English and US degree, albeit the name, the larger ones will. The UK schools will be more horticulture based then the US ones too. Personally, you will find more gardening doors open with a degree from England then one from say Ohio…
Plus you get to live in London for a couple of years!!March 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm #174838
Thanks for the reply. It helps to get different perspectives. I’m really excited about living in the UK and getting my degree. Now I just have to hope the economy improves a bit before i re-enter the workforce.March 18, 2009 at 7:24 pm #174837
Just remember to take more money with you then you think you will need…
It’s very expensive over there.
Plus a good waterproof coat and some comfortable wellies!! ha haMarch 31, 2009 at 10:33 pm #174836SousukeParticipant
I worked there for about 2 and a half years and I would say the systems are drastically different. One of the biggest differences is that construction isn’t really part of the field. You won’t be pumping out CD sets over there. From speaking with fellow employees there appears to be no construction element in their degrees either.
That being said the degrees are reciprocal. With a US degree you can get into the UK’s Landscape Institute etc.April 16, 2009 at 10:40 am #174835
Right now, I would not recommend trainning in the UK in the field of LA.
The Landscape Institute, the professional body that represents LA’s is virtually bankrupt in rather disturbing circumstances. Moreover, a few years ago, Jasdon Prior of EDAW apparently blamed certain shortcomings of British Landscape Architecture on the excessive number of “overseas graduates” or something along those lines. The profession is desperately out of touch with its own members, society and the job market.
Garden design and Horticultural trainning are quite separate matters, and you can get very good education and jobs in those fields, and you will be better paid too.
Unless you really want to live in Britain (which is a wonderful experience by the way), you may want to stick to the US for LA education.
GabinoApril 16, 2009 at 11:56 am #174834Tim WatermanParticipant
I’m an American who has worked and practiced in the UK, and I now teach landscape architecture at the Writtle School of Design in Essex. It is worth looking carefully at all the UK schools, as they each have their own specialties and each has quite a distinct character. The education you will receive in the UK is very different from the US in terms of the structure of the classes and schedule and also, to a certain extent, the subject matter. I love living (and teaching) in England, and I love being able to escape easily to the European mainland.
The Landscape Institute has suffered some upsets recently, as have so many other organisations. They have had notable triumphs as well, however, and I recommend looking at their new website at http://www.landscapeinstitute.org and their informational website (which I’m proud to say I helped to write) at http://www.iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com. Their recent conferences have been wonderful and the magazine has been steadily improving. I would highly recommend contacting them directly for more information about schools and education in the UK. They are always helpful.
Good luck!April 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm #174833
You should not be so proud Tim.
The Iwanttobealandscapearchitect move is a largely failed exercise with little grounding on landscape architects needs.
It amounts tolittle more than a cynical recruitment exercise designed to provide ever more cheap labour for large practices.
Suffice to say that the knee jerk reaction from the LI in the face of our disgusting financial situation has been to double the cost of subscriptions for aspiring Landscape Architects.
You better change its name to “We need your cash now”, or something sufficently honest along those lines.
Honesty. This is one word that you will not find in any LI communications Tim, I am pretty sure of that.
All the best.
Gabino Carballo CMLIApril 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm #174832
Kate, getting back to the original question and ignoring the political debate… You have to remember that a UK degree will be very horticulturally based with a smattering of construction, a US one will be more diverse and feature a lot more constructional aspects then the UK one. Also, I still stand by the statement that an English degree will open more doors and discussions for you then an American degree, unless you go to Harvard!
PhilApril 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm #174831
There is no political debate whatsoever, going. This is a point of principle and ethics.
Prospective students wishing to study to the UK must be awre of the issues surrounding thier education, which will be considerably onerous in financial and personal terms, as I found out at my own expense.
Kate is entitled to know the facts before she commits to an academic path within a profession lacking substantial respect for issues like freedom of expression, diversity and transparency. Not to mention Ethical and Corporate responsibility.
Anything else smacks me of a blantant attempt at concealling the failed nature of our profession in Britain as it stands now.
I also find that your statement “an English degree will open more doors and discussions for you then an American degree” is only applicable to the UK and it will not be taken seriously elsewhere in Europe or much of the world, as I have found out by myself.
GabinoApril 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm #174830
If Kate returns to the US to practice L A after gaining an English degree, she will find more interest and discussion in that degree then if she had an American degree, as I have found myself. The Americans still love everything British and a degree from England will only add to her charm and potential clients, again as I have found.
I am not up to speed with current UK landscape school ethics, principles or transparency. So forgive me If I don’t join in with that debate.
PhilApril 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm #174829Tim WatermanParticipant
I am sorry to have provoked a diatribe in this thread. You asked a simple question and deserve answers that stay on topic. I wish you best of luck with your choices. All issues aside, the UK is a great place to be.
TimApril 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm #174828
Thank you for all the different perspectives. I too am not quite up to date with the issues surrounding the LI however I dont think those issues will be enough to sway me from attending school in the UK. In fact I have already accepted a place at Writtle. I was interested in studying abroad because i believe the programs suit my interests much more than most of the U.S. schools. There are some U.S. schools that I did consider but ulitmately my desire to live and learn in abroad was more important to me. The degree will be one type of education and living in a new country and learing new ideas and having access to so many new cultures will a completely different education on its own. I really want to gain access to ideas and examples from professionals in the field on the European mainland as well as in the UK.
My husband is an Irish citizen and can live and work in the UK without a problem. I’m not sure how that extends to me or if it does at all but if I can work in the UK eventually that would be a major plus.
I believe if you work hard enough for what you want it will happen. That may seem young and idealistic but I’d rather go into this profession with a positive outlook and not become clouded in cynicism. Now that I’ve chosen this path and the school I just have to manage to get my visa! A whole other adventure!April 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm #174827
“You asked a simple question and deserve answers that stay on topic” Thank you for this, Tim.
Since when the reality of the profession in any one country is not “on topic” to a prospective student? Since it may affect the earnings of an opportunistic few reaping in academic fees? You say you teach something? What exactly? Banking?
I am astounded at this lack of ethical backbone. I am not surprised we are both bankrupt at fianancially as well as ethically.
You will be glad to know I am working to rid the LI of individuals with this kind of beffudled moral stance on essential issues.
GabinoApril 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm #174826
I am aware of some fairly quaint notions in the US regarding the UK. Those maust not be mistaken with facts.
I am not debating any academic matters. I am informing on the state of the profession and its institutions in the UK, according to the information available to me, as well as my own experience.
The academic world either matches the professional world or it doesn’t. Either way not an ideal situation, but there is no “separation”. Academics have been Presidents of the LI and they too have made very serious mistakes.
One world reflects another, as it should be.
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