Northern Ireland needs to train more landscape architects, says the first student to graduate in Northern Ireland with a degree in the subject.
Phillip Evans, who will receive his Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) certificate at the Waterfront Hall today, believes there is a demand from employers for landscape architects but until now the academic pathway to those jobs has not existed.
“I needed the course at the University of Ulster to progress professional. I was employed as a technician but now I’m a Graduate Landscape Architect, so the course was really important for my career development,” said Phillip.
“If this course hadn’t existed I would have had to go to England, Dublin or Scotland which wasn’t feasible as I had a job here in Belfast. So being able to study in here part-time was really important.
“Landscape architecture is one area where there are jobs but we don’t have enough people here with the right qualifications. Northern Ireland needs to start producing more landscape architects - the jobs are there but not the academic pathway.”
Phillip, from east Belfast, has also received a Landscape Institute Northern Ireland award for his achievement.
He is employed by URS Scott Wilson, an international company with offices in Belfast.
“I really enjoy my job, it’s fantastic creating quality public places for people to enjoy. I’ve worked on a range of projects including environmental improvement schemes in parks, schools and streets across Northern Ireland,” said Phillip.
“My job involves design input from concept, through detailed design to installation, leading to the creation of a dynamic, high quality space.”
Course director, Emily Smyth, who has recently been elected Chair of the Landscape Institute in Northern Ireland said: “The School is committed to the continuing provision of the landscape architecture programme in Northern Ireland which draws on academic expertise throughout the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment and Irish Cultural Heritages, Environmental Sciences and Tourism.”
The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programme which commenced in the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Ulster in September 2008 as the first degree programme in Northern Ireland for landscape architecture.
While a strategic school review subsequently caused intake to the programme to be unfortunately suspended, the School is pleased to announce that the MLA programme will recommence in September 2012. The MLA programme is working towards accreditation with the Landscape Institute, the professional body for landscape architecture.