MSc Architectural Technology & Building Performance

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Developed to meet the demands of the modern construction industry, this course incorporates current construction techniques and explores the latest regulatory and commercial issues.

  • Napier code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    1 year, or 18 months for January start

  • Award:


  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

Build on your existing qualifications or experience in this area to develop a good knowledge of architectural technology, building performance and the legislative framework that governs the industry.

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists confirms that this is a recognised Masters programme and graduates will meet the Institute’s requirements for Associate Membership, for progression to Chartered Membership.

The course offers a well-balanced blend of theory and practice which prepares you for the workplace. You'll gain a broad understanding of the construction industry and learn how to apply this to create design solutions.

Glass roof in Edinburgh

This course is built around the knowledge and current applied research of three of the University’s key research units:

  • Building Performance Centre
  • Scottish Energy Centre
  • Centre for Timber Engineering

You will gain the knowledge and experience required to complete a major design project that should enhance your career prospects.

Subjects include

  • Concrete form and construction
  • Sustainable building design
  • Timber form and construction
  • Building performance  - acoustics
  • Building performance - energy & microrenewables
  • Advanced digital media
  • Design project and technical report

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

This course can improve your employment opportunities in the field of architectural design and technology. It also provides you with many of the skills required to enter the house construction sector.

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in architecture or architectural technology (RIBA Part 1 accredited) in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry. There may also be a portfolio requirement if you apply with less than an Honours degree, this would be confirmed on submission of the application to the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU £5,850 tba
Overseas £13,000 tba

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Advanced Digital Media ( BSV11131 )

This module includes the following…
Complex 3D modelling techniques
Creating effective lighting
Creating advanced materials
Creating photorealistic photomontages
Designing effective animations
The animation process - storyboarding
Advanced animation techniques, including post production techniques

Further information

Building Performance 1 (Acoustics and Sound Insulation) ( BSV11132 )

This module includes the following…
Introduction to sound insulation measurements and performance monitoring
Sound transmission pathways and mechanisms
Designing for School, Hospital buildings and other Civic and commercial buildings
Designing and performance of rooms for the control of ambient noise
Designing and performance of rooms for the control of reverberation time
Assessing the implication of external noise sources on the design, orientation and layout of buildings
Designing and performance for timber frame attached houses and apartments
Designing and performance for blockwork and masonry attached houses and apartments
Designing and performance for steel frame and in-situ concrete attached housing
Understanding pre-conversion acoustic testing and refurbishment developments
Innovations in acoustics and sound insulation

Further information

Building Performance 3 ( BSV11134 )

Building Thermal Performance:
Building Heatloss
Detailing for Energy Efficient Construction
Sustainable Design Strategies:
Software Tools for designing Energy Efficient Buildings
SAP/SBEM compliance and Energy Performance Certification
Modelling Sustainable Construction
Low and Zero Carbon Technologies (LZCT):
Renewable Energy Technologies
Integration of LZCT in Buildings
Zero Carbon Buildings
Testing Building Performance Targets:
Airtightness Testing
Infra Red Thermography
Building Energy Monitoring

Further information

Concrete Form & Construction ( BSV11135 )

This module includes the following…
Historical overview of domestic masonry construction
Contemporary concrete masonry construction and MMC (thin joint blockwork)
Concrete and embodied energy
Recycling of concrete
Insulated concrete formwork
Relationship between structure and form
Contemporary non domestic concrete buildings and structures
All of the topics above are discussed within a social, cultural and historic context

Further information

Design Project & Technical Report ( BSV11130 )

The module is design studio based and is largely problem based student centred learning. Throughout the module students will be supported by a series of design tutorials. At the start of the module these tutorials will be group tutorials wherever possible with individual tutorials being more common towards the end of the module.
There are two elements to the module, a technical report and a design project. The technical report will be based on research undertaken by the student on an area that is relevant to the design project. The design project will be subdivided into two main parts – the design and the detail design. The design phase will require students to critically appraise the design brief and to reflect on their findings and to develop their own individual response to the design programme and the findings of their technical report. It will require students to prepare individual design solutions including technical design solutions for their designs and to evaluate them. The detail phase will involve the preparation of a series of detailed drawings of the building and students must justify the decisions that they have made.

Further information

Sustainable Building Design ( BSV11114 )

Environmental Sustainability:
Energy and Environmental issues; the global and local imperatives;
Renewable technologies;
Sustainable Design Strategies:
Brownfield Site Redevelopment;
Materials and waste strategies;
Low carbon building designs;
Environmental assessment;
Implementation & Performance Targets:
(building regulations, LCA, performance rating systems)

Further information

Timber Form & Construction ( BSV11118 )

This module includes the following…
Historical overview of domestic timber construction – western and eastern traditions
Contemporary timber frame construction and MMC
SIPS construction
Cross Laminated Timber construction
Performance of timber dwellings – acoustic, air tightness, thermal, timber cladding
Relationship between structure and form
Contemporary non domestic timber buildings and structures
All of the topics above are discussed within a social, cultural and historic context

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.