MSc Architectural Technology & Building Performance

Postgraduate, Full-time

Architectural Technology & Building Performance MSc

This course was developed around the core strengths of the Institute for Sustainable Construction and to meet the demands of the industry


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 course offers a well-balanced blend of theory and practice informed by our links with industry that prepares you for the workplace. 

Through the taught modules you will gain a broad understanding of the architectural technology and learn how to apply this knowledge through the Masters Design Project to create and evaluate design solutions.

The Masters Programme is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and will count towards Membership of CIAT. It is also recognised by the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), allowing you to apply for Free Student Membership with the CABE and on completion of the course you will be eligible to apply for a Graduate Membership.

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Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 year

Start date:


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“The course adds to your knowledge as an architect or whatever field you are coming from and gives you an added advantage.”

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Course details

This course is built around the knowledge and current applied research of four of the University’s key research centres that sit within the Institute for Sustainable Construction:

  • Building Performance Centre
  • Scottish Energy Centre
  • Centre for Off-site Construction and Innovative Structures
  • Centre for Timber Engineering

You will gain the knowledge and experience required in the 6 taught modules that can then be applied to complete a major design project that should enhance your career prospects.

Subjects include

All modules are worth 20 credits unless stated otherwise.

Trimester 1:

  • Integrated Building Retrofit (BSV11155)
  • Building Acoustic Performance (BSV11151)
  • Sustainable Building Design (BSV11114)
Trimester 2:
  • Architectural Design & Technology (BSV11158)
  • Building Energy Performance (BSV11153) 
  • Health and Safety (BSV11142) 
Trimester 3:
  • Dissertation (BSV11120) (60 credits)
  • calendar How you’ll be taught The programme is taught using lectures, seminars and tutorials. Teaching material and resources for further learning are uploaded on Moodle (the Virtual Learning Environment).

    Duration: 12 months

    This full-time course starts in September and is spread over three trimesters lasting 12 months.

  • note and pen Assessments The taught modules are primarily assessed by coursework with only one module having an examination. The coursework ranges from technical reports to short design projects.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Architectural Design & Technology ( BSV11158 )

1: Architectural Design
Design project undertaken in teams, interdisciplinary or individually (TBC year-on-year) based on a client's design brief with emphasis on architectural design, aesthetics and developing a robust concept. Output: conceptual design.
2: Architectural Technology
Modern methods of construction (MMC) technology and their application to the design devised above. Examples topics can include (non-exhaustive): MMC typologies, manufacturing, logistics and construction processes. Output: spatially coordinated design with details showing MMC application.

Further information

Building Acoustic Performance ( BSV11151 )

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 Energy Performance ( BSV11153 )

Building Thermal Performance:
Building Heat loss
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
Airtightness Testing

Further information

Building Information Modelling ( BSV11157 )

BIM Introduction, standards and legislation
Lectures on this topic will address the concept and principles of BIM including the current legislation and standards.
Open sharable project based design and construction
Lectures will cover methodologies on how to create suitable, disciplined and collaborative ways for managing the production, distribution and quality of construction information and from CAD systems.
Software facilitating collaboration between project professionals
Lectures and practical sessions will analyse a set of BIM models using BIM software that represent different perspectives of a construction project.
Demonstrations of examples of hardware and techniques to strengthen the implenetation of BIM
Practical sessions and demostrations will show the student how BIM assisted hardware can facilitate BIM collaborations and open sharable information of buildings.
Design of a project implementing BIM practices
An opportunity to develop a small building project using BIM software which will improve project communication, facilitate changes and create synergy between design, construction, handover and Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE).

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

Dissertation ( BSV11120 )

Research methodology, developing a proposal, designing a research strategy, literature reviews, data gathering, analysis, presentation, writing up and presentation.

Further information

Health and Safety ( BSV11142 )

Introduction to Health and Safety Law
Background to health and safety law, its history and development in the UK. The Impact of International Obligations. The role of the International Labour Organisation. Role of the EU and European Directives.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Scope and application of the Act, Safety Policies. Legal Duties under the Act. Legal duties of employers, employees, controllers of premises, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers. Enforcement of the Act. Appeals against enforcement notices. Offences by Corporations, Directors, managers, etc.

Institutions of Health and Safety
Role of Government. The Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Management
Introduction to occupational health and safety management systems, UK and international standards.
Tools of health and safety management. Health and safety and Employment Law in UK.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. Risk Assessment. Principles of Prevention. Health and safety arrangements. Health surveillance. Health and Safety Assistance. Information for Employees. Co-operation and Co-ordination. Capabilities and Training.. Working Time Regulations. Safety Officers. Safety Representatives. Safety Committees. Enforcement of Organisational Health and Safety Rules

Particular Health and Safety Issues
Working Alone. Working Abroad. Immigrant Workers. Smoking at Work. Drug abuse. Alcohol at Work. Home Workers. Bullying at work. Disabled Employees. Stress at work. Young persons. Expectant mothers.

Workplace Safety
Working at Height Regulations. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations. Manual Handling Regulations. Fire Safety. The Fire precautions (Workplace) Regulations
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations.

Further information

Integrated Building Retrofit ( BSV11155 )

Historical UK building context:
Archetype, age and period of existing building stock in the UK
Building features typical of existing buildings – floor, wall, roof type
Traditional materials and methods of construction:
Traditional building materials properties, limitations and behaviour in existing buildings
Traditional building methods of construction in existing buildings
Sustainable building retrofit methods and standards:
UK Building standards and its context towards building retrofit
Addressing fuel poverty in domestic buildings and economically/ environmentally unviable non-domestic buildings
Sustainable evaluation of building retrofit
Methods of best practice retrofit of buildings
Examples of different building retrofit methods, case studies, trials and new materials
Social considerations in building retrofit
Traditional building services, ventilation, heating and cooling

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 Architectural Design and Technology ( BSV11156 )

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.


School of Engineering & the Built Environment

The School of Engineering & the Built Environment gives you the skills needed to innovate, create, respond to and provide solutions for a technically-demanding society. We have a broad range of courses that have been designed with employment in mind.


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

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements 

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 considered for the programme.

As the degree is very specific, the Admissions team will request a copy of your degree transcript to check for evidence of the following modules to enable us to consider your application: 

Architectural Technology
Construction Technology
Architectural Design Ability
Architectural Engineering
Building Services. 

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.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult or Mental Health)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students From 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £6,525 tba
Overseas and EU £15,490 tba

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.


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