MSc Architectural Technology & Building Performance

Postgraduate, Part-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.

Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as Full-time | Distance Learning)


2 years

Start date:


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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.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught The programme is taught using Moodle (the Virtual Learning Environment).

    Several of the taught modules are delivered live on line using WebEx. The lectures and tutorials are recorded so that they can be streamed directly from moodle.

  • 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.
  • briefcase Work placement

    There is an opportunity for students to seek an internship through the Built Environment Exchange (beX) programme. BeX provides employability projects, internships and MSc scholarships. Find out more on the Built Environment Exchange.

  • library Facilities The programme delivery is at the Merchiston Campus in Edinburgh.

    Students have access to the on campus Library and the Jack Kilby computer centre (open 24/7). They also have exclusive access to the architectural technology design studio throughout trimester 3 while working on their master’s design project.


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.


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 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.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by 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’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 2019/20 2020/21
Home/EU-Taught modules *£922 tba
Home/EU-Dissertation module £553 n/a
Overseas Taught Modules *£2,028 tba
Overseas Dissertation £1,352 tba

Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


  • Architectural Practice
  • Design Construct Companies
  • Product Manufacturers
  • House Builders
  • Housing Associations