MSc Timber Architectural Design & Technology

Postgraduate, Part-time

Timber Architectural Design & Technology MSc

Develop the technical and commercial awareness needed to work as a design professional within the timber building industry


This programme is designed for graduates in architecture, architectural technology, engineering or related disciplines, who want to become part of the growing international move towards innovative and high-performance timber building. The multi-disciplinary programme will equip students to work as a design professional within the timber sector – one of the fastest growing parts of the building industry in many countries.

Employers in the UK timber-building sector are facing severe skills shortages and similar gaps exist in many countries overseas. 

These employers are looking for graduates with a combination of technical knowhow and commercial awareness in the design, manufacture and assembly of timber buildings and structural systems. We have designed the programme to address this demand.

trees with drone in picture

Mode of Study:



2 years

Start date:


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Course details

The programme will give you a specialist design and technical qualification in timber architecture and architectural technology. You will be introduced to a wide range of relevant technologies including: timber frame; monolithic systems such as cross-laminated timber; post-and-beam; structural insulated panels; mixed systems such as timber-concrete composites; spatial structures such as trusses and grid-shells; along with associated systems such as timber facades.

You will also gain an understanding of how growth in the timber-building sector is being driven by a combination of factors including: sustainability, emerging digital design and fabrication technologies, and an increasing demand for offsite fabrication.

Employers in the timber-building sector are highlighting the lack of suitable specialist design and technical qualifications, particularly at higher levels. Consequently, students on the programme will be eligible to apply for financial support through Edinburgh Napier’s timber industry sponsored postgraduate scholarship initiative and other sources.


  • Wood as a building material
  • Wood products and processing
  • Offsite construction and design for manufacture
  • Timber architectural design and technology
  • Building acoustics and sound insulation
  • Energy performance of timber buildings
  • Design of domestic buildings
  • Design of non-domestic buildings
  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    The programme will have a strong focus on practice-based learning such as design projects, laboratory experimentation and case studies. Many modules will include site visits and masterclasses from industry experts. 

    All teaching materials will be available to students through the University’s online virtual learning environment, which promotes regular interaction between students and tutors.


    • Wood as a building material
    • Wood products and processing
    • Offsite construction and design for manufacture
    • Timber architectural design and technology
    • Building acoustics and sound insulation
    • Energy performance of timber buildings
    • Design of domestic buildings
    • Design of non-domestic buildings
  • note and pen Assessments There are two types of assessments.

    Formative assessment is designed to assist you identify your strengths and any areas which require additional learning or study, this will include quizzes, oral presentations and discussions.

    Summative assessment is used to evaluate your learning against the module learning outcomes, this will be coursework-based and includes written assignments, technical projects and portfolios.

  • library Facilities

    Edinburgh Napier has recently invested £3 million in a new test and fabrication facility for Institute for Sustainable Construction (ISC). This includes seminar space, wood fabrication equipment and laboratory facilities for structural testing, acoustic measurement, large-scale prototyping and moisture conditioning.

    Microscopy and hydrothermal testing are available. Edinburgh Napier has excellent information technology and library facilities.



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.

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, Architectural Technology or a Building Engineering discipline such as Civil Engineering in order to be eligible for the programme.

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 n/a 2019/20
Home/EU-Taught modules n/a *£922
Home/EU-Dissertation module n/a £553
Overseas Taught Modules n/a *£2,028
Overseas Dissertation n/a £1,352

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

Institute for Sustainable Construction

The Institute comprises some of Scotland’s leading built environment applied research and knowledge transfer centres. We cover a range of disciplines, including SMART cities, acoustics, energy, offsite construction, timber engineering, wood science.


Graduates of the programme will be equipped for employment in 
  • Timber product suppliers
  • Design-build firms, 
  • Fabricators, 
  • Builders and developers

Alternatively, you will be eligible to progress to doctoral-level study in:

  • Architecture
  • Architectural technology
  • Building 
  • Engineering