Overview

Architectural technologists are the experts that translate a modern architect’s vision into reality. With innovative techniques and digital tools, they bridge the gap between architectural aesthetics and practicality, taking into consideration safety, sustainability, functionality and efficiency.

Digitisation and regulations such as the Building Safety Act are reshaping this field and there is a growing demand for technical expertise and knowledge. On UCEM’s part-time, online BSc (Hons) Architectural Design Technology programme, you’ll explore the dynamic intersection between design, technology and construction and become a valuable contributor to the evolving landscape of architecture and built environment sustainability.

Why study this programme?

  1. Develop the key skills and technical literacy needed to accelerate your career trajectory
  2. Acquire the technical language and critical thinking skills required to work with stakeholders and lead on projects
  3. Explore the latest technologies and digital innovations
  4. Collaborate with your fellow students in virtual design studios
  5. Get input on your work from technical experts and industry professionals

About the programme

This part-time online programme is a gateway to a professional career as an architectural technologist, or design-related work within the construction industry. It will provide you with the underpinning, technical literacy and practical skills needed at every stage of the design process.

  • Explore the stages of the briefing, design and construction process in line with the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Plan of Work
  • Understand the relationship between buildings, the environment and its occupants
  • Consider the impact of the design of buildings on factors including sustainability, energy performance, and resource conservation
  • Contextualise laws, regulations and external influences faced during the design process
  • Foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills informed by sustainability principles
  • Manage and store product information and tracking the decision-making behind design projects
  • Assess with the latest construction methods and innovative technologies

Learning will take place in a collaborative and interactive environment through our online learning platform and as the programme progresses the use of virtual architecture studios.

You’ll be exposed to a range of innovative digital technologies, processes and practices, including building information modelling (BIM), digitised workflows, performance analysis and computer-aided design (CAD), and provided with the opportunity to apply these to your own projects and design proposals.

Benefits

Who is this programme for?

Built for you

Aspiring professionals with an interest in the design of the built environment looking for a future career as an Architectural Technologist/Architectural Technician.

Existing architectural professionals with industry experience wanting to level-up their technical knowledge and design skills and become future leaders.

This programme provides students with a comprehensive exploration of the dynamic intersection between design, technology, and the built environment in a flexible and accessible format."

Marc Fleming
Programme Leader

Structure

Modules you will study

Year 1

Introduction to the Built Environment 1

This module gives an overview of the built environment and the role of the construction industry within the UK economy. Through introducing the key stakeholders and professions within the sector, students will be able to identify with architectural design technology and understand its key responsibilities in the project lifecycle.

Introduction to Sustainability

Introduction to Sustainability explores the connection between the built environment, climate change and sustainable development. In this module, students will learn to examine this relationship, along with the criteria used to measure sustainability in relation to finished construction projects.

Construction Technology 1

Construction Technology 1 establishes a foundation of knowledge and understanding of building, the environment and technology. Students will develop their professional communication skills and construction literacy in relation to real-world examples of construction projects, including traditional masonry and roof construction.

Professional and Business Practice

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the corporate organisation structures that support professional services in the industry. It places emphasis on client care, business planning and the accounting concepts that support decision-making, with consideration for data protection, health and safety, professional and ethical practice and the recognition of diversity in the workplace.
Year 2

Introduction to Regulatory and Built Environment Law

This module introduces the legal and regulatory frameworks that impact the construction and property sector. Students will navigate the legal environment within the context of planning, design and construction while considering the relationship between health and safety, design and construction.

Introduction to the Built Environment 2

The second built environment introduction module focuses on the profession of architectural design technology. Using a case study, students will undertake an authentic task to build on their existing knowledge and skills. This task will be contextualised with the implementation of procurement routes, client project objectives and the need for collaborative practice.

Design and Environmental Science

The relationship between a building’s design, environment and occupants is a complex one. With the overarching theme of human comfort, this module will break down the individual factors within these aspects of a building, and how each of these factors affect one another. This will be applied to the context of a domestic dwelling, where students will assess and analyse the many varied conditions that can result.

Construction Technology 2

Construction Technology 2 explores building and environmental technology through the example of framed construction, and tasks students with producing and understanding drawn information and professional report writing in the context of steel, reinforced concrete and timber constructed buildings. These examples have varying levels of complexity, with each addressing the principles, design, component selection, communication and technology/processes behind framed construction.
Year 3

Technology and Design 1: Contemporary Domestic

In this module, students will utilise manually and/or computer-generated design concepts to develop design solutions to the level of detail in Stage 4 of the RIBA Plan of Work. Students’ work will incorporate sustainable and environmental design strategies, and their proposals will be critiqued during an oral presentation.

Building Pathology and Conservation Principles

This module is concerned with the pathology of buildings. It will develop students’ ability to effectively diagnose and evaluate a range of commonly encountered building defects through a process of inspection, testing, survey and analysis.

Retrofit Concept and Practice

Module will be added shortly.

Building Control

Building control is one of the core competencies in the industry, and an understanding of compliance and legislation such as the Building Act 1984 and the Building Safety Act 2022 is required for students to become members of relevant professional bodies. This module examines the requirements for site inspections of building work to ensure that work carried out meets relevant performance standards and criteria.
Year 4

Integrated Design Project

The aim of this module is for students to consolidate their knowledge and skills whilst collaborating in multi-disciplinary groups within a project scenario. The purpose of this project is to identify the procedures required for the adaption and refurbishment of a building based on a client’s brief, while providing the opportunity for students to reflect and understand the role of different disciplines.

Technology and Design 2: Data Informed Design for Commercial Buildings

In this module, students will be tasked with creating holistic solutions predicated on data in response to client and design brief requirements. Through the use of digital design tools, this will culminate in a final design proposal evolving from 3D computer-generated design concepts informed by energy performance simulation and analysis.

Technology and Design 3: Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA)

This module tasks students with utilising a range of 2D and 3D design tools to prepare a design proposal for manufacture and assembly. Students can choose either a building component or a volumetric element to be prepared for manufacture, under the premise that it can be mass produced. To demonstrate their knowledge and skills in this process, students may elect to design the solution through the use of a 3D printer or alternative simulation tools.

Modelling Information Management: Theory and Practice

Effectively collecting, organising and communicating information is a crucial aspect of collaborative design. In line with digital transformation and the UK Building Information Modelling (BIM) framework, this module will help students understand both the theory and practical application of information management standards, protocols and responsibilities. To showcase their understanding, they will relate their theory to practice by creating a 3D information model against a designated project brief.

Year 5

Project Management in the Built Environment

The construction project manager (CPM) plays a key role at all stages of the construction process in engaging stakeholders and addressing a range of strategic and operational challenges. This module provides students with the understanding and skillset to function as a CPM within the property and construction industries.

Architectural Design Thesis

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop independent, design-based research skills. These talents will help them contextualise theoretical concepts against physical, cultural, social and economic factors. This student-led module involves directed research undertaken in virtual studios, where they will be allocated a supervisor to consult and showcase proposals as their research project evolves.

If you require further information about programme content, please view the programme specifications below which set out aims, intended learning outcomes and assessment methods. Please note that modules are subject to change.

 

This programme is subject to validation in March 2024

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Students are required to be 18 years or over at the start of their programme.

Entrants must have obtained 96 UCAS tariff points (or an equivalent level of attainment through recognised qualifications not included in the UCAS tariff), or have fulfilled one of the following criteria:

  • Have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Surveying or an Advanced Apprenticeship in Construction Technical through which a Construction and Built Environment Diploma with a minimum DD profile was obtained or through which a Construction and Built Environment Extended Diploma with a minimum MMM profile was obtained, or an equivalent qualification
  • Have a current Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Associate qualification (AssocRICS) and be in relevant employment

And

  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above in English and Mathematics or an equivalent Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics as defined by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England

The academic level of international qualifications that are not listed on the UCAS tariff will be assessed using UK ENIC.

Students can also submit an electronic portfolio to further illustrate their credentials in both a technical and design capacity. Previous work from school, college or university will be considered alongside qualifications.

If an applicant does not meet the standard entry requirements UCEM will consider the application on an individual basis. In these cases, the application will be assessed by the Programme Leader, who will give careful consideration to any professional and life experiences as well as any academic or vocational qualifications the applicant may hold.

For Hong Kong students, the application will be assessed by the Dean of School (International). The applicant may be asked to provide a detailed personal statement and/or a reference or letter of support from an employer or mentor to support the application.

Applications are assessed in accordance with the UCEM Code of Practice: Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning.

Technical requirements

The specific hardware, graphics card, and operating system requirements for this programme course can vary based on the software and tools used in each module. Here are some general recommendations:

Hardware

Processor (CPU)

A multicore processor (e.g., Intel i-Series, Xeon, AMD Ryzen, Ryzen Threadripper PRO. 2.5GHz or Higher) for efficient handling of design and modelling tasks.

Memory (RAM)

8 –16 GB or higher for smooth multitasking and handling large design files. 16GB is recommended.

Storage

Solid State Drive (SSD) with sufficient capacity for storing software, project files, and additional data. Please note you will be provided with access to Microsoft 365 which will provide you with access to OneDrive.

Display

A high-resolution display with good colour accuracy for detailed design work.

Graphics Card (GPU) 

Dedicated GPU

  • A dedicated graphics card is crucial for 3D modelling and rendering tasks.
  • NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon series cards are recommended.
  • Workstation-grade GPUs like NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro may be preferred for professional applications. Similarly a DirectX 11 capable graphics card with Shader Model 5 and a minimum of 4GB of video memory will facilitate a more advanced level of graphics.

VRAM

4 GB or higher Video RAM for handling complex 3D models. 

Operating System

Windows

Most architectural design software is compatible with Windows operating systems (64-bit Windows 10 or 11 recommended). Generally, Windows is the preferred operating system for architectural projects.

macOS

For users on Mac systems, compatibility between macOS and programmes such as Autodesk Revit can be a challenge and will require you to either partition your desktop or purchase a license for a Virtual Desktop such as Parallels.

Linux (Rare)

Some software may have limited support for Linux; however, it’s less common in architectural design.

Additional Considerations

Mobile Devices

Tablets like iPad Pro with stylus support may enhance digital sketching capabilities.

Internet Connection

A high-speed internet connection for software updates, online collaboration, and research.

Whilst costs attributed to computer specifications may be prohibitive to some students, UCEM are committed to ensuring that no student is digitally excluded. UCEM acknowledge that initially student profiles will predominantly have employed status, as such will be enrolled on the premise that they have access to a suitable specification of workstation as outlined above.

However, with programme growth and full/part-time students in mind from 2025/26, UCEM seek to invest in a virtual desktop solution that will allow students to access all software from even the most basic level of workstation. The software intensity and collaborative practices within the ADT programme will be more concentrated at Level 5 and Level 6 and UCEM are currently active in the tendering of this virtual desktop solution to provide a platform that will ensure digital inclusion remains at forefront of providing an online learning experience that is accessible to all.

English language requirements

All UCEM programmes are taught and assessed in English. In addition to the programme entry requirements listed above, all applicants will therefore be required to demonstrate adequate proficiency in the language before being admitted to a programme.

You should have:

  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above in English Language or English Literature, or an equivalent Level 2 qualification in English as defined by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England.
  • Grade 5.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in the reading and writing modules, in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic test administered by the British Council
  • 79 or above in the Internet option, 213 or above in the computer-based option or 550 or above in the paper-based option, of the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test
  • Grade C or above in English (Language or Literature) at A/S Level
  • A cognate sub-degree (Level 5) qualification taught and assessed in English from the University of Hong Kong or City University of Hong Kong
Maths requirements

GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above in Mathematics or an equivalent Level 2 qualification in Mathematics as defined by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England.

Support

How you’ll be supported during your studies

While studying with UCEM, you’ll be fully supported on your programme by our friendly and informative academic and support teams who will be there to guide you from the moment you enrol until the day you graduate. They’ll assist you with your online learning experience, provide you with academic support and be there for you if you have any disability or wellbeing support needs.

Student engagement team

This team is your first point of contact as a student. They will support you in your studies and queries, ensuring you are put in touch with the right teams and services within UCEM.

Support tutors

This team will help you navigate the world of online learning and the VLE. Whether you need help with online learning or managing your workload, this team is here to support you all the way through your journey.

Academic support

Our academic staff are experts in their fields and are here to make your studies with UCEM stimulating and inspiring whilst offering vital support and guidance along the way.

Module team

Your module leader is assisted by a team of module lecturers to provide support via discussion forums and webinars.

Disability and wellbeing team

This friendly team is here to listen and provide expert guidance, support and assistance at any time throughout your studies.

Programme leader

The programme has been developed by a team of UCEM academics, led by Marc Fleming, Jon Hubert and James Ritson.

How you’ll learn

The online learning experience

Your learning experience with UCEM will be fully supported through a range of activities on our VLE. You’ll also have access to UCEM’s valuable and comprehensive e-library service, providing you with a wealth of subject-specific materials to support you throughout your studies.

Your learning will be broken down into the following (on average):

Directed study time (45%)

Participating in webinars and online discussion forums

Watching videos and voice-over presentations

Undertaking exercises and quizzes linked to programme material

Self-directed study time (25%)

Reading textbooks and study papers to develop your subject knowledge

Assessment study time (30%)

Planning and writing coursework

Each 20-credit module equates to a total of 200 study hours broken down between directed online learning, self-directed learning and assessment.

The types of assessments used on this programme will include coursework (such as essays, reports, portfolios, reflections, problem or short questions or video presentations), computer-based assessments and computer-marked assessments (CMAs). The exact combinations of assessment will vary from module to module.

Study methods

Studying online means taking control of when and where you study so you can study at your own pace, no matter where you are in the world. It means being able to balance your home and work life with your education so you can earn while you learn.

When you study at UCEM, you’ll be using our state-of-the-art Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), a specialised resource which provides you with everything you need to keep on top of your studies and succeed.

You’ll be guided through your learning with weekly study schedules and course guides, which you can adapt to suit your needs, pace and lifestyle. Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone as you’ll be fully supported by tutors and a community of students throughout your journey.

YOUR COMMITMENT

Your expected time commitment for the part-time route is around 15-20 hours per week. This is based on you studying two modules per six-month semester.

Accreditation**

The programme has been designed to align with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) standards and UCEM plans to seek CIAT accreditation.

Fees and funding

Financial options

2024/25 academic year

£1,500 per module x 18 modules (usually students undertake two modules per semester).

Total programme fee £27,000

You can find out more on our payment options page.

You may be eligible for funding for your studies. This programme is designated for Student Finance, and students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland may apply for an Undergraduate Loan. Eligible students can apply for funding each academic year. The loan is then paid in three instalments throughout the academic year. It is also registered with the Skills Funding Agency for Professional and Career Development Loans. You can find out more on our student finance page.

Your programme fees are fixed for the duration of your studies. This means that the fee you pay per module will not increase from one year to the next, as long as you remain registered on the same programme. All learning resources required for successful completion of each module are provided as part of your fee. The core reading resources within each module and additional reference material and supplementary resources to support your studies will be provided via the specific VLE module pages and within the e-library.

Alternative options

Sponsorship

Many employers will sponsor their employees on their degree as it will benefit them to have your knowledge within their business.

To find out more information, head to our employer sponsorship webpage.

Apprenticeship route

Those in relevant employment may be suitable for entry to the Construction Design & Build Technician apprenticeship. To find more information, head to our become an apprentice webpage.

Bursaries

Need a helping hand with your fees?

New Student Bursary Scheme

Our bursary scheme is designed to assist those new students who are able to demonstrate financial need. The bursary is open to new undergraduate students from all countries and will provide a discount on fees for the duration of the programme.

You can find out more and apply for the New Student Bursary Scheme on our financial support page.

Your career

Unlock your potential

The skills, literacy and technical expertise this course fosters are in high demand in the industry. As a graduate from this programme, you will greatly increase your employability and/or ability to progress your career in the built environment and the construction industry.

Students that complete this programme may apply for Associate (ACIAT) or Profile (PCIAT) status with CIAT.

There are a broad range of transferable skills within the content of the programme, opening many career opportunities for graduates, including but not limited to:

  • Architectural Technologist
  • BIM Technician
  • Construction Technician
  • Construction Site Technician
  • Construction Design and Build Technician
  • Design Technician
  • Digital Design Technician
  • Design and Build Co-ordinator
  • Assistant Design Co-ordinator
  • Design Assistant
  • Design Co-ordinator
  • Digital Engineer
  • Engineering Technician
  • Planning Officer
  • Building Control Officer
  • Starting your own business

Application process

It’s time to apply

Autumn 2024

Apply by 26 August 2024 to start on 30 September 2024

Ready to apply?

Express your interest below: