Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
We are passionate about sharing with our students the vital role they each have now and as future professionals in promoting a sustainable future for all. We believe that sustainability is not the domain of one discipline or profession. It is the responsibility of all disciplines, professions, organisations and individuals.
That is why on each of our courses within the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment you will learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the contribution you can make now, and as a graduate in the Built Environment.
Read the course details below to find out more.
Architectural Technology is the technical side of architecture focusing on the science and performance aspects of building design.
The BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and Management course is based on a modular structure across two semesters and is available as a four year sandwich course (although students with the necessary industrial experience may be exempted from placement). The course is also available in a part-time mode of study which involves students taking the course over five years (there is no placement year), and attending and completing all modules alongside the full-time students. The course leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honors in Architectural Technology and Management. The DPP (Diploma in Professional Practice) is awarded on successful completion of an approved industrial placement year.
There is an Associate Bachelor exit award which is awarded to students who have successfully completed all the level 5 modules but do not wish to complete the full honours degree. Graduates with this award wishing to apply for Chartered Membership with CIAT can map their learning to the CIAT matrix and satisfy most of the knowledge unit requirements. Evidence of alternative experience will be required to complete the missing units.
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The course is designed and structured to provide you with a broad knowledge of issues related to architectural technology and the design of buildings. It is essential to have an understanding of many technical aspects including materials, foundations, heating, lighting, acoustics and statutory requirements. Graduates are also equipped with skill and knowledge of Building Information Modelling (BIM) software as well as an understanding of the theory behind the implementation of BIM working methods.
Modules that students currently take include Architectural Graphics, Introduction to Architecture, IT, Communications and Surveying, Architectural Technology A, Introduction to CAD, Form and Structure of Buildings, Comfort, Architectural CAD, Building Design, CAD Applications, Architectural Technology B, Building Physics, Building Information Modelling, Project Design, Dissertation, Conversion, Adaptation and Maintenance and Environmental Conservation and Energy Studies (note these modules are subject to change as the course develops).
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Attendance is compulsory at all timetabled activities, such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories, practical sessions etc.
The attendance pattern for first year is generally 4 days a week reducing to 2 or 3 days a week in final year as students work more independently in their own time.
Knowledge and understanding of the subjects are acquired mainly through lectures, tutorials and practical work carried out in the laboratory, field and studio, directed reading, case studies, seminars and IT based resources.
Intellectual qualities are developed through exercise classes/tutorials, coursework assignments, individual and group studio design/project work.
Professional and practice skills are gained through coursework assignments including laboratory and field work, technical design, problem solving, assignments and studio work with drawing presentations and a substantial final year project and dissertation. The placement year is also key to this aspect.
Basic IT, CAD and communication skills are taught in Year 1. These and the other skills are developed through coursework assignments including preparation of laboratory reports and fieldwork, individual studio work including hand drawing and model making, (where peer learning in the studio environment and shared experience and social and informal interaction of the students and staff is important) CAD project work and final year project and dissertation. The placement year is a key element to developing these skills. The work placement experience and report is an excellent opportunity for you to reflect upon your learning and brings added value to the final year.
Assessment is through a wide range of methods including closed book examinations, class tests, coursework assignments consisting of reports on laboratory and field work, drawing work and the use of CAD and Building Information Modelling practices, design/technical work, problem solving, oral presentations individual and group projects, a major individual project and dissertation.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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The module presents a wide-ranging overview of the impact of public & private development, statutory legislation, procurement, building design and construction on UK industry and society. It presents the background to the development of professional and industry norms and also challenges a number of orthodoxies.
Module study includes a review of the roles and responsibilities of property and construction professionals in a complex sector, as well as the nature of professionalism in an era of climate emergency.
This module is designed to develop the student understanding of the planning process and architectural design through the creation of a domestic development project. Students will be given the opportunity to think creatively and develop presentation and planning drawings using AutoCAD, Photoshop and SketchUp (TBC). The module embraces a broad range of factors that will need to be incorporated into the design while accommodating client and end user needs, and planning policy and context. At the end of the module, students will use digital technologies to record and share a presentation of their design proposals and then produce a final package of the design drawings and supporting planning report.
This module provides a general introduction to construction technology with specific emphasis on the sustainable construction of small-scale, low-rise buildings.
The module also introduces the factors that affect and systems that control the internal environment of domestic buildings.
The modern day built environment professional is required to communicate effectively utilising electronic tools with the rest of the project team. This has been mandated by the UK Cabinet Office Construction Strategy, by European Commission procurement regulations and is being followed across the world. This module develops an understanding of the key drivers and barriers to fully implementing Level 2 BIM and points towards the development of level 3 BIM working in the near future. The module develops the foundational skills for internationally recognised BIM Level 2 for the contemporary and future built environment professionals.
This module will provide students with a basic understanding of fundamental material science and a comprehensive understanding of the composition, microstructure, and engineering behaviour of materials used in construction applications. The module will also allow students to identify and describe the form and function of various structural elements, to understand the requirements for strength, stability and performance of structures and structural materials and gives an introduction to the design of structural elements.
The intention of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of the principles of Architectural Technology in relation to the technical design process for low-rise domestic buildings and the practical skills associated with undertaking a measured survey and generating drawings outputs.
This module will enhance student understanding of the functions, principles and environmental constraints on the design and construction of medium and larger scale buildings. This module also develops the student's understanding of the structural appreciation for such buildings and the integrative nature of technical solutions for larger buildings in order to develop a greater awareness of the role of the Architectural Technologist.
Architectural Technologists must develop the capacity to develop technically sound designs for buildings while responding to a variety of performance criteria. This module examines the influences of technical and regulatory requirements in the five areas of heat transfer and thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting, building services, and fire provision and performance. It aims to deepen the student's knowledge in practical aspects of these elements and give them opportunity to apply the associated fundamental principles. It also nurtures their competencies in using industry standard software (Autodesk Revit) through the production of a building information model and associated working drawings, specification and details.
The module will explore different types of structural systems, components and building technology for a medium sized public building, and develop the student's understanding of architectural design concepts associated with these. In addition, students will develop their knowledge of site analysis and the factors influencing the planning, landscaping and servicing of a small to medium sized public building.
This module defines the legal framework within which the operation and administration of building contracts is undertaken. The legal system, the law of contract and the law of tort as they relate to the production of the building project are described and examined. Statutory and regulatory legislations, contract strategy and contractual procedures are analysed and discussed. The rights, duties, liabilities and obligations of the parties to the building contract as dictated by a standard form of building contract are evaluated to enable professional contract management.
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
The intention of this module is to facilitate the student in developing knowledge, understanding and application of relevant content aligned to each of the four core areas of designing, managing, practising and developing (self) in broad alignment with Stage 2 (Practice Standards) of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) Professional Standards Framework.
The research module provides an opportunity for personal exploration and in-depth study of an area of particular significance relating to the course of study. Students are responsible for collating the necessary information for the selection and execution of the research. They are required to critically evaluate the practicality, availability of reference material and access to individuals or records. Clear aims and objectives must be formulated leading to appropriate methods to meet these objectives. The module fosters and develops analytical and evaluation skills, logical thought, and the ability to communicate effectively using verbal, visual and written forms.
This module provides the student with a series of architectural technology and design projects covering a range of scale and complexity, and with a requirement to research and apply design and technical data to project solutions. Design development and technical resolution will be as per legislation for town planning and building control in Northern Ireland though project contexts may vary. Work stages will align to RIBA Plan of Work 2013 through Stage 4 to produce technical drawings and reports at Stage 3 and 4 respectively. The student will develop their expertise in information management and BIM processes by sharing computer model development, and drawings that reflect an understanding of digital data management, drawing conventions, and layer/lineweight and type managment in final outputs.
This module will provide the student with theoretical and practical knowledge of the processes involved in the conversion and adaptation of the built environment. Building visits and case study analysis will review design strategies in conversion and refurbishment, conservation and adaptation of buildings, integration of services, use of materials and construction detailing.
This module will allow students to understand and critically appraise the factors affecting energy consumption in buildings enabling them to explore a wide range of low energy options in both domestic and non-domestic buildings. This will enable them to reduce the auxiliary energy load of any renewable energy solutions that may be considered while appreciating the main hazards to health in modern building designs.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Grades BBC to include one from: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Applied Science, Life and Health Sciences (single or double award) or Technology (including Environmental Technology/Environmental Science/Technology & Design/Design & Technology).
See GCSE requirements.
Providing the subject requirement is met, applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction, Engineering (Land Use and Surveying or Land Administration) or Applied Science
Award profile of DDD.
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Construction, Engineering (Land Use and Surveying or Land Administration) or Applied Science
Award profile DMM.
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction, Engineering (Land Use and Surveying or Land Administration) or Applied Science
Award profile of DM plus A Level Grade B.
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction, Engineering (Land Use and Surveying or Land Administration) or Applied Science
Award profile of DM plus A Level Grade B.
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Construction, Engineering (Land Use and Surveying or Land Administration) or Applied Science
Award profile of M plus A Level Grades BB
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Construction, Engineering (Land Use and Surveying or Land Administration) or Applied Science
Award profile of M plus A Level Grades BB
If A levels are being presented with QCF/RQF BTEC awards in other subjects then the A level subject requirement must be met.
Please note that OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical Combinations do not satisfy the subject entry requirement for this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A levels in the required subject(s).
The subject requirement must be met.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
112 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at Higher Level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher Level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level. This course also requires you to achieve one grade H3 subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Technology or Engineering.
If Mathematics is not passed at H3, you will be required to achieve a minimum of H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level in addition to one of the subjects above.
BBCCC to include one from Biology, Chemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or a Technology or Engineering subject. Plus GCSE Maths and a Science subject at grade C or 4.
CCD to include one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or a Technology or Engineering subject. Plus GCSE Maths and a Science subject at grade C or 4.
Overall profile of 25 points (including 12 at higher level) to include one Higher Level subject from Mathematics, Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology. English at grade 4 ordinary level is also required. If Mathematics and Physics are not presented at Higher Level then they are both required at grade 4 ordinary level in addition to one Higher Level subject above.
Access Course (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access Course) in a Science, Mathematics, Physics or Engineering subject area with an overall mark of 63% to include 63% in each of the level 3 modules and to include 65% in NICATS level 2 Maths for Year 1 entry.
Applicants who do not have GCSE Maths grade C/4 must also achieve a Pass in NICATS Maths level 2.
For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Single/Double Award Science (we will accept grade C/4 in Physics, Chemistry or Biology in lieu of Single/Double Award Science).
Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 distinctions in level 4 credits in a Architectural Technology or Construction subject area for year one entry.
Pass HND in Architectural Technology with overall Merit to include 45 distinctions in level 5 credits to include Merits in Architectural Technology, Design Procedures, Structures and Computer Aided Design for year 2 entry.
Ulster Foundation Degree in Architectural Technology
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 50% and minimum 50% in all taught level 5 modules for year 2 entry.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C or 4 (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
Due to the broad knowledge base in the area of architectural technology a broad range of employment opportunities exist. Typical employers include architectural technology practices, architectural practices, contractors, education and library boards, health and social trusts, building control and other companies in the construction industries. A highly desirable attribute of our graduates is their knowledge and skill relating to Building Information Modelling. Some graduates have obtained excellent employment internationally. Self-employment is also a popular option after a few years when graduates are sufficiently experienced and they become Chartered Architectural Technologists with CIAT.
Students receive excellent support in the form of Placement preparation classes during second year of the course. The course team gives a high level of support to students assisting them in finding placement. The course enjoys a good relationship with many practices locally and opportunities further afield are also encouraged.
Students completing an approved placement in the British Isles will receive a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) upon graduation from the course. For students completing an approved placement internationally, they will receive a Diploma in Professional Practice (International) (DPP(I)) upon graduation from the course.
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) for the purpose of exemptions from parts of the professional qualification when progressing to Chartered status.
Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
The course attracts a number of prizes relating to academic performance during all years of the course. These are normally presented at the annual End of Year Show.
A recent graduate has also received awards from the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (Commended) and from the Association of Project Safety (winner).
Scholarship opportunities also exist.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Mr Gareth Alexander, Course Director
Admissions Contact - Dorothy McCrory
International Admissions Office
The key point to highlight is that the support from main course tutors excels beyond lectures/tutorials. It was very clear to see that they wanted to keep up to date with students in and out of semester time. This was particularly helpful after graduating as you are pointed into the right direction as to what practices are employing.
T McCurdy, 2015 Graduate