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Architecture and Design Continuing Professional Development Short Courses

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design has a strong commitment to delivering continuing professional development (CPD) sessions to take your career onto the next level. Our CPD courses support your learning throughout your career: whether you want to update or refresh your knowledge, expand your expertise or explore new areas of practice....

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.

Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Short Course
  • Study mode Short Course
  • Location City Centre
  • Award N/A
  • Start date TBC
  • School Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media


Birmingham School of Architecture and Design has a strong commitment to delivering continuing professional development (CPD) sessions to take your career onto the next level.

Our CPD courses support your learning throughout your career: whether you want to update or refresh your knowledge, expand your expertise or explore new areas of practice.

You’ll have the opportunity to keep up-to-date with new skills and choose modules to meet your area of interest.

Learning from our industry-active academic teams, you’ll also receive the unique benefit of working alongside our full-time, and part-time, students.

We have a proven track record of working with accrediting bodies such as the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Architects Registration Board (ARB), and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) ensuring the teaching stays industry relevant.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Birmingham City University is offering workshops in Conservation of the Historic Environment which can be attended individually as elements of CPD training.

There are two-day workshops on sustainability, conservation legislation, conservation planning, project management and urban design, disaster management and heritage management and on the history of British Buildings. There are also more practical two-day workshops on lime, stone, timber, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, ceramic building materials, twentieth-century building materials, building recording, historic interiors, traditional estate management and canal heritage. The hands-on workshops will include visits to working sites such as the Black Country Living Museum and Wightwick Manor near Wolverhampton.

We also offer our Beyond Grad scheme for graduates currently gaining practical experience working in practice as part of the requirements for becoming an Architect.

For more information on the modules please contact Katriona Byrne.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students




  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • Please see individual modules for details
  • TBC

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.


Each two-day course costs £150; occasionally it may be possible to undertake one day at a cost of £75, although priority will be given to those booking for two days.

For any information about any of these courses please contact Katriona Byrne at the details below for online enrolment information.

Katriona Byrne BA, MA, MUBC, Post-grad Dip.

Birmingham City University
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
The Parkside Building, #306
5 Cardigan Street
Birmingham B4 7BD

Landline: 01212028526
Mob: 07849006478

Course in Depth

Course Timetable

Course title: The Use of Lime in Historic Buildings
Date: TBC
Location: Llanymynech Limeworks, near Oswestry, Shropshire
Aim of the course: All buildings constructed before the mid-nineteenth century would have used LIME for mortar, render, plaster and limewash. Lime allows buildings to ‘breathe’, but yet it is sometimes tricky to use and takes longer to apply, dry and finish than modern cements, and therefore many builders are unhappy with using it. Yet if you live, work or own an old property, using cement for repairs will damage the fabric of the building so this is your chance to get to understand the lime cycle, lime mixing and to enjoy practical hands-on sessions pointing and plastering using lime. Tim Ratcliffe, Conservation Architect, Simon Ayres of Lime Green and Stuart Preece, Plasterer, will be course tutors for an enjoyable two outdoor days. Not for the faint-hearted!
‘great fun – I’ll never use cement again’

Course title: Canal: History, Heritage and Practical Issues
Date: TBC
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD and Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
Aim of the course: A general introduction to the history of canals with particular emphasis on the canal heritage of the West Midlands, run in conjunction with the Canal and Rivers Trust. Issues of planning, conservation and sustainability will be discussed. The course will involve site visits and a canal trip. There will also be sessions on the conservation of canal vessels and on maritime and underwater heritage.

Course title: The Conservation and Repair of Stone
Date: TBC
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD
Aim of the course: England is blessed with a great variety of building stones, which is partly what gives it its unique character. Yet stone weathers and decays for a number of reasons. If you work in or with or on a stone building this two-day course will help you understand why and how stone decays and what the appropriate repair or conservation techniques are. Demonstrations from a stone mason will complement lectures from architectural conservation staff.
‘I now know limestone from sandstone and know what to ask my builder to do.’

Course title: Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals in Construction
Date: TBC
Location: Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
Aim of the course: Lead flashing on roofs, brass or copper on domes, lead windows, wrought iron gates, structural cast-iron buildings – these are some of the uses of metals in buildings. And metals decay. This workshop looks at the historical background of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, their methods of production, the reasons for their decay and the appropriate conservation techniques for lead, wrought and cast iron. Students will get a feel for wrought-iron repair by trying their hand at forge welding.
‘Really exciting and eye opening’

Course title: Ceramic Building Materials
Date: TBC
Location: Jackfield Tile Museum, Ironbridge Gorge, Telford
Aim of the course: Bricks, terracotta, faience and tiles – all of these form part of many historic buildings. Do you know how they are made, how they decay and how to repair, replace or conserve them? This hands-on course will include a trip to the newly-refurbished Jackfield Tile Museum as well as bricklaying using lime mortar.
‘a great experience...’

Course title: The Conservation of Historic Interiors
Date: TBC
Location: Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton and Westwood House, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire
Aim of the course: How do you peel away the layers of a historic interior and discover what is really ‘significant’? Once you have understood the interior how do you install services - electricity, security and fire detection systems? Using Wightwick Manor as a case study the day will progress to how the National Trust conservators identify the agents of deterioration within the mansion and deal with both preventative and remedial conservation. The second day will take a closer look at the plastered, papered and painted finishes of historic interiors.

Course title: The Conservation of Twentieth-century Buildings
Date: TBC
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD
Aim of the course: Some of the iconic buildings of the twentieth century were constructed from reinforce concrete. Like it or loathe it the concrete revolution changed the pattern of building. Yet reinforced concrete decays and is subject to concrete cancer. If you manage a twentieth-century building you may want to know why it is important, how its components might be decaying and what to do about it. The Twentieth Century Society will talk about their recent campaigns. Concrete repairs will be covered in detail. There will also be case studies on successful conservation projects.

Course title: Introduction to the Management of Historic Estates, Parks and Gardens 
Date: TBC
Location: A private estate in Shropshire and Hagley Hall, Worcestershire
Aim of the course: This two-day course will study how a traditional landed estate used to be managed and how it manages to make its way in the twenty-first century. Are there compromises to be made over reusing farm buildings? If the estate contains listed buildings, scheduled monuments and a registered park or garden, how are funding targets met? The course will be held at a privately-owned estate near Shrewsbury. The second day looks at the history and management of historic parks and the exciting discovery and conservation of an eighteenth-century landscape garden.

Course title: Conservation of Non-structural and Structural Timber in Historic Buildings 
Date: TBC 
Location: Ludlow and Worcester
Aim of the course: Nearly all historic properties will have wood in them - whether as windows, joists, floors or doors. Some buildings are also structurally made from wood with timber frames. The first day of this course will deal with the conservation of non-structural timber in buildings – using Treasures workshop in Ludlow. The second day will deal with the history of and problems with timber-framed buildings and include visits to some magnificent examples. Current repair techniques will be demonstrated using experts.‘Very helpful and interesting’

Facilities and Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the exceptional quality of our campuses. With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

You will be based in our multi-million pound Parkside building – a state of the art facility located within our City Centre Campus. Here you will have full access to our recently upgraded, high spec CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) workstations situated within our dedicated computer labs and open access areas. We also provide access to leading edge digital design software, enabling you to explore technical drawing, graphics, 3D modelling, visualization, animation, computation, simulation, and virtual reality.

The Parkside Building is also home to our digital fabrication labs, where you will be able to explore 3D printing, laser cutting, water-jet cutting, CNC machining, ceramics, glass and traditional model-making, guided by our team of expert technicians with access to our on-site material store, and professional printing facilities.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • Design studios
  • Physical and digital library
  • Loanable laptops
  • Dedicated social spaces
  • Café’s

Photo Gallery

From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our dedicated teaching teams and expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.

Our staff

Katriona Byrne

Course Director MA Conservation of the Historic Environment

Katriona's BA in History of Art led her to work on the Pevsner Architectural Guide for Dublin and on the National Inventory of Ireland. The Historic Heart of Dublin European project led to a postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Inventorying and Recording. Katriona then worked for about 10 years as a local authority Conservation Officer in Ireland gaining a Masters in Conservation during this time.

She managed grants budgets, large and small, for conservation projects and engaged with planning of the historic environment, both in terms of policy and development control. This was interspersed with private practice as a Heritage Consultant where she supervised conservation works to traditional farm buildings amongst others, undertook research projects, wrote books and training material, delivered industry and community training, and lectured on some of her favourite topics, including vitrolite, historic ironwork, lime, graveyards and energy efficiency.

Katriona then spent five years with English Heritage/ Historic England in the West Midlands region as an Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas. She took over the direction of the conservation courses in Birmingham City University in August 2018. In her spare time she volunteer with the Twentieth Century Society, leading tours around Birmingham and towns in Worcestershire.

More about Katriona


For more information and to learn more, please contact the Course Directors:

Conservation of the Historical Environment 

Katriona Byrne 

Architectural Practice / Beyond Grad

Ian Shepherd