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Architectural Technology - BSc (Hons)

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Want a career as an Architectural Technologist? Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), our BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology degree course is where the science of construction meets the art of design....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK and is a great area for students to be in if you want to be in the built environment because there's redevelopment going on all around you and there's also a strong possibility that you could be working on these projects in the future. I've had a really good experience at BCU so far. We get to go on quite a lot of site visits. One of the biggest ones we've been on so far was the housing development by Taylor Wimpey, and we also had for our first assignment Taylor Wimpey's, managing director of the West Midlands, assessed one of our presentations. Support from lecturers is really, really good that always there, they're always there to reply to your emails no matter what the query is. They've all had real life experience, academic and industry wise, that we can learn from. One of the things that I'm most passionate about the built environment is the possibility of working on the creation of the built environment that we live in. I wanted a change of career. I wanted to do something that's a bit more impactful and something that can help the community. So I think the built environment was a perfect way to go about the student experience has been amazing, to be honest. The lecturers and the students actually have been very welcoming. There's definitely something for every person to get involved in. The Careers+ and Employability team and the support that I got from them with regards to updating my CV, get my professional network set up on LinkedIn, which has been excellent. So I was lucky enough to secure a placement with Atkins. After my placement year, I was actually offered the graduate role, which was fantastic because it meant that I've got something secured and now go back into industry and into a company that I really enjoyed working with.

It's only four years for me to change my career and really step into a brand new industry. And I'm really thankful for BCU for supporting me through this journey. There's always been something about buildings that has interest in me, kind of curious and how they're put together and what kind of technology goes into that. Coming to university, I knew that I wanted to go to Engineering or Architecture and seeing those courses in depth, I kind of knew to myself that it wasn't correct for me. So then I came across Architectural Technology and I found out it just answered both of those questions I had then, which was wanted to go to. So BCU offers a wide range of facilities. It provides a lot of equipment such as VR headsets, laptops that students can borrow whenever they need to, and industry level software such as AutoCAD and Revit to really useful to us as being used as currency in our industry and will continue to be used throughout the years to come. Being able to go outside of the classroom and use industry level equipment really helps us as students get a vision of what it's like in practice. I've really enjoyed my time studying at BCU and I can't wait to what the future holds.

Want a career as an Architectural Technologist? Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), our BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology degree course is where the science of construction meets the art of design. The course focuses not only on the creation of the built environment, but also the structuring of space in and around it.

Much of your learning activity will be hands-on, with access to our strong industry links. You’ll also be provided with the latest CAD and visualisation software, meaning you’ll be well equipped to make an impact in an important industry.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The course will develop your ability to create new and exciting designs for a range of building types and functions as well as analyse existing ones, while keeping buildability, technology, procurement, contractual relations and the people involved in the process in mind. You will also explore the social, regulatory, technical, sustainable and aesthetic context of the UK and global development industry.

Our outstanding industry links mean you’ll be able to work on live projects, using the very latest technology and techniques. You will learn how to construct designs using CAD in a three-dimensional and virtual environment. You’ll also be kept up to date with the latest skills, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and will be actively involved in the creation of a BIM model for a prestigious UK building.

We help you gain the skills to negotiate with planning and building authorities and develop the expertise to advise them. You will also investigate project and contract management.

Our excellent relationships with employers open up a range of opportunities for work placements. This will enable you to gain first-hand experience of the work of architectural technologists while making valuable professional contacts.

With the support of experienced and qualified staff, you’ll use facilities that reflect the work environment you’ll enter after graduation. Studying at our expanding City Centre Campus, you’ll be immersed in a creative environment with the chance to be inspired by the urban architecture of Birmingham. 

The city plays host to regular festivals that celebrate architecture, including the Birmingham Architecture Festival and Still Walking, so there are lots of opportunities to explore the possibilities and potential of the built environment.

Regular field trips to construction projects throughout the Midlands will add further colour and relevance to your studies as you gain inspiration from a variety of landscapes and settings.

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Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
  • The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Lecturers are always willing to help... they work to ensure everyone can reach their full potential. Aneesa Muller

Studying Architectural Technology at BCU has been the best decision I have made. Sagal Rooble

Why Choose Us?

  • Accredited course - Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
  • Industry-standard facilities - You'll be studying at our Millennium Point campus in City Centre, where facilities have undergone a £6.5 million investment. You will use Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) 2 and 3D, as well as work in the Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment. Enter your career with skills which give you a competitive advantage.
  • Outstanding industry connections - These include partnerships with engineering, management and development consultants at Mott MacDonald and Birmingham City Council’s Urban Design team.
  • Study at the heart of Birmingham’s regeneration -  The city's 'Our Future City Plan', a 20-year vision covering every aspect of the built environment, is creating redevelopments and opportunities in Birmingham. HS2, Europe’s largest infrastructure project is on our doorstep.
  • We are an Autodesk Training Centre (ATC) -This national and international recognition will give you access to on-campus training by certified Autodesk instructors, providing you with digital skills that will be highly sought after by employers. Autodesk applications play an important part in supporting the digital transformation of Architecture, Engineering and Construction.’
  • Scholarships - You might be eligible for grant funding of up to £9,500 towards your degree, through the Built Environment Scholarship. You may also be able to gain funding through our travel scholarship scheme.

    Open Days

    Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. In the week before the event, we’ll post you an event programme to plan your day and find your way.

    Next Open Day: 29 June 2024

    Book Now

    Entry Requirements

    These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

    All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

    Essential requirements

    112 UCAS tariff points

    Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

    If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

    Fees & How to Apply

    Please select your student status to view fees and apply
    • UK Student
    • International Student

    UK students

    Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

    Award: BSc (Hons)

    Starting: Sep 2024

    • Mode
    • Duration
    • Fees

    International students

    Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

    Award: BSc (Hons)

    Starting: Sep 2024

    • Mode
    • Duration
    • Fees
    • Full Time
    • 3 years
    • £16,085 in 2024/25

    Access to computer equipment

    You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

    Printing

    You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

    Access to Microsoft Office 365

    Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

    Key Software

    You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

    Key subscriptions

    Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

    Specialist Software

    Using our Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) you will be able to use many specialist software applications on your personal device, as well as devices on-campus including Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Navisworks, Solibri, Synchro Pro, VRay, Lumion, Sketchup Pro and CostX.

    Project materials (mandatory)

    This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

    Excess printing (optional)

    Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

    Books (optional)

    Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

    Placement expenses (optional)

    If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

    Field trips (optional)

    This course may involve local site visits relating to essential module coursework where you would pay transport costs to and from the site. This course may also include the option of additional trips to complement your studies; these would be at extra cost.

    Accommodation and living costs

    The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

    Part-time study

    The part-time route on this course is available for advanced entry, from year 3 onwards. If you already hold – or are working towards – an HNC or HND in a related subject, you may be eligible to study this course part-time. To find out more, visit our part-time study webpages.

    Guidance for International students

    There are three ways to apply:

    1) Direct to the University

    You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

    2) Through a country representative

    Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

    3) Through UCAS

    If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

    Personal statement

    UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

    The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

    Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

    • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
    • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
    • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
    • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
    • Non-accredited skills or achievement - eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

    You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

    Worried about Personal Statements?

    If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

    Get personal statement advice

    *Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

    Course in Depth

    First Year

    In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

    Second Year

    In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

    Professional Placement (Optional)

    In order to qualify for the award of BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology with Professional Placement Year you must successfully complete the following module.

    Final Year

    In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

    Download course specification

    Download now

    Modelled on the practice of the architectural technologist in industry, this course will provide you with the opportunity to develop a demandingly broad range of technical and built environment knowledge.

    The assessment methods used reflect the course philosophy, with focus on the ability to produce consistent work in line with the high standards and competences our chartered body, CIAT, expects.

    Course structure

    The first year of the course focuses on developing your fundamental skills and knowledge in the residential area of the built environment.  You will explore the traditional areas of the built environment, gaining an insight into how your future role is relevant to it. You will be introduced to the innovations of a modern construction project through the Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment, the requirements of the law and an understanding of the key technology relating to residential built environments.

    Your skills will be developed further in your second year, with specialist modules and more challenging project experiences.  You will learn more about commercial technology, advanced design practice, 2 and 3D design environments, and experience working collaboratively with students from other courses.  You will also develop specialist skills in designing and planning the broader built environment.

    Your final year will see you refine your skills and realise your full potential.  You will be building up your portfolio of advanced design and specification work in readiness for your first steps in industry.

    This course is accredited by the following organisations:

    The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) ensuring our course remains fresh and relevant, as well as boasting the best industry contacts.

    The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
    Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

    The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) is a dynamic, forward-thinking and inclusive global membership qualifying body for Architectural Technology.

    CIAT represents those practising and studying within the discipline and profession. It is a membership organisation representing 9,500 members and affiliates within the discipline who wish to be professionally recognised.

    CIAT Accreditation ensures that the programme has been assessed in terms of content, structure, resources and has met the Institute’s requirements. The benefit of studying on a CIAT Accredited Programme is that it will support individuals wishing to become Chartered Architectural Technologists.

    The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
    The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

    The Chartered Institute of Building is at the heart of a management career in construction. Its focus is on those entering and already in a management career in construction, by delivering qualifications and certifications that meet the needs of a changing industry. It works with members, employers, academia and governments across the globe to drive forward the science, practice and importance of management in construction.

    Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
    Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

    This course is accredited by Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

    Employability

    Enhancing your employability skills

    Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market. Getting work experience in architectural technology can be challenging, so we encourage you to be agile and help them engage with the broad range of opportunities available. We support you through our virtual learning environment, Moodle, where we have a dedicated page which is regularly updated with potential opportunities for experience, placement opportunities and employment offers for students at all levels of their degree.

    The University is eager to recognise students who have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate, and thus it offers a range options for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work in industry.

    You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.

    The University also has its Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.

    Placements

    Benefiting from our links, you will be encouraged to engage with industry and develop your professional experience throughout your degree, creating and sharing your own portfolios to demonstrate your development through the course and your design achievements.

    Architectural technology graduate Rafal Daszczyszak, who secured a role as a graduate intern with Willmott Dixon, said: "My CV is much more enhanced by doing this job. My skills and knowledge are really desirable in the job market so it's a really good opportunity for me."

    International

    Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

    The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

    Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

    Our subject area is particularly popular with students from the Far East and Africa. They are attracted by our practical teaching, using the very latest design software which gives them a head-start in industry.

    Some students return home after graduation but others make the UK their home and build a successful career here.

    Erika Parn, from Finland, was looking for a city based course and ended up staying in Birmingham, working for the School. She said: "You get good feedback from lecturers and a lot of support. The city is changing a lot and constantly improving, which is why I'm still here."

    Facilities & Staff


    Our Facilities

    The facility our students value most is not actually on campus, but is the location of the campus in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside opposite the new High Speed 2 station construction, and minutes from dozens of fascinating live projects within the city centre.

    Birmingham as it changes constantly on our doorstep really is our ‘living lab’. By simply looking out the window of our classrooms you’ll be able to witness live projects as they’re happening around us. You’ll constantly be inspired by dozens of fascinating case studies just from walking from the station to the campus.

    The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. Learn more about what we have to offer below.

    Software

    Recognising the rapidly evolving digital built environment we are constantly reviewing software to best fit with the professions of the future.

    Autodesk Accredited Centre Status, we use the latest integrated building modelling software across undergraduate courses, seeing Architectural Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Management, and Quantity Surveying students engaging in cross discipline information management projects modelling real life experience. Accredited Centre status allowing all students licence to download this software, and making available additional qualifications and certification to those demonstrating expertise and dedication to exploring their own and the limits of the Autodesk environment.

    At course level, students engage with the latest and most appropriate software for their future professions. Real Estate students with CoStar, the leading industry database supporting valuations. Quantity Surveyors using Blue Beam, Revu and QS Pro, and along these Quantity Surveyors and Construction Managers use Synchro and Navisworks for 4D and CostX for 5D work. For Building Surveying and Architectural Technology routes, visualisation is important where Enscape, V-Ray Lumion and Sketch-up are available.

    Built Environment Space in Millennium Point

    The Built Environment Space in Millennium Point is available to all students with a huge resource of software-equipped laptops for loan on campus. For off campus working, much of the software we use comes with free student licences and all students will have access to the Windows Virtual Desktop, allowing access to our range of software from anywhere where the internet is available.

    The Studio Space that we've created in Millennium Point is an open workspace where students can work on their design projects. We have all student work and examples that will change every week or month depending on what stage of a project we're at. And it's an open space for working on projects.

    This is where our Architectural Technology students and our Building Surveying students in particular, spend a lot of their time.

    Concrete and Hydraulics Labs

    Our dedicated Civil Engineering facilities include a Hydraulics & Structures lab Concrete & Geotechnics lab as well as a bending rig.

    The swollen concrete lab and hydraulics lab are the heart of our Civil Engineering course, where we have a range of test equipment. This is where our students can carry out experimental work as part of their course, either as part modules or using those labs to work on their final year project.


    Built Environment facilities

    Our staff

    Dr Elham Delzendeh

    Senior Lecturer in Digital Built Environment

    Elham's core research is around advanced digital technologies in AEC, building energy performance, occupants' behaviours and BIM. In addition to her academic experiences, she has a demonstrated history of working in the design and construction industry as an Architect, Architectural Technologist and BIM specialist.

    More about Elham

    Paul Laycock

    Deputy Head of Built Environment

    Paul is the Deputy Head of Built Environment. He is also a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and Course Director for BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology.

    More about Paul
    Dr Elham Delzendeh: Hi, I am Dr Elham Delzendeh, Senior Lecturer in Digital Built Environment at Birmingham City University and the course leader for Architectural Technology Programme. So BIM refers to building information modelling and is a process that enables collaboration between different stakeholders involved in the construction projects. Applying BIM process in publicly funded projects is mandatory in the UK. Therefore, there is a huge job market for our graduates. They study architectural technology building, surveying, construction management, but together with BIM skills, they can find lots of different jobs.

    Benjamin Reid: In our first year we have a module called IDD Residential. IDD - Integrated Digital Design. We were given a project where we had to deliver Floorplans and a whole layout for a residential development. So it was a building, which was its use was being changed, and the complex had three floors for which we had to then lay out what we wanted to do really in terms of, you know, how people might want to live in a new apartment block.

    Hettie Wood: The awards night was a good night. It was good to meet people from the industry, the partner desk. It was great to be recognised for my hard work and for everyone else's hard work and to understand how different professions would use BIM.

    Benjamin Reid: The awards as a whole I think are really important. I feel that with your learning it's important to kind of expand that into a greater environment. So the awards offers that, we were able to meet industry professionals there, we were able to meet other people on the course, like in different professions. So I'm doing I'm studying Architectural Technology. We have property developers and planners, we have construction managers, all different fields, all different people starting different professions within the built environment. So meeting each other, in that kind of environment is really good, especially as a celebration. The awards are effectively a celebration of achievements for what we had done.

    Hettie Wood: The Integrated Digital Design Module lets me becoming BIM Champion, which has now let me be nominated for Women in Property Award for Midlands. My knowledge of them winning the award, good understanding of the collaboration process that is BIM will be key because BIM is such a key aspect of the built environment and that is why the industry is game.

    Benjamin Reid: Between the awards, the industry exposure and the skill sets, everything that I have learnt, I have the confidence to move forward into the industry and to take that into my professional career.