Architectural Technology with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: K13F
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (4 years)
  • Location: City Centre
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Want a career as an Architectural technologist? Our BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology with Foundation Year degree 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 software, meaning you’ll be well equipped to make an impact in an important industry. This course is also accredited by the CIOB.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

What's covered in the course?

Our course will develop your ability to appreciate and analyse existing design as well as create new 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 format. 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 opens 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.

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?

  • You’ll use industry-standard facilities, including Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) 2 and 3D, as well as work in the Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment.  When you enter your career, you’ll have the skills that give you a competitive advantage.

  • We have experienced, supportive academic staff, who hold architectural technology professional qualifications and maintain close links with the professional body.
  • We have outstanding industry connections, including partnerships with engineering, management and development consultants Mott MacDonald and Birmingham City Council’s Urban Design team.
  • It’s an exciting time to study architecture and design in Birmingham – the city is undergoing huge regeneration. The Big City Plan, a 20-year vision covering every aspect of the built environment, is creating innovative redevelopments and opportunities.
  • This course was ranked 5th out of 24 institutions offering it in the Guardian League Tables 2018.

This course is open to International students

School of Engineering and the Built Environment

Discover the School of Engineering and the Built Environment

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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Course Accreditations

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

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers (UK students)

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subjects are covered. Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:

UK Qualification Requirements
GCE A Level/ AS Level BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. Including 12 technical credits at Merit or Distinction. Must already hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade C or higher or the equivalent at application point.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma MMP - 80 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum H3/D1 taken from three subjects).

Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects.

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CDD.

Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).

Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects.

Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

International Students

Entry requirements here

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. 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.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
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 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
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 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

Specialist costs

£60

Students often choose to buy a laptop or tablet for use on campus (approx. £800), however there are PCs on campus and students can also borrow laptops. Students may need a smart phone or wireless device to participate in interactive class quizzes, etc. A list of all personal protection equipment (PPE) for labs and a basic toolkit, is provided by the School. Laboratory and workshop consumables are provided. All reports, etc. for assessment are submitted as electronic files except some of the Level 6 and 7 Project Reports for which printing and binding costs (up to 50 pages) will be borne by the students.

Placement costs

Students may have to contribute to the cost of optional social trips organised by Student Societies. The costs of compulsory industrial visits (if any) are paid by the School or by sponsorship secured from the Professional bodies (PSRBs). Students are expected to cover the costs of attending placement interviews and any additional travel/accommodation costs incurred to take up optional short term or sandwich placements.

Other costs

Costs for student-led projects will be paid by the School subject to approved business cases submitted by the students under the supervision of academic staff. Artefacts built for projects normally remain the property of the Department, but students may be offered the opportunity to purchase them for the cost of the materials used.

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Built Environment Context and Practice
20 credits

The Built Environment is a complex, unpredictable and unique in its own way. This module aims to provide an introductory platform towards understanding the elements and factors that influence the built environment, which support shaping the context of built environment. This module will also walk you through different built environment professions.

Building Technology
20 credits

Within the built environment, many traditional and modern techniques are being incorporated in order to cope with the nature and functional requirements of a building. This module aims to draw focus upon high level elements that are present in every building including building structure, enclosure, materials and environmental factors. Building on the knowledge that you developed from “Built Environment Context and Practice”, this module compliments the importance of different professions within the built environment

Foundation Computing
20 credits

The use of computing and technology have become an essential part in our daily routines. This module aims to focus on many of the daily utilised computing technologies such as ICT, programming, graphics and effective use of visualisation tools. It then draws the attention towards built environment computing technologies, demonstrating how different professions utilise it to communicate, exchange and interpret information. Regardless of the built environment profession that you aim to specialise in, this module embeds computing technology-related knowledge that will support you at different levels during your degree.

Quantitative Methods
20 credits

The use of numbers within the built environment is inevitable, unavoidable and impactful in many ways. This module aims to provide an overview over the use of quantitative methods within the built environment and their relationship to different scenarios and identifying their value allowing you to develop the necessary foundation skills. This module acts as a preparatory stage in terms of both enhancing and developing your mathematical and quantitative abilities before commencing to Level 4. It also develops your awareness of the quantitative-related matters within different professions.

Academic and Personal Study Skills
20 credits

Academic and personal study skills are essential elements which should be applied in order to be successful in Higher Education. This module aims to help you in developing basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills. These skills are inevitably important and will support your transition to the higher education levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.

Independent Practice
20 credits

During the journey within higher education, developing your independent study is an essential skill to support shaping the knowledge to become more useful and applied within practice. This module aims to provide you with necessary skills and tips that should support you to work independently within your discipline and to successfully apply project management tools and techniques to a mini project related to your subject discipline.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Design and Surveying Skills
20 credits

This module will support the Architectural Technology and Building Surveying courses and aims to:

  • Provide you with a broad based study of Architectural Technology together with the personal qualities of observation, analysis, judgement and communication appropriate for the profession.
  • Provide you with a clear understanding of how their decisions regarding technology, materials and design impact on the environment.
  • Provide you with the ability to communicate effectively using appropriate technical language and drawings associated with the practice of Building Surveying.
  • Provide you with an understanding of the whole life structure and fabric of the built environment.

Law
20 credits

This module is delivered to all of the undergraduate programmes in the built environment disciplines and provides you with the basic legal concepts and principles you will need throughout your professional career.

Introduction to the Built Environment
20 credits

This module explores how key ‘actors’, including professional bodies, landowners, developers, investors, politicians, members of the public, and the state, etc. influence the development of the built and natural environment.

Integrated Digital Design: Residential
20 credits

Digital construction is an integral component of contemporary design, development and maintenance of modern residential development. Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is at the forefront of the progressive movement towards total digitalisation of the built environment.

Professional Environmental and Materials Science
20 credits

Environmental and materials science is an important area of study for all disciplines involved with the design, planning, developing and management of the built environment. This module encourages you to consider how the properties, structures and performance of materials influence why buildings and structures function. You will be encouraged to consider how these properties impact construction from a design and practical use perspective. This module will therefore enable you to develop innovative solutions for more robust, resilient, safe and sustainable buildings and structures.

Built Environment Technology 1
20 credits

This module introduces, for all of the built environment professions, a range of concepts relating to the technology of construction. It provides you with an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of construction. We use the example of low rise residential construction as it is relatively straightforward and allows us to introduce and explore these issues appropriately.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Integrated Digital Design: Commercial
20 credits

The benefits of automation and digitalisation have steered government reforms globally towards embedding digitalization throughout architecture, engineering, construction and operations sectors. For example, the UK government’s strategy ‘Digital Built Britain 2025’ is an ambitious plan to digitise these sectors. This strategic vision has similarly been enacted via the BIM Level 2 mandate to extend digitized design, construction and asset handover for commercial developments.

Against this backdrop, this module aims to provide a foundation for you to successfully develop a Digital Execution Plan (DEP), understand BIM processes, develop commercial project documentation, and achieve interdisciplinary understanding of roles and responsibilities on a single simulated commercial project.

Design Practice
20 credits

This module develops your ability to assess the needs of clients. It provides a broad based study of Architectural Technology (AT) and Building Surveying (BS); combining the personal qualities of observation, analysis, judgement and their ability to communicate effectively using appropriate technical language and drawings associated with professional practice.

Advanced Design and Surveying Skills
20 credits

This module supports the Architectural Technologists’ and Building Surveyors’ need for specialisms and will see you focus on specialist professional development and allow you to build on the Level 4 Design and Surveying Skills module (or other approved study) to extend both your specialist CAD skills of computer aided drawing and contextualisation, and to develop further your building design and presentation skills.

The module introduces advanced applications to develop and explore sustainability, urban streetscapes and building forms. It will also allow you to engage with current image creation/transformation software to create advanced display material. You will be provided an opportunity to implement professional skills appropriate to design and surveying, particularly sustainable design and then implement design decisions and focus on professional display using 2D and 3D formats.

Built Environment Technology 2
20 credits

This module builds on your foundation of knowledge gained around residential technology in the Built Environment Technology 1 module at Level 4 (or any other accepted prior learning) and develops your understanding of commercial construction techniques and methods, it will also provide you with an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of commercial construction. Relevant Building Regulation, Health Safety and Welfare legislation will also be reviewed concurrently.

BIM and Facilities Management
20 credits

This module will develop your intellectual appreciation of the theory and practice of Facilities Management and Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how these subjects contribute to the successful design, specification and management of existing buildings. You will develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving to make well informed decisions at both design and operational stages within the commercial built environment.

Design and Development in the Built and Natural Environment
20 credits

This module critically discusses and applies the socio-economic, historical, environmental and governance context that shapes the design and use of buildings and structures to a real life development project. We encourage and support you to develop and apply a range of research techniques to evaluate design, costs, benefits and values of ‘good’ design; how to appraise the implications of different approaches to implementation, on-going use, management and quality of place; and produce a practice-based piece of work delivering a range of benefits to different users and communities.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Research in Practice
20 credits

For this module you will be investigating a named site; using common research methods discussed in class you will gather data on various elements of the site and impacting on the site. This module dovetails with the Design Project module: the site for that module and this will be the same. This will ensure the applicability of the research you do for Research in Practice. During the module, contemporary issues of sustainability in the built environment will also be covered, as potential elements to be included in future design work. The use of an applied project to develop research skills and enhance specific knowledge of contemporary issues in this way means this module fits well with the overall programme philosophy of ‘problem based learning’ or a ‘flipped curriculum’. In so doing, it develops and enhances the transferable skills essential for the modern professional.

Urban Design Practice in Context
20 credits

This is a design-led module, allowing you to implement and practice advanced design skills in response to a small-scale design project. This module is underpinned by a series of lectures relating to the history and theory of urban and architectural form and design; and time is also devoted to studio-based and lab work that helps develop and enhance your design enquiry and creative drawing / model-making skills. The module also encourages you to explore the wider role of, and connections between, design theory & practice, governance, planning and how innovative design strategies might be used to resolve complex issues associated with contemporary urban challenges.

Individual Honours Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

Digital Design Practice with Existing Buildings
20 credits

This module will provide you with a foundation of knowledge and practice to establish and execute the BIM process, facilitate its adoption, and achieve site survey data to execute multiple BIM data developments for a client representative. The project development will focus a specified building. The assessment builds on your ability to conduct a professional site survey, develop as-built BIM data for a client, and drawing outputs from site survey and independent desk studies.

Professionalism and Citizenship
20 credits

This module will focus on extending and providing appropriate evidence of your professional skills and development. Within an applied socially responsive framework, you will examine a range of issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial/development appraisal, design technology, legal and regulatory, health and safety etc. These will be covered in conjunction with other professional courses or your own discipline as appropriate, given that all built environment professions and recent reports such as the Farrell Review place increasing stress on interdisciplinary understanding and working.

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.

Attendance requirements

There are 24 weeks of teaching in each academic year.

Full-time

A typical week on this course will include 20 hours per week of contact time over two to three days, plus 15 to 25 hours of self study.

Part-time

A typical week on this course will include six to nine hours per week over one day, plus 10 to 20 hours of self study.

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.

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

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) represents professionals working and studying in the field of Architectural Technology and is internationally recognised. CIAT qualifies Chartered Architectural Technologists, MCIAT and professionally qualified Architectural Technicians, TCIAT.

As a membership based organisation, CIAT is owned by and operated on behalf of its members with a growing network of members who are based around the globe. This network is open to all members creating a huge resource and knowledge base.

Further Study

On completion of this course, past students have continued their studies by enrolling on  our MSc Construction Project Management, Building Information Modelling and Management degrees.

At course completion, there is a high level of interest for further study. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills recently noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification, which, when coupled with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation that one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022, demonstrates that the contribution of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.

Trips and visits

Many of the modules on the course benefit from visits to design offices, sites, and historically and sustainability significant buildings to learn about and see the built environment in action.

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

Benefitting 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."

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Former graduates have progressed into roles with a variety of different organisations including Associated Architects and Chartwells, as well as several other smaller independent practices.

Several have also continued their career away from the UK with some of our students now working across North and South America, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe.

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."

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC


Our Facilities

The School of the Built Environment provides the best possible equipment and facilities for all students. Our gallery below showcases the Built Environment’s learning spaces, civil engineering lab and state of the art computer aided design labs.

The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. We ensure that you are equipped to participate fully and possessed with the equipment needed to support your studies.

Computer Assisted Taking Off (CATO)

In offices today, much of the pen and paper approach to quantity surveying has been replaced by the use of specialised software systems. Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.

Computer Assisted Design (CAD)

You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.

Surveying equipment

Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as: Levels, Theodolites and Measuring tapes

Computer-generated virtual site

The use of a virtual building site will help you to appreciate the surroundings of a typical construction site and experience some of the challenges you will face in practice.

Built Environment live sites

Birmingham is undergoing huge regeneration. One of the city's two new HS2 stations will be built right outside our City Centre campus and there will be many opportunities, now and in the future, for those with built environment qualifications.

Meet our staff

Our staff have professional experience and continue to work with, and be respected by, industry.

Paul Laycock

Paul Laycock

Senior Lecturer

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

Paul was originally a site manager. He moved into design management and from there became an Architectural Technologist. He taught at Northumbria University and then moved back into industry as a developer, before returning to education at Birmingham City University in 2005.

James Gaytten

Senior Lecturer

James is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment. He is an Architectural Technologist with 30 years post qualification experience in most construction sectors and has been teaching at Birmingham City University since 2008.

Beck Collins

Dr Beck Collins

Senior Lecturer

Dr Beck Collins currently teaches across all undergraduate courses in the School of the Built Environment, as well as MSc Construction Project Management and MA Planning Built Environments.

Beck was awarded her PhD in “Local Projects for Sustainable Energy – Exploring the Nature of Success” in 2014, and is interested in local approaches to installing sustainable energy. This could be as social housing refurbishment projects, community renewable energy projects and so on.  Beck is particularly interested in questions of governance, systems intervention, behaviour change and projects for change, that sustainable energy throws up. 

Beck explores this both in her research and in practice – Beck has worked on local authority energy efficiency programmes and is also a volunteer Director of a Community Energy Company which is looking to install renewable energy in Birmingham.

Beck also brings all these research and practice based insights into the classroom, where she lectures on sustainability and research methods topics.