close up of a cross section of a building.


Architectural Technology and Design (with Foundation Year)

Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Architecture and the Built Environment
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Dean Bieganek
Key fact:
Learn how to bring architectural ideas to life using both traditional and contemporary materials and technologies on this course.

Page last updated 1 August 2017


Why BSc(Hons) Architectural Technology and Design?

The evolution of architectural forms is born out of many defining factors including culture and fashion, society and economics, climate and geography, security and self-preservation. But for architecture to be able to respond to these factors it needs the application of technology.

Historically the limitations of technology imposed restrictions on the architecture. However, in more recent times, the technology has become almost limitless and architectural expression has developed accordingly.

Why study our course?

This course will equip you with a solid understanding of the technological progression in construction and where it sits within the history of architecture. You will study and apply design concepts and construction technologies to a range of building problems. To inspire and inform your work, you will sketch and assess buildings on day trips and residential field trips.

We have been ranked fourth nationally for student satisfaction for our Architecture courses in The Guardian University League Tables 2018.

Real world experience

You will work on projects both individually and at times with other students across a range of disciplines in an approach reflecting industry. Before your final year, you are encouraged to take a year out in professional practice; for those students who have done this, the year is proven to be an extremely valuable part of their university experience.

Where it can take you

On graduation there is a wide range of career opportunities for technologists with design skills. You can go on to work in architectural and engineering practices in the public or private sectors, contractors and developers, project managers and systems manufacturers.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Year 0 (Foundation Year)

You will study the Foundation Year alongside students from our other Architecture and Product Design courses, and so you may be able to transfer to a course in one of these areas at the end of the Foundation Year.

  • Foundation Project
  • Foundation in Design Communications
  • Foundation Design Studio
  • Foundation Design History
  • Foundation Engineering for Designers

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year 0 modules before progressing to Year 1.

Year 1

Design concepts and fundamental principles

The introduction of design concepts through studio work and computer modelling, whilst technologies are developed from basic scientific principles. The Department's theme for an inter-professional approach starts from the first day and continues throughout the course.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Building Physics and Services
  • Investigating Structures
  • Technical Studio 1
  • Studio 1

Year 2

Design integration, practice and application

Building on the principles of year one in both design and technology, the application of all aspects of design are practised and applied to a range of building problems.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • IT for Designers
  • History of Architecture
  • Technology and Design Studio 2
  • Commercial Development
  • Procurement and Contract Practice

Optional placement year

All students are encouraged to spend the year prior to their final year of study on placement. Students who undertake a placement year will complete an industrial placement module.

Final year

Final year students are expected to apply the whole range of their knowledge to large scale building projects, producing both detailed appraisal and 'new build' design solutions. This will involve conceptual design, consideration of production techniques and constraints, developing solutions using computer models, producing working drawings and documentation, and client advice on long-term sustainability issues.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Energy Management and Performance Evaluation
  • Building Pathology
  • Technology and Design Studio 3
  • Collaborative Practices in Building Information Management and Modelling

Plus one of the following modules:

  • Collaborative Practice (TB2)
  • Industrial Placement (for those who completed a placement year)

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching involves a variety of methods including lectures; studios, laboratory work; tutorials and computer based techniques.

Teaching staff provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning. They are actively engaged in research or professional practice, ensuring you learn directly from the latest academic and business developments.

Student representatives sit on a wide range of committees from University to course level, where they influence discussions and decisions which affect your learning experience.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


You will be assessed through a wide range of assessment methods with a balance between coursework/studio portfolios and examinations.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

We are currently seeking accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).


Students who do a work placement are more likely to graduate with a better degree and get higher quality work on graduation. So as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a work placement will make you highly employable on graduation.

This course is supported by a group of employers who contribute towards teaching resources and can offer placements and graduate positions to students. We encourage you to undertake any relevant work and get involved in internships alongside your studies.


To inspire and inform your work, you will regularly get out to sketch and assess contemporary and historic buildings in and around Bristol in your early years on the course. You will attend other short field trips in later years in support of your studio-based project work.

Study facilities

You will be taught in a modern, well-equipped department, which offers students access to specialist facilities, including award-winning design studios. You will:

  • Study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room.
  • Attend model-making workshops and develop CAD, data analysis and environmental modelling skills in integrated studios.
  • Create architectural models with the assistance of laser cutters, computerised routers and wind tunnels or in our wood, metal and concrete workshops.
  • Test lighting using the artificial sky, or sound in the acoustics laboratories, with experienced technicians who support teaching and research.
  • Consider airflow and cooling, mechanical systems and water flow in our environmental services laboratory.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

Reviewers at the presentation of your project work will often include professionals in practice and students who are further along with their studies.

Socialise and volunteer

You can attend guest lectures, field trips, live projects and social events with like-minded students in our Architecture Society and Engineers without Borders. These extra-curricular activities contribute greatly to your personal development and are viewed favourably by prospective employers.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase their work at the annual plan + make degree show. Take a look at some of our students' exhibits on Tumblr.


Careers / Further study

In the past 20 years the construction industry has become better managed, coordinated and more strategic in its approach especially in the larger government or civil engineering schemes.  There are interesting openings for students in managing the industry.

On graduation, your combined design and technological skills and awareness of professional issues can lead to a choice of careers. There is strong and growing demand for graduate technologists with design skills in architectural practices in the public and private sectors, contractors and building component manufacturers.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Read about what being an architectural technologist involves.

Useful links

Propsects - Careers in Property and Construction.


Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 88
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

The 'Typical offers' information above is only for full-time students entering the foundation year.

We are happy to consider applicants with a mixture of A levels and BTEC qualifications.

We welcome applications from highly motivated students who do not meet the usual entrance requirements given above, but who have gained equivalent knowledge and skills from substantial relevant work or other experience.

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Architectural Technology and Design course.

UWE Bristol's International College

International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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