BSc (Hons) Architectural Design & Technology

Key Facts

Accredited by: The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

UCAS Code: W290

Typical Offer:
96-104 UCAS Tariff Points

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Art & Design

Course Length:
Three years full-time.


Course Overview

Architecture shapes the world around us. It reflects our societies and it influences the way we think and feel. Architecture dominates our skyline, transforms our cities, changes the way we live and work – and becomes part of our narrative.

On this course, you develop a deep technical, experiential and commercial understanding of how buildings work and the techniques and materials you need to construct them. You learn to appreciate the historical context of design, while embracing the latest cutting-edge technology and approaches.

As you progress through your studies, you’ll become mindful of how architecture impacts on the world around us. Learn how your work affects our environment – and how your practices and approaches can make a positive impact. 

You may start your degree with a simple desire to design buildings. But you’ll finish with the knowledge, skills and passion to start shaping the way we live and work – and change our world for the better.

Course information on this page relates to September 2017 entry.​​

Please note: This programme will undergo periodic review in early 2017. As such, course content shown below may change to ensure the programme remains current. Any applicants will be informed of any changes once confirmed.

Course Content

Through lectures, exercises and time in our dedicated studios, you’ll learn to think both creatively and analytically. You’ll study core subjects including building technology, materials and architectural science and become adept at Building Information Modelling and Computer Aided Design.

You’ll also develop strong presentation skills and cover a range of key competencies throughout your course, including:

  • architectural drawing and presentation skills
  • building design, interpreting a brief and meeting clients’ needs
  • construction technology – how buildings are structured and constructed
  • construction materials and finishes
  • Law and regulatory controls relating to design of buildings
  • specification writing
  • architectural detailing
  • conservation and refurbishment of buildings
  • architectural science – heating, cooling, ventilation etc.
  • Innovation and sustainability
  • Professional practice, the business of architectural practice

Preparing for your future career is a priority. The course structure gives you an invaluable opportunity to study a four-year sandwich degree, spending your third year immersed in the industry with a placement at an architectural practice. There are also opportunities to study abroad, collaborate on research and get real-world experience – all designed to prepare you for your next step after graduation. 

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

Year One

Subject: 2 x 20 credits
Your first term introduces you to the world of architectural technology, giving you insight into the ever-changing role of a practitioner in this field. In a series of lectures and exercises you’ll explore the design, construction and servicing of low rise domestic buildings. And you’ll develop your skills in computer aided drawing and virtual and physical model making.

Field one: collaborate - 20 credits
Widen your horizons by joining students from other courses to collaborate on a project. You’ll take inspiration from other disciplines to build on your experience and expand your creativity – and use your skills and artistic insight to apply them to your work. 

Constellation: concept - 40 credits
This module introduces you to the wider world of ideas, theory and contextual studies to help you develop your academic research skills and critical thinking. You’ll focus on particular areas of interest in study groups and you’ll become familiar with the exciting trans-disciplinary research and expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design.

Year Two

Subject - 40 credits
Improve your practice knowledge and skills through lectures and exercises – covering design, construction and servicing of medium rise, framed buildings. You’ll continue to build on your presentation and technical drawing skills as well as your professional development.

Field two: explore - 40 credits
You’ll expand your experiences with challenging projects designed to encourage you to explore and experiment outside your immediate discipline. This transformative opportunity leads to new thinking and innovation and opens up all kinds of future possibilities. You’ll take on exciting projects that challenge you in new ways. You can also choose to travel, take a work placement, start your own business or try something new.

Constellation – architectural science 40 credits
This module focuses on the science of architectural technology. You’ll explore the servicing of buildings, fire, drainage and environmental controls. And you’ll apply and demonstrate your knowledge through learning activities and studio projects.

Year Three

Subject - 40 credits
This is your opportunity to actively plan and start your career – whether you become a professional or take your studies further. You’ll gain deeper insight into the role of a professional architectural technologist and continue to work more independently. 

Field three: consolidate - 40 credits
Your final term is dedicated to a major project and an exhibition of your work. This is where you draw together everything you’ve learned during the course and is the launch pad to your future career. 

Constellation: contribution
Your practice is underpinned by your knowledge. Demonstrate your research and analysis skills in your final constellation submission, where you’ll explore ideas in both written and practical forms.

Learning & Teaching

From the outset, you will gain hands-on experience in practical studio sessions and workshops – developing your core material skills. Lectures, lead by members of the academic staff, will broaden your theoretical understanding of your field, whilst smaller, targeted seminars are designed to provide guidance for meeting more individual intellectual and practical demands.

Group work will give you the opportunity to forge working relationships with your peers (collaboration which have frequently extended into extra-curricular or personal projects thereafter). As early on as in your second term, sharing a brief with students across different disciplines from within the school, you will engage with your own perspective to assert your skills and interpretations in the wider context of other mediums and creative thinking.

Allocated to you each year, your personal tutor will provide dedicated support, encouraging you to evolve a critical opinion of your work and perspective as well as the necessary skills for self-reflection and autonomous working.

Motivating yourself – from independent research and development right through to production – will be key to your academic experience. This will frequently be measured by the maintenance of a Personal Development Plan (or PDP), which is designed to start as a focal point for your aims and experimentalism, eventually serving as a comprehensive portfolio through which you can reflect upon a quality body of work.

The opportunity to showcase your designs, in specially co-ordinated programs, will provide you with practical experience in exhibiting your work. A professional emphasis, particularly in the second half of your studies, will similarly build on your vocational skills by introducing you to the industry through guest speakers, placements and experiential assignments with existing agencies. Your studies will often be enhanced through the use of the university's e-learning system.


Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:

SKILLS: The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.

CONTEXT: Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, environmental and ethical issues and will often be explored in your 'Theory and Context' modules.

IDEAS: Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your written work, as well as being evident in your practical progress.

Each of these criteria is given equal weighting during the assessment process. That is to say that they are seen as equally important and critical to your development; an emphasis which is designed, for example, to enable a more well-rounded skill set from a student who may be skilled technically, but weak in generating ideas, or a student with much creative flair who may struggle to hone a broad concept into a strong, individual design.

We provide a number of ways for you to track your progress en route to submitting your work for marking. Understanding that the emphases will revolve around the core areas of skills, context and ideas, you will also become familiar with the structured assessment form used by your tutors and learn to relate to your work back to the intended learning outcomes of each brief.

The main types of formative assessment are; academic (feedback from your tutors); peer (from your course-mates or project partners); and self-assessment (which is your own critique, in light of other forms of feedback). You won't just be receiving feedback at the end of a brief, however – your tutors will often assess your progress as your work develops, providing formative feedback at crucial moments where it is hoped to encourage you to take risks, maintain your motivation or shape-up your ideas ahead of deadline.

Employability & Careers

Whilst your learning is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable designer and intellectual, your curriculum is similarly structured with your potential in mind.

As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with significant focus on real world experience; from building contacts and undertaking placements to live briefs and, should you choose so, support in forming your own business.

You can elect to take a route through your second and final years of studies where you can engage with businesses or launch your own for the moment you graduate. In your final year, rather than submit a dissertation, you have the option of devising a detailed business plan.

Throughout your time at CSAD, you will be meeting and hearing from professionals within your industry, honing your skills and ideas for commercial and professional advantage. Cross-disciplinary projects will prepare you for teamwork later on, whilst live briefs will prepare you for deadlines and the demands of tight specifications.

Graduates from the programme are well placed to join architectural practices, working as architectural technologists. You are encouraged to continue your professional development by gaining chartered membership of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Please note: The following entry requirements relate to September 2017 entry and use the new UCAS tariff.  Please refer to our Entry Requirements for further information on the new tariff, or contact Admissions if you have any questions.

Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, five GCSEs including English Language (or Welsh First Language), Mathematics and Science at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England) Our typical offers will include:

  • 96 - 104 UCAS Tariff Points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
  • CCC - BCC / 96 - 104 from at least 3 A Levels within relevant subjects: Science/Maths/Technology; or grades CC - BC at A level along with the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma grade C
  • QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit Merit Merit - Distinction Merit Merit within a relevant subject
  • 96 - 104 from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers from relevant subjects: Science/Maths/Technology 
  • 96 - 104 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x H2 grades from relevant subjects (minimum grade H4 considered)
  • 96 - 104 Access to HE Diploma within a relevant subject

For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or BTEC or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered. Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be called to an interview with the Admissions Tutor.

If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn’t listed please either contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search for the entry requirements.

If you are a UK or EU student intending to enter the first year and are confident you will meet the academic level (the tariff points) for your preferred undergraduate course, then you should apply through the usual means (UCAS in the UK) as detailed on the applications page of the Cardiff Metropolitan University website.

International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Selection Procedure and Interview Days:
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application in which we consider:

i. Personal enthusiasm for the subject of architecture and/or the technologies of architecture and building
ii. Academic Achievement and ability

Applicants considered for a place will be invited to a ‘taster day’ at which you can meet staff and see at first hand some of the work carried out here.

The standards at Cardiff School of Art & Design are set very high. We have a reputation for creative academic research and student attainment to maintain. As our courses receive far more applications than we have places, you can expect that we will choose the most enthusiastic, inquisitive and able to study with us.

However, it is important to know that the way we judge real ability is not based upon exam results alone. When you apply to study for a degree at Cardiff School of Art and Design, the subject team will want to know about you as a person. They will need to find out if you are serious and well informed about your choice of subject. They will also want to know whether you are equipped with the skills and attitudes that would enable you to make the best use of your studies with us.

Interview Days are a great introduction for both parties. We like to talk to you in person about your work and aspirations, whilst also having the opportunity to show you around the school and its facilities – they will, after all, play a central role in the next three years for those whose applications are successful. The same is true of Cardiff itself, so interview days make an ideal opportunity to experience the city and hear all about what it can offer you as part of student life.

For more information about Art & Design Interview Days, please click here.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to

Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD 


CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing. 

In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to Cardiff FabLab is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use. 

For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit

Field trips and visits 

Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact:

Subject leader, Anthony Whyman:
Tel:  029 2020 1558

Admissions Tutor, Nick Evans
Tel:  029 2020 5011

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Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting