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.
The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) enabling graduates to progress to become fully chartered members in this diverse and exciting profession.
Subject: Architectural Design - 30 credits
Subject: Architectural Technology - 30 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.
Subject: Exploring Architectural Technology - 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.
Subject: The Architectural Technology Professional - 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: Exposure - 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.
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.
*modules available through the medium of Welsh
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.
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.
During your first year of study you can expect to receive between 12 and 19 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
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
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSEs to include English Language (or Welsh First Language) and Mathematics* at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)
Dependent on overall academic profile and strength of personal statement, our typical offers will include:
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE
Mathematics – Numeracy.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff. 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. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking
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.
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 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
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.
How to Apply:Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
Full-time applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at
www.ucas.com/apply. Part-time applications should be made direct to the university at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/selfservice. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.
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 www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
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.