Cardiff School of Art & Design>Courses>Architectural Design & Technology - BSc (Hons) Degree

Architectural Design & Technology - BSc (Hons) Degree

An Architectural Technologist is a specialist in building design and construction who is concerned primarily with the sound technical performance of buildings.

On the Architectural Design and Technology degree course at Cardiff Met, you will develop a deep technical understanding of how buildings work and the techniques and materials you need to construct them. Working primarily in a studio environment, you will learn how to design and detail many different kinds of buildings and communicate your designs effectively using the latest industry-standard software.

As you progress through your studies, you’ll become mindful of how architectural technology impacts on the world around us, both locally and globally and how your practices and approaches can make a positive environmental impact.

There will be opportunities to engage in real-world activities, including work with local communities and employers, as well as chances to experience other cultures through overseas study trips.

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) which, as the qualifying body for Architectural Technology, enables graduates to work towards becoming a fully chartered member (MCIAT).

The course is also accredited by the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), allowing graduates to become chartered members of this institute following a suitable qualifying period after graduation.

Course information on this page relates to 2022 entry

Course Content

Through lectures, seminars, exercises and time in our dedicated studios, you’ll learn to think both creatively and analytically. You’ll study core topics including architectural technology, construction 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) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), enabling graduates to progress to become fully chartered members in this diverse and exciting profession.

Year One

Subject: Architectural Technology 1 - 40 credits
Subject: Architectural Technology 2 - 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: 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.

Year Three

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. 

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.

*modules available through the medium of Welsh

Sandwich Option
The course can also be structured as a sandwich degree. Between years 2 and 3 you can work for a year in an architectural practice or similar design-oriented construction practice. This provides you with an opportunity to further develop the skills gained in years 1 and 2 and gain valuable experience in a real-world environment. Your CV and therefore your employability will be greatly enhanced.

Learning & Teaching

From the outset, you will gain hands-on experience in practical studio sessions and workshops – developing your core material skills. Lectures, led 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 architectural technologist, 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.

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 and/or Chartered Association of Building Engineers.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably have 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) 

Our typical offers will include:

  • 96 - 120 UCAS Tariff Points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and

  • 96 - 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
  • RQF National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM - DDM
  • 96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers 
  • 96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades (minimum grade H4 considered)
  • 96 - 120 points from the Access to HE Diploma

*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE Mathematics or 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 here.

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
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Selection Procedure
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview 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:
Full-time applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at Part-time applications should be made direct to the university at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3

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

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 the BSc (Hons) Architectural Design and Technology Admissions Tutor Nick Evans:

Tel:  029 2020 5011

Key Course Information

Accredited by: The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

UCAS Code: W290

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Art & Design

Course Length:
Three years full-time.

Also available part-time and can take up to 6 years.

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