School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Architectural Technology and the Environment

Do you want to build a sustainable future? Our forward-thinking, environmentally-focused degree will give you the skills and knowledge to become a creative, analytical professional tackling the challenges faced by tomorrow’s construction industry. Understand the role of technology in building design. Engage with industry professionals and current trends. Get to grips with the social, cultural, physical and technological factors at play – so you’re perfectly primed for your first job.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 91 per cent of students agreed staff made the subject interesting and 100 per cent were in a professional/managerial job at six months.

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Ross Nunn:

"Learn software as soon as possible because this makes you, as an employee, hugely valuable within a company. This is perhaps the most important thing I’ve realised going through the application process myself: make yourself stand out and therefore make the most of your time at university."

Read more from Ross in his case study.

Key features

  • Stand out with a degree that’s fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and join our alumni who have been nominated for prestigious excellence awards.
  • We have very good KIS results – 91 per cent of students agreed staff made the subject interesting and 100 per cent of students were in a professional/managerial job at six months. (Unistats).
  • Distinguish yourself by learning about design and how designers think – our studio-based course is only one of two in the UK based in Arts and Humanities faculties.
  • Lay strong foundations for a successful career using our industry links to secure an optional one-year work placement. Working with a practising architectural technologist, you’ll consolidate the knowledge you gained in your first two years, whilst securing both the practical and theoretical experience that’s invaluable to employers once you graduate.
  • Deepen your understanding of the construction industry by collaborating with Architecture, Building Construction Management and Building Surveying students as part of project design teams. You’ll work in these interdisciplinary teams on different modules across the first, second and final stages of the programme, reflecting how project teams work in the real world.
  • Learn from our dedicated teaching staff – all professional architects, environmentalists, building scientists, ecologists and landscape designers – through lectures, design reviews and specialist workshops. They’re all engaged in active research and have internationally recognised expertise in architectural conservation and sustainability.
  • Focus on work carried out over an extended period of time, with the depth of understanding and insight that brings – we assess more than 80 per cent of our degree by coursework rather than exam.
  • Travel overseas as part of our course – you’ll visit Paris in your first year, Berlin in your second and various EU countries in your third (with the travel and accommodation costs included as part of your course fee).
  • Work with the latest in laser cutter and 3D rapid production equipment. You’ll also have access to woodwork and metalwork workshops staffed by full-time technical tutors.
  • Be inspired by your surroundings in our eye-catching Faculty of Arts and Humanities Building, where you can collaborate on projects with students and staff in Fine Art, Art and Performance, Graphics and Photography, 3D Design and Humanities.
  • Take part in our Continuing Professional Development events, where the country’s industry experts will keep you up-to-date on topics including building regulations and energy standards.
  • Join the Plymouth Architecture and Design Society and be inspired by fortnightly lectures that bring architects, engineers and designers into the school to showcase and discuss their work with you, or sign up with the Plymouth University Building Society (PUBS) for excellent socialising and industry-networking opportunities.
  • The CIAT Visiting Panel, during the recent validation visit, identified this course as an exemplar for how cross-disciplinary education (between architectural technology, architecture and construction) should be delivered.
  • Our students have been commended for the CIAT National Student Award in both Design Project and Technical Report categories.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your Year 1, you’ll learn the core foundations of architectural technology and the environment – forming a critical understanding of the subject. You’ll study the history and theory of architecture. And, as we've structured the curriculum to accurately reflect the industry, you’ll also work with your colleagues in the studio on practical design projects, as well as examining energy systems in buildings, structures and their construction; site surveying and building law.
    Core modules
    • ATE401 Introduction to Architectural Technology and the Environment

      This module introduces students to the study of architectural technology and the role of architectural design in architectural technology, the latter as informed by a vocabulary responsive to people, place and tectonics, with an emphasis on tectonics. This introduction is underpinned by an exploration of basic graphic and three-dimensional representation skills as a means of inquiry and presentation, pursued through short projects of increasing size and complexity.

    • ATE403 Introduction to History of Architecture and Theoretical Discourse

      This module introduces students to the act and methods of (historical) inquiry and to architecture / architectural and technology as a subject matter through an examination of architecture from different time periods and cultures. It also introduces students to the theoretical discourse that informs the conception, making, experience, and interpretation of architecture / architecture and technology.

    • BLDG404PP ICT for Architecture and Construction Projects

      This module provides students with the information, communication, graphical representation and digital modelling skills needed for the design, construction and management of building projects by means of a combination of lectures and 2D CAD and BIM practicals, which will incorporate support on a one-to-one basis.

    • FAPY100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

    • ATE402 Design Praxis and Technology

      This module will provide the opportunity for students to develop their designing skills in response to people, place and Tectonics, and foster students¿ creativity through the development of their practical and intellectual skills.

    • BLDG403 Building Science and Services

      This module introduces students to building science and physics, necessary to appreciate how buildings perform. Laboratory-based sessions allow students to experience the measurement and assessment of building performance by practical experimentation with thermal comfort, daylighting, noise levels, and electricity consumption. Students also gain an understanding of the nature and provision of services in domestic buildings.

    • BLDG401 Fundamentals of Construction

      This module introduces students to the construction industry and the relationship between construction and the local, regional and global environment and presents the characteristics and requirements of the different professional disciplines involved in construction industry. It also provides students with fundamental knowledge, underlying concepts and principles in the areas of domestic building technology and the construction process.

  • Year 2
  • This year you’ll build on the knowledge you’ve acquired and continue to further your practical development. Engaging in hands-on studio design challenges, you’ll deepen your understanding of what impact your decisions have on human and environmental performance. We’ll continue to focus on sustainability, introducing you to wider environmental issues affecting building design and use. And, you’ll have the chance to travel abroad to study real buildings in the context of real cities.
    Core modules
    • ATE502 Integrated Design 2

      This module introduces students, issues of site and context leading to an architectural design project (a public/semi-public building) is the focus for considering how the coherent integration of a range of factors impinge upon the development of a design at a detailed scale with an emphasis on issues in constructional, environmental and structural systems, (building physics). Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of these, through application to given studio design projects.

    • BLDG501 Technology of Large and Innovative Buildings

      This module will expand the knowledge in building technology and processes gained in Year 1. Focusing on the design and construction of framed buildings, the module provides the student with a full understanding of current and innovative building technologies, materials and systems used in high performance framed buildings.

    • FAPY200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the Level 1 module (FAPY100), this module continues to support you with the search for your placement and preparation for the placement itself.

    • TECN501 Issues in Building Construction and Building Physics

      This module will provide the opportunity for students to further develop their understanding of issues in building construction and in designing the internal environment (building physics). Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of sustainable technologies - materials, structural systems, multi-part construction and issues of daylight. Students will work with computer software to analyse and test a particular space of the student's own design.

    • BLDG506 Contract Procedures

      Construction projects normally involve a large number of individual companies due to the fragmented supply chain in the sector. This module allows students to appreciate the complexity associated with procurement and project contract administration. It provide students with a deeper understanding of cost estimating, project feasibility studies and dispute resolution in the construction industry. Students will also gain practical experience of using computer programs used for cost estimating.

    • BLDG505 Building Services Engineering

      This module provides students with further knowledge, underlying concepts and principles in the areas of building science and building services for large and innovative buildings. Students will employ a range of techniques for the quantification of buildings performance and services, including computer simulation.

    • ATE501 Integrated Design 1

      This module introduce students to exploratory, analytical and technological studies of a series of architectural design projects to gain an understanding of, and develop, a creative thinking (i.e., design) framework with an emphasis on issues in constructional, environmental and structural systems, and building physics. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of these through workshops and precedent studies to inform given studio design projects.

  • Placement year
  • In your Year 3, you’ll do your industry placement – aided by our network of industry contacts. You’ll work with a practising architectural technologist, applying the skills and knowledge you've gained over the last two years in the real world. Over this extensive training period, you’ll immerse yourself in, and learn from, a professional environment. You’ll gain experience and confidence. And you’ll make lots of contacts – all invaluable when it comes to securing employment on graduation.
    Core modules
    • FAPY301 Architecture Technology and the Environment Placement

      You’ll undertake a 48-week period of professional training – spent as the third year of a sandwich programme with a suitable company. Consolidating the knowledge you acquired in your first two years, you’ll gain architectural technology experience in a working environment. The approved placement will prepare you for your final year as well as employment on graduating.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll further expand your understanding of design by studying buildings in use, as well as building conservation. You’ll continue to prepare for your intended career by focusing on case studies that deal with fire, health, safety and sustainability standards. And, professional practice, property and environmental law modules will round off what you've learnt over the last three years - ensuring you’re prepared and ready for your first job.
    Core modules
    • BLDG606 Construction Management Professional Practice

      This module addresses the core project management methods and practices required to operate as a professional, and operate in a professional environment in the built environment. The module also focuses on embedding knowledge and understanding issues faced by modern construction professionals in delivering construction projects in a professional and ethical manner.

    • ATE602 Integrated Design and Technology 2

      This module introduces students issues of site and context leading to an architectural design project (a public/semi-public building) is the focus for considering how site investigation and design criteria to be considered during the development of a design are achieved at both a strategic and detailed level, with an emphasis on issues in material consideration experiential tectonic construction, environmental and structural systems, specification writing and costing. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of these through application to given studio design projects.

    • BLDG609 Built Environment Project 3

      This is primarily a student led project module encouraging the integration of knowledge and skills developed on the programme. The module involves applied research and undertaking a realistic professional commission in a collaborative and multidisciplinary exercise, where each student is required to complete those tasks relevant to the specific discipline.

    • ATE601 Integrated Design and Technology 1

      This module introduces students issues of site and context leading to an architectural technology design project (a public/semi-public building) is the focus for considering how site investigation and design criteria to be considered during the development of a design are achieved, with an emphasis on issues in material consideration, experiential tectonic construction, environmental and structural systems (building physics) at both a strategic and detailed level. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of these through application to given studio design projects.

    • BLDG601 Research Methods in the Built Environment

      This module provides students with a solid basis to undertake in depth research in a subject of their choice. It requires students to develop a research proposal that is based on a solid general knowledge of their discipline in construction. For students progressing to BLDG602, this module provides students with an understanding of the research methods necessary to undertake a dissertation in a built environment related topic.

    • BLDG603 Sustainable and Safe Construction

      With the aim of achieving a more sustainable and safe construction industry in mind, this module provides students with in-depth understanding and critical awareness in sustainability and safety related issues related to the built environment. The module focuses on developing the skills to critically appraise and reduce the impact of buildings and construction on environmental, economic, social and health and safety aspects whilst meeting the needs of a sustainable built environment.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Architectural Technology the Environment 1647

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

A level
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points.   

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Five passes including Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New students 2017-18

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Classroom based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Laboratory based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc £9,250
2 year fast-track £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,250 tbc £9,250
PGCE £9,250 tbc £9,250
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc tbc tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc tbc
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
PGCE £770 tbc £770

*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2017-18 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Architecture, design and environment - facilities and resources

Our designated architecture studio spaces provide a unique learning environment. A range of well-resourced specialist laboratory, CAD, and materials workshop facilities are all in close proximity, putting industry standard facilities at your fingertips.

Find out more about the facilities and resources available to you

Ross Nunn - BA (Hons) Architectural Technology and the Environment graduate

I would absolutely recommend studying at Plymouth. In fact, I have recommended it to people because the overall atmosphere of the University, as well as the quality of lecturers and professors teaching ... means that it is the perfect place to learn
Read more

BA (Hons) Architectural Technology and the Environment - Graduate profile, Karl Parsons

Our graduates succeed. Whether it’s a career in architectural technology, sustainability and energy assessment or architectural conservation, the job you want is out there. And we’ll help you get it.
Find out more about Karl's career

BA (Hons) Architectural Technology and the Environment - Careers

Do you want to design and construct new buildings? Or conserve ancient structures? Whatever your aspirations, we’ll work closely with you throughout your degree to give you the support you need – so you’re ready to play a lead role in our planet’s future.

Find out more about how we prepare you for your career

Placements with BA (Hons) Architectural Technology and the Environment

Work-based learning and placements offer tremendous learning opportunities which enrich your experience and enhance your career opportunities

Discover more about your placement opportunities

Jacob Handford wins national student award

Architectural technology and environment student, Jacob Handford, has been commended for his outstanding work.

He recently won the prestigious Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) Student Award for both the Project and Report categories.

Find out more about the CIAT Student Award

People