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Digital Architecture and Construction MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: 1 year full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Digital technologies have altered the field of architecture significantly in recent years, resulting in an increasing demand for digital specialists in the profession.

This course will enable students to challenge current and prevailing digital orthodoxy in the built environment and determine strategies to future-proof design and construction processes. You'll acquire the digital theoretical, multi-disciplinary, technology and design management skills to become leaders in the field of digital architecture and construction.

The course focuses on the knowledge, methodologies and reasoning behind software, preparing you to adapt to any existing or emerging software and technology in the architecture and construction industries. This includes our key specialisms including computational design, parametric modelling, mixed-reality, building information modelling (BIM), building performance analysis, historical building information modelling (HBIM), rapid prototyping, and sustainability.

  • Based in our Grade II* listed Gothic Revival Style Arkwright building, you'll work with our specialist facilities and design studios, including our Creative and Virtual Technologies lab.
  • Our studio-based culture provides a dynamic and integrated learning environment that emphasises intellectual development and collaboration between students, academic staff and postgraduate researchers.
  • Benefit from our team of expert academic staff who specialise in digital design in architecture and have significant experience of working in practice.
  • Hear from visiting experts and discuss contemporary issues in architecture; recent industry speakers have included a number of RIBA Stirling Awards prize winners.

Keep up to date!

Follow our MSc Digital Architecture and Construction Instagram channel to find out more about the course, our projects and students.

What you’ll study

The course will cover:

  • Sophisticated digital approaches to design analysis, underpinned by the systematic integration of architectural intentions, construction management and materials technology.
  • Relationships between digital theory and practice, focused on design project management for profitable business administration.
  • The critical evaluation of issues related to design, technical research, construction and professional management in social and cultural contexts.
  • Architectural technology - and relevant specialisms within it - applied to the identification of new professional, digital and technical opportunities and constraints in the built environment.
  • Advanced and effective digital communication techniques applied to a range of built environment projects and scenarios.

Course structure

The course is formed of seven core modules, one of which is a large scale dissertation / applied research project. You seven taught modules will total 180 credit points. The modules’ credit points are weighted based on the total time you can expect to spend studying the module content, both in terms of contact hours and non-contact hours.


Course overview

Module title Credit points Core or optionalSemester

Digital Architecture and Construction

20 credits Core 1

Collaborative BIM

20 credits Core 1

Applied Research

20 credits Core 1

Computational Design

20 credits Core 2

Building Performance

20 credits Core 2

Law of Digital Practice

20 credits Core 2

Dissertation

60 credits Core 3

Digital Architecture and Construction

20 credit points

  • This module will teach you the theories and provide you with experience of using advanced digital design techniques and methodologies to support architectural design and construction processes.
  • You'll explore theories of digital architecture and construction, mixed reality (including virtual reality, augmented reality), rapid prototyping and 3D printing, historical building information modelling (HBIM) and 3D data acquisition and processing.
  • You'll develop conceptual, methodological and technical skills in architectural design and construction, and have opportunity to develop cross-disciplinary understanding of professional relationships, ways of working and areas of responsibility in the industry and related disciplines.

Collaborative BIM

20 credit points

  • This module provides you with an overview of the multi-disciplinary nature of building information modelling (BIM) and its collaborative methodologies, technologies and processes.
  • You'll gain hands on experience in developing collaborative BIM models, merge models of different natures for coordination purposes, and undertake clash detection, cost analysis and construction planning.
  • You'll explore various BIM packages (e.g. Revit, NavisWork and Synchro 4D) while developing an understanding of working with data merging, sharing and interoperability across various BIM platforms.

Applied Research

20 credit points

  • This module enables you to demonstrate your ability to conduct an independent investigation into an area of your choosing (from a list of available topics related to digital architecture and construction), leading to either a theoretical or design-based report.
  • The output of this module will develop a clear, concise and coherent research proposal on your chose topic(s) which will underpin your dissertation / applied research project later in the year.
  • Delivered through lectures and seminars, the module will provide an overview of a range of real-life research projects, highlighting appropriate research methodologies, languages, methods, knowledge and skills.

Computational Design

20 credit points

  • You'll be provided with the essential conceptual, methodological, and technical knowledge and skills to support the architectural and urban design process, by engaging with contemporary trends in computational design.
  • The core content of this module focuses on three main areas: parametric modelling, computer scripting for design purposes and physical computing in architecture.
  • You'll explore the applicability of parametric modelling in the building life cycle, computer programming using a scripting language (e.g. Python) for its application in the design process, and physical computing to support the construction, evaluation, and communication of interactive physical prototypes that respond and adapt to the analogue world. For this, you'll use common microcontroller platforms (e.g. Arduino).

Building Performance

20 credit points

  • This module focuses on three core aspects of building performance and their performance during the building life cycle: acoustic comfort, energy efficiency and building emergency evacuation.
  • You'll explore building thermal performance in terms of heat transfer, human comfort and user behaviour, and acoustic comfort in the context of building acoustics, sound insulation, indoor noise level and reverberation times of different buildings.
  • You'll be provided with opportunities to design, evaluate and optimise different building components to achieve optimal performance, with a focus on the thermal, acoustic quality, and fire safety of new and existing buildings. This will also enable you to gain hands-on experience of using a range of simulation tools including crowd movement simulation.

Law of Digital Practice

20 credit points

  • This module provides you with a critical insight into the potential legal issues of data sharing between parties including consultants, manufacturers, facility managers and contractors in a digital environment (including BIM platforms).
  • You'll be exposed to real-life case studies which utilise different methods of dispute resolution, including examples of BIM-supportive contract framework, copyright and intellectual property, liabilities, risk management, process, data and interoperability.

Dissertation 

60 credit points

This module offers you the option to complete a dissertation formulated as a written thesis, or a 'research by design' thesis where you'll utilise different digital design communication tools to lead investigation and invention. You must select one option only.

  • This module provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent research project where you'll apply the academic, digital an technical skills gained throughout your studies.
  • You'll build on the research proposal submitted in your Applied Research (20 credit) module and obtain comprehensive feedback to enable you to develop a robust research project.
  • The module offers supervisory meetings throughout the academic year to support and monitor your progress.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Craig J. Gregory

Digital Architecture and Construction

The course suited what I wanted to continue learning and improving in my own technical skills and knowledge within Digital Architecture. The skills that are being taught on this MSc course are those which are at the forefront of larger companies out there.

Producing the digital specialists that industry needs

Dr Moulay Chalal and Professor of Digital Architectural Design, Benachir Medjdoub, provide an overview of the course and insights into the opportunities you'll have at NTU.
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How you’re taught

How will I learn?

  • Through the use of regular formative feedback, reflection and review, your learning will be developed and refined in the area of specialism that you wish to follow.
  • Teaching and learning methods include lectures and seminars, tutorials, critiques, case studies, workshops, visiting industry speakers and directed and independent learning.
  • Non-contact hours include direct out-of-classroom reading and activities, and independent learning and reading is deemed necessary to achieve the learning outcomes for the course.
  • The course enables collaborative working across disciplines, including presentations involving students studying other (related) courses at NTU.

MSc Digital Architecture and Construction

Study trips

Field trips and study visits are an important part of your learning. Trips may include site visits and visits to practices, museums, exhibitions and events. Where a trip is mandatory it will be aligned to your modules and inform project work, and substantive costs – including travel and accommodation – will be paid for by the school. Optional trips may also be organised which can provide additional opportunities to enhance your knowledge and experience. Optional trips may incur a cost to the student. A valid passport and any associated visas will be required for trips outside of the UK.

Engage with research

The Creative and Virtual Technologies Lab is a multidisciplinary research environment where architects, artists, designers, engineers, computer scientists and human scientists collaborate to explore the potential of new visualisation techniques and digital design models and processes. This will enhance the quality of our buildings and cities in a sustainable way meeting user expectations.

Our academics are engaged in research that focuses on the understanding of the human intelligence involved in the design processes of our buildings and cities and the role advanced digital and media technologies can play in order to support the design of more economically viable and more sustainable buildings. You'll be able to learn from research-informed teaching and take part in exciting projects.

Staff Profiles

Moulay Chalal

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Moulay Larbi Chalal is a qualified Architect with three years of experience in practice. He is currently a full-time lecturer in Architectural Technology at Nottingham Trent University.

Benachir Medjdoub

Professor

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Benachir is a qualified architect with several years of experience in practice and Professor of Digital Architectural Design.

Vincent Conway

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Vince is the Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and module leader for the Planning, Surveying and Development and Projects modules at levels two and three.

Rupert C Soar

Associate Professor

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Rupert is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Technologies in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Philip Shilton

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

How you’re assessed

To ensure you get the support you need to select your individual learning pathway and achieve the relevant module learning outcomes, a review will undertaken on commencement of your studies to appraise your level of professional skills and expertise (a skills audit). Through this you'll identify strengths, weaknesses and potential for development and workshops will be offered to address individual learning requirements.

  • All assessment methods are coursework based. Assessments vary from module to module and require you to undertake practical work together with research and critical evaluation in order to demonstrate the link between theory and practice.
  • Assessment techniques include technical reports, case studies, individual and group projects and presentations.
  • An assessment schedule will be provided at the start of the academic year, and care is taken to provide you with timely, constructive, formative and summative feedback.

Careers and employability

NTU has an outstanding reputation for producing highly employable architecture graduates from all disciplines.

All of our courses has been designed to maximise the employability prospects of our graduates, equipping you with professional skills as well as enhancing and developing your design skills, technical knowledge and ability to communicate your ideas.

Our Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Throughout the year, our Employability team runs a series of events specifically for students studying in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, such as the Property, Design and Construction Fair, offering employers the opportunity to advertise roles to our students.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we’re disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From sustainable cities to smart and virtual heritage technologies, we’re inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more: ntu.ac.uk/research

NTU Built Environment Jobs Fair

Campus and facilities

Workshops and laboratories

Our Maudslay building boasts a number of industry-standard workshops and facilities. Supported by a team of expert technical staff, we offer woodwork and metal workshops, model making studios, structural testing equipment, concrete, soil and materials laboratories.

Take a look at our gallery of facilities for architectural technology students.

Future Factory Research and Consultancy facilities

You'll have access to the provisions available in the School's state-of-the-art Future Factory, which includes our Creative and Virtual Technologies lab and animation facilities. This is the only provision of its kind in the UK and fosters the collaborative and multidisciplinary expertise which is embedded throughout the course.

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2:2 honours degree in a relevant architecture or construction-related subject including, but not limited to, architecture, architectural technology, interior design, construction management, surveying and civil engineering.

Your portfolio

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your work to the University.

Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted, you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. Your interview will be held via telephone or Microsoft Teams.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Assessment of your experience will confirm that you have achieved the necessary skills in the course of your general experience.

Advanced entry

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Applying with prior qualifications

You will need one of the following:

  • Bachelors degree grade 2.2 in a relevant architecture or construction-related subject including, but not limited to, architecture, architectural technology, interior design, construction management, surveying and civil engineering, or
  • Equivalent qualification.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Your portfolio

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your work to the University.

Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted, you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. Your interview will be held via telephone or Microsoft Teams.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2022 entry

Study route Home (UK students) fees 2022
Full-time (1 year) £8,800 per year

Funding your studies

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

reparing for the financial side of student life is important, that’s why we’re here to help. You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Additional costs

In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Fees for 2022 entry

Study routeEU and International fees 2022
Full-time (1 year) £15,850 per year

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

How to apply

Applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our postgraduate pages.

Your portfolio

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your work to the University.

Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted, you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. Your interview will be held via telephone or Microsoft Teams.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

Advice for non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from applicants without prior qualifications. However, in this instance, you must have proven experience in areas related to architecture and construction, which demonstrates appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree (undergraduate) standard.

If you are applying without prior qualifications, you will need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Good luck with your application!

Apply online through our NTU Applicant Portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Your portfolio

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your work to the University.

Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted, you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. Your interview will be held via telephone or Microsoft Teams.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

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