MArch Sustainable Architecture

Course Structure

Module content

The following modules are delivered via a lively mixture of practical workshops, studio-based design work, site visits, seminars and lectures.

Integrated Design Project 1

This first design module provides a vehicle for learning about integrating conceptual design thinking with sustainable design and technologies to create innovative and technically resolved buildings that provide users with uplifting environments. Initial design ideas are developed through sketching, modelling and by testing environmental design and construction solutions. The module offers students the opportunity to creatively develop an initial design idea into a realistic and sustainable building solution.


Integrated Design Project 2

This module expands the scope of Integrated Design Project 1 by addressing sustainability at a settlement scale as well as a building scale. Through a live consultation event(s) with a specific community, students will be given the opportunity to think about how the design of cities and towns can affect sustainable lifestyles and what role architects might have in this context. Students will work in groups to devise settlement scale interventions as well as developing an individual project to support the community’s sustainability ambitions.


Design and Build Project

This hands-on module requires students to design and detail a small structure that can be built within a set budget and the timeframe of one week. Two or more projects from the student cohort will be selected and built by the whole student group. Past examples of built structures include a floating platform which was published in the AJ, a bird hide and a ‘hairy hut’ made with thatched walls and roof.


Architectural Analysis through Writing 1

This module guides students through the development of different ways of writing for academic and practice-based contexts. It also encourages students to analyse their architectural experiences by thinking and articulating their thoughts in writing. Students are also encouraged to reflect and write about their own academic and professional development.


Architectural Analysis through Writing 2

Building on Architectural Analysis through Writing 1, this module prepares students for the dissertation.



The dissertation module offers students the opportunity to develop detailed specialist knowledge of a subject related to the built environment and sustainability of their choice. Research methods are introduced to students and, under the supervision of an academic member of staff, students research their chosen topic and prepare a 10,000 word dissertation than may be linked to their Final Design Project or be a stand-alone topic.


Professional Studies

The Professional Studies module runs the full length of the course and relates what students are learning in their other modules to the practice of architecture. A variety of topics ranging from starting an architectural practice to the impact of modern methods of construction on the industry are included.


Final Design Project

The Final Design Project represents the knowledge, understanding and skills gained as a Part II student. The project topic and building type is chosen by the student, allowing each student to create their own design brief. Guided through the design development process, the students are free to investigate and innovate in fields that they are passionate about. Social, cultural and technical sustainability is at the core of the final project


Technical Report

The Technical Report is developed in parallel with the Final Design Project. Supported by industry experts in engineering, landscape design, alternative construction methods and renewables, students develop an in-depth understanding of the technical resolution of their final design. Together with the final design, a successful Technical Report represents the skills that employers in the industry are looking for.


2017-18 timetable for attendance at CAT

MArch: Sustainable Architecture teaching usually runs from Sunday to Saturday, once per calendar month. A typical week at CAT includes three to four days of design studio and one to two days joining lectures, practicals and seminars from the MSc Sustainability and Adaptation.


  Start date Finish date
  1/03/2018    17/03/2018
  15/04/2018    21/04/2018
  13/05/2018    19/05/2018
  10/06/2018    16/06/2018
  01/07/2018    07/07/2018






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Attendance Timetable 2018-2019 

Download the Course Handbook


Successful completion of the programme MArch Sustainable Architecture at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Master of Architecture (MArch) by UEL. The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board.    


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