Duration: Full-time: 1 year; part-time: 2 years.
Start date: October
Application deadline: International: 30 June / Home/EU: 31 August.
Entry requirements: At least 2:1 in relevant discipline.
Language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each of the four components) OR TOEFL internet 100 (at least 24 in each of the four bands).
Fees and funding
MPhil Digital Architectonics
The MPhil in Digital Architectonics is an MPhil by research which provides participants with a theoretical and practical understanding of how software tools are constructed, extended and operated, combined with a critical understanding of how they contribute to current building industry design practices.
The programme encourages an approach which spans the disciplines of computational geometry, parametric modelling, computer graphics, architecture, structural engineering and environmental design.
The uniquely joint nature of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering makes this course the ideal environment in which to investigate the role of the computer in modern practice.
It is possible to extend the research by another two years to reach Doctoral level.
A research degree:
- Full-time study: 12 months
- Part-time study: 24 months.
You will learn chiefly through your own investigation, which will comprise:
- technical skills acquisition
- a case study
- preliminary practical work
- a major project (involving software implementation, a realised design project and a written dissertation).
The project work will be backed up by one-on-one supervision, group oriented, transferable skill training and a dedicated seminar series.
We encourage attendance at certain complementary undergraduate units to further build technical skills where necessary and help contextualise the research. Such research-oriented units are already offered to final-year Master's students in the Department and might include:
- Lightweight Structures
- Façade Engineering
- Computer Aided Design.
You will also be required to attend University research postgraduate training courses.
Project work is divided into three phases:
- You will be acquiring relevant technical skills through attending workshops in parametric modelling, scripting and programming.
- You will also carry out a preliminary case-study of a relevant completed building and produce a report of 2,000-3,000 words on the design processes involved.
Case-study buildings will tend to be those of innovative form, involving parametric design, unusual environmental challenges and CAM production. They might include British Museum Great Court, Swiss Re, Eden Centre, Waterloo Station, Weald & Downland Museum, Landsowne Road Stadium or others in which members of the Department have been engaged.
- A small-scale software project to demonstrate the use of technical skills acquired and investigate possible avenues for the major research focus.
- You will work on a sustained individual project and prepare a final thesis (about 15,000 words) for assessment. This thesis will demonstrate the implementation of some innovative design software, either free-standing or as an extension to some existing package, along with a design for a building or structure (real or imagined) realised through using the software.
- The final thesis will be examined formally, by internal and external examiners, through a viva at which you will be expected to demonstrate your practical work including the use of the software you have developed.
- Technical knowledge
- Appreciation of the potential of algorithmic and parametric design methods in architecture, structural and environmental engineering
- Understanding of the IT workflow used to realise multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering design projects
- An appreciation of the emerging unresolved issues in application of IT to design and construction of innovative buildings.
- Reduce a domain of design to a data structure supporting algorithm
- Move from specific design considerations to the general through a process of abstraction
- Think of design as the exploration of a parametric solution space
- Professional practice
- Computational methods for solving geometrical problems
- Computer programming and macro writing
- Parametric and constraint-driven design
- Rapid prototyping.
- Literature review
- Synthesise a comprehensive and critical review of an appropriate technical area
- Plan a logical workflow, with milestones and deliverables that on completion will result in a holistic solution to the problem
- Author and produce written reports to a technical and literate standard consistent with the requirements of UK industry
- Design and deliver oral reports, and defend them in public
- Mature and discriminatory office IT skills.
The course is designed to attract postgraduate students with some experience of architectural and structural engineering practice although applicants with related backgrounds will be considered. Normally, at least a good 2.1 honours degree in architecture, engineering, computer science or equivalent will be required.
Candidates will be required to demonstrate prior experience of computer programming, from a basic level such as having written Macros or CAD scripts, upwards. Some experience of programming, and of architectural or structural engineering practice, is desirable.
Candidates should expect to be interviewed prior to admission.
The minimum non-graduate qualifications acceptable for admission to the University of Bath are:
- A Diploma of Architecture of a recognised School of Architecture
- Membership by examination of a recognised Professional Institution of at least Associate status
- A relevant postgraduate diploma
- Extended and responsible experience in a relevant field in industry, in teaching or in a government establishment, together with authorship of technical papers or other work of an acceptable academic standard, e.g. design work
Except where otherwise stated, these conditions refer to candidates for the Degree of Master only.
- See the International students website for details of entry requirements based on qualifications from your country
- All non-native speakers of English are required to have passed English language tests as follows:
- Either IELTS 7.0 (with not less than 6.5 in each of the four components) or TOEFL 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test) with a score of not less than 4 in TWE or 100 (internet-based test) with not less than 24 in each of the components.
Only English language tests taken in the last two years are valid for entrance purposes.
To apply for an MPhil Digital Architectonics you must complete our online application form.
- You will be required to register for the online application system, after which you will receive a username and password to log in to your application
- Complete the online application form. If you supply contact details for your referee/s on the correct part of the application form (including email address) we will contact them automatically for a reference
- Upload copies of your transcripts and certificates. If you have not completed your studies please provide copies of the transcripts you have to date
- Upload copies of IELTS or TOEFL results (for non-native speakers of English).
- For International students the application deadline is 30 June
- For Home/EU students the application deadline is 31 August.
You will be required to produce the originals of all documents at registration (transcripts/degree certificates/IELTS or TOEFL results).
Applications are processed as quickly as possible. Please be aware that we experience peak times for admissions so an early application is advisable.
Your application will not be considered until you have uploaded copies of your transcripts and we have received an academic reference.