Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Architectural Engineering with Foundation Year




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Successful architectural design is the sweet spot within technology, science and creativity. As design boundaries are pushed even further, an Architectural Engineering degree can lead to an exciting career, shaping buildings both sustainable and spectacular.

This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build a strong foundation of knowledge in key design and built environment principles so you're ready to progress and succeed on the full BSc (Hons) Architectural Engineering degree. It is an excellent route if you want to study the full honours degree, but don't meet the direct entry requirements. The full honours degree is accredited by the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), so you'll be educated to the highest industry standards.

Sustainable development and changes to the UK building regulations are driving demand for more professionals with the skills and knowledge to help create the low carbon buildings of the future. During this course, you'll join a vibrant multidisciplinary community, learning alongside architects, architectural design technologists, building surveyors, construction managers and quantity surveyors, developing your professional skills to ensure that you are working to professional standards.

Start your study journey

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying Architectural Engineering with Foundation Year, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Develop competence in essential areas of built environment professional practice
  • Build technical, analytical and problem-solving skills, ready to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Architectural Engineering degree
  • Gain hands-on experience using built environment-focused IT equipment and software
  • Build your confidence by strengthening team working, communication and study skills

Course accreditations

CABE (academic partners) logo

This is for you if...


You’re passionate about buildings and architecture and want to develop and shape the built environment


You want to study architectural engineering but don't meet the honours degree entry requirements


You're returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

Course details

All about the course

Architecture student measuring

Foundation Year

The introductory foundation year will build your understanding of situations and solving problems in the built environment. With a focus on progression, the foundation year introduces the core practical and communication skills you will need to succeed at an advanced study level.

Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to the full BSc (Hons) Architectural Engineering degree. 

BSc Honours Degree

For a further three years of study, you will study a carefully designed suite of modules which blend architecture and engineering disciplines. As you learn about structural principles, you will explore architecture theory, developing an understanding of integral systems.

Our range of modules will introduce you to the architectural design processes in year one, and you’ll begin to use sophisticated software to develop your design skills and learn how to manage design information by year two. In your final year, you’ll continue to develop a design portfolio and complete a final project of your choice where you can present to industry experts.

Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Group of architecture students

Learning experience

From our location at the heart of Greater Manchester, our expert academic team draw on close industry partnerships with architecture, engineering and construction sectors, to bring you guest lectures, networking opportunities and local architectural projects that will support your knowledge and skill progression. 

Based at our green Peel Park Campus, you will thrive in our dynamic studio environment. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to tackle real life creative project briefs, sketch ideas and make models, as you fill your Instagram feed with impressive local architecture. As a student at Salford, you’ll also showcase your design skills at our annual degree show so you will receive an immersive, rewarding learning experience.

Foundation year

Introduction to Built Environment Professional Practice

This module will introduce you to the range of sectors and professions involved in the built environment sector. You will also gain an understanding of the role of the different professions, and begin to explore the concept of health and safety in industry.

Introduction to Design Practice

The aim of this module is to provide you with an appreciation and understanding of architectural design and the factors that influence it. You will gain an understanding of architectural design in the context of the overall building procurement process, and be introduced to the role of ICT as an essential tool in built environment professional practice. Through this module you will begin to develop your expertise in commonly used built environment design representation software applications.


Introduction to Digital Built Environment

The module is to introduce the concept of digitalisation in the built environment industry and allow you to apply different digital technologies. It will also introduce you to building materials and structure.


Introduction to Building Science

This module will introduce you to many of the reasons why we need buildings. It introduces and examines how we design buildings to both passively and actively modify the internally created built environment. The concept of whole building Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is introduced in relation to thermal comfort, visual comfort, acoustic comfort and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) with the goal of instilling an understanding in the learner as to how aspects of good building design promote occupant comfort and wellbeing. Via an understanding of the physical properties of construction materials, basic scientific principles and building engineering services, you will gain an understanding of buildings in use, not just buildings under design or in construction.

IT and Study Skills

This module is designed to equip you with a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that ensure the student is likely to be successful in their chosen route of academic study on a course within the School of the Built Environment. You will develop the ability to understand what and how they are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning.

Professional Practice Project

This module introduces the process of client/architect/engineer design briefs, and particular specifications in relation to a building’s internal environment, with particular attention paid to the specification of thermal, visual, acoustic and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) design variables. Building on the theory learned in the Introduction to Building Science module, this module moves on to the design and practical application of environmental design criteria based on the previously developed understanding of environmental comfort.

You will research into, and select, various design variables during the creation of project Room Data Sheets (RDS), used by engineering consultants to design passive and active approaches to the creation of an optimum internal environment for occupant comfort and wellbeing. The module then moves on to the determination of actual environmental conditions in numerous rooms and spaces in a variety of building types via the physical use of measuring equipment. By comparing theoretical and actual design values, you will then undertake observations and Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) surveys to determine real occupant opinions and perceptions as to their working environment, with the goal of assessing those areas of design with poor feedback and the proposal of corrective measures.

Year one

Design Studio 1A

You will be introduced to architectural thinking and the implications of the relationships between people, environment and place through creative and engaging small-scale design projects. Through the projects you will practice a wide range of architectural representation techniques, from orthographic drawing to model making.

Design Technology 1

This module introduces you to construction technology, systems and services by focusing on principles of structures, construction assemblies, techniques and sustainable design of domestic architecture. Within the context of the climate emergency you will explore the fundamental approaches to construction used to achieve safe, environmentally sound tectonic strategies. The module will discuss building physics and the building’s fabric, and how its environmental services and systems need to be combined to provide physiological, thermal, visual and acoustic comfort. 

History and Theory 1

You will be introduced to the canon of western architectural history and its underlying ideological assumptions. The module locates the major practices and sites of western architecture in a wide visual, cultural and ideological context and critically examines its relevance to the practicing architect today. 

Design Studio 1B

You will develop your skills and knowledge in architectural representation and build design through larger scale design projects and live engagement opportunities.

Principles of Architectural Structure

This module aims at providing a fundamental understanding of the design principles and behaviours of structural forms, elements and systems in buildings. You will be introduced to nature as a generator of structure. You'll explore the relationship between shape, material, structural performance, loads, assembly methods and construction technology through modelling, analysis, and case studies. You will be able to understand the mutual dependencies between architectural design, structural performance and manufacturing technologies in the past and present through the knowledge of historical and contemporary structural forms and materials. The module also enables you to investigate the implications of nature, people and technology in the design of architectural structures.

Practice 1

This module introduces you to the foundational principles and integrated knowledge required for successful architectural practice, aligning with the RIBA Plan of Works. You will develop skills in design integration, environmental consciousness, construction knowledge, and professional practice, in preparation for the challenges of the architectural profession and the changing landscape of the construction industry. 

Year two

History and Theory 2

The module aims to develop the broad understanding of the history and theory of architecture focused on the examination of the histories of modern architecture. The field of enquiry will also be broadened by a consideration of urbanism and critical theory relevant to the histories being considered and demand a greater appreciation of the role of the architect in society.

Architectural Engineering Design

You will develop your ability to select and apply structural assemblies and stability systems. You will also understand how to apply mechanics to the analysis of continuous structures and analyse soil retaining systems.

Design Studio 2A

This module explores the use of architectural representation to analyse and critique urban contexts and develop contextually appropriate design propositions.  

Practice 2: Multidisciplinary Project

The multidisciplinary module allows you to engage in a multidisciplinary practice-based environment and gain an insight into industrial practice. Utilising a real-world scenario student’s work collectively and collaboratively to communicate a project solution to a panel of assessors through varying forms of media. This module is supported with a series of industrial guest speakers to offer real life practices, procedures, technologies, and communication techniques.

Design Technology 2

The module further develops your understanding of technological innovation in architecture integrating the parallel strands of Structure and Services introduced to you in year 1 through two core themes central to Building Fabric Design: Design for Climate and Sustainability and Design for Human and Life Safety. Through these themes you will develop competencies in more advanced construction techniques, systems and assemblies for non-domestic buildings and through this you will extend and develop your technical vocabulary and grasp of building physics and building fabric design for more complex building forms.  

Interior Architecture Design Studio 2B

This module enhances your prior learning and develops the opportunity to enter a national or international design competition alongside the development of a personal interior architecture design brief. Exploring interior typologies, the module aims to develop your creative potential within a future built environment context. You will extend the design brief(s) to propose innovative new approaches to interior space and extend the ideas and approaches you have explored and developed throughout the programme to date. 

Year three


Design Studio 3A

This module comprises the development of an inventive approach to architecture and the continued formation of an iterative design methodology. It builds on the formation of spatial and formal vocabulary and the interpretation and communication of ideas developed in previous design modules and asks that you both build upon and challenge accepted performance and evidence-based modes of integrated design. In this module you will investigate the power of design in all its complexity in instigating social, cultural, aesthetic, historical and technological change through proposals that are both inventive and interventionist, whilst evidencing care for the future.

Re-creating the City - Re-use and Regeneration

You will explore the theme of regeneration and application of architecture practice in the regeneration of cities and urban environments.

Practice Management and Law

This module aims to prepare you for your first year in industry by equipping you with a comprehensive understanding of the profession of architecture. You will develop an understanding of the role of the architect in society. You will learn about the management of the construction industry, the role of the architectural practice and responsibilities of each within the regulatory legal context within which architecture operates


Design Studio 3B

You will develop, apply and test your architectural design skills in the context of a complex design project. You will apply the necessary skills, competencies and understanding of a selected range of theoretical, technical, cultural, historical and professional issues, and the ability to integrate them into your designs. You will expand your design methods to include (fine) art practices, in particular those which focus on the development of spatial interventions.

Design Technology 3

This module comprises the development of tectonic rationale and detail design at a variety of scales and levels of detail and the continued formation of an iterative design methodology. It builds on the formation of technical assemblies, structural and environmental rationales and communication of detailed design solutions developed in parallel with a design task of some complexity and asks that you both build upon and challenge accepted performance and evidence-based modes of integrated design whilst seeking compliance with technical standards and regulatory frameworks for sustainability, health and life safety, and delivering a plausible and buildable project. 

Applied Architectural Engineering

This module aims to develop your ability to propose structural schemes to bridge voids, build tall and cover space. You will learn to apply risk management to the selection of schemes and understand the effects of accidental loading

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


As an Architectural Engineering student, you will spend a lot of time in the architecture studios, where you will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical formats:

  • Studio projects, both individual and in groups
  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Directed study
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment)


Assessment type will be determined by its ability to meet the desired learning outcomes in each module. Typical assessment types will include:

  • Design projects
  • Essays
  • Case study analysis
  • Precedent studies
  • Design portfolios
  • Examinations
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

Are Architects and Architectural Engineers the same? 

Architects and Architectural Engineers will collaborate closely on the same project since they're both crucial in the process of constructing buildings. An architect communicates with clients to design and create blueprints to their needs, while an architectural engineer is focused on the practical elements of designing and constructing the building and its functional systems based on those blueprints. 

Is it hard to study architectural engineering?  

Studying architectural engineering can be challenging since it involves many practical aspects and tasks, however, our students find our programmes incredibly rewarding when gaining a wide range of skills during their studies.   

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff. 

What GCSEs and A Levels do you need for architecture?  

Most of our Architecture programmes require GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/Level 4 or above and a certain number of UCAS points. The specific entry requirements for this programme can be found in the entry requirements section. 

How long does it actually take to become an architectural engineer?  

Our Architecture programmes are delivered on a full-time basis over 3 years (or 4 if a placement year is chosen). Most of our programmes also offer an added foundation year, taking your studies up to 4 years but requiring more relaxed entry requirements. 

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As an Architectural Engineering student you will learn in our carefully designed architecture studios provide an inspiring environment to develop ideas, work collaboratively and share best practice.

We also have workshops which house high specification equipment, including laser cutters and 3-D printers, to help you bring your ideas and concepts to life.

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global built environment issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


This course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. As well as gaining an introduction to architecture and the built environment, you will also build key IT, study and presentation skills, and develop your team working and project management skills during your studies.

Once you progress to complete the full BSc (Hons) Architectural Engineering degree, you'll graduate with diverse and rewarding careers opportunities ahead of you. Whilst there is demand for architectural professionals in the UK, plenty of opportunities exist throughout the world. 

As an architectural engineering graduate, you'll understand how engineering principles and technology are applied to building design. You'll have the knowledge and skills necessary to apply for a graduate role within a design or engineering practice. Salford's architecture alumni have progressed to work with regional and international design firms, government organisations and engineering consultancy practices such as MHA Architects, Walker Simpson Architects, and Mason Gillibrand Architects.

Further study

You might find you want to learn more about the built environment, so we offer a range of specialism postgraduate study options to help you take your career and interests even further. Salford graduates and alumni will also receive a significant fees discount. 

A taste of what you could become

An architectural engineer

A designer

An urbanist

An architect

A design project lead

and more...


What you need to know

Applicant profile

In addition to our academic entry requirements, we also look for certain characteristics in each applicant. Having these characteristics will not only help you to fulfil your academic potential, but they are also essential if you want a successful built environment career.

International applicants

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 points

A level

64 UCAS points, typically two grade Cs

BTEC National Diploma

MMP (BTEC Extended Diploma), MM (BTEC Diploma).

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Please contact Admissions for further information.

Access to HE

Pass in Access to HE Diploma - minimum of 64 UCAS Tariff points

Foundation Degree

Please contact Admissions for further information.

Scottish Highers

64 from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information.

International Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information.

Other Qualifications

Please contact Admissions for further information.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we receive your application, we'll assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID K134

Institution S03