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Built Environment

Architectural Technology - Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) (Subject to Approval)

Start Date: 16th September 2024
Code: PHPC1144


Duration: 3 Years Part-time
Start date: 16th September 2024
End date: 11th June 2027
Day: Mon
Time: 09:00-21:00

Course fee: FREE

Course Content

This new Level 5 programme is a three year apprenticeship where you will be employed from day one of the course and study one day per week. On success completion of the programme you will graduate with an Ulster University Foundation Degree in Architectural Technology and the opportunity to top up to an Hons Degree and progress to becoming a Chartered Architectural Technologist.

As an HLA you will gain valuable work experience within architectural technology from your employer as well as gaining a recognised professional qualification and earning a regular salary (at least the national minimum wage). In addition you or your employer are not required to pay tuition fees for the HLA programme.

For more details on Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLA) at the College including the benefits and eligibility criteria please refer to our Higher Level Apprenticeship page.

The Foundation Degree in Architectural Technology, which is validated by Ulster University, focuses on the technical aspects of building design and construction and includes a focus on sustainable and innovative design within the ever-evolving modern built environment.  

Architectural technologists develop conceptual design through to final construction ensuring buildings are well designed and detailed, whilst being functional and energy efficient.  The course is ideal for people who are interested in a career in Architectural Technology, who require a Foundation degree to progress to higher academic qualifications and/or to enhance employment prospects.   

The course will be delivered on a part-time basis over three years with attendance in college on one day per week. The remaining four days will be spent with the employer. Generally, students must source and secure eligible employment themselves, but the college may be able to assist by directing you to current vacancies and employers who are actively recruiting HLA. (Further details on this will be available upon application and interview) 

Progression is by articulation to the second year of Ulster University’s BSc Hons Architectural Technology and Management, with a further two years of study required.  Within Ulster University alternative routes include the BSc Hons in Building Surveying.  Alternatively, you can undertake further study for a degree in another construction-related discipline or continue in full time employment in the construction industry. 

Key areas of study: 

  • Architectural Technology 
  • Construction Technology 
  • Architectural Design Project 
  • Digital Construction 
  • Mathematics and Structures 
  • Materials and Comfort 
  • Design Principles and Management 
  • BIM Applications 
  • Building Refurbishment and Design 
  • Supervised Work Based Learning (Placement) 

If you are not eligible for the HLA programme you can still complete the Foundation Degree part time as a fee paying student.

Special Features

In college, teaching will be supported and reinforced through a series of guest speaker presentations, relevant site and study visits and other special events.

Assessment Methods

Assessment is a combination of coursework, practical and written examination including work-based learning which is covered by the work placement element of the course.   

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria for the Higher Level Apprenticeship, applicants must also satisfy the Ulster University General Entrance Requirements as specified in the University General Regulations and at least one of the following: 

  • A minimum of five passes at GCSE Grade C or 4 and above, which must include Mathematics and English Language (approved equivalents can be found at www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements), and either: 
  • A minimum tariff of 64 UCAS points to include at least one specified subject at Grade D or above at GCE/VCE A Level from the following list: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Biology, Geography, Applied Science or Double Award Science, Life and Health Science (single or double award), Technology (including Technology & Design, Design & Technology, Environmental Technology, Environmental Science and Digital Technology), Art/Art & Design or Media Studies; 


  • A Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma or National Extended Diploma in Construction, Civil Engineering, Building Engineering, Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering or Applied Science with minimum grade of Merit, Pass, Pass; 


  • A minimum tariff of 64 UCAS points with a combination of A Level and/or BTEC Level 3 Awards.  The subject requirement must be met either through the A Level or the BTEC award (see a and b above). 
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: a minimum tariff of 64 UCAS points with four subjects at Higher Level, including one subject at H3 from Physics, Maths, Technology, Chemistry, Biology or Engineering. Must include English and Maths at min grade H6 or O4. 
  • Scottish Highers: a minimum tariff of 64 UCAS points to include one B from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or a Technology or Engineering subject. Scottish Advanced Highers: a minimum tariff of 64 UCAS points to include one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or a Technology or Engineering subject. Plus GCSE Maths and English at grade C or 4 and above. 
  • Evidence of an ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning which must be submitted in accordance with the College Policy Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) Higher Education Process available on the college website. Plus a minimum of five passes at GCSE Grade C or 4 and above, which must include Mathematics and English Language (or approved equivalents: see 1 above). 
  • Minimum 45% in approved Access to HE Diploma course in Science, Mathematics, Physics or Engineering. 

As an Architectural Technology student, you will gain a broad range of knowledge in the design and construction of the Built Environment.  These skills will integrate design utilising CAD or BIM with aspects of material specification, human comfort, economics, estimating, law and contracts.  There are a range of potential employment opportunities and roles with Architectural practices, contractors (BIM and Design coordination), Department of Infrastructure, Building Control and companies within the construction supply chain such as Concrete products and Architectural Facades companies.

Union Street
BT52 1QA
0333 034 8197