Edinburgh Napier University introduces new MSc on timber architecture
Edinburgh Napier University has introduced an MSc on Timber Architectural Design and Technology - the first programme of its kind in the UK.
The programme is designed for graduates in architecture, architectural technology and other construction professions who want to become part of the growing international move towards innovative and high-performance timber building.
The MSc will equip students to work as a design professional within the timber sector  – one of the fastest growing parts of the building industry in many countries.
The programme has been developed by Edinburgh Napier’s Institute for Sustainable Construction  in consultation with professional bodies and the timber industry.
Institute director Professor Sean Smith said: “Our market research shows that employers in the UK timber building sector are facing severe skills shortages and similar gaps exist in many countries overseas.
“These employers are looking for graduates with a combination of technical know-how and commercial awareness in the design, manufacture and assembly of timber buildings and structural systems. We have designed the programme to address this demand.
“Globally we need to build two billion homes over the next 80 years. With global material resources being limited, the sustainability of timber as a renewable construction material is increasingly being recognised by industry and governments.”
Graduates of the programme will be equipped for employment in timber product suppliers, design-build firms, fabricators, builders and developers; along with professional and technical roles in the associated architectural and engineering consultancies.
The programme includes taught modules on: - Wood as a building material; offsite construction and design for manufacture, - Wood products and processing; building acoustics and sound insulation; - Energy performance; - Timber architectural form and technology, and - Timber building design. Students will also undertake a large architectural design project or a technical dissertation.
UK and EU students on the programme will be eligible to apply for scholarships and industry internships. These are organised through the beX initiative. 
The programme can be studied either full-time or part-time. The complete programme will take one year full-time or two years three months part-time. The first student intakes will be in September 2018 and January 2019.
[In the top left photo: a highly insulated modular timber building being delivered to site. Photo by Carbon Dynamic]
- The timber building sector now accounts for 20% of UK construction and is utilised in over 70% of new housing in Scotland. The ongoing growth of this sector, both in the UK and overseas, is being driven by a combination of factors including: sustainability, emerging digital design and fabrication technologies, and an increasing demand for offsite fabrication.
- Edinburgh Napier’s Institute for Sustainable Construction encompasses leading built environment applied research centres spanning: offsite manufacture, timber engineering, wood science and technology, building acoustics, energy and smart cities. During the past three years, the Institute has provided design, testing and expert services to over 300 companies, government and industry organisations in the UK and overseas. In 2015 Edinburgh Napier University was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the Institute’s internationally acclaimed work in timber engineering, wood science and sustainable building.
- The beX programme is an international initiative for students with a passion for sustainable construction. It provides industry innovation internships, MSc scholarships and employability projects with the goal of accelerating change in construction culture. For further information visit: www.napier.ac.uk/courses/browse-interests/engineering/bex