Building and planning units

Single-unit study

You can study individual units for personal or professional development without having to apply for a full QUT course.

If you successfully complete a unit, you may be eligible for credit if you decide to apply for a degree course in the future.

Units anyone can study

These units don’t have any requirements for previous study or background knowledge.

But if your previous studies were not in English, or were completed in a country where English is not the first language, you will need to demonstrate that you meet our English proficiency requirements when you apply.

Building and planning

Architecture

DAB101 Architectural Design 1: Explorations

The aim of this unit is to provide a broad introduction to the discipline of architecture and an overview of the fields of knowledge with which architects must concern themselves. Design is arguably the core activity of architecture. This design unit offers a broad introduction to the practice of design in an architectural context and is therefore offered at the commencement of the course. It uses developmental exercises to enhance your perceptions of the built environment. Analysis of the constructed environment leads to design projects that engage with issues of context, tectonics, planning, form, and spatial quality. Orthogonal drawing exercises, freehand sketching, presentation graphics and model-making all form part of the unit content. Teaching and learning activities are spread across lectures and studio-based activities.

DAB102 Architectural Design 2: Spaces

This unit examines technological and artistic processes of design within an architectural context. It seeks to provide the ability to develop architectural designs of controlled complexity, focusing on aspects of spatial quality. As such, this unit will expose you to the design of a small public building in the Brisbane area. Architectural design as a manageable process is explored through a number of exercises and design projects. Discrete steps in the process of architectural design are made explicit through staged activities that build to a complete design project. Orthogonal drawing exercises, freehand sketching, presentation graphics, and model making all form part of the unit content.

DAB201 Architectural Design 3: Dwelling

This unit provides you with an ability to develop architectural designs with a focus on aspects of problem solving through an appreciation of architectural principles and process. It advances research skills and investigates architectural principles through the examination of precedents. The unit focuses on dwelling design in the form of houses in a semi-urban or suburban context. It uses developmental exercises to enhance student perceptions of dwelling. Design problems of moderate complexity are tackled through a process of abstraction, experimentation, representation, imagination, and testing. This unit is part of the sequence of design units of the course that continues the development of your architectural design knowledge and skills. This design unit exposes architectural design as a rigorous process with measurable qualities with particular focus on dwelling, spatial qualities of residential living, and the relationship of a building to its landscape.

DAB220 Architecture, Culture and Place

The concept of culture and place are highly significant to architectural thought and production. This introductory unit surveys these concepts in the discourse and practice of architecture. It explores how culture and place are understood, interpreted and made in a range of social, historical and physical contexts. The aim of this unit is to promote your awareness of concepts of culture and place as well as learn how to interpret buildings as cultural artefacts. You will learn how to interpret and analyse architecture through socio-cultural frameworks and understand how this analysis can be applied to the process of designing buildings that support the culture for which they are produced.

Biology & environmental science

EVB102 Ecosystems and the Environment

Like all other species on the planet, humans extract energy and materials from their surrounding environment and as a result of that activity, modify ecosystems. We are part of the earth's ecological systems, and our ability to understand and manage our impact on the environment must be based on a sound knowledge of ecosystems ecology. This first year unit provides an introduction to ecosystems science through a series of lectures, workshops and field work. The unit focuses on broad-scale factors that shape ecosystems, such as energy transfer, materials cycling, climate and soils and examines the ecological patterns that emerge as a result. This knowledge is then used to assess ecosystem change and human impact on the environment. This foundational unit is relevant to environmental science and biology students and those with an interest in understanding the natural science components of sustainability.

Built environment

UXB100 Design-thinking for the Built Environment

In this introductory unit, you will gain a big picture view of the strategies and interactions that influence the sustainable development of the built environment.  Using design-thinking, you will consider the end user of built spaces and the social and cultural impacts of decisions at every stage of the project development and planning process.  You will analyse problems and consider various innovative solutions. You will learn appropriate terminology and communication strategies to communicate and negotiate with diverse stakeholders including clients, design managers, architects, project managers, urban planners, construction managers and quantity surveyors and cost engineers.  You will also learn how and when these roles intersect and how you can have a strategic impact on the project development and planning process.

UXB110 Residential Construction

This unit develops your knowledge, skills and application for residential construction management. The unit introduces current domestic construction techniques and materials that are the core of any construction process. You are taught to read plans and build a house by studying construction theory and legislation, visiting building sites, and sketching construction details. This first year unit complements UXB100 and prepares you for Integrated Construction Management and Commercial Construction Management.

UXB111 Imagine Construction Management

Imagine what your future construction management career will be like. This unit introduces you to the essential professional skills and practices you will need throughout your studies and professional career in construction, and provides a sense of identity as a construction management professional. Key concepts such as fundamentals of construction management, occupational health and safety, professional practice, ethics and sustainability are explored.

UXB112 Introduction to Structures

This is an introductory level unit that introduces structural and non structural materials used in the construction process  Most common types of construction engineering materials (timber, building boards, fibre composites, concrete, masonry, metals, ceramics, glass and granular materials) used to create modern structures are introduced and their basic properties, construction applications, behaviour, strength, durability, suitability, sustainability and limitations are discussed. The knowledge for which is vital for the construction of any building project.  The unit also provides foundation to the design of structures through introduction to the statics at an elementary level. The unit develops strong foundation to the construction management disciplines and further studies on the design of structures.

UXB115 Introduction to Modern Construction Business

This unit explores the role of construction firms as business entities in the construction industry. It introduces the business, social and economic environments in which construction firms operate, and the industry-specific challenges of growing and managing a socially responsible, forward thinking and profitable construction business. The ability to develop a business plan to competently guide business direction and growth is a core skill needed to navigate the dynamic and competitive nature of construction business. Key elements of the business plan include a competent analysis of the market, identifying and engaging key stakeholders, mitigating business risks and opportunities, and build a caring and inclusive corporate culture. This is an introductory unit and the knowledge and skills developed are relevant to construction management and related majors.

UXB121 Imagine Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering

This unit introduces the broad scope of contemporary quantity surveying activity and cost engineering. It focuses on three broad areas of professional quantity surveying and cost engineering and in doing so, considers the similarities and differences across Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering. Firstly, what it means to be a professional is considered including image and status, fees, codes of ethics, professional competence and continuing professional development. Secondly, ways in which professionals engage with a workplace including terms of appointment are explored. Finally, the work of quantity surveying and cost engineering takes place within a social and environmental context and the unit will relate interactions between business and environmental interests including the natural environment, environment economics and ecologically sustainable development.

UXB130 History of the Built Environment

During this unit you will examine the interactions of forces and events that act to produce elements of the built environment, and actively explore the role played by the built environment in shaping human history through the use of historical examples from around the world. The development of your professional understanding of our built environment is based in an appreciation of the role that you will play as part of the ongoing historical processes that shape human settlement patterns. In particular it is important to actively explore the social and environmental forces involved in the evolution of the many ways that the built environment expresses itself both across time and in different locations. The aim of this unit is to explore the role played by culture, technology, and the environment in the historical development of cities and regions.

UXB131 Planning and Design Practice

This unit will provide you with an understanding of how the environment informs the decisions and activities of built environment professionals.  You will be introduced to principles, tools, and approaches for the identification, assessment and management of environmental impacts and environmental risk. Through interaction with practitioners, you will learn about theories for environmental decision making and gain knowledge about the application of theories for environmental planning and management in practice. Lectures present environmental planning issues, policies, and methods. You will engage in dialogues on contemporary environmental dilemmas, exploring ethical and practical aspects that underpin conflict in environmental policy-making processes. Computer labs will refine the skills you acquired in site analysis units, providing you with tools to facilitate collaborative problem-solving with spatial models. This unit will aid your preparations for professional practice.

UXB132 Urban Analysis

This is a foundation unit that provides opportunities for acquiring, refining and applying quantitative, qualitative and spatial skills required for analyses of cities and regions. The unit introduces techniques required to undertake thematic and emergent qualitative analyses, descriptive statistics, communication and analyses of spatial data, use of software in professional practice of urban analyses, and contemporary real-world urban analyses. Gaining skills to confidently apply these techniques is critical for an urban planning practitioner whether working in public or private sector. The unit also helps in gaining knowledge and skills in managing collaborative projects using structured timelines and assistive technologies, reflecting on collaboration in a clear and professional manner to communicate growth in skills and competencies, and interpreting, synthesising and effectively communicating data analysis results to inform policy.

UXB133 Urban Studies

This unit introduces you to the various demographic, economic, social and physical aspects of our cities to help understand the nature of cities we live in. You will be exposed to various theoretical perspectives focusing on the growth and development of cities and their regions, with an emphasis on their spatial structure and the spatial distribution of population, land uses and economic activities within them. You will develop your knowledge and skills in understanding the growth and development of cities, using real-world examples.

UXB134 Land Use Planning

This is a foundation unit that provides opportunities for acquiring, refining and applying knowledge of and skills in land use planning and geographic information system in an integrated way. The unit introduces spatial analysis techniques required to undertake contemporary real-world urban analyses required for land use planning. Gaining skills to confidently apply spatial analysis techniques in land use planning is critical for an urban planning practitioner whether working in public or private sector. The unit also helps in gaining knowledge and skills in analysing substantive theoretical and practical concepts involved in land use planning, evaluating data and applying regulatory frameworks to inform land use decision-making, communicating land use planning concepts both visually and in writing, and proposing solutions to complex land use problems.

Civil & environmental engineering

EGB100 Engineering Sustainability and Professional Practice

This is an introductory unit for all engineering disciplines. It provides you with a wide appreciation of the engineering profession, its achievements and current and future challenges. It will introduce you to the concept of sustainability and how sustainability impacts current and future engineering ventures. It will also develop your professional skills that will be essential to your functioning as an effective professional engineer both individually and as part of a team.

Design

DYB114 Spatial Histories

This foundation unit introduces the history of the built environment that will inform your study of global architectures that have occurred over several millennia putting the present into its relative context. It is designed to integrate the discipline specific content of architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture within the broad context of a global understanding of spatial histories from multiple perspectives. The unit addresses key designs, ideas and issues that have shaped the aesthetic, environmental, socio-cultural and political factors that related to their production. It enables you to become familiar with the critical moments and paradigm shifts of the built environment through global perspectives; and develop an understanding of yourself as a participant in the continuum of the rich cultural tradition of designing and making places for human inhabitation.

Landscape architecture

DLB211 Landscape and Wellbeing

This unit introduces you to key contemporary issues that are foundational to the understanding of landscape and wellbeing and the application of theories and research to the design of the environment. It addresses concepts, theories and exemplars, and explores topics such as healthy communities; healthy environmental, social and economic systems; and equity in global and local contexts. The public good is at the core of the Anthropocene era. Designers need to develop individual landscape sensibility and ethical positions to operate within the public sphere at local or global levels. This unit contributes to the acquisition of a specialised body of knowledge and skills to place you as an ethically conscious active social agent.

DLB301 Landscape Ecology

This unit applies theories of landscape ecology to sustainable landscape design and planning in combination with an understanding of geomorphological and human development processes. It prepares you for further expansion of your intermediate-level design skills into Landscape Planning theory and application. It expands your understanding of landscape from a small site to a broad and holistic level. Landscape architects need to understand the systems that create and are created by the landscape and so this unit will develop your ability to comprehend the interconnectedness of landscape structures, systems and processes, essential to the formulation of sustainable landscape design propositions. You will apply this knowledge in a semester-long landscape study project, extending the communication techniques you learnt in first and second year units and introducing the specific conventions of scientific reporting.

DLB311 Contested Landscapes

This unit introduces you to broad landscape matters and concepts that relate to land, rivers and oceans and their transformation across time, cultures and geographies. Concepts of place, identity, commodification and the anthropocene will be crossed with ethics, aesthetics and human rights to analyse and discuss multiple understandings of the significance of landscape. You will learn and discuss appropriate theory to think of landscape based on significant real world issues and the application of appropriate theoretical frameworks. Through studying this unit, you will be able to locate the processes that are at the basis of the transformation of landscape, and how these are culturally, socially, economically and technologically intertwined. This will help you to develop and expand your own ethical awareness as an active agent in the making of the landscape.

DLB420 Landscape Systems

This unit helps you apply theoretical concepts of landscape ecology and regional ecosystems to sustainable landscape design and planning approaches in combination with an understanding of geomorphological and human settlement processes. This introductory level unit builds on foundational knowledge of environmental sustainability. In conjunction with the unit DLB400, it looks at landscape ecology and regional ecosystems theory with geomorphologic and human processes in landscape formation. Landscape architects need to understand the systems that create and are created by the landscape, and so this unit enhances your ability to comprehend the interconnectedness of landscape structures, systems, processes and developments, essential to the formulation of sustainable landscape design propositions. You will apply this knowledge in a semester-long landscape study project, thus expanding your understanding of landscape from a small site to a broad and holistic level.

DLB525 History and Criticism of Landscape Design

This unit addresses applied landscape design history, criticism and historiography. It prepares you for application in advanced-level landscape design units. As an intermediate-level unit, it builds on broad foundational design history and theoretical knowledge and critical thinking and research skills. In conjunction with DLB500, you will explore the ways history and criticism inform us about interactions between society (including culture, economy and technology) and the environment (materials, climate, landform, ecology, etc.), and the consequences for designed landscapes. You will review landscape design and criticism across world history through the lens of historiography (critical examination of history).

Units you need background knowledge to study

These units have requirements for previous study or background knowledge. Check the unit’s previous study requirements for details. If you have any questions, contact the unit coordinator for the semester you want to study.

If your previous studies were not in English, or were completed in a country where English is not the first language, you will also need to demonstrate that you meet our English proficiency requirements when you apply.