Academic Schools

The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment

Academic Schools

The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment

Our unique undergraduate and postgraduate course portfolio takes a forward thinking approach, underpinned by research and is held in high regard by industry professionals.

The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment is one of the three oldest of its kind in the UK, with a heritage that extends back to the 19th Century.

Whilst we are proud of our history we have continually evolved our offering to the needs of our professional areas today, combining innovative thinking with new technologies and contemporary practice across all aspects of the design and construction of building, public space and cities.

We have a strong social ethos and research underpins everything we do. We see it as our social responsibility to facilitate the design and build of sustainable and well-considered structures and spaces that reflect society's aspirations. Our unique undergraduate and postgraduate course portfolio is forward thinking and held in high regard by professionals. We work closely with industry to ensure our courses are relevant and up to date, particularly on big topics like the environment and sustainability where the discipline can have a great impact. You will work on projects that focus on today’s challenges whilst looking forward to anticipate the needs of tomorrow.

All of our courses combine theory with practical application to ensure you have the skills to apply your knowledge appropriately and creatively within industry. All undergraduate courses carry professional accreditation from a range of bodies and placements and professional experience in an industry setting is a core part of the course structure. This gives you a competitive edge and sets you apart when it comes to future employment.

There is a real sense of community in our school and the relationship between staff and students is paramount. You are treated as individuals and we take the time to get to know you and have ongoing dialogue. We give you the freedom to express yourself in an academically challenging environment, complemented by a collaborative approach where you can absorb from other students with all kinds of backgrounds at different levels of study. These factors allows you to realise your full potential and broaden your understanding of the roles, responsibilities and skills of other key professionals. 

Student Awards and Recognition

Our students are regularly recognised for the quality of their work:

  • Architecture & Design Scotland and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture
    Claire Milnes - Commended Community Housing, Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Architecture & Design Scotland Award for Best 3rd Year Student
    Dalibor Baran - Meet at Denburn
  • Architecture & Design Scotland Urban Design Award
    Shortlisted the Living Edge Team Project - Liane Wood, Sophia Rusinova, Stuart Alexander and Violeta Vasileva
  • Architecture & Design Scotland Sustainable Design Award
    Claire Milnes - Commended Community Housing, Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Aberdeen Society of Architects Silver Medal
    Winner: Meghan Rasmussen - Bridge/ Restaurant
    Commendations: Violeta Vasileva and Julie Nelson

End of Year Show 2022

The Scott Sutherland End of Year Show is an annual highlight in the calendar, celebrating the talents and achievements of our students.

Related Content

57’10 Society

Our award-winning student society, 57˚ 10, organises events including a weekly lecture series featuring talks by high-profile and inspiring designers, which offers additional insight into the link between education and practice.

Virtual Tour

Connect with us on Facebook


The School is based in a purpose-built state-of-the-art £16m facility. The relationship between our subjects and the space we work within is fundamental, and we are one of the few schools of our kind where all subjects enjoy dedicated space that has been specifically designed for their use.

The building also incorporates a number of energy efficiency features, including solar panels on the roof to help heat water, full LED lighting installation and automatic lighting level controls, which adjust internal lighting depending on external light levels.



The aim of the industrial placement is to give you the opportunity to consolidate and broaden the knowledge you have gained in your studies and apply it in a real world situation. Many of our students build strong relationships with the companies they work with during their placement and often return to work with them following graduation.

All of our undergraduate courses offer a placement period, with Architecture students undertaking their Year 4 out in industry before returning to complete their final two years of study.

Affiliations and Industry Links

We are proud to be associated with leading organisations, institutions and professional bodies.

UK-GBC-MasterRGBSubMemberFullCol-copyThe School is a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). This recognises the School’s record in improving the sustainability of the built environment by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated.


We have an active and vibrant research community. For many years, our research has considered the design, provision & assessment of present and future built environments in terms of their suitability to those they're designed for. It is underpinned and demonstrated both by a practical grounding in the design, production and assessment of innovative, ground breaking buildings, and through the publication of high level written work.

Major research activities carried out by our staff include the design and construction of low energy, affordable, and environmentally friendly housing, exploration of visualisation and modelling techniques, design theory, the study of value throughout the life cycle of buildings, and innovative methods relating to the management of design and construction.

There is a high degree of collaboration, between disciplines and with industry and professional or public bodies, in the research that is undertaken in the area of Architecture, Construction and Surveying.

If you undertake a research degree with us, you will work alongside, and be supported by, experienced researchers and academics.

We are interested in the following four broad research themes:

A multi disciplinary group exploring the connections between cities, technology, people and urbanism. The Digital Cities website provides further information about projects and staff relating to this theme.

Research into the social, economic and environmental impact of sustainable housing.

Research concentrating on process rather than product in the development of built environments.

Exploring aspects of theory, pedagogy and higher education, which directly influence the future direction of education in architecture and the built environment

Current PhDs include:

  • Research into laterite as a construction material with high potentiality for sustainable construction in Nigeria
  • The exploitation of energy use through conservation of identity in the sustainable interior architect
  • Theorizing social interaction and its implication on designing residential developments in the UK

Our Research Staff


Meet the academic, professional and support staff of the Scott Sutherland School



Latest News and Events for the The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment


Published: Wednesday 08 June 2022

RGU alumna wins Royal Scottish Academy Medal for Architecture

An alumna from The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture (SSA) at Robert Gordon University (RGU) has won the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy Medal for Architecture.

Find Out More


Published: Thursday 12 May 2022

Opinion: Design for an affordable future

Writing for the Press and Journal, Professor David McClean, Dean for The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment highlights how good architecture can enhance the quality of life for everyone.

Find Out More


Published: Tuesday 03 May 2022

Scott Sutherland End of Year Show 2022: Ideas for Living

The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment End of Year Show 2022: Ideas for Living, launches at Robert Gordon University (RGU) on Friday 6 May.

Find Out More

Cookie Consent