Computational Design

Bachelor of Computational Design

Prog. Code: 
UAC Code: 
Alt. Admission: 
3 years full-time + 1 year honours option
2021 Guaranteed Entry Rank



Term 1 & Term 3

Adjustment factors available

Yes. See entry requirements.

Apply cutting edge digital technologies to design responsive, interactive spaces

Computational design combines architecture and design, and computer science and engineering to the way design content is imagined, created, fabricated, delivered and displayed.

Advancements in 3D modelling, material science and digital fabrication have created a demand for designers who can use these technologies and unleash the power of computers to produce and present technical and aesthetic solutions to the challenges in the built environment.

With this degree, you will be empowered with a new understanding of digital technologies and their application within the built environment. You will take part in projects spanning across industrial design, architecture, construction, urban design and planning disciplines. You will learn cutting-edge computer design skills and digital technologies including3D modelling through the use of gaming and graphics technology, digital geometry and parametric design, responsive environments, as well as form making and fabrication using 3D printers and laser cutters.

During the 3rd year of study, you will be exposed to working on real-life projects set by industry partners such as Cox, Arup, Hassell, BVN, Bates Smart, PTW Architects, Grimshaw etc. Should your approach to the projects be chosen by our industry partners, you will have the opportunity to explore the project development directly with the firms in question. Many of our graduates have been offered full-time employment upon graduation as a result of these industry connections.


Key Information

Program details

The Bachelor of Computational Design is a 3-year program consisting of 22 courses and a graduation project (144 Units Of Credit/UOC).

The program includes:

  • 2 Design Studio Courses
  • 1 Graduation Project
  • 14 Core Courses
  • 2 Interdisciplinary Courses (BEIL) 
  • 2 Open Elective Courses (choose from within UNSW School of Built Environment or other faculties)
  • 2 General Education Courses (choose from other faculties)

Key Areas of Study
Computational Design Theory
Optimisation and Decision Support
Smart and Ubiquitous Cities
Responsive Environments
Digital Fabrication and Construction
Gaming and Visual Representation
BIM modelling 

For course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook. 




About this course
Completing an honours program gives you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of computational design methods, knowledge and history by undertaking a significant research project. The research project, a thesis, could be a written report or essay, but could also be represented in creative formats that are compatible with the research topic and methods. 

During the year you will also undertake research methods courses that assist you to prepare a thesis and will be supervised by an academic.

Following completion of the Honours year, you may apply to undertake a research degree such as the Master of Philosophy, Masters by Research or a PhD. 

Program Details
The Computational Design Honours program is a one year program (48 Units of Credit/UOC).

The program includes:

  • 1 Research Methods Core Course
  • 1 Critical Review of Literature
  • 1 Thesis 
  • 2 Prescribed Built Environment Elective Courses

Entry requirements
To be eligible for this program you must have a completed an undergraduate computational design degree with a credit average or above (WAM 65+ or equivalent).

For course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook


One year degree option

If you have already gained a degree in a related course you might be eligible for credits that will allow you to gain a Bachelor of Computational Design in one year.
Rapid changes and advancements in digital technology mean that topping up your current degree with a Computational Design degree will keep you globally relevant.
Unique in Australia, UNSW Computational Design offers a Commonwealth supported degree that enhances skills and theory in:

  • Digital Architecture
  • Parametric Design
  • Computational Design

If you have one of the following related degrees from UNSW or any other university, then you could be eligible to study the Bachelor of Computational Design in one year:

  • Built Environment disciplines: Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning, Construction.
  • Engineering disciplines: Civil Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Computer Science, Software Engineering.

Click here to read more or email the Computational Design Discipline Director, Associate Professor Hank Haeusler.

Career opportunities

Unique in Australia, this degree will equip you with the skillset to face the challenges and innovative changes of the 21st-century city on the application of digital technologies in the built environment.

Career opportunities
The built environment professions are amongst the most advanced in their use of emerging technologies and your qualifications will be highly sought after to support the leading practices and businesses in this industry.

  • Architectural & urban design specialist

  • Digital optimisation consultant (Architect/engineering firms)

  • Software solutions developer

  • Design/production manager (construction firm)

  • Smart Cities consultant (planning offices & councils)

  • Urban data analyst (business consultancy firms)

  • Design technology manager (Architecture design firms)

  • Digital fabrication and smart manufacturing specialist

  • Animation professional

  • Gaming environment developer

  • Building Information Model implementer (BIM)


Why UNSW School of Built Environment
  • Top 27 in the world in Built Environment (QS World University Rankings, 2020)
  • World class alumni connections
  • We're a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2020)
  • UNSW has the Most Employable Students (Winner, Australian Financial Review Most Employable Students Award 2020)
  • We're ranked 13th in the world and 2nd in Australia for Employer Reputation in Built Environment
  • Member of prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
  • Strong industry links and partnerships
Students' work

Luminocity 2020

Take an immersive tour through our virtual 360 degree interactive space. Explore Built Environment student projects, visit individual degree exhibits and discover the areas that interest you.



Entry requirements
How to apply
BE Portfolio Entry
Fees and expenses