Department of
Architecture and Built Environment

One of the unique features of studying architecture at Nottingham is the strong relationship between study and practice. However, in addition to the usual office placements, Nottingham is able to offer students something exceptional, a placement of a lifetime in Africa designing and building community projects.

These projects extend well beyond the traditional ‘time in the office’ and offer an inspirational experience and an enormous sense of satisfaction which comes from being part of a team that has helped to change people’s lives for the better.


Live Africa Projects

Photograph by Ben Tynegate

How it works

The department runs an annual competition for its students who have to come up with a design which best matches the given brief for each project. Students need to consider the use of building materials, resources, environmental impact, time and budgets.

Not only do the students design and build the buildings from scratch they have also have the task of raising thousands of pounds to enable them to help fund the project – from the raw materials and tools to flights and accommodation. The University also looks to attract funding from external sponsors and Nottingham alumni to help them on their way.

Over 300 students have to date been involved in Project Africa.

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Project Kagiso 


The architecture students work incredibly hard on these projects and on their fundraising campaigns to enable them to travel out to Africa and to build these new developments. This is a great practical opportunity for them to give something to people less advantaged than themselves. They are creating something of real value for people who don’t have very much. It is a real motivation for them and also a great social and cultural experience. Our students are designing and building schools which will transform the lives of hundreds of children and their community for many years to come.

Professor Tim Heath

Chair of Architecture & Urban Design, Faculty of Engineering

Department of Architecture and Built Environment

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14184