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Masters students bolster Riverside Sunderland team

6th November 2020

International students are helping a project team shaping plans for a ground-breaking Expo that will reimagine the way we live in the future. 

Three groups of students from Northumbria University’s Advanced Practice programme are working as part of the extended team that is developing plans for the Sunderland Future Living Expo, a three-year programme of events to inform new homes that will be built at Riverside Sunderland.

The Masters students will be engaged in 12-week long projects, which will see them creating a programme of research and development initiatives focussed on the Riverside Sunderland masterplan and the core Expo themes - Advanced, Green and Smart - working on plans for a prototype house that will be a demonstrator project for innovative low carbon homes, and exploring how education and industry can come together, to ensure that Sunderland has the skills it needs to build homes of the future using modern methods of construction (MMC). 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Our aim with Riverside Sunderland is to create a place that is truly exceptional, and through the Expo programme we are bringing together academics and industry experts to test new technologies and ensure we have the right component parts and are well equipped to develop world-class homes. 

“We are creating an engaging programme of Expo events and experiences that will excite people about the residential developments underway at Riverside Sunderland – a new urban quarter of the city – which will see 1,000 new homes built in four communities.

“Collaborating with the university students will ensure that Riverside Sunderland is shaped and developed using the latest thinking and technologies to create a world class place to live, work and play, and by gaining support with events like Expo, and indeed, other aspects of our Riverside Sunderland Masterplan, we will achieve so much more.”

Nortumbria University’s Advanced Practice programme allows Masters students in certain subjects to extend their studies to include either an internship, or an applied group consultancy project, working with a real organisation on a live business problem, developing valuable work experience and business insight.

This cohort of students will work alongside a world-class team of architects, regeneration specialists, education providers and industry experts involved in the development of the Riverside Sunderland site. 

Northumbria University’s Advanced Practice Manager, Anne Macdonald, said: “Our Advanced Practice course is designed to give students practical industry experience – working on real projects to apply their knowledge and ingenuity. 

“Riverside Sunderland is such an exciting development – it’s a nationally significant regeneration scheme that will transform an important area of the region – and we are thrilled to be able to play a part in shaping plans for the Expo, as well as other projects that Sunderland are using to ensure that they develop world-class homes in the city.

“Our Advanced Practice students are studying for Master’s degrees in subjects such as engineering, construction, energy and project management, so there are strong synergies between their course and the Riverside Sunderland programme, and we’re looking forward to a really successful collaboration.”

Find out more about Postgraduate study at Northumbria University.

To find out more about Sunderland Future Living Expo, visit: or for more on the plans for Riverside Sunderland, visit


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