MSc in Sustainable Building Performance and Design
This unique multi-disciplinary course is taught by architects, engineers and physicists involved in practice and research. It focuses on the theory and practice of developing low carbon and sustainable buildings.
This course provides students with the knowledge, skills and tools to be able to design, plan, evaluate and advise on the creation of low-carbon, sustainable buildings as well as evaluate the environmental impacts of their decisions.
It is specifically designed to meet the need for buildings to be judged by their actual performance as much as by their appearance and to demonstrate sustainability in terms of:
- their global impact with regard to climate changing emissions and use of rapidly dwindling finite resources
- their impact on local and regional levels of pollution and waste
- their ability to positively contribute towards sustainable development and human well-being.
A key aim is to promote an interdisciplinary and strategic approach to design that will enable professionals to integrate their skills and co-operate in achieving genuinely excellent environmental performance in buildings.
Teaching learning and assessment
The teaching and learning methods reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with sustainability, low-carbon and resource efficient design. Staff-led lectures provide the framework, background and knowledge base, and you are encouraged to probe deeper into the topics by further reading and review. Analysis, synthesis and application of material introduced in the lectures are achieved through professional and staff-led workshops, group and one-to-one tutorials, student-led seminars, case studies, and practical work that anticipates the design project.
The course attracts students from a diverse range of ages, backgrounds, gender and nationalities. This offers opportunities for interdisciplinary, globally aware teaching and learning. Students are exposed to a variety of cultural perspectives and issues through the use of international case studies and draw on their diverse strengths through peer learning and group work.
An annual field trip is an opportunity to directly experience some of the very best of sustainable design projects in another culture. Previous field trips have been to Germany, Scotland and Denmark
The range of subjects draws on the research strengths of the teaching staff and enables research to inform the teaching modules. You are encouraged where possible to take part in staff research projects. We attract some of the best students in the field, drawn by the integrating basis of the programme and its solid theoretical foundation on expertise within the University.
Graduates will possess an advanced understanding of the key sustainability issues related to buildings enabling them to strategically influence feasibility and design processes within the built environment. They will be familiar with a range of models, tools and methods with which to quantify, predict, evaluate and manage building performance, and will be able to use them and switch to other tools based on an understanding from first principles.
Drawing on a working knowledge of how to minimise energy, carbon emissions and resource consumption in buildings through the various stages of their life cycles, they will be able to take account of changing, incomplete and uncertain information related to the environment. They will also have well developed skills in auditing, analysis, reporting and presentation and a thorough understanding of the interdisciplinary subject area.
Students from this course have gone on to work in a wide range of occupations from architectural and engineering practices and research consultancies to development work, furniture design, owning and operating electricity utilities, and even carbon trading.
Candidates are required to fulfil one of the following:
- Hold an approved undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent) at first or upper second class in a relevant discipline ie architecture, engineering or physics and other subjects related to the built and natural environments.
- Possess an appropriate professional background and experience in architecture, building or building servicing design.
Applications are also considered from potential candidates who wish to seek accreditation for their prior experiential learning or earlier qualifications, particularly those who have worked on projects in related fields.
A number of our applicants use the programme as a means of facilitating a career change or progression.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a digital portfolio of their design or other work related to the built environment and GRE General Test results if available.