The course is organised on a modular credit system, 60 credits for postgraduate certificate, 120 credits for the postgraduate diploma (9 months full-time, 20 months part-time) and 180 credits for the master's degree (12 months full-time, 24 months part-time).
Modules combine a ratio of taught to self-led study. For example, a module of 20 credits approximates to 200 hours of student effort, up to 36 hours of which will normally be devoted to lectures, seminars, individual tutorials or other staff contact. The remainder of the time is devoted to student-led study and assessment.
Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below.
The core modules for the MSc and PGDip are:
Building Physics module provides fundamental understanding of the applied
principles of physics to the built environment. Understanding Building physics
is crucial to more efficient and sustainable building design, providing the knowledge
of how buildings work. This module, in particular, studies heat, air and
moisture transfer in buildings allowing designers to explore energy efficient
solutions/buildings whilst also providing thermal comfort for its occupant.
This module explores energy balance through understanding gains and
losses allowing better fabric energy efficiency and consequently more efficient
buildings. The different climatic conditions and their effect on the overall
energy demand of buildings are also investigated. (20 credits)
sustainability and microclimates:
The impact of urbanisation and
its effect on microclimate is undeniably increasing the burden on resources and
energy demand, contributing to the rate of climate change. This module sets to
explore the issues arising from urban development and its implication on
district energy generation and distribution, infrastructures, urban
microclimates and the additional emphasis on the buildings’ energy demand.
The module introduces the
philosophy and theories of sustainable development considering energy supply
and demand, water, natural resources, sustainable transport and the local
economy. (20 credits)
This unique module
focuses on the complex task of assessing the actual performance of buildings
in respect of energy use, environmental impact and occupant satisfaction. This
module provides the opportunity for students to monitor and assess real
buildings’ performance after building completion, understanding the performance
gap and propose possible improvements. (20 credits)
and Systems for Net Zero Energy Buildings:
The module introduces the principles of building design and construction
that minimise the carbon impact of buildings. This includes advanced
construction detailing, highly-efficient heating, cooling, ventilation systems
and energy-efficient appliances in addition to the production of renewable
energy through different available technologies.
A unique comprehensive
construction detailing workshop is offered in this module. (20 credits)
Building Performance Simulation
This module provides a
theoretical introduction to a systematic building energy performance simulation
and analysing its relation to different climatic conditions. Typical building
responses are analysed in relation to particular types of climate and explore
the effectiveness of strategies as climate modifiers, using predictive
modelling techniques. Effects of solar gain, varying ventilation rates, surface
finishes, daylighting, and occupancy are analysed to establish a range of
effective design strategies.
Students will be provided with an
annual free license for the dynamic simulation software to be installed on
their laptops. Students will be expected to have a
laptop suitable for DesignBuilder software. (20 credits)
provides the opportunity for students to put the knowledge gained in other
modules into practice by designing and testing the performance of their
proposals. The module allows students to choose from different available paths
in accordance to their interest and background whether it is design related or
not. (20 credits)
The compulsory modules for the MSc are:
Research Methods and Design:
This module aims to advance the
students’ knowledge and understanding of research methods available. It
presents a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies providing an
opportunity to gain practical research skills. (10 credits)
The synoptic research or a ‘research-led’
design dissertation gives the opportunity for application and expansion of the
material presented in the programme through independent research projects. (50
Teaching and learning
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. You 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.
We make one optional major field trip each year alongside shorter local trips. In the past we have travelled to Scotland, Sweden, Austria and Germany where there is a wealth of sustainable buildings.
Field trips give you the opportunity to experience sustainable buildings first hand and talk to building owners and operators of low energy buildings. This helps you understand some of the practical difficulties and rewards of achieving very sustainable buildings.
Field trips are not included in the cost of the fees and generally cost in a range of £400 to £800.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes