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Current standards place considerable value on the sustainability, performance and comfort of new building developments. As resource costs continue to rise and client expectations change, the industry will look to graduates with specialist design skills and a strong working knowledge of building simulation, acoustic performance and energy assessment to help bring new projects to life.

To help you fill this industry need, our master’s course in advanced building simulation places a unique emphasis on the computer simulation of acoustic and thermal performance. You will leave the course with the practical skills required to design a high performance building and confidently consult on all aspects of its technical specifications.

Units cover a range of relevant subjects, with a choice of optional units enabling you to tailor the curriculum to your own unique aspirations and interests. Early units introduce the concept of sustainable building design and explore how the form, fabric, and equipment of a building affect its environmental impact. This learning will be reinforced as you take part in a live design project.

What does this course lead to?

Building standards are constantly under review and the industry is always striving to create buildings with higher efficiency specifications. Graduates of this course will be in an excellent position to help drive this progress.

Suitable roles for graduates include: sustainability consultant, thermal and sound specialist, BIM developer, energy consultant, acoustics consultant and architectural engineering.

Who is this course for?

This innovative course is designed to appeal to candidates from a wide range of built-environment related disciplines. The curriculum is designed to be creative and inclusive, and provides the opportunity to undertake either a dissertation of a technical nature or a design-based final major project.

How to apply

Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

Core units

Sustainable and Intelligent Building Design

This unit introduces students to the concept of sustainable buildings and enables them to demonstrate understanding of how the form, fabric, and equipment of a building affect its environmental impact. An understanding of the passive and active design principles of sustainable building will be developed through a live project design.

Computer Aided Simulation- Thermal

This unit introduces a dynamic thermal modelling application to students and covers various logics and concepts including occupants comfort, carbon emissions, HVAC systems, etc. Student will learn various techniques in modelling and simulating by the end of the module.

Research Methods

This unit develops the skills required to carry out research primarily for dissertation or design project. It aims to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of methodological approaches of research and examines a range of tools used to collect and analyse data.

Sustainable Building Assessment

This unit covers the environmental assessment methods of buildings in the UK and internationally. Students will develop and demonstrate understanding of the sustainable building assessment methods like BREEAM and LEED. Post occupancy evaluation methods will also be explained to highlight the importance of the end user.

Computer Aided Simulation - Acoustic

The use of computer simulation packages to model and predict acoustic behaviour in complex situations is now widespread. This module addresses the two core areas for computer aided simulation – building acoustic modelling and environmental acoustic modelling, examining the standards and algorithms applied by packages, and utilising industry standard modelling packages in the solution of acoustic problems.

Climate Change and Performance Prediction

Our climate is changing and buildings that are built today are expected to have decades of lifespan. It is now necessary to simulate their future behaviour to address increasing future temperature and rectify design errors. The module will deliver a methodology of how to address future challenges in a refurbishment project. The module aims to set a higher design standard for our current buildings and introduce eco-refurbishment principles to students.

Research Dissertation

In this unit students undertake a master's stage research project, present the body of work in a conventional dissertation and communicate the outcomes verbally through formal viva. Students explore in-depth a topic relevant to the discipline to develop a significant level of expertise in the area under investigation.

Optional units

BIM Frameworks

This unit provides an introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) from a holistic perspective. BIM has emerged as the dominant paradigm for information and communication technology in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). This unit covers BIM approaches, as well as the impact these have on the various AEC disciplines.

Acoustics in Built Environment

Historically, some of the earlier developments in acoustics were related to sound behaviour in built spaces. Today, the field of building acoustics is an integral part of daily life that reaches living spaces, teaching environments, leisure developments etc. In this module the student will be presented with topics such as sound behaviour in rooms, acoustic design principles, sound and vibration transmission in buildings, insulation and vibration control and sound reinforcement. In addition, national and international measurement standards and building codes will be examined, together with design methodologies and case studies.

Research Themes in high performance buildings

With constantly growing technologies and advances in building construction, students are given an opportunity to be supervised on a research-based project to explore most advanced energy-related topics and methods.

Students benefit from the teaching team’s extensive industry links, built over many years of delivering courses accredited by professional organisations (e.g. CIAT, CIOB, SBID and CABE). Practitioners from a cross-section of the built environment industry regularly contribute to the academic process by providing real-world projects, guest lectures and site visits; as well as working with students in small mentoring groups. Students will also benefit from our collaboration with BRE Academy and our delivery of the BREEAM Accredited Graduate Programme.


Visit the Advanced Building Simulation MSc page on the Solent University website for more details!

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