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Building Diagnostics for Energy and Environmental Performance MSc

Course content

Our MSc Building Diagnostics for Energy and Environmental Performance aims to give students a solid foundation in the evaluation of the operational performance of buildings for energy and environmental aspects. The programme will focus on the diagnostics of energy and environmental performance, integrating technical and occupants’ data. It will prepare you for a future career across a range of roles in facilities and building management, consultancy, energy and environmental performance assessment and research.

Most existing programmes in this subject area focus on the design of new buildings. However, the efficient operation of existing buildings is becoming more important. There is a need to improve the quality of environments and, at the same time, to reduce the energy that they consume and their carbon dioxide emissions. You will learn from interdisciplinary approaches, as the programme draws on bodies of theories from building science, social sciences and humanities.

On successful completion of the programme, you should be able to conduct sound evidence-based environmental and energy performance assessments of buildings in operation. You should also be able to analyse and integrate technical and social aspects of performance using methods of energy and environmental monitoring and human studies.

Our structured curriculum will enable you to develop essential knowledge and practical skills in building diagnostics. We will support you to become an independent learner, able to undertake and understand the industry and policy challenges and to respond to them effectively. The Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University is a friendly, supportive and culturally diverse environment in which to study.

Distinctive features

• Study in one of the top schools of architecture in the UK

• Available on a 1-year full-time or 2-year part-time basis

• Looks at buildings diagnostics in a holistic way by considering both technical and human aspects affecting the performance of existing buildings Develops an advanced knowledge of investigation methods and techniques to conduct performance evaluation exercises, integrating technical and human data

• Includes management strategies to improve the building performance and to meet energy and environmental goals

• Looks holistically at building performance evaluation, explaining the relationship between environmental conditions in buildings and occupants’ satisfaction, comfort and wellbeing

• Highly relevant, as the efficient operation of existing buildings is becoming more important

• Work on a live project to embed your knowledge of building energy and environmental performance with a focused and hands-on approach

• Benefit from our close links with industry and other building clients to boost your employability


The taught element of the programme consists of modules to the value of 120 credits taken over two years . After successfully completing the taught modules, you will undertake a dissertation to the value of 60 credits. The dissertation will provide you with the opportunity to follow your professional and academic interests in the field, supported by experts in different aspects of building performance evaluation. This gives you the flexibility to follow your personal interests.

Through the programme’s taught modules you will gain fundamental knowledge around energy and environmental aspects of the built environment. Several of these modules are shared with some of our other postgraduate master’s courses, which will enable you to network with other students and make connections. You will also undertake most specialist modules which focus on developing discipline-specific skills and knowledge in conducting sound evidence-based building performance evaluations.

Core modules:

Earth and Society
Low Carbon Footprint
Climate Comfort & Energy
Architectural Science Research
Perspectives on Performance
People and Buildings
Advanced Monitoring Tools and Techniques
Post Occupancy Evaluation for Sustainable Building Management


Taught and project-based modules are assessed in a variety of different ways depending on the module content and learning outcomes (found in the module descriptions). We use class tests, course work (both written assignments and oral presentations or critical assessments/crits), and project work, or a combination of these to assess your progress on the module.

In the dissertation stage, your dissertation is the sole object of assessment. The dissertation is a written report on a piece of research which you have carried out in an agreed subject area under supervision.

Career Prospects

Typically graduates from this type of programme will have employability opportunities in energy and environmental consultancy, building management, facilities management, architectural and engineering firms, and research.


An important element of this course is a live project on a real building or development. This will entail study trips to the area in question.

Visit the Building Diagnostics for Energy and Environmental Performance MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!




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