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Course content

Design and Management of Sustainable Built Environments is based on advanced understanding of the key subjects required for meeting carbon emission reduction targets in the building sector, in the overall context of climate change, and in resource depletion.

We deal with the analysis, synthesis, design and assessment of modern, energy efficient environmental systems (including urban systems, and passive and active building systems), using analytical and computer simulation techniques. We develop knowledge in environmental engineering and building design, design management, the application of digital technology, and urban and building sustainability.

A recurring theme throughout the course concerns the dynamic nature of integrated design, and the operation and management of sustainable built environments. The themes cover urban sustainability, environmental design, intelligent operation and management.

The distinctive focus is on a truly interdisciplinary approach to the design and operation of sustainable buildings and cities.

The aim of the course is to provide a coherent framework for the discipline and practice of design and management. Each module includes sessions delivered by leading practitioners. The course is continually informed not only by the latest developments in industry, but also by on-going international research.

The course is ideal for professionals in the built environment including urban planners, architects, building services engineers, facilities managers and performance assessors. The challenges include fragmentation of disciplines in built environments. We aim to prepare professionals to address these challenges through the acquisition of key practical skills of analysis and simulation in technical issues in environmental design, engineering and management.

What will you study?

Sample modules

  • Urban microclimates
  • Green building assessment
  • Environmental quality and well-being
  • Carbon management
  • Advanced visualisation and interactive technologies

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.


The dissertation is a major individual research project. Guidance will be given on choosing a research topic, research techniques and the style and presentation of the finished document. Classes in research skills are provided as part of the dissertation module. Students will have their own carefully selected dissertation tutor whose role is to help them plan and successfully execute this key part of the programme.


We offer a one-year, full-time modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. The full-time programme starts in September each year.

Flexible part-time

We also offer a two-year, part-time modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. The duration of the flexible route is strongly recommended as two years, but this is not fixed. The flexible course starts in September each year.

What career can you have?

Graduates will typically find employment in the following areas: environmental urban planning, architectural design, environmental engineering, facilities management, energy assessment, green building assessment or energy policy.

Visit the Design and Management of Sustainable Built Environments MSc page on the University of Reading website for more details!





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