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Course content

Conventional methods of construction are highly resource-intensive; they require energy, electricity and water, and generate landfill waste and CO2 emissions. With governments and the public becoming increasingly aware of dwindling global resources and interested in sustainability issues, there is a growing demand for professionals working in the built environment to be well-versed in sustainable design.

Our MSc Environmental Design of Buildings aims to develop knowledge and expertise in the design of comfortable and healthy environments in and around buildings, regardless of climate, and with due regard to sustainable issues.

Structure

Our MSc Environmental Design of Buildings is delivered in two stages. Stage one is comprised of taught and project modules totalling 120 credits. Your dissertation is stage two. If you are a full-time student, you will take both stages in one year. If you are a part-time student or distance learner, you will take around two to three years to complete both stages, depending on the pathway you are enrolled on.

You will undertake six taught and two project modules (stage one) before commencing your dissertation (stage two). All modules will approach environmental design from a different angle, while taking specific themes, such as heating, lighting, acoustics and sustainability into account. Throughout the course, we will address good practice in climates around the world. We will explore:

• Current issues facing environmental designers and how the profession may be impacted by climate change
• Environmental standards - their prediction, measurement, and legislation
• Ways of achieving high standards of environmental performance, making appropriate use of building fabric and mechanical services
• Broader issues that environmental designers should be aware of in order to practice in a sustainable way

The taught modules on this course provide a grounding in architectural science within the context of sustainable development and environmental performance of buildings.

The project modules focus on specific themes in building design, such as climatic environment, internal building environment and passive design strategies. In these modules you will have the opportunity to apply taught design ideas to real-world scenarios.

After completing the modules, you will prepare a dissertation, where you will analyse a subject of environmental design that interests you in more depth.

Please visit the website for more information about the structure and content of this course:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/group/environmental-design-of-buildings

Assessment

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

Students on this course frequently go back into their original profession with the advantage of having a new specialism in sustainable design. Following their completion of the course, some of our students with sufficient prior career experience have even gained leading roles in their respective professions.

Fieldwork

During the course, Cardiff-based students go on a range of study trips. Guided visits are organised to buildings that demonstrate the application of ideas taught in the course. In the past, these have included visits to the carbon-positive SOLCER House. We currently also offer an optional student exchange trip to Navarra in Spain.

Our distance learning students are welcome to join these field trips, if their circumstances allow.

Visit the Environmental Design of Buildings MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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