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Course content

This programme is aimed at anyone interested in learning more about the design and operation of low energy buildings with the added attraction of three modules dedicated to computer modelling of building performance – an essential skill for anyone wishing to work in today’s rapidly changing world of building engineering consultancy.

Modules are taught by world-leading experts in the field who have designed some of the world’s most innovative low energy buildings. These design experiences provide unique case study material which students find exciting and invaluable for their own research and design work.

The programme is accredited for further learning for CEng and professional membership by CIBSE and the Energy Institute and benefits from its links with the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design.

The course attracts students from all over the world, including countries such as Greece, Iran, China, France, Germany and Colombia. This is attractive to potential employers who often have international offices around the world.

Key Facts

- An outstanding place to study. The School of Civil and Building Engineering is ranked 2nd in the UK for Building in the Times Good University Guide 2015

- Research-led teaching from international experts. 75% of the School’s research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Government Research Excellence Framework.

- The programme is accredited by the two main institutions representing energy and buildings – the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Energy Institute. On successful completion of the course, students are deemed to meet the education requirements for both institutions and their applications can be endorsed by course tutors.

See the website http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/civil/low-carbon-building-design/

Programme modules

- Building Energy Consumption [70% exam, 10 credits]
The aim of this module is for the student to understand the impact that climate, people, equipment selection and design have on energy consumption on a range of building sizes from domestic to large commercial.

- Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technologies [70% exam, 15 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to understand the principles of renewable energy and low carbon technologies and their integration into buildings, and to be given a perspective on the potential benefits and applications of these technologies.

- Building Control & Commissioning [70% exam, 10 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to understand the application of automatic control in energy monitoring and commissioning and to examine the control problems in buildings and develop control strategies that will improve thermal comfort and building energy use.

- Concept Design [0% exam, 15 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to be introduced to the process within which buildings are conceived and designed by undertaking the architecture design of a major building using multi-disciplinary input. Students will develop team skills through working in design groups to generate schematic concepts before developing the best. They will apply previous knowledge of building services and low carbon design in the selection process and carry out performance analysis. Students will work with 3D architectural and 3D mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems within BIM software to further develop their concepts.

- Low Carbon Building Design [50% exam, 15 credits]
The module aims to introduce the principles of low and zero carbon building with special attention to the process of design and decision-making.

- Advanced Thermal Modelling [50% exam, 15 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to understand the principles of building thermal modelling and HVAC plant simulation, and be given a perspective on the applications of these techniques to the design process.

- Advanced Airflow Modelling [50% exam, 15 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to understand the principles of building airflow and ventilation modelling with respect to comfort and energy efficiency, and be given a perspective on the applications of these techniques to the design process.

- Advanced Lighting Modelling [50% exam, 15 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to understand the principles of lighting modelling in buildings with respect to comfort and energy efficiency, and be given a perspective on the application of these techniques to the design process.

- Research Project [0% exam, 60 credits]
The aim of this module is to provide the student with experience of the process and methodology of research by defining and studying (on an individual basis) a complex problem in a specialised area relating to Building Energy

- Research Methods in Building Performance [0% exam, 10 credits]
The aims of this module are for the student to become familiar with and comprehend the wide range of research methods and skills needed to investigate, understand and communicate building performance.


All masters students have access to a wide range of building simulation codes which include commercial software, as well as bespoke codes developed in-house. Students can run these codes on their personal laptops or access any one of our computer laboratories, including access to our recently commissioned 2000-node high performance computer cluster.

One of our key strengths at Loughborough is our experimental facilities which enable us to validate computer models. Our masters students have access to a vast range of experimental facilities, some of which are used during the taught modules and all of which are available for use by students during their research dissertations.

These include: a fully controllable environmental chamber; sophisticated thermal and breathing manikins; an indoor solar simulator; a 'darkroom' facility to carry out optical and high dynamic range measurements; and full-scale houses for pressure testing and studying innovative heating and control strategies. A recent investment of £360k was made to purchase an extensive array of monitoring and measuring equipment for use during field studies.

How you will learn

You will learn through a carefully balanced combination of lectures, in-class guided workshops, hands-on computer modelling, field measurements and independent research. Students have access to a wide range of air flow, thermal and daylight modelling software as well as extensive laboratory facilities. Following nine taught modules, students pursue a research dissertation of their choice which draws on the skills developed during the taught modules.

Students are assessed by a combination of traditional written exams, coursework and assignments. This split is typically 70/30 (exam/coursework) or 50/50, although some modules, such as research methods and concept design are assessed entirely based on coursework which comprises individual presentations and group work.

Careers and further study

Previous students have gone on to work for leading consulting engineering companies such as Arup, Pick Everad, Hoare Lea, Hulley and Kirkwood and SE Controls. Some of these companies offer work placements for students to undertake their research dissertations. Many visit the university to deliver lectures to our MSc students providing ideal opportunities for students to discuss employment opportunities.


The programme is accredited for further learning for CEng and professional membership by the CIBSE and Energy Institute.
The 'SE Controls prize for best overall performance' is awarded to the student graduating from this course with the highest overall mark. This presentation is made on graduation day.


The University offers over 100 scholarships each year to new self-financing full-time international students who are permanently resident in a county outside the European Union. These Scholarships are to the value of 25% of the programme tuition fee and that value will be credited to the student’s tuition fee account.
You can apply for a scholarship once you have received an offer for a place on this programme.

Why choose civil engineering at Loughborough?

As one of four Royal Academy of Engineering designated Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, the School of Civil and Building Engineering is one of the largest of its type in the UK and holds together a thriving community of over 60 academic staff, 40 technical and clerical support staff and over 240 active researchers that include Fellows, Associates, Assistants, Engineers and Doctoral Students.

Our world-class teaching and research are integrated to support the technical and commercial needs of both industry and society. A key part of our ethos is our extensive links with industry resulting in our graduates being extremely sought after by industry and commerce world-wide,

- Postgraduate programmes
The School offers a focussed suite of post graduate programmes aligned to meet the needs of industry and fully accredited by the relevant professional institutions. Consequently, our record of graduate employment is second to none. Our programmes also have a long track record of delivering high quality, research-led education. Indeed, some of our programmes have been responding to the needs of industry and producing high quality graduates for over 40 years.

Currently, our suite of Masters programmes seeks to draw upon our cutting edge research and broad base knowledge of within the areas of contemporary construction management, project management, infrastructure management, building engineering, building modelling, building energy demand and waste and water engineering. The programmes are designed to respond to contemporary issues in the field such as sustainable construction, low carbon building, low energy services, project complexity, socio-technical systems and socio-economic concerns.

- Research
Drawing from our excellent record in attracting research funds (currently standing at over £19M), the focal point of the School is innovative, industry-relevant research. This continues to nurture and refresh our long history of working closely with industrial partners on novel collaborative research and informs our ongoing innovative teaching and extensive enterprise activities. This is further complemented by our outstanding record of doctoral supervision which has provided, on average, a PhD graduate from the School every two weeks.

- Career Prospects
Independent surveys continue to show that industry has the highest regard for our graduates. Over 90% were in employment and/or further study six months after graduating. Recent independent surveys of major employers have also consistently rated the School at the top nationally for civil engineering and construction graduates.

Find out how to apply here http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/civil/low-carbon-building-design/

Visit the Low Carbon Building Design and Modelling (MSc) page on the Loughborough University website for more details!






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