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MSc Sustainability and Adaptation in the Built Environment


Course Description

Masters in Environmental Building

Climate change poses two key challenges to modern architecture: how can buildings be made sustainable, and how can they be designed to take account of the effects of climate change? This masters degree faces these challenges through a unique combination of academic study with hands-on practical work, giving you the knowledge, skills and experience you need to develop an environmental career in the built environment sector.

The course uses the concepts of sustainability and adaptation transformation to frame an understanding of the built environment at the community and individual buildings level. Key building issues covered by the course include: energy management and low energy design, sustainable materials, environmental performance assessment and energy provision. Students may further pursue interests in urban design, communities, ecology, water, ecological sanitation, politics and economics.

How is the course taught?

Taught either by distance learning or through residential blocks in one of the most imaginative environmental buildings in the UK. The programme draws on our expert staff (https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/postgraduate-courses/msc-sustainability-and-adaptation/sa-staff-profiles) and a wide selection of specialist guest lecturers; people who have made exceptional contributions to thinking and action in the environmental and built environment sectors.

What qualification will you receive?

Successful completion of the programme MSc Sustainability and Adaptation in the Built Environment at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Master of Science (MSc) by UEL.

Modules include

- Sustainability and adaptation concepts and planning
- Ecosystem Services, Land use and Water and Waste Management
- Adaptation Transformation Politics and Economics
- Cities and Communities
- Energy Flows in Buildings – Parts A and B
- Energy Provision (Renewable Energy)
- Building Performance Assessment and Evaluation
- Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment
- Built Environment Applied Project or Built Environment Practice Based Project

Why study at CAT?

Studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a truly unique experience. For the past 40 years CAT has been at the forefront of the environmental movement, pioneering low-carbon living and renewable technology. At the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE), students benefit from our extensive practical and academic knowledge, graduating with the skills needed to become leading players in the sustainability sector. Find out more about our facilities here: https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/postgraduate-courses/msc-sustainability-and-adaptation/sa-site-and-facilities

Hands-on learning

At CAT, hands-on learning takes place side by side with academic study. Residential on-site block learning weeks are taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), an inspiring learning environment. Nestled in a disused slate quarry on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, CAT is a living laboratory for paractical, sustainable solutions. It contains some of the most innovative and renowned environmentally conscious buildings in the country, as well as one of the most diverse range of installed renewable technologies, on site water and sewage treatment, sustainably managed woodland and acres of organic gardens.

Flexibility

It is a flexible degree, taught in blocks taken either with an intensive residential stay of five or six nights at the centre, or by distance learning. MSc students are free to choose between these teaching modes for every module. There is a choice of modules, taken over one year or two – meaning the degree can be part time. It is a masters degree designed to give you the best possible experience whilst also meshing neatly with the pressures of modern professional and family life.

Immersive learning environment

Optional residential module weeks include lectures, seminars, group work and practicals. Applied work tends to dominate later in the week once we have laid the theoretical groundwork. These module weeks provide a truly immersive environment to escape daily life and apply yourself to new learning. Many eminent experts give guest lectures or hold seminars during these modules, as it is a course which seeks to draw on the expertise and learning of the whole environmental sector.

Is this the course for you?

If you would like to visit for an overnight stay during a module, where you can attend lectures and workshops and meet staff and students, please contact Shereen Soliman:

Visit the MSc Sustainability and Adaptation in the Built Environment page on the Centre for Alternative Technology website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mr Anu van Warmelo

1421.png I work as a sustainability consultant, specialising in communities. The MSc gave me the expertise I required for this job, yet without limiting my broad interests. This was particularly true for my thesis where I designed a sustainability calculator - like a carbon footprint calculator, but covering all the aspects of sustainability including economic and social well-being. I do travel a lot, which is not ideal but necessary sometimes in order to do consultations and feasibility studies. For the first two years after graduating though I stayed in Herefordshire where I got funding to set up what I called a Blitz Cafe - a place that enhances community cohesion through concerns about the environment, a place that is for everyone, not just 'greenies'. This is still going - now without me - and has moved onto more practical work, which was always the intention. I have since been working elsewhere, such as Abergavenny where we have been attempting to start a new type of centre that serves all aspects of the community. The work is always interesting and suits me in that it has not been full time, as I have several projects on the go, including film work and writing novels.

(Student Profile)

Mischa Hewitt

I currently work for the Low Carbon Trust as a project manager and sustainability consultant.

Studying the course considerably broadened my horizons and extended my network of like minded people interested in building a better world. The knowledge gained from lectures, practicals and writing my thesis has been invaluable in driving forward my work in sustainable construction.  Before the course I had lots of practical experience, but the course helped me to develop critical thinking to evaluate this and crystallise my ideas, which has been useful in developing new projects and courses.  Am currently in the process of revising my thesis into the second edition of the book I am a co-author of: Earthships: building a zero carbon future, this will be published by IHS in spring 2012

(Student Profile)

Tom Robinson

“The perfect balance of practical and theory with really inspirational people”
Prior to studying at CAT, Tom spent a lot of his time travelling, climbing and surfing around the world. To finance such adventures he worked as a builder in the UK construction industry in between his trips and eventually started his own business in the heritage building sector carrying out restoration work. Throughout this time he encountered some reoccurring challenges:
Traditional building materials were not breathable nor appropriate for dealing with the moisture problems that heritage building faced.
50% of landfill is waste from the construction industry due to the lack of degradable products.
When Tom saw the MSc Sustainability and Adaptation course advertised, he saw this as the bridge between his practical experience and the opportunity to solve both these challenges. Using his practical experience and theory taught through the MSc program, Tom focused his dissertation on developing a product which balances performance, workability, and sustainability. Fast forward to 2014 and Adaptavate is born, an award winning company rethinking and redesigning the way building materials are produced, used and disposed of.
In September 2016 Adaptavate launched breathaplasta, a natural alternative to gypsum plaster. Following this, they hope to release their natural alternative to plasterboard (Breathaboard) in the near future.
When he is not playing around with bio-composites, he can be found speaking about them and their benefits or playing in nature’s playground surfing, climbing or walking.


(Scholarship)

The Sir John Houghton Bursary - Single Award

Sir John has had an illustrious career as one of the world’s most eminent climate scientists, including being co-chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scientific Assessment Working Group and a former Chief Executive of the Met Office.A long term supporter of the work of the Centre for Alternative Technology, Sir John says:‘I have spent a lifetime studying the atmosphere and the climate and latterly have been concerned with the reality of human induced climate change. I now want to help the next generation tackle this serious problem, possibly the biggest the world faces.’

Value of Scholarship(s)

4500

Eligibility

Thanks to a generous donation from Sir John Houghton, CAT is able to offer an annual bursary of £4,500 to a promising postgraduate student who demonstrates that they have an excellent academic record and a passion for tackling climate change.

Application Procedure

Grant applications must be made on the bursary application form and sent to Kit Jones at [email protected] The deadline for applications 26th June 2016.

Further Information

http://gse.cat.org.uk/bursary



Entry Requirements

A good undergraduate degree in any dicipline. Students who do not possess formal qualifications but who can demonstrate that they have gained appropriate knowledge and skills equivalent to degree standard and that they will benefit from and contribute to the programme, may be accepted. UEL and CAT are strongly committed to widening participation and equal opportunities for all. For international students: TOEFL at 550 or an IELTS score of 6.0 in English language

Course Fees

UK/EEA: £6250.00. International: £7500.00 (+ optional £2,000 full board food and accommodation)


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Recipient: Centre for Alternative Technology

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