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MSc Sustainable Building Design

Course Description

Our Masters in Sustainable Building Design (MSc SBD) programme is aimed at graduates of architecture, design or planning subjects who wish to further develop their design skills to combine sustainability and low carbon technologies in building design and renovation. Participants in this programme will enhance their design skills with specialist technical knowledge, and develop multidisciplinary understanding, via a curriculum of applied, engaged and contemporary courses. You will learn to harness technology to deliver optimal solutions, balancing the individual competing needs for environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability.

A culturally-adaptable approach to design places our graduates in a strong position to compete in local and international markets. This is a truly cross-disciplinary course providing unique grounding for a collaborative industry.

The programme will enhance students’ future career prospects in the area of sustainable design, in a competitive, growing market. It is also suitable for those looking to develop specialist knowledge and skills to allow them to change or further their careers.

Programme Content

• Low Carbon Building
• Climate Change, Sustainability & Adaptation
• Ventilation & Air Conditioning
• Water Conservation
• Human Factors of the Built Environment
• Building and Energy Systems
• Environmental Design
• Modelling for Sustainable Building Design

Career Opportunities

Graduates with skills in sustainable design are sought after by large and small employers, designers, consultants, contractors and clients, for their ability to integrate sustainable and low-carbon approaches within building design. Our graduates are well-equipped to make design decisions, which meet the needs of building users today, but also preserve resources for future generation.

Flexible study options

This programme can be studied full-time, part-time or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL), ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. As an IDL student you will not be required to attend any lectures, tutorials or other events at any of Heriot-Watt University’s campuses, and you can also arrange to sit examinations in a location close to you.

Those who are close to our Dubai Campus will, in addition, benefit from our local support in the form of dissertation supervision and access to licensed software programmes and subscribed literatures, depending on availability.

Professional recognition

Heriot-Watt's Sustainable Building Design MSc has been accredited as a further learning programme at the postgraduate level to meet the academic requirement for Chartered Engineers (CEng, UK) by both the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Energy Institute (EI) and also for Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv UK) by the Energy Institute.

English language requirements

If English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

Applicants who have previously successfully completed programmes delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree programme. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme, for more information see http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm

Visit the MSc Sustainable Building Design page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Pierre Crespin

3771.jpg Q: Why did you decide to come to Heriot-Watt over other places offering similar courses?
A: My decision was based on the fact that HWU has a unique advanced programme in sustainable design and takes a leading position in this field. An additional benefit was the possibility to share my experience with people coming from various countries and bearing diverse backgrounds and the small-sized classes made all students feeling comfortable and more open to discussions.

Q: Do you feel your degree has prepared you well for a career?
A: I believe that this degree has sufficiently prepared me for my future career as its cross-disciplinary programme provides students with contemporary advanced knowledge, which covers the most relevant aspects of sustainable and low-carbon design solutions for the built environment. The programme also encourages the critical analysis development, which is a key component of design.

Q: What was the teaching support like?
A: I found the teaching support at Heriot Watt University very helpful. The supervisors provided useful guidance and students have access to all of the courses information and learning materials online with access to eBooks, articles, previous dissertation papers etc.

Q: What advice would you give to a postgraduate student considering embarking on their studies at Heriot-Watt?
A:I strongly recommend future students to keep in contact with their supervisors as much as possible because they can provide a great support not only with the courses’ content and assignments, but also with dissertation project guidance. I would also recommend trying to get an accommodation on campus as it is an opportunity to interact with people from different countries.


Entry Requirements

For MSc level entry applicants must have: Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area.

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