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Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies (MRes)

Course Description

The School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough has an outstanding research reputation, 75% or its research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Government Research Excellence Framework.

This programme is aimed at students training for a research career in energy and related areas, in either academia or industry. It focuses on energy demand reduction in the built environment, examining technical solutions within the wider social and economic context.

The course is closely linked with the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand (the ‘LoLo CDT’) and is led by internationally-leading research staff at Loughborough University and the Energy Institute at University College, London.

The programme capitalises on the world-class building energy modelling and monitoring expertise in the Building Energy Research Group and the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design. Students make use of our extensive laboratory and full-scale testing facilities, enriched by site visits, conferences, workshops and seminars by external experts. The programme begins with an intensive residential week studying Energy Demand in Context. Students attend lectures from energy experts in different fields, while working to produce a pathway satisfying the goal of a national 80% emissions reduction by 2050.

This is an intensive but rewarding course for future leaders in energy demand research; we accept approximately ten high calibre students each year.

Key Facts

- Research-led teaching from international experts. This unique programme is taught by acknowledged world experts in the field.

- 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.

- The MRes is an integral part of the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand, which has just been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for a further eight years.

See the website http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/civil/energy-demand-studies/

Programme modules

- Energy Demand in Context
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction into the many issues of energy demand in the built environment, setting them in the wider context of climate change policy and the history of energy use. Why is energy demand deduction complex? How did we get to where we are? What are the options for the future, and what is your possible role?

- Building Energy Systems and Models
This module will provide students with a thorough understanding of how systems and models of systems work at various levels, from heat transfer in materials and energy systems to the national building stock. They will understand approaches to modelling buildings, systems of energy demands and the influence of people. Students will be taught how to use building energy models and to interpret the results.

- Energy Theory, Measurement and Interpretation
The aims of this module are: to develop students understanding of the principles of measurement in the context of energy demand and associated factors; to explain how to interpret and represent the results accounting for uncertainties and limitations; and to apply this knowledge at different scales from individual components, to building, urban and national scale.

- Research Development and Dissemination
The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to devise, plan and disseminate research projects. The module will provide skills in defining research questions and hypotheses; critically reviewing literature; planning a programme of research; communicating to different stakeholders including academia, industry and the public; preparing conference presentations and academic papers; engaging with the public; and producing an MRes Research Dissertation proposal. The module also includes project administration skills including, research ethics and confidentiality.

- Energy Demand: Society Economics and Policy
This module is delivered in the second semester in a series of weekly sessions at UCL. Its aim is to provide a broad understanding of the social, economic, and policy determinants of energy demand, taking into account areas such as pricing and demand, market structure, cost-benefit analysis, social environment and lifestyle, individual attitudes and behaviour, public-private goods, externalities and the policy cycle.

- Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
This module will provide students with the grounding in quantitative and qualitative research methods that they need to become effective researchers. The module will provide: skills in statistical analysis and use of the SPSS software; an ability to make informed choices about ways of handling data and to assess the appropriateness of particular analytical procedures; an understanding of questionnaire, interview and focus group design, delivery and analysis; and an ability to critically assess and evaluate the research of others. Whilst case-study applications will be relevant to building energy demand, the skills and knowledge acquired will be generic.

- Energy Demand Studies Research Dissertation
The aims of this module are to train students in the planning, execution and evaluation of a substantive research project; to train them in the art of persuading others of the importance of the research and outcomes and to project their work through academic writing. The dissertation enables students to explore a topic of interest in great depth.


MRes students make use of the extensive laboratory facilities and test houses operated by the School of Civil and Building Engineering. The MRes combines measurements in buildings with modelling studies, allowing students to experience at first hand the ‘performance gap’ – the difference between modelling and real world behaviour.

Lectures at University College London provide access to world-class experts in energy economics and the societal context. Our staff pride themselves on their enthusiasm and availability to students, who often comment on this aspect of the course in their feedback.

How you will learn

The programme has a strong student-centred and research focus. Four taught modules set the context and provide subject-specific knowledge, whilst two further modules provide training in relevant research methods. A research dissertation forms half of the total credits and can lead to publishable work.

The MRes in Energy Demand Studies can be studied as a 1-year standalone programme and also forms the first year of the 4-year course for students accepted into the LoLo CDT, who then go on to study for a PhD. The opportunity exists for strong MRes students to join the LoLo Centre at the end of their MRes year.

- Assessment
The MRes is assessed entirely by coursework. A group presentation forms part of the assessment in the initial residential module; with the remainder assessed by an individual essay. Other modules include assessment by presentations and written work, including essays, reports and press releases.

The research project is assessed by a dissertation, an academic paper and a viva at which students present the work to an expert panel.

Careers and further study

Both the School of Civil and Building Engineering and the LoLo CDT have strong links with industry (e.g. Willmott Dixon, B&Q), policy makers (e.g. DECC), and the wider stake-holder community.
Dissertation projects are often linked to our industry sponsors’ interests, which provides a natural pathway to future employment and our visiting Royal Academy Professors and industry partners provide practice-based lectures and workshops.


This is a sought-after course, with a small intake, which ensures students’ access to highly qualified tuition. No scholarships are available for the standalone MRes.

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/energy-demand-studies/

Visit the Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies (MRes) page on the Loughborough University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Upper second class (2:1) honours in relevant science, engineering, or similar subject related to energy and the built environment. Applicants with extensive relevant industry experience and a capability in engineering, science, or related fields equivalent to graduate level will also be considered.

Course Fees

Please use the fee finder UK: View Website International View Website

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