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Built Environment: Environmental Design and Engineering - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

This leading-edge programme, established before many in the built environment field were aware of greenhouse gases, has produced a stream of high-achieving graduates sought after by the biggest names in building design and the construction industry. We attract students from across the globe eager to find positions throughout the globe or to take relevant, cutting-edge thinking about sustainable building design back to their own part of the world.

Degree information

The programme aims to develop students' knowledge and expertise in problem solving in the area of the built environment, and provide a framework for developing innovative thinking in the design and operation of buildings, placing associated environmental issues in a global, national and personal context.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a built environment dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

Core modules
-The Built Environment: The Energy Context
-Health, Comfort and Wellbeing in Buildings
-Building Solar Design
-Natural and Mechanical Ventilation of Buildings
-Efficient Building Service Systems
-Methods of Environmental Analysis

Optional modules
-Building Acoustics
-Advanced Building Simulation
-Light, Lighting and Vision in Buildings
-Energy Systems Modelling
-Environmental Masterplanning
-Industrial Symbiosis
-Low Energy Housing Retrofit
-Low Carbon, Energy Supply Systems
-Smart Energy Systems Implementation
-Post Occupancy Evaluation of Buildings
-Multi-objective Design Optimisation
-Introduction to System Dynamics Modelling
-Indoor Air Quality in Buildings

The availability of all optional modules is subject to demand.

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of interactive seminars, individual and group tutorials, site visits and a residential field trip. Assessment is through unseen examination, coursework, and the built environment report. Joint coursework, including two major low-energy architectural design projects, is carried out by students in multi-disciplinary teams.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in field trips and site visits including a residential trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology in north Wales. There are no additional cost to students for the field trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology.


Most students who complete the programme move into, or continue in, a building-related profession, such as architecture, low-energy design consultancy, or building services engineering. As the awareness of global environmental issues increases, the demand for people with expertise in the health and energy performance of buildings is expanding rapidly. A number of students have used the MSc as a foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

First destinations of recent graduates include: Neapoli, XC02, Max Fordham, Arup, WSP, Atkns, Buro Happold, PassivSystems, EnergyExcel, local authorities, Foster and Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Environmental Design Engineer, Neapoli
-Energy Consultant, XCO2 Energy
-Graduate Engineer, Arup
-Environmental Engineer, XCO2 Energy
-Sustainability Consultant, Arup and studying Environment Facility Management, University College London (UCL)

This programme is very "close to market" with many students finding jobs even before their studies have finished: the skills students gain are those that employers need. For example, we teach several tools used by commercial companies including the thermal analysis software IESVE and SAP. Students can walk straight into jobs where these are used and be useful immediately. Students sometimes take placement positions while working on their dissertations; in recent years this has included overseas options, for example, with Neapoli in Malaysia. Graduates often contact us through our strong alumni network to recruit for new positions, listening to their feedback ensures we keep the programme relevant to industry needs.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment, bringing together scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

Located in London, the UCL Bartlett is at the heart of a large cluster of creative architects and engineering firms, next to the UK's seat of government and finance and has all the resources of a world city to hand. It offers unrivalled networking opportunities, with alumni in the majority of the major firms in London, who often give lectures to students and appear at networking events.

The multidisciplinary faculty contains the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, which has been ranked first for Architecture in the UK for many years, and is characterised by a high level of invention and creativity. The school is internationally known as a centre for innovative design.

Visit the Built Environment: Environmental Design and Engineering - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. For applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying examination may be set. Details of this route can be obtained from the Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office.

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