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Environmental Design of Buildings (MSc)

Course Description

There are six taught and two project modules in the first stage of the course. The modules approach the subject from a variety of angles that are intended to cut across the integrating threads of heating, lighting, acoustics and sustainability, including:

- The given conditions facing environmental designers, including future conditions implied by climate change.
- The environmental standards to be achieved, and their prediction, measurement, and legislation.
- Ways of achieving high standards of environmental performance that make appropriate use of the building fabric and of mechanical services.
- Broader issues that environmental designers should be aware of in order to practice in a sustainable way.

The course syllabus and its project work address good practice in climates around the world. In the second stage, students prepare a research dissertation, in which they are able to pursue in greater depth an aspect of the subject that interests them.

Assessment Methods for this course include written examination, project work and a dissertation.

Course Structure

The programme is delivered in two stages:

Stage 1 has taught and project modules for which 120 credits are available.

The course shares 60 credits of core taught modules with a suite of architectural science masters. These modules provide a grounding in architectural science, while placing this in the context of sustainable development and environmental performance of buildings.

Alongside this core set of modules, 60 credits of modules reinforce this teaching with a focus on the climatic environment, the internal building environment and the passive design strategies as well as by providing the opportunity to apply the ideas taught in class to problems which, whilst not real, exercise a similar range of skills to a real problem.

Stage 2 has one dissertation module, for which 60 credits are available.

Full time students take stages 1 and 2 in one year. Part-time students take stage 1 in either two or three years, depending on the pathway for which they are enrolled, and undertake stage 2 at the end of their final year.


Dr Eleni Ampatzi – Course Leader (currently on maternity leave, back 1st February 2017)
Dr Eshrar Latif – Course Leader (Cover until 31st January 2017)
Mrs Sarah O’Dwyer – Lecturer, Distance Learning Programme Leader (currently on maternity leave, back January 2017)
Dr Vicki Stevenson – Lecturer, leading specialist modules
Miss Amalia Banteli – Distance Learning Programme Leader (Cover until January 2017)
Mr Fabrizio Varriale - Course tutor (Cover until January 2017)

Other contributors

Dr Simon Lannon
Mr Huw Jenkins
Dr Julie Gwilliam

Teaching and Assessment

Each module employs a different mix of teaching methods as is appropriate to the subject matter and the method of assessment. Access to teaching material is through the Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Learning Central. Reading material is supplied through links on the VLE in the form of set texts and e-books. Appropriate use is made of audio-visual support, animated demonstrations, and interactive exercises as necessary to aid learning and implementation of some subject-specific skills. Students have access to, and are expected to view/listen to, recordings of lectures or demonstrations given at Cardiff University that are related to the locally offered MSc Environmental Design of Building programme. Short tasks are set to give students opportunities for individual study and formative feedback.

In project modules students are offered the opportunity to put into practice many of the ideas they are studying and so to reinforce their understanding and skills in the subject area and to exercise their more generic problem-solving and presentation skills. Tutorials in group settings are held through a chat room. Furthermore, students keep in touch with the module tutor and the other students through an online discussion forum, by which the tutor will be able to supervise the students’ progress as a cohort and individually.

Students receive written feedback on written assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations. The opportunity to test knowledge and understanding will also be provided through completion of online tests within the VLE, or through periodic project reviews, or “crits”.

Students have the opportunity to join local students on study visits, if it should be possible for them.

For information on Financial Support to study on this course please see: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/archi/pgt-financial-support

Environmental Design of Buildings (MSc) (http://courses.cardiff.ac.uk/postgraduate/course/detail/p106.html)
Environmental Design of Buildings by DL (MSc) (http://courses.cardiff.ac.uk/postgraduate/course/detail/p415.html)

Further information about the programmes can also be found on the School's website:

Visit the Environmental Design of Buildings (MSc) page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Cardiff University Masters Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

“This scholarship package will give high-calibre students the opportunity to study at a world-leading, research-intensive university and help ease the associated financial burdens.”Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-ChancellorWe are pleased to announce that the Taught Master's Excellence Scholarship Scheme for 2016/17 entry has been confirmed.We are committed to invest up to a total of £500,000 in this high value competitive scholarship scheme to support UK and EU students who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in September 2016.The scholarships are each worth a minimum of £3,000 and will be awarded in the form of a tuition fee discount.Scholarships will be awarded based on academic excellence.

Value of Scholarship(s)

min. £3000


Eligible programmes include taught full-time and part-time taught programmes leading to a master's. Not included are our distance learning programmes and taught programmes leading to a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, as well as research master's such as the MPhil and MRes.‘Home’ and ‘EU’ students only (as classified for fee paying purposes, tuition fee status is determined after submitting an application to study) who are accepted on to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master's degree, and with a firm focus on academic excellence.For applicants from countries outside the European Union, we also offer a range of highly prestigious international scholarships.

Application Procedure

We have two deadlines after which scholarship decisions will be made:6 April and 27 July 2016.The Masters Excellence Scholarship application form can be accessed once you have submitted an application to study to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master’s degree. Please note the additional details on our website and in the guidance documents provided.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The course is suitable for graduates or experienced practitioners in disciplines related to the built environment, such as architecture, building services engineering, building technology or environmental studies who would like to strengthen their expertise in environmental design. The 3-year distance learning version of this course will be of particular interest to professionals who do not want to interrupt their careers, wherever they live. Fast track distance learning pathways are also available allowing completion of studies in one or two years entirely from a distance. Applicants should possess a good first degree, or equivalent work experience in a relevant discipline.

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