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About the course

Solent’s MSc Sustainable Building Design course is the ideal way for students from a wide range of academic backgrounds to pursue a career in this exciting and important sector. By providing you with a thorough understanding of both theory based and practical skills, you’ll graduate from this course as a specialist designer with the education and vision required to help create a sustainable future for the construction industry.

Throughout the course, you’ll be encouraged to develop a holistic approach to reducing the carbon footprint created by buildings. Learning is centred around social, economic, and environmental aspects of design, otherwise known as the three pillars of sustainability. The curriculum introduces the essential academic theory that underpins each of these areas and explores the technical tools required to successfully plan performance-based building projects.

You’ll also be introduced to Building Information Modelling (BIM)– working with an expert course team on a range of practical projects that simulate real workplace practises. These projects will help you to build a portfolio of practical work and introduce you to the essential tools and software packages used by the industry. You’ll also develop an understanding of globally renowned energy assessment methods such as BREEAM, LEED and Passivhaus.

The BRE Academy recognises the high level of real-world teaching at Solent. This means students on this course will be eligible to be fast-tracked to take the BREEAM AP qualification, and at a reduced fee. The qualifying period of three years’ work experience will also be waived. 

The course benefits from extensive links with industry, formed over many years of delivering accredited courses with professional organisations (e.g. CIAT, CIOB, SBID and CABE). Practitioners from a cross-section of the built environment industry contribute regularly to the academic process by providing real-world projects, guest lectures, site visits and informal mentoring sessions.

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
You can study this course part-time.
Part time option

Students have the opportunity to become a BREEAM accredited graduate, a qualification provided by Building Research Establishment (BRE) Academy and delivered free of charge.

What does this course lead to?

Sustainable building design is a fast growing area, offering potential for employment in small, medium, and large companies. Graduates from this course will be able to take up roles as sustainable building designers, sustainability champions, strategic advisers, BIM managers/coordinators, or project managers for environmentally led collaborative projects. The course could also open the door for further research opportunities at PhD level.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s postgraduate sustainable building design programme is ideally suited to candidates from a wide range of related disciplines.

The curriculum is designed to be creative and inclusive, providing students with the opportunity to undertake a dissertation of a technical nature, or a design-based piece of final major project work.

Facts and figures

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Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £8,700
International full-time fees: £14,300
UK and Channel Island part-time fees: £4,350 per year
International and EU part-time fees: Students from outside the UK are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our visas and immigration page for more information.

Students in receipt of a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company are typically able to pay their tuition fees via instalments.

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU full-time tuition fees the same as UK full-time tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Although the BREEAM AG course is free to study, students are required to pay for the course certificate if they are successful in achieving the qualification. As at 2016, the cost of the certificate is £30.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

An honours degree at 2:2 or higher in a related discipline.

  • Applicants with relevant industry experience may be considered.
  • Applicants may also be required to send a portfolio and may be contacted for an interview either face to face or through Skype.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS 6.5 with no component score below 5.5
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 110 overall with minimum 90 in each component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a Pre-Sessional English Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


Solent alumni save up to 50% on their tuition fees

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

Please use the links below to apply online:



Starts on 27 September 2021 Starts on 23 September 2021
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Alumni discount

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:

  • First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
  • 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules

Sustainable and Intelligent Building Design (30 credits)
This module introduces students to the concept of sustainable buildings and enables them to demonstrate understanding of how the form, fabric, and equipment of a building affect its environmental impact. An understanding of the passive and active design principles of sustainable building will be developed through a live design project. 

BIM Frameworks (15 credits)
This module provides an introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) from a holistic perspective. BIM has emerged as the dominant paradigm for information and communication technology in architecture, engineering, and construction. This module covers BIM approaches, as well as the impact these have on the various AEC disciplines.

Sustainable Building Assessment (15 credits)
This module covers the environmental assessment methods of buildings in the UK and internationally. Students will develop and demonstrate understanding of the sustainable building assessment methods like BREEAM and LEED. Post-occupancy evaluation methods will also be explained to highlight the importance of the end user.

Integrated Project (30 credits)
This module brings together the combination of approaches from various disciplines that are utilised for the sustainable design of buildings.  Encompassing the state-of-the-art in research and practice from the breadth of architecture, engineering, and construction; this module covers aspects such as environmental strategies, instant thermal analyses and building information modelling.

Research Methods (15 credits)
This module develops the skills required to carry out research primarily for dissertation or design projects. It aims to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of methodological approaches of research and examines a range of tools used to collect and analyse the data in order to solve complex problems.


Project Management (15 credits)
This module focuses upon the management of complex building projects in sustainability contexts using systematic approaches. It deals with both hard and soft aspects of managing projects whilst delivering value to the clients by exploring current approaches, industry standard tools and techniques using case studies.


Work-Based Project Management (15 credits)
The project management module is available in a work-based format designed to offer a flexible, practice-related approach to learning. Students who are already in relevant employment have the opportunity to gain academic credit for knowledge and skills gained in the workplace through a negotiated learning contract which is agreed by the student, employer and module leader.


Research Dissertation (60 credits)
In this module, students undertake a Master's stage research project, present the body of work in a conventional dissertation and communicate the outcomes verbally through formal viva. Students explore in-depth a topic relevant to the discipline to develop a significant level of expertise in the area under investigation.


Design Project (60 credits)
In this module, students carry out in-depth research into a topic relevant to the discipline, culminating in a design thesis and communicated via visual aids and artefacts as well as verbally.

Please note: Not all optional module are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Students' work

Meet the course team

Sarah Radif academic profile Sarah Radif Head of Subject View profile
Dr Monkiz Khasreen academic profile Monkiz Khasreen Course Leader View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Students will have access to specialist studio spaces, high-spec computers and a range of essential industry software packages. University-wide services include excellent learning resources, campus-wide wireless networking, extensive library services and dedicated student working spaces.

Graduates will be able to utilise and demonstrate the application of the Passivhaus standard throughout their project work. Use of the BREEAM and LEED international environmental assessment benchmarks prepare students to work on projects all over the world.

Your future

Students may wish to progress their careers with a PhD.

Industry links

The course benefits from extensive links with industry, formed over many years of delivering accredited courses with professional organisations (e.g. CIAT, CIOB, SBID and CABE). Practitioners from a cross-section of the built environment industry contribute regularly to the academic process by providing real-world projects, guest lectures, site visits and informal mentoring sessions.

Students will also have the opportunity to study towards becoming a BREEAM Accredited Graduate, a qualification offered in collaboration with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Academy. The BREEAM AG scheme, which is taught alongside the main course at no extra cost to students, is a first step to becoming BREEAM Assessor.

Graduate stories

April's story

April Rapley - Architectural Technologist, ArchitecturePLB

“I started my BA (Hons) Architectural Technology degree at Solent in 2014, then moved onto my Master’s in Sustainable Building Design which finished in 2018, I then did my professional qualification to become a BREEAM accredited professional which I took in September 2019.

My studies at Solent have been massively useful in helping me to progress in my career, and have helped me with a lot of aspects that I now use in my job – not just in the detailing and architectural side but with things like writing specifications and contract admin which I’m now really knowledgeable in.

My role at ArchitecturePLB is an Architectural Technologist, I help project architects with detailing, a lot of RIBA stage four and five and producing tender packages for contractors.  I also help contractors on site with details and any queries that they have while the building is in construction.

I primarily work in the programme Revit, so I work in 3D with the whole project team and we all work on various aspects of it. I do a lot of 2D detailing, but also 3D modelling of walls and floors, and also massing of the building itself.

My advice to other students would be to get a good relationship with a company whilst you’re still studying, either through work experience or just keeping in contact with them – it makes it a lot easier to approach them for a job when the time comes. Also, learn as many aspects of the programme that you’re using as you can.

The next step in my career is to become a Chartered Architectural Technologist, I’m working my way towards that and currently building up my portfolio ready for that in a few years’ time.”

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day