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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.

Specialist facilities Apply direct Further studies 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 advisors, 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

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2017/2018 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £7,750
International full-time fees: £12,500
UK, EU and Channel Island part-time fees: £3,875 per year
International part-time fees: Students from outside the EU 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.

Other costs

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

Southampton 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

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2017, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 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.
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.

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

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 minimum 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking - TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • 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.

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.


50%

Solent alumni save up to 50% on their tuition fees

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team:

ask@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 3039

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

To begin your application, please email admissions.

Apply for MSc Sustainable Building Design (full-time)

Apply for MSc Sustainable Building Design (part-time)

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 Southampton 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 Southampton 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 units

Sustainable and Intelligent Building Design (30 credits)
This unit 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 unit 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 unit covers BIM approaches, as well as the impact these have on the various AEC disciplines.

Sustainable Building Assessment (15 credits)
This unit 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 unit 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 unit covers aspects such as environmental strategies, instant thermal analyses and building information modelling.

Research Methods (15 credits)
This unit 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.

Options

Project Management (15 credits)
This unit 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.

OR

Work-Based Project Management (15 credits)
The project management unit 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 unit leader.

AND:

Research Dissertation (60 credits)
In this unit, 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.

OR  

Design Project (60 credits)
In this unit, 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 units are guaranteed to run each year.

Support

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

Meet the course team

Sarah Radif academic profile Sarah Radif Head of Subject View profile
Dr Monkiz Khasreen academic profile Monkiz Khasreen Senior Lecturer View profile
Ramesh Marasini academic profile Ramesh Marasini Senior Lecturer View profile
Masoud Sajjadian Masoud Sajjadian Lecturer 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.

Facilities

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.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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