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Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc

Ground-breaking Master’s programme was to meet the growing demand for specialists to drive the health and wellbeing agenda in the design, assessment, retrofit and operation of sustainable buildings.

Programme highlights

  • Train as one of a new generation of experts in the fast-growing field of health, wellbeing and sustainability in the built environment
  • Explore how the convergence of the green agenda and the health and wellbeing agenda has led to a more holistic, human-centred approach to building design
  • Develop critical thinking, quantitative skills and expertise in modelling, monitoring and design approaches, while learning how to conceptualise and sustainably implement health and wellbeing across multiple disciplines and building types 
  • Deepen your understanding of human behaviour and psychology in relation to building use, and understand how a focus on health and wellbeing on building positively affects users’ physical, mental and emotional health, and improves productivity and performance
  • Benefit from an association with the MSc’s industry Advisory Group; experts from industry and policy, including leading architectural, engineering and facility management firms, who collaborate with the Institute and also contribute ‘real-world’ input to the programme as invited lecturers, tutors and dissertation advisors
  • Make a daily difference as a champion of the health and wellbeing agenda, driving innovation and sustainability in buildings.

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On this page

About the programme

This Master's programme was launched in 2017 in response to the demand for a new generation of experts to drive the health and wellbeing agenda in the built environment, working in ways that are sustainable and innovative. It builds on the explosion of global interest in sustainability, health and wellbeing in buildings, following the adoption of the wellbeing agenda by building designers and urban planners. 

The convergence of the green and health and wellbeing agendas has led to the emergence of a more holistic, human-centred approach to design, and made health and wellbeing an increasingly influential part of IEDE’s research portfolio. Research projects have so far included the impact of greenhouse gas reductions on public health; indoor air quality and overheating in homes and schools; and the health effects of moisture in buildings. 

Students on the Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability MSc are taught by leaders in the field and have opportunities to network with and learn from industry experts, developing their understanding of commercially applicable, research-oriented tools and approaches, and benefiting from opportunities for hands-on experience and exposure to real-world scenarios. 

The course builds on IEDE’s strong links with industry, and also has its own dedicated Advisory Group drawn from academia, industry and policy. The Advisory Group contributes ‘real-world’ input as invited lecturers, tutors and dissertation advisors, and also collaborates with the Institute’s research. 

Spanning both technical disciplines and the humanities, the Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc equips graduates to work in a range of sectors. With its emphasis on critical enquiry, multidisciplinary understanding and strong communication skills, it is designed to help students develop into highly employable, multi-skilled professionals. Graduates from our first cohort have found employment in leading organisations ranging from Delos in China to Samoo Architects & Engineers in South Korea, the Shenzen Institute of Building Research to PhD roles at universities including UCL.

Who should apply?

The MSc programme is targeted at students from disciplines including architecture, engineering, interior architecture/design, physics and other related disciplines, including the built environment, geography, public health and environmental psychology.

 

It is also suitable for professionals already working in these sectors who wish to expand their skills and knowledge. 

What do our students think of the programme?

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Key information

Start date

  • September 2019

Entry requirements

Duration and Qualifications

  • The Master’s degree programme (180 credits) can be studied full-time for one year, part-time for two years or on a modular/flexible basis from 2 to 5 years. Find out more about the course structure.
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip, 120 credits) and Certificate (PG Cert, 60 credits) routes are also available, as full time or modular/flexible. The PG Dip option (9 months, if full time) comprises 8 modules. The PG Cert (4-7 months, if full time) comprises 4 modules.

Fees and funding

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Teaching and learning

Students are assessed for each module on group design projects and associated written reports and essays; through examinations; and on a final report and assessment on their completed dissertation.

Our approach to student assessment and curriculum design is informed by UCL’s distinctive approach to research-based education, the Connected Curriculum, which aims to offer an enriched learning experience. Learning is supported via supplementary activities including dedicated tutorials for specialised software, case study visits, a residential field visit, an introduction to building physics, and opportunities to attend selected events with international experts.

The Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc consists of six compulsory core modules (four in Term 1, and two in Term 2) and two optional modules, plus a dissertation.

Core modules

•    Health, Comfort and Wellbeing in the Built Environment (15 credits)
•    Wellbeing in Buildings: Theory and Practice (15 credits) 
•    Integrated Building Design for Health, Comfort and Wellbeing (15 credits)
•    Methods of Environmental Analysis (15 credits)
•    Health and Wellbeing in Cities: Theory and Practice (15 credits)
•    Indoor Air Quality in Buildings (15 credits).

Optional modules

•    Light, Lighting and Wellbeing in Buildings (15 credits)
•    Building Acoustics (15 credits)
•    Designing Inclusive Places (15 credits).

Dissertation (60 credits)

Teaching staff

Programme leader

Dr Marcella Ucci
Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Healthy Buildings
View Marcella's profile

Deputy programme leader

Dr Anna Mavrogianni
Lecturer in Sustainable Building and Urban Design
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Dr Stephen Cannon-Brookes
Lecturer in Lighting
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Professor Michael Davies 
Professor of Building Physics and Environment
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Dr Gemma Moore 
Teaching Fellow in Social Sustainability and the Built Environment
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Professor Dejan Mumovic
Professor of Building Performance Analysis
View Dejan's profile

Clive Shrubsole
Senior Research Associate in Environmental and Healthy Buildings
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Dr Nicole Zimmermann
Lecturer in System Dynamics
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Nigel Oseland
Honorary Senior Lecturer
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Jean Hewitt
Honorary Senior Lecturer
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Other contributors and speakers:

Dr Hector Altamirano  
Lecturer in Environmental Design and Engineering
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Dr Ben Croxford 
Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Built Environments
View Ben's profile

Dr Sani Dimitroulopoulou
Honorary Senior Lecturer
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Dr Vivian Dorizas
Lead KTP Associate in Low Energy Ventilation Systems
View Vivian's profile

Dr Ian Hamilton 
Lecturer and Senior Research Associate in Energy Epidemiology
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Dr Jonathon Taylor
Research Associate in Healthy Buildings
View Jonathan's profile

Dr Rokia Raslan 
Lecturer in Building Performance Simulation
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Careers and employability

Students taking this programme may be interested in working in architectural practices, engineering companies and specialist consultancies dedicated to the design and/or evaluation of sustainable buildings, with a strong focus on health, wellbeing and ergonomics.

Additional career paths may be found within in-house building design and operational teams, in public sector agencies or government departments concerned with the built environment or public health or other health, wellbeing and sustainability issues. Employment opportunities may also be available in relevant product or service innovation companies.

The MSc can also provide a foundation for MPhil or PhD research.

Connecting to the real world
The MSc aims to develop in students a clear understanding of how to apply their specialist knowledge and skills in the real world. This understanding is enhanced by hands-on work with a number of simulation tools used by commercial companies, from thermal analysis to indoor air quality.

Course content is mapped out against relevant industry standards such as the WELL Building Standard, BREEAM and LEED, giving students a critical understanding of the key factors these address, enhancing their employability, and preparing the ground for them to gain accreditation more easily for future building projects.

Students will gain experience of monitoring environmental conditions within buildings, and of gathering and evaluating occupant feedback and perceptions. They will also gain an in-depth understanding of the business case for prioritising health, wellbeing and human performance in buildings – something that’s crucial for employability. 

Networking
The programme facilitates networking with industry leaders via an industry workshop, and selected opportunities for industry-related dissertation projects. Our highly committed and involved Advisory Group provides advice on the design of selected coursework, and input into the strategy underpinning the curriculum design.

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Industry links

The Bartlett Faculty, the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, and the Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability MSc are built on enterprise and have strong links to industry and policy through a range of partnerships and projects.
 
Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability MSc students have numerous opportunities to engage with the Institute’s partner organisations and the MSc’s own Advisory Group. The latter includes leaders from industry, public health and academia, helping to ensure a suitable balance between research-driven teaching and evidence-based practice. Guest speakers on the course include leading architects and environmental engineers, and dissertations can (where feasible) also be undertaken in collaboration with industry.

Edward Garrod, Principal, UK Head of Sustainability + Integrated Design, Elementa Consulting:
“We’re looking to the Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc to nurture a new generation of designers, engineers, analysts and clients who can seize the huge opportunity presented by our renewed focus on wellbeing. Clients increasingly want design teams that truly understand how the built environment impacts health, happiness and productivity. It’s an interdisciplinary challenge requiring new skills and collaboration between industry and academia.”

Edward Garrod, Principal, UK Head of Sustainability + Integrated Design, Elementa Consulting:

We’re looking to the Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc to nurture a new generation of designers, engineers, analysts and clients who can seize the huge opportunity presented by our renewed focus on wellbeing. Clients increasingly want design teams that truly understand how the built environment impacts health, happiness and productivity. It’s an interdisciplinary challenge requiring new skills and collaboration between industry and academia.

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Why study at The UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering?

  • Based in UCL’s Bloomsbury campus in the heart of London, one of the major global centres of the building design industry
  • Part of The Bartlett (Europe’s top built environment faculty*), giving students the unique opportunity to work across disciplinary boundaries
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering named UCL IEDE as a Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design in 2013
  • Over the last decade, UCL IEDE has received three five-yeargrants from the EPSRC, awarded to ‘well-established, world-leading research groups’
  • Our team has been involved in major research projects linking built environment with health and wellbeing, including: AWESOMELUCIDHPRUSINPHONIEPURGEHEWCEE and Active Buildings.

*QS World University rankings by subject

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Further information

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