UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc

Join the new generation of experts who can drive innovation for health and wellbeing in the design, assessment, retrofit and operation of sustainable buildings.

Programme highlights

  • Gain a knowledge of how health, wellbeing and performance are conceptualised and applied across multiple disciplines and building types.
  • Learn a blend of technical and humanities-based knowledge, including high-level expertise and critical understanding for students who want to develop quantitative skills and expertise in a wide range of modelling approaches.
  • Focus on qualitative approaches and gain a broad understanding of human behaviour in relation to health, wellbeing and buildings
  • Benefit from our association with 16 building design, engineering and facility management companies who fund the Institute’s research and contribute real-life input to the programme as invited lecturers, tutors or dissertation advisors.

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About the programme

This Master's programme builds on the ever-growing global interest in the sustainability agenda in the building industry, with a particular focus on health and wellbeing. It aims to create a new generation of experts with the skills to drive health and wellbeing in sustainable buildings in an innovative way.

The programme builds on UCL IEDE’s strong links with industry and influential health-and-wellbeing-related research projects. These include examining the impact of greenhouse gas reductions on public health, indoor air quality and overheating in homes and schools, as well as the health effects of moisture in buildings.

This HWSB MSc will aid the development of multi-skilled professionals, with its strong emphasis on critical enquiry and communication skills. Our aim is to enable students to span technical disciplines and the humanities, equipping them to work in various sectors connected to health, wellbeing and sustainability in buildings.

The programme provides opportunities for hands-on experience and understanding of commercially applicable and research-oriented tools and approaches. Students will be taught by leaders in the field and have the opportunity to network with industry experts. Not only should they be able to enhance their career prospects, they will also make a positive, professional contribution to wider society.

Key information

Start date

  • September 2019

Entry requirements


  • The programme 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 and Certificate routes are also available.

Fees and funding

What do our students think of the programme?

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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)

Industry links

The impact of the Institute's research and teaching activities is at the core of what we do. Both The Bartlett Faculty and the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering are built on enterprise, with strong links to industry and policy through different partnership arrangements and projects.  

Students taking this MSc will have multiple opportunities to engage with our partner organisations. Guest speakers on the course include leading figures from the architectural and engineering industry, and, where feasible, dissertations can also be undertaken in collaboration with industry. 

The MSc is supported by an Advisory Group, with stakeholders from industry, public health and academia. This helps to ensure a suitable balance between research-driven teaching and evidence-based practice.

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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Who should apply?

The programme is targeted at students with a background in disciplines such as Architecture, Engineering, Interior architecture/design, Physics and other related disciplines, including the built environment, geography, public health or environmental psychology.

It is equally suitable for professionals already working in these sectors who are looking to expand their skills and knowledge. 

Careers and employability

Prospective students may be interested in working in architectural or engineering companies, as well as specialist consultancies dedicated to the design and/or evaluation of sustainable buildings, with a strong focus on health, wellbeing and human performance (e.g. productivity).

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

In addition, the MSc can provide a foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

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Connecting to the real world

This MSc aims to develop a clear understanding of how the knowledge and skills you will acquire can be applied to relevant work-related contexts. For example, we teach several simulation tools used by commercial companies, including thermal analysis and indoor air quality software.

Students will also gain hands-on experience of monitoring environmental conditions within buildings as well as gathering/evaluating occupant feedback/perceptions. An understanding of the factors affecting the business case underpinning health, wellbeing and human performance in buildings is also crucial for employability. 

Course content is mapped out against relevant industry standards – such as the WELL Building Standard, BREEAM and LEED – so that students taking this MSc will acquire a critical understanding of the key factors addressed within such standards, helping them to gain accreditation more easily in the future. 


The programme facilitates networking with industry leaders via an industry workshop and selected opportunities for industry-related dissertation projects. Our Advisory Group also provides excellent input for the design of coursework and for the strategy that underpins the curriculum design.

Teaching and Learning


Students will be assessed for each module using a mixed format of design projects (group work) with associated written reports, written essays and unseen examinations, and for the completion of their dissertation with assessment of the final report.

Our approach to student assessment and curriculum design is informed by UCL’s distinctive approach to research-based education – the Connected Curriculum.

Teaching staff

Programme leader

Dr Marcella Ucci
Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Healthy Buildings
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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
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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
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Dr Sani Dimitroulopoulou
Honorary Senior Lecturer
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Dr Vivian Dorizas
Lead KTP Associate in Low Energy Ventilation Systems
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Dr Ian Hamilton 
Lecturer and Senior Research Associate in Energy Epidemiology
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Dr Jonathon Taylor
Research Associate in Healthy Buildings
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Dr Rokia Raslan 
Lecturer in Building Performance Simulation
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Why study at The UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering?

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

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018

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Further information

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