Built Environment: Environmental Design and Engineering MSc

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hackney Wick (Here East)

There is an urgent need for more sustainable, efficient and healthier buildings to mitigate the impacts of climate change and contribute towards achieving net zero carbon targets. UCL's Environmental Design and Engineering MSc teaches a new generation of experts to apply innovative and sustainable approaches for more efficient building design and operation through integrated design and engineering.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
£9,000
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. architecture, engineering, physics and other relevant disciplines in built environment) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. If your first degree was not in a relevant discipline, please clearly state in your personal statement how your educational or employment background (including any internships or projects) relates to the programme and what you aim to achieve through your studies.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

In the face of climate crisis, it has never been more important to adapt the built environment and make our buildings, towns and cities healthier, more sustainable places to live. Environmental Design and Engineering MSc is designed give you the skills to tackle these increasingly critical issues by advancing your knowledge and expertise in the design of more efficient, sustainable buildings. 

You will develop the skills needed to think innovatively about the design and operation of buildings in the context of local, national and global environmental issues. 

Key areas you will study include: 

  • Passive design
  • Efficient building services systems design
  • Advanced building simulation techniques
  • Occupant health, comfort and wellbeing in buildings
  • Natural and mechanical ventilation in buildings
  • Net zero carbon design
  • Embodied energy/carbon

You will also get the opportunity to build your knowledge in specialist topics such as:

  • Retrofit
  • Indoor air quality
  • Building acoustics
  • Light, lighting and wellbeing in buildings

The MSc will develop your problem solving and critical thinking, providing you with a rigorous framework for the design and operation of buildings that keeps environmental concerns and the needs of occupants at the heart of design.

Who this course is for

This MSc is suitable for recent graduates, as well as early and mid-career building professionals looking to enhance their careers in – or change track in the direction of – sustainable or environmental design and engineering. For recent graduates this degree is particularly suited to those who have studied subjects such as architecture, engineering and physics, as well as other building industry or environment-related degrees. For early and mid-career building industry professionals this degree is suited to those who wish to expand their knowledge in sustainability, environmental, energy and health issues associated with buildings.

What this course will give you

UCL's Environmental Design and Engineering MSc trains students to tackle urgent environmental issues in the build environment with innovative, interdisciplinary thinking. You will join a global cohort of students studying cutting-edge, sustainable approaches to building design and operation.

You will learn from academics who generate ground-breaking research in environmental design and engineering. Our research is embedded within the course, exposing you to the latest research and innovation in the field. 

We have an extensive network of graduates, driving change in building design and construction for the last 40 years. We draw on their experiences in leading companies to enrich this Master's and keep the programme industrially relevant.

This Master's is delivered by UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering in The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, home to specialist institutes in energy, environmental design and engineering, resources and heritage.  

The Bartlett, UCL's Faculty of the Built Environment, brings together the multidisciplinary specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the built environment of the future. The QS World University Rankings (2022) places our Faculty, The Bartlett, as #1 for Architecture/Built Environment studies in the UK and #3 in the World. The Bartlett's research received the UK's most world-leading ratings for Built Environment research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

As you student you will benefit from:

  • Studying in London, at the heart of a large cluster of creative architects and engineering firms and the best city in the world for students according to QS Best Student Cities 2023.
  • Our Institute's long-standing track-record of excellence in interdisciplinary building design and engineering research.
  • Our long-standing established relationships with industry, policy makers and academia, who give guest lectures in our Institute.
  • Our extensive alumni network, many of whom are now within London and the UK's major building industry firms including architecture, engineering, sustainable design consultancy, who also attend networking events with our Master's students.
  • An inclusive environment that promotes global citizenship, and an ethos of equality and diversity.

The foundation of your career

The demand for workers with expertise in the health, energy performance and net zero carbon is rising exponentially as concern about global environmental issues has increased. Our graduates tend to move into, or continue in, building-related professions such as architecture, low energy/carbon and sustainable design consultancies, or building services engineering. Several students have also used the MSc as a foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

First destinations of graduates include: Foster and Partners, Arup, WSP, Atkins, Buro Happold, PassivSystems, EnergyExcel, Max Fordham, NEAPOLI, XC02 and more. Discover the paths some of our graduates have taken by reading our alumni profiles.

Over 40 years we have developed a strong alumni network, with many in leadership positions in top engineering and design firms. Our alumni frequently contact us to recruit for new positions in their organisations. We keep close contact with them to ensure our teaching stays industrially relevant. Several of the tools we teach are used by commercial companies, giving you the skills to launch into your career.

Employability

Through the programme, you will learn skills and knowledge that are sought after by the leading practices in the industry.

These include:

  • Dynamic thermal simulation modelling using IES VE (the most widely used software by the UK industry)
  • Multidisciplinary integrated design approach for net zero carbon design
  • Indoor environmental quality monitoring and analyses (e.g. using sensors for monitoring indoor temperature and relative humidity)
  • Quantitative research methods (e.g. statistical analyses)
  • Qualitative research methods (e.g. occupant survey, questionnaire design)
  • Multi-objective design optimisation using Grasshopper (depending on optional module choice)
  • EnergyPlus and Python coding (depending on optional module choice)

The MSc programme is continuously reviewed and developed in response to the market and contextual changes and market demands based on input from academics and graduates currently leading in the industry.

Accreditation

This course has been accredited as suitable further learning to meet the academic requirement for Chartered Engineers (CEng) by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of interactive seminars, individual and group tutorials, site visits and a residential field trip. Assessment is through unseen examination, coursework, and the built environment report. You will also have some group coursework assignments, giving you the opportunity to work with fellow students from different academic backgrounds in multidisciplinary teams, much like you would experience in the workplace. 

In terms 1 and 2 full-time students can typically expect between 8 and 15 contact hours per teaching week through lectures, workshops and tutorials. In term 3 students will be completing their own dissertation research, keeping regular contact with their dissertation supervisors.

Outside of lectures full-time students typically study the equivalent of a full-time job, using their remaining time for self-directed study and completing coursework assignments.

The Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) programme consists of six core module (90 credits) and two optional modules (30 credits).

Modules

You will take eight taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2. These comprise six compulsory modules providing core knowledge, understanding and skills. You will also take two optional modules, allowing you to pursue specialist interests. Please note that the optional modules listed below are indicative of what will be offered in the coming year. If you have a specific optional module that you are interested in, then you are strongly advised to contact the programme administrator prior to applying to ensure it will run next academic year.

You will complete a research project leading to a dissertation throughout Term 3 and the summer.

The residential field trip to the Sustainability Centre in the South Downs National Park typically takes place at the end of October. You will also benefit from the opportunity to take part in optional site visits across London throughout the programme.

You will take eight taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation over two years. For part-time students we suggest taking three compulsory and one optional modules each year.

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2. These comprise six compulsory modules providing core knowledge, understanding and skills. We suggest taking compulsory modules which take place on Tuesdays during the first year to help you manage your time at work. You will also take two optional modules, allowing you to pursue specialist interests. Please note that the optional modules listed below are indicative of what will be offered in the coming year. If you have a specific optional module that you are interested in, then you are strongly advised to contact the programme administrator prior to applying to ensure it will run next academic year.

You will complete a research project leading to a dissertation throughout Term 3 and the summer in year 2.

The residential field trip to the Sustainability Centre in the South Downs National Park typically takes place at the end of October. You will also benefit from the opportunity to take part in optional site visits across London throughout the programme.

You will take eight taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation between two to five years.

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2. These comprise six compulsory modules providing core knowledge, understanding and skills. You will also take two optional modules, allowing you to pursue specialist interests. Please note that the optional modules listed below are indicative of what will be offered in the coming year. If you have a specific optional module that you are interested in, then you are strongly advised to contact the programme administrator prior to applying to ensure it will run next academic year.

You will complete a research project leading to a dissertation throughout Term 3 and the summer in the final year.

The residential field trip to the Sustainability Centre in the South Downs National Park typically takes place at the end of October. You will also benefit from the opportunity to take part in optional site visits across London throughout the programme.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

For the Master of Science (MSc), students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. For the Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip), students undertake modules to the value of 120 credits Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Built Environment: Environmental Design and Engineering. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Built Environment: Environmental Design and Engineering.

Fieldwork

Students will have the opportunity to participate in field trips and site visits including a residential trip to the Sustainability Centre in the South Downs National Park.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Environmental Design and Engineering MSc

Are you interested in making our buildings, towns and cities better places to live in? Do you want to help make them more sustainable, healthier, more efficient and productive? Our specialist Master’s degrees can take you there. Join one of our virtual open days for Environmental Design and Engineering MSc, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc, Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc, and Light and Lighting MSc.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000 £9,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Travel, accommodation, and activities for the residential field visit are included. Travel costs for site visits or fieldwork within the London area (zones 1-6) accessible by public transport are covered by students.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Rising Leader in Sustainable Business Scholarship

Deadline: 14 July 2023
Value: £6,000 towards fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Environmental Design and Engineering at graduate level
  • why you want to study Environmental Design and Engineering at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate why you are suited to this programme.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.