UCL Graduate degrees


Built Environment: Environmental Design and Engineering MSc

There is an urgent need for more efficient, sustainable buildings. UCL’s Environmental Design and Engineering MSc develops new generations of experts to apply innovative, sustainable approaches to building design and operation. For over 40 years, we have continually produced a stream of high-achieving graduates sought after by the biggest names in building design and construction.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 2-5 years

Full-time students are expected to study for 37.5 hours per week during term. Part-time and flexible students normally attend half this amount. Typically, teaching occurs on two days per week.

Application dates

Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£16,000 (FT)
£28,500 (FT)

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

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

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).

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

Entry requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

For applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying examination may be set. Details of this route can be obtained from the Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

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 and comfort

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

The Master of Science (MSc) programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a built environment dissertation (60 credits).

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

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a 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.

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 is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • The Built Environment: The Energy Context (15 credits)
  • Health, Comfort and Wellbeing in the Built Environment (15 credits)
  • Building Solar Design (15 credits)
  • Natural and Mechanical Ventilation of Buildings (15 credits)
  • Efficient Building Services Systems (15 credits)
  • Methods of Environmental Analysis (15 credits)

Optional modules

  • Advance Building Simulation (15 credits)
  • Low Energy Housing Retrofit (15 credits)
  • Post Occupancy Evaluation of Buildings (15 credits)
  • Multi-objective Design Optimisation (15 credits)
  • Systems Thinking and System Dynamics (15 credits)
  • Indoor Air Quality in Buildings (15 credits)
  • Building Acoustics (15 credits)
  • Light, Lighting and Vision in Buildings (15 credits)
  • Industrial Symbiosis (15 credits)
  • Energy Systems Modelling (15 credits)

The availability of all optional modules is subject to demand.


All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.


Students will have the opportunity to participate in field trips and site visits including a residential trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology in North Wales.

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. Joint coursework, including a major low-energy architectural design project, is carried out by students in multidisciplinary teams.

Additional costs

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

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


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.


UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2021
Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Based on financial need

Lamport Hall Preservation Trust Scholarship

Deadline: 16 July 2021
Up to £10,000 (Duration of programme)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

GREAT Scholarships for a Sustainable Future

Deadline: 5pm (BST), Thursday 21 April 2021
£10,000 (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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


As the awareness of global environmental issues increases, the demand for people with expertise in the health and energy performance of buildings is expanding rapidly. Our graduates tend to move into, or continue in, building-related professions such as architecture, low-energy design consultancy, or building services engineering. A number of 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. Several have shared their experiences of how the Master's helped them gain employment in alumni profiles.


This programme is very close to the market with many students finding jobs even before their studies have finished. The skills students gain from the Master’s are those that employers need. We teach several tools used by commercial companies such as the thermal analysis software IESVE. 

Through our strong alumni network graduates often contact us to recruit for new positions in their organisations. Keeping close contact with our graduates now in industry ensures we keep the Master's degree relevant to industry needs.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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 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 highest level of live research. 

Our extensive network of graduates drive change in building design and construction. We draw on their experiences and placements 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 Faculty brings together the multidisciplinary specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the built environment of the future. 

The QS World University Rankings (2021) ranks The Bartlett, our faculty, as #1 for Architecture/Built Environment studies in the UK and #2 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 benefit from:

  • A world leading, multidisciplinary learning environment. 
  • Studying in London, at the heart of a large cluster of creative architects and engineering firms and next to the UK's seat of government and finance.
  • Our Institute’s long-standing track-record of excellence in 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 and engineering firms, who also attend networking events with our Master’s students.
  • An inclusive environment that promotes global citizenship, and an ethos of equality and diversity


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).

Department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources

Application and 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc is particularly suitable for early or mid-career building industry professionals who wish to expand their interest in the environmental, energy and health issues associated with buildings, and for recent graduates with building industry or environment-related degrees who wish to gain further training before entering their chosen professions.

Application deadlines

31 May 2021
31 May 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

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 challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021