Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc

London, Bloomsbury

UCL's Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc explores how digital engineering can create smarter buildings that are better for their occupants and the environment. Join a new generation of leaders innovating the engineering, design and operation of integrated building systems.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£19,300
£9,650
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£34,400
£17,200
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A second-class or higher UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. engineering or physics), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. These requirements may be relaxed for students who can demonstrate considerable and relevant aptitude and work experience; these candidates will be assessed on an individual basis. Please clearly state in your personal statement how your educational or employment background (including an 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.

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

The world is changing at a fast rate, and so are our buildings. Advances in digital tools for building performance analysis, and technological advances like the Internet of Things, provide unparalleled data and insights on how our buildings are designed and operated. As such we developed a programme that takes a forward-looking view on the impact of this digital transformation to the established discipline of Building Services Engineering, towards sustainable building design and operation

On this Master’s programme you’ll explore how digital engineering can lead to smarter buildings that are better for their occupants and the environment.

You'll learn:

  • the scientific principles underpinning the way buildings and their systems are designed and operated
  • how building data are collected, processed and interpreted, including data analytics and applications of machine learning in buildings 
  • to take an integrated perspective of a building's form, systems and users – a prerequisite for effective operation
  • the factors affecting integrated building design in relation to sustainable operation 

You’ll engage with industry experts to solve real-life problems, positioning yourself at the forefront of an emerging new discipline. And you’ll develop skills that are in short supply.

The world needs better buildings – can you help make that change?

Who this course is for

This programme is primarily suitable for recent engineering graduates who possess a strong quantitative background and a keen interest in developing a deep understanding of novel modelling techniques and the functioning of building systems to drive engineering innovation and sustainability in the built environment. This highly technical programme is also relevant to early and mid-career professionals looking to expand their technical skills and knowledge and keep abreast of the latest developments in their field.

What this course will give you

The Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc offers you the opportunity to become an expert in this innovative and developing discipline. We aspire to generate technology leaders, capable of delivering high-performance solutions in the engineering design of building systems.

By the end of the programme you’ll have:

  • gained expert knowledge of advanced building simulation and integrated design tools 
  • been taught by leaders in the field, and had the opportunity to network with key figures within the industry 
  • developed the skills and understanding to help design, maintain and operate better, smarter buildings
  • developed your knowledge and appreciation of the transformative impact of digital engineering

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 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 (2023) places The Bartlett as #1 for Architecture and Built Environment studies in the world, and #1 in the UK for the ninth year in a row. The Bartlett's research received the UK's most world-leading ratings for Built Environment research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

The foundation of your career

The digital transformation of our built environment is only just beginning, and engineering graduates possessing the knowledge and skills acquired on this programme will be in high demand.
With the Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc you’ll be an ideal candidate for specialist roles in digitally focused companies that provide engineering, design, planning and consulting services.

Potential job titles might include:
•    Building Services Engineer 
•    Smart Building Consultant
•    Building Energy Analyst
•    Sustainability Consultant
•    Building Physics Engineer
•    Building Energy Performance Modeller
•    Building Systems Engineer
•    Facility and Operations Manager
•    Research Analyst (In low carbon buildings)
•    Energy Consultant
•    Digital Buildings Engineer

Employability

You will gain core knowledge and hands-on experience with monitoring and energy management systems and applying industry standards. You will use simulation tools including EnergyPlus, DesignBuilder and will become familiar with modelling languages like Modelica. These skills are highly sought after.

Members of the industry provide guidance to ensure teaching content and project briefs are relevant to industry needs. We regularly invite members of industry to give guest lectures to enhance your learning experience.

You will gain the confidence to undertake large interdisciplinary projects with many unknowns and uncertainties, learning to coordinate work, integrate across disciplines, and make balanced decisions, thus preparing you for professional life.
 

Networking

Throughout the year, you will have the opportunity to connect with Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc alumni and industry experts through seminars, guest lectures, and networking events throughout the year. You'll also be able to participate in numerous London-based industry events that we'll guide you to, including events organised by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and by the UK chapter of ASHRAE. Lastly, there's a potential to win industry awards, such as the building simulation award supported by DesignBuilder Software which our students won in 2023.

Accreditation

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

Teaching and learning

The programme takes an integrated perspective of a building, its systems and users, by exploring how digital technologies can be leveraged in building services engineering to support the design and operation of sustainable buildings. This highly technical programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, problem-based learning and project work. It aims to provide a thorough understanding of the scientific principles underpinning the way buildings and their systems are designed and operated, as well as exploring the areas of building data collection, processing and data analytics.

Assessment is through a combination of methods:

  • Written coursework
  • Individual and group-based project work
  • Group work with a design component
  • Dissertation

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.

A Postgraduate Diploma, six compulsory modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time up to nine months or flexible/modular up to five years is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, four modules (60 credits) - of which at least three selected from the Core Modules, - full-time nine months or flexible/modular up to five years is offered.

A Postgraduate Diploma, six compulsory modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time up to nine months or flexible/modular up to five years is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, four modules (60 credits) - of which at least three selected from the Core Modules, - full-time nine months or flexible/modular up to five years is offered.

Modules

You will take eight taught modules across Term 1 and Term 2; four during Term 1 and four during Term 2. 

In Term 1, you will learn about building systems physics, engineered environmental elements, building systems modelling, and integrated building design. These modules set the foundation for the whole Master's, preparing you for further topics and for your research project.

In Term 2, you will gain more specialised and advanced knowledge in machine learning in smart buildings and integrated building systems simulations, and will have the opportunity to choose two specialised optional modules depending on your career aspirations.

In Term 3 and the summer, you will complete the dissertation, having had preparatory tutorials throughout the year.

You will take four taught modules in year one and four taught modules and the dissertation in year two. The split of modules across the two years is designed to ensure the programme builds upon knowledge and skills in subsequent terms.

In term 1 of your first year, you will learn about building systems physics and engineered environmental elements, which provide the foundations for later courses to build upon. In term two you will choose your optional modules that align to your interests and skills. 

In year two you will be introduced to building systems modelling, and integrated building design in term 1. In term two you will delve into the advanced subjects of machine learning in smart buildings and integrated building systems simulations. You will be encouraged to start your dissertation research at the start of year 2, to submit it at the end of the year.

You will take all six compulsory modules, two optional modules and the dissertation over the course of a maximum of five consecutive academic years. Due to their foundational nature you will be encouraged to complete the ‘Building systems physics’ and ‘Engineered environmental elements’ modules before completing other taught modules. You will be invited to discuss the order in which you complete the remaining modules, to support your studies and agree a programme that builds your knowledge and skills in a coherent manner.

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering.

Fieldwork

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip which will include a mix of workshops, seminars and team building activities. There will also be opportunities to participate in site visits throughout the duration of the programme.

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 and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Environmental Design and Engineering

Whether your ambition is to design better buildings, plan better cities, build sustainable communities or help meet the challenge of climate change, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment could be a big step towards it. Find out more about our courses within the Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering: Health Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc, Light and Lighting MSc, Environmental Design and Engineering MSc, Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300 £9,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

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 for fieldwork and site visits outside London that are part of the degree will be provided. Travel costs for optional site visits or fieldwork within the London area (zones 1-6) accessible by public transport are covered by students. It is estimated that students would need to contribute between £10 and £20 per optional site visit depending on the destination.

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

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

In our faculty, The Bartlett Promise Scholarship aims to enable students from backgrounds underrepresented in the built environment to pursue master's studies. Please see the UK Master's scholarship and Sub-Saharan Africa Master's scholarship pages for more information on eligibility criteria, selection process and FAQs.

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 Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 3 April 2024
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

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 at graduate level Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering
  • why you want to study Smart Buildings and Digital 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.

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: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.