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 (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 or higher UK Bachelor's degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, is required.

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: 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

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 suitable for recent graduates with an engineering or science background and an aspiration to drive engineering innovation and sustainability in the built environment. The 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 MSc in Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering 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 buildings and urban environments of the future. The QS World University Rankings (2022) ranks The Bartlett, our faculty, 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.

The foundation of your career

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, problem-based learning and project work. 

Assessment is through a combination of methods:

  • Written coursework
  • Individual and group-based project work
  • Group work with a design component
  • Unseen examinations
  • 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.

Modules

Full time students take three compulsory modules and one optional module in terms one and two. In term three they will undertake their own research culminating in a dissertation.

Part-time students take two modules in the first term and two modules in the second term for both year one and year two of their studies. In the third term of their second year they will complete their dissertation.

Flexible students take all eight of their modules and complete their dissertation within with between 2 and 5 years of starting the programme. Flexible students will be encouraged to discuss their plan for completing the MSc with the Programme Lead.

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. 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.

Placement

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 an MSc in Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering 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

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

Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc Open Day 2022

Virtual open day for the Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc with Programme Director Valentina Marincioni and programme administrator Andrea Henny. A presentation about the programme followed by a live Q&A session with the audience.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: MSc/MRes Urban Spatial Science Q&A

Join us for a virtual open day presentation and Q&A for prospective students interested in our MSc/MRes programmes in Urban Spatial Science at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. Programme leaders Dr Andrew Maclachlan and Dr Duncan Smith will introduce the degrees and be on call to answer any questions you may have. A current student will also be present to discuss their experience of CASA and life at UCL.

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

The costs of the field trip are covered by the department. Site visits that are within the Transport for London area and which are optional may incur additional transport costs.

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.

Additional funding available from our Institute and Faculty is advertised on the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering's scholarships page and The Bartlett's scholarships page.

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

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: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.