UCL Graduate degrees


Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc

The Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering (SBDE) MSc offers a thorough grounding in the science and engineering building systems integration. Drawing upon the world-leading research conducted in this field at The Bartlett’s Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, and exploiting strong industry links, it provides students with the knowledge and skills to excel in relevant industry roles or pursue research at the doctoral level.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Flexible students normally attend half this amount.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 16 October 2016
Close: 26 July 2019
Close: 30 August 2019

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £14,040 (FT) £6,960 (PT)
Overseas: £25,150 (FT) £12,510 (PT)

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. 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 and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Hackney Wick (Here East) and London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A second-class or higher UK Bachelor's degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, is required.

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

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

The programme is informed by the latest research advances and the evolving needs of the industry. You will learn about integrated building design, advanced modelling and simulation, energy management systems, and performance evaluation. You will develop the expertise to utilise hard-edged engineering methods and quantitative and qualitative tools to test and evolve your designs, integrating quantitative performance considerations.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six compulsory modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six compulsory modules (90 credits), three optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible/modular up to five years is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, four modules (60 credits) - at least three selected from the Core Modules - part-time nine months or flexible/modular up to five years is offered.

Compulsory modules

  • Building Systems Physics
  • Engineered Environmental Elements
  • Building Systems Modelling
  • Building Systems Development and Operation
  • Integrated Building Systems Simulation
  • Integrated Building Design for Health and Wellbeing

Optional modules

  • Indoor Air Quality in Buildings
  • Light, Lighting and Wellbeing in Buildings
  • Multi-Objective Design Optimisation
  • Building Acoustics
  • Post-occupancy Evaluation
  • Low-Energy Housing Retrofit
  • Mathematical Modelling Methods for the Built Environment

The list of optional modules is correct for the 2019/20 academic year. Enrolment on modules is subject to availability.


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, problem-based learning, hands-on laboratory sessions and project work. Assessment is through a combination of methods: written coursework, group work with a design component, individual and group-based project work, unseen examinations, and by dissertation.


Students will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip in term one which will include a mix of workshops, seminars and team building activities. 

Students will have the opportunity to participate in site visits throughout the duration of the programme.

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.

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.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IEDE Postgraduate Scholarship

£4,450 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on academic merit

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


Successful graduates will be equipped with the skills and knowledge required for engineering and specialist roles in companies that provide engineering, design, planning and consulting services for the built environment.

Companies that specialise in building services engineering, operations, building controls and energy systems, as well as high-tech companies seeking to deliver disruptive solutions and digital innovation in the built environment will be particularly interested in employing this programme’s graduates, as will public sector agencies and government departments concerned with the built environment, resource efficiency, and energy management.

The programme provides an ideal foundation for further doctoral and industrial research pathways and can lead to a career in research. 


You will gain strong 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 in industry.

An advisory group provides guidance to ensure content and project briefs are relevant to industry needs. Guest lecturers will be drawn from industry.

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The SBDE MSc offers exceptional university graduates the opportunity to become experts 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.

The SBDE MSc is delivered by the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE), building upon strong links with industry and multidisciplinary research undertaken at The Bartlett. Teaching is delivered at the Bloomsbury campus and UCL’s new Here East facility in East London: you will benefit from access to the creative hub in Here East and access to modern lab spaces and equipment. 

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

You will have an engineering or science background and will aspire to drive engineering innovation 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 July 2019
30 August 2019

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 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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 14 November 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing