Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources BSc

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hackney Wick (Here East)
Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources BSc (2024)

The time to act on climate change is now. We need a new generation of experts with the skills to make our buildings, towns and cities more sustainable, healthier places to live. UCL’s Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources BSc is designed to provide you with the vital skills needed to kickstart your career in sustainability, take action on climate change, and help build a better future.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
3 calendar years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£31,100
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code
K300

Entry requirements

Grades
AAA
Subjects
Mathematics required. Economics, Computer Science, Physics, Environmental Science, and Environmental Technology preferred.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, including grade 6 in Mathematics, with no higher level score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your BTEC syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, to include Mathematics.

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), to include Mathematics at Advanced Higher

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA, to include Mathematics

International applications

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

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview


Are you ready to join a new generation of sustainability experts helping to make our buildings, towns and cities more sustainable, healthier places to live? In the face of climate crisis, we need a sustainable built environment that is both climate-resilient and resource-efficient. UCL’s Sustainable Built Environments Energy and Resources BSc and MEng is a unique, solution-oriented undergraduate degree that combines every aspect of sustainability, from social and environmental science to resource economics and engineering, to give you the skills needed to take decisive climate action and help build a sustainable future. 

You will learn:

  • Social, environmental and economic theories, and how these can be used to address climate change, achieve net-zero emissions, and improve health and wellbeing in the built environment.
  • How to use data analysis, modelling and advanced decision-making processes to design, construct, operate sustainable buildings, neighbourhoods and cities.
  • How to use important digital tools and software used in sustainability to provide creative solutions to real-world problems.
  • Essential maths and statistics required to work in sustainability, learning through real-life examples with additional support provided.
  • The key challenges facing sustainable built environments, including heritage, health and culture, and how to overcome them.
  • Leadership, critical thinking, communication, problem-solving and other employable transferrable skills.

Beyond lectures and workshops, you will get hands-on experience applying your theoretical knowledge to real-life sustainability issues in our 'Sustainable Buildings' and 'Sustainable Cities Challenges' modules.

Depending on your ambitions, you can take the course as either a BSc (Hons) or an MEng. 

  • Students on the BSc (Hons) route will be motivated to gain a comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues in the built environment, ready to kick-start their career in a range of different sectors concerned with sustainability. BSc students will study full-time for three years.
  • Students on the MEng route will wish to become sustainability engineers. They will study for four years, gaining the same knowledge as BSc students, plus taking additional engineering-focused modules. We are actively seeking accreditation so MEng students can apply to become Chartered Engineers once they have completed their studies.

If you are unsure of which pathway is right for you, you can apply for either route and at the end of the second year you will have the opportunity to change.

What this course will give you

You will:

  • Be taught by a range of world-leading academics and sustainability experts, actively contributing to the latest research and policy in their area of expertise
  • Create solutions for real-world sustainability problems, by applying what you have learnt to Sustainable Building and Cities Challenges
  • Gain the skills needed to develop and design sustainable built environments from building to city scales
  • Join a new generation of professionals in the fast-growing field of sustainable built environments.

We offer:

  • A world-leading learning environment. The Bartlett is ranked #1 in the world for Architecture and Built Environment studies, and remains #1 in the UK for the ninth year in a row in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023. UCL has also been awarded the University of the Year 2024 by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide
  • A track record of delivering exceptional graduates, forming extensive alumni networks, who are now in leadership roles in sectors concerned with sustainability and major building engineering firms around the world
  • Long-standing, strong relationships with stakeholders from industry, policymakers and academia, who often give lectures and appear at networking events
  • A Faculty recognised for research excellence in environmental design and engineering, energy, and sustainable resources 
  • The opportunity to study in London, a dynamic city ranked Best Student City 2024 by the QS World University Rankings
  • An inclusive environment that promotes global citizenship, and an ethos of equality and diversity.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources.

Modules

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.

In this course you will learn how to put your theoretical knowledge about sustainability into practice. New concepts related to sustainability challenges will be introduced through workshops and projects by academics and industry partners. Unique to this course are our 'Sustainable Buildings' and ‘Sustainable Cities' Challenges, which are hands-on, project-based modules where you will work together to create sustainable solutions for real-life challenges in cities and buildings at local and global levels. These modules are taught by two module co-leaders with complimentary specialist expertise in socio-economic issues, environmental and engineering issues, as well as invited industry experts to give you a full understanding of sustainability challenges in the built environment.

The core course is made up of 15 modules shared by both BSc (Hons) students and MEng students in years one and two. In year three of the BSc route, students will choose two optional modules and complete a dissertation. This varies slightly from the MEng route, where in years three and four, students will take four extra core modules, two optional modules and complete a dissertation.

Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you take and are likely to include exams, individual and group coursework assignments, as well as a dissertation.

Compulsory modules

Machine Learning and Predictive Data Analytics

Assessing and Managing Environmental Resources

Energy and Environmental Systems Modelling

Sustainable Cities Challenges: Health, Wellbeing and Climate Change

Sustainable Buildings Challenges: Heritage, Retrofit & Reuse (Project B)

Systems Thinking and Participatory Approaches for Sustainability


Your learning

You will benefit from a variety of teaching and learning methods that will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, individual learning, group collaborative projects, virtual and physical site visits, workshops, laboratory experiments, e-learning and formative assessments.

You will be regularly exposed to leading expert practitioners in workshops, seminars and e-sessions who will provide contextualised knowledge and understanding.

The majority of teaching will be held at the Bloomsbury campus, with only laboratory experiments being carried out at UCL Here East.

We are currently exploring fieldwork and site visit options for the 2024-25 academic year within the UK.

Typically, you will spend 15 hours per week in lectures, workshops and tutorials. This should be supplemented with a further 20 hours of self-directed study, working on coursework assignments and doing additional reading.

Assessment

Assessment methods will be diverse and vary depending on the module, but are likely to include exams (in years one and two), assessed and non-assessed individual and group coursework assignments, and dissertations. Students may choose to take part in site visits, fieldwork, and work placements, which will not be assessed. 

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

With energy consumption increasing, with increasing investment in climate resilience infrastructure and clean energy, and with an increasing number of companies adopting sustainability practices and hiring experts in the field, sustainability is a rapidly growing industry. We expect graduates of this course to be in exceptionally high demand as a result. The skills taught on this course will be attractive to a wide range of potential employers, including those in fields such as:

  • Energy industry
  • Governments, and local authorities 
  • Startup energy companies
  • Building design and construction industry
  • Multinational consultancies
  • Sustainable finance 
  • Charities, non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations.

Possible job titles for those who have completed the Sustainable Built Environments Energy and Resources BSc include Sustainability Analyst, Sustainability Manager, Policy Assistant or Advisor, Building Consultant, Energy Modelling Consultant, Sustainable Finance Analyst. These are just a few examples as there are a wide range of new industries and career paths emerging in this space.

The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources is engaged with researchers across environmental design and engineering, energy, resources and heritage who come together in research to address the complex global challenges of sustainability transition. Additionally, most of our work is in partnership with industry, government and other academic bodies, ensuring that what we do has a real-world impact. We are always eager to discuss with organisations, big and small, different ways we can work together. As a student of the Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources BSc you can leverage our research and partnerships to attain  employment opportunities, work placements and field visits that will form the foundation of your career. 

Employability

The Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources BSc has a specific focus on boosting your employability in the professional world by enhancing your skills in creating sustainability strategies, using programming languages for data analytics, and developing your digital skills for creating sustainable built environments.

By studying with us, you will develop a holistic view of sustainability and the built environment and be able to create sustainability strategies that take into account uncertainties and complexities using skills from a combination of academic disciplines.

You will become familiar with programming languages like Python for data analytics, used widely across different industries, as well as learning digital skills and software for creating sustainable built environments including ENVI-met microclimate simulation software, Geographic Information System (GIS) for analysing geographic information, and EnergyPlus for building energy simulation.

You will also develop transferrable skills that will support your career beyond sustainability, including how to lead a team, communicate complex ideas and use advanced decision-making processes. 

Industry views

The skills taught on this course will be attractive to a wide range of potential employers and industries. Nearly 100% of the 44 potential employers we surveyed said there was either a high or very high demand for graduates from a course like this. Over 70% said they expect demand for the kind of skills taught on this course to increase sharply.

“The climate crisis demands that we organise our industry a new way for a sustainable future. Building performance must address broader sustainability and encompass social, economic and ecological aspects. Graduates of this course are the future of our industry.” Dr Craig Robertson, Head of Sustainability, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)

“Designing a new world - a sustainable future involves transformative change in every aspect of society globally. This degree provides a future focussed and progressive academic foundation for the next generation of building professionals to learn and explore transdisciplinary ways of working, engage in healthy debate and experimentation across multiple domain areas, developing a cohort of future leaders to steward the industry towards a more sustainable world." - Florence Lam - Arup Fellow and Global Lighting Design Director, Visiting Professor at UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

Accreditation

The BSc route for this course is not accredited. For the MEng route of this course we are actively seeking the Engineering Council UK accreditation via the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute for Building Services Engineering so that MEng students will be fulfilling the ECUK (Engineering Council UK) requirements for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

The majority of teaching will be held at the Bloomsbury campus, with only laboratory experiments being carried out at UCL Here East.

Additionally, we are currently planning field work and site visit locations within the UK for the 2024-25 academic year. Travel and activities during fieldwork or site visits outside of London are included in student fees, whilst the cost of meals and subsistence should be covered by students. 

Travel costs for site visits or fieldwork within the London area (zones 1-6) accessible by public transport are covered by students. For up-to-date costs visit the TfL website.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Next steps

Your application

We are looking for highly motivated, progressively-minded students with a passion for making the world a better place through smarter engineering design, resource management and data science. You might be looking to become an industry leader in sustainability or specialise as an engineer or architect. 

We are also looking for people who are concerned about sustainability and want to make a difference; demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for the chosen degree and show intellectual curiosity in areas such as sustainable built environments, energy, and resource as well as environmental economics; are scientifically ambitious; feel confident about their digital skills; enjoy problem-solving and overcoming challenges; want to use data and statistics to make tangible change; have good communication skills and work well in a team; and most of all, are committed to making a real-world impact in climate change mitigation.

Students from all specialisms are invited to apply, especially individuals holding A levels (grade A) in Economics, Physics, Computer Science, Environmental Science, and Environmental Studies, as long as you have an A in Mathematics at A-level or equivalent. In your application you can also mention any relevant work shadowing, reading around the subject, hobbies, volunteering, or career aspirations.

With both BSc (Hons) and MEng on offer, our course caters to graduates who wish to gain a broad understanding so you can specialise your career or wish to obtain a professional qualification. 

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.