Architecture and Sustainability MSc

Architecture and Sustainability MSc

Sustainable building design has never been more important for the future of our environment. Critically explore a wide range of approaches to building physics and design strategies that promote sustainability to develop the skills needed to address this significant global challenge. 

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Watch: Professor Ahmad Taki discusses why you should study at DMU.

Reducing energy consumption which contributes to global climate change and pollution is an international imperative, and the future architect must be equipped with the skills and vision to tackle this challenge both innovatively and responsibly. This course helps you master the knowledge and skills required to produce thermally comfortable, healthy, and habitable building designs while minimising energy consumptions. The curriculum embraces the interface between the environmental, economical and socio-cultural dimensions of sustainability in terms of building design and carbon neutrality. 

You will join a community that is co-designing new ways of thinking and challenging architectural conventions through bold experimentation and boundless enquiry. This enquiry-led approach to education will encourage you to take creative risks and to learn from your mistakes in a way that will shape your future design choices.

We provide state-of-the-art facilities for you to realise your ambitions, with workshops offering cutting-edge digital fabrication facilities, alongside a wide range of craft workshops, where you can innovate with materials and processes. We’ll help you to graduate with the tools to take your own personal and critical position on embracing the challenges of sustainability in the globalised architectural world.

Key features

  • You can exit the course with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate award depending on the credits you have successfully achieved.
  • The long-standing Leicester School of Architecture is one of the oldest schools in the UK and our approach meaningfully draws upon years of experience to challenge conventions and redefine the future of architectural practice. 

  • We will empower you with the tools to become a responsible global architect, with the skills and mindset to tackle the complex environmental challenges ahead. 

  • You can choose to undertake a year-long work placement, gaining valuable experience to enhance and embed your practical and professional skills. 

  • Your dedicated tutors come from industry, practice and research, which ensures your work is responding to contemporary, real-world issues that are grounded in both theory and practice. 

  • Benefit from our advanced enquiry-based education which embraces collaborative learning in studio groups alongside personalised teaching experiences. 

  • Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team [Professor Ahmad Taki] who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.


DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 


Course news:

DMU students stress the BASE-ics of architecture must be about sustainability 

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DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

Programme code: K10085

Start date: January and September 

Duration: 12 months

Fees and funding:

2024/25 Full-time tuition fees for UK students: £9,435 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Programme code: K10085

Start date: January and September

Duration: 12 months

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,800 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a relevant subject, such as; architecture, architectural engineering, architectural technology, civil engineering, building engineering/sciences, environmental sciences/studies or construction management.

If you have no formal academic qualifications but have extensive industry experience, we will consider your application on an individual basis.


Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments



Block 1: Methods for Sustainability Research

This module is designed to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the nature and scope of research, setting the foundation for the Dissertation module. You will be introduced to a rich curriculum supported by research design and strategies, methods of sustainable development to promote and encourage sustainability research. You will examine existing work in the areas of architecture and sustainability and analyse research techniques and sustainable approaches that you can use to further develop your own work.

Assessment: 3000-word report, 100%.

Block 2: Design Research Lab 1

This module provides the opportunity for you to learn and apply appropriate research skills and knowledge in relation to site analysis and the development of scheme proposals enhancing sustainable development. You will work in a small group to explore and critically evaluate complex issues in an existing building and produce an individual proposed scheme.

Assessment: Group work, 20% and Project, 80%.

Blocks 3 and 4: Building Performance Modelling

This module is designed to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings, exploring opportunities and methods to test detailed building projects delivered in the concurrent module—Design Research Lab 2. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with a range of tools and dynamic thermal simulation software. This will enable you to develop and test your design proposals at various design stages, starting with site considerations, through the technical design and development stage to the final scheme, ensuring sustainable outcomes. You will analyse the impact of building forms, construction materials, energy systems, ventilation, and shading on energy performance and thermal comfort. You will also identify improvement measures and parameters that affect energy use in buildings and compliance with Building Regulations.

Assessment: Coursework, 60% and Portfolio, 40%.

Blocks 3 and 4: Design Research Lab 2

The module provides you with the opportunity to investigate, analyse, and produce solutions for a building project using the knowledge and skills gained from previous modules. It explores, in more detail and depth, the boundaries of your strategic research proposals, producing building projects that embrace sustainable characteristics. It examines the application of relevant and appropriate planning policies, regulations, and legislation, which will also be used as a tool for justification of the design decisions made.

Assessment: Portfolio, 100%.

Blocks 5 and 6: Dissertation

Your learning will culminate in a 12000-word dissertation on a research topic of your own choosing.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.


The programme engages a multi-disciplinary and integrated staff team of architects and built environment professionals who are researching the latest developments in the sector, bringing this expert insight into your teaching.

The teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, studio-based work, seminars, practical workshops, individual presentations, group work, and site visits. We are committed to a rich range of teaching, learning and student support which is mainly project-based, giving you the opportunity to work as individuals and in groups.

Assessment methods are varied and include project portfolios, group work, presentations, simulation and modelling and a dissertation. You will receive ongoing feedback on your assessments throughout the course.

Contact hours

In your first two terms you will normally attend around eight hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 27 hours of independent study each week.

Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.



Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at

You will also benefit from resources and support in the Architecture and Design Resource Centre, our online learning space. 

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 


Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team


DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

Students have previously undertaken DMU Global trips to European cities including Copenhagen, where they explored first-hand historical and contemporary Danish design, and Berlin, which provided the opportunity to examine the city’s art, artists and museums to gain a broader design perspective. DMU Global trips have also taken students further afield to India and New York. 



Graduate careers

This course will help equip you with both the necessary skills and innovative approach to address the challenges of sustainable architecture and development. Such skills are in high demand by businesses, governments, multilateral and unilateral organisations contending with issues of environmental sustainability. By helping you to develop sophisticated research skills, this course also provides excellent preparation to progress onto a PhD


Placements (paid placement year)

During this course you will have the option to complete a paid placement year, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career. Placements will normally take place between semester two and three. 

Our Careers Team can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement.  

Take your next steps