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Energy and Sustainable Building Design MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert

Develop an in-depth understanding of the ways new and renewable energy can be harnessed within buildings and learn about design procedures and performance analysis to optimise their sustainability. 

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Overview

The need for sustainable approaches to building design is recognised across the globe. As the effects of climate change are increasingly felt, the drive towards more energy efficient buildings is intensifying. Sustainable buildings need not be technologically complex, but a high level of sophistication in design procedures and performance analysis is required. 

Accredited by both the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Energy Institute, this programme will allow you to develop an understanding of building physics and acquire skills in building simulation, with an emphasis on sustainability. This course is the opportunity for you to graduate with a recognised qualification, satisfying the educational aspects of becoming a chartered engineer.

This course is designed for those who wish to understand the ways new and renewable energy can be harnessed in buildings, gain the ability to undertake the simulation and modelling tasks essential for credible building performance analysis, and work creatively within a multi-disciplinary design team, including building services engineers.

You will develop a broad insight into energy and sustainability issues, building physics and performance, energy analysis techniques and in-depth knowledge of computer modelling techniques for the design of modern sustainable buildings. 

Key features

  • Your degree can fit around your work and other commitments thanks to flexible study options. The course is designed to be tailored around you with part-time, full-time or distance learning options, and multiple exit awards from a full master’s degree to a single module.
  • Accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)*, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Energy Institute (EI), you will benefit from the highest-quality teaching and be able to graduate with an industry-recognised qualification. 
  • Through interdisciplinary teaching which allows you to look at various subject matters, you can develop a broader insight into energy and sustainability issues, as well as in-depth knowledge of computer- modelling techniques for the design of modern sustainable buildings.
  • You can benefit from excellent career prospects, with many of our graduates from this programme progressing to work for organisations such as the European Commission, Mott MacDonald, WSP Global, WYG, and Arup Group. Other graduates have gone on to work at energy and environmental consultancies, central and local government, and multinational organisations.
  • Our modules are taught by expert research and teaching staff at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, which has more than 30 years’ experience to draw on. This means you’ll be able to learn first-hand from researchers who are actively involved in furthering knowledge in this area and will be able to offer you real-world experience and insight.

*Due to delays relating to the pandemic, we are currently undergoing the process of renewing our accreditation and expect to have this in place for the start of the 2022/2023 academic year.

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“The course has given me greater confidence in my work and helped me to communicate my designs and proposals more effectively. The credibility of having an MSc from a respected institution such as IESD within DMU has opened a lot of doors to me, and provided opportunities which I may not have had otherwise.” 

Declan Alcock, graduate 

 

Scholarships

International Scholarships

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

 

More courses like this:

Energy and Sustainable Development MSc

Energy Engineering MSc

Engineering Management MSc

 

  • UK
  • EU/International

Course code: H2K171

Location of study: De Montfort University campus, Distance learning (online)

Start Date:  September 2022

Duration: One year full-time (with optional one year placement available), a minimum of two years part-time, three to five years by distance learning.

Fees and funding: 2021/22 full-time fees for UK students: £8,170 per year. Part-time fees: £680 per 15 credits, distance learning fees: £8,170

2022/23 full-time fees for UK students: £8,375, part-time fees: £700 per 15 credits, distance-learning fees: £8,375

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course

Course code: H2K171

Location of study: De Montfort University campus, Distance learning (online)

Start Date:    September 2022

Duration: One year full-time (with optional one-year placement* available), a minimum of two years part-time, three to five years by distance learning.

*Country restrictions apply

Fees and funding: 2021/22 tuition full-time fees for EU and international students: £15,100 per year, distance learning: £1,088 per 15 credits

2022/23 full-time tuition fees for EU and international students: £16,600 per year, part-time fees: £1,385

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Entry criteria

You should have the equivalent of a British Honours degree (2:2 minimum) in a relevant numerate subject, for example engineering, physical sciences, mathematics. Architects with an interest in computer modelling are also encouraged to apply.

We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications from anywhere in the world.

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.

 

 

 

Whilst the university tries to ensure that all of its programmes run as advertised it is sometimes necessary to make significant changes to the structure of the programmes or to discontinue a programme entirely if for instance there are insufficient student numbers or staff changes. This will sometimes happen between an offer being made and enrolment.

Where changes are made the University will endeavour to inform applicants as early as possible to minimise the potential disruption to the application process. Where possible an alternative programme will be offered in a similar subject area.

In cases where programmes are changed or discontinued the University will send a communication to you electronically and/or by hard copy outlining your options.

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Academic expertise

 

 

The MSc has been designed to offer flexibility, with attended or distance learning study available and a range of possible awards from a full MSc to a single module. Modules studied:

Sustainable Development – covers the key concepts of sustainable development and sustainability. This module discusses social, ecological and economic sustainability concepts and encourages you to develop a critical appreciation of the sustainable development debate

Sustainable Buildings – introduces you to the main aspects of sustainability in regards to the built environment, exploring the environmental, economic and social/cultural issues that need to be considered for achieving successful building design and operation

Sustainable Energy – provides a systematic understanding of the global energy system and energy sources. The module examines the physical principles and application of current technologies and their environmental impacts, and how these interact in energy systems

Building Physics – provides you with a thorough understanding of the physical processes that govern how buildings respond to the external environment. This module examines the thermal properties of buildings, how daylight and natural ventilation interact with buildings and how this affects the quality of the indoor environment

Building Performance Modelling – enables you to understand why and how building simulation can be used to analyse building thermal, daylight and ventilation performance. This module will enable you to make appropriate selections of simulation methods, analyse results and give coherent recommendations

 

Energy Analysis Techniques – This very practical module will equip you with the skills to analyse energy data from buildings and industrial processes, and to carry out energy audits and surveys to identify energy and greenhouse gas saving opportunities. Issues such as heating, lighting, ventilation and general energy use are considered, and crucially, ways to bring about energy savings and how to make energy saving recommendations, sometimes as much as 20% with zero (or very low) investment. The case studies we use are mainly for non domestic buildings but all of the techniques can also be applied to dwellings.

The module includes the theory behind energy analysis, and we carry out practical building surveys, and data analysis in lab sessions, the assessment being to prepare a report similar to one you would produce as a professional energy efficiency consultant. 

Study Skills and Research Methods – provides the skills necessary to successfully complete a research project of a high standard, introducing you to a range of research methodologies and practices relevant to the successful completion of the MSc

Dissertation – you will complete the MSc by undertaking a building-related dissertation on a topic of your choice, supervised by an experienced member of the research staff

Optional modules:

Choose one from two (three distance learning) optional modules

Leading Change for Sustainability - aims to equip students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to enable them to play an effective leadership role in promoting sustainability and pro-environmental behaviour change. The module focuses upon understanding and influencing human behaviour, drawing upon a range of theoretical frameworks and contemporary case studies on topics including energy, climate change, transport and waste. There is a highly participatory teaching and learning approach and a chance for students to develop as reflective practioners by implementing and learning from real-life behaviour change interventions.

Low-Impact Manufacturing – introduces the concept of an industrial system, linking different types of industry, including raw material processing, manufacturing and waste processing, that combine to satisfy consumer demand. It explains the ways in which energy and resource use can be identified at each stage of a product life-cycle

Engineering Business Environment – enables you to understand and reflect upon the role of business in a rapidly changing, globalised world. As well as considering the changing environment in which businesses operate, time is spent exploring the steps a business can take to respond to the environmental challenges ahead. (This module is available in distance learning mode only)

 

 

Full-time students attend for two days each week and receive formal lectures from experienced researchers and teaching staff, complemented by informal seminars and group discussions. Part-time students attend one day per week. You will also be expected to undertake self-directed study. All teaching material is fully documented and available on the web-based virtual learning environment (VLE) before timetabled events take place.

Distance learning students follow a structured study plan provided on the VLE, supported by discussion forums with other students, and email and telephone conversations with the module leader. Our course has been commended in an academic quality review for its “innovative and sophisticated forms of e-based learning and teaching”.

All assessment is by coursework. Each taught module has two items of coursework. The first is a smaller assignment for which feedback is given while the module is being studied. A second, major assignment is due at a later date after the material has been assimilated.

 

 

 

As well as the eight taught modules, students complete either an individual dissertation or a team-based design project, and all students get to attend the annual MSc conference, where final year students present.

Contact and learning hours
You will normally attend 2-4 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week for each module undertaken during term time; for full time study this would be 12 hours per week during term time. You can also expect to typically undertake a further hours of 6 hours independent study and assignments as required per week.



 

Modules are taught by research and teaching staff in the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), providing you with a unique opportunity to learn from scientists actively involved in furthering knowledge in this area.

The IESD’s research has developed over a 30-year period to create the underlying knowledge, techniques and technology necessary to achieve more energy efficient and sustainable lifestyles.

 

 

 

Current research is driven by the UK’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of new and renewable energy technology and provide a high-quality, comfortable, safe and efficient built environment.

Applied research seeks practical solutions to contemporary problems, whilst more theoretical and/or blue sky explorations seek to understand our physical and social world, generating new knowledge that can have long-term benefits in many fields of human endeavour.

Facilities and features

Facilities

The new Energy Laboratory in the School of Engineering and Sustainable Development is a high-tech hub for teaching, research and technology demonstration. Complimenting DMU’s wider green energy projects, the Energy Laboratory is housed in the Queens Building, the award-winning passively cooled student and research space for Engineering and Media. 

Home to the future of smart energy the Energy Laboratory features a working smart kitchen, a technology testing and proving space for real-world experiments and practical energy projects. The Laboratory is also equipped with a demonstration heat pump system and features performance data from a working off-site heat pump installation at DMU’s ‘Green Energy House’, a traditional terrace equipped with some of the latest low carbon energy systems. 

The Energy Laboratory will become a catalyst for students to think creatively about some significant energy problems of the present and future but also for academic research into energy generation, low carbon transport, heating and light, energy storage and smart grids.

Listen to Professor Rick Greenough, Energy Systems explain the importance of heat pumps and how they work in our Energy Lab.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities Learn more

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DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 

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Graduate Careers

This course is aimed at both recent graduates and professionals working in relevant fields. The knowledge and advanced modelling skills you gain will enable you to work effectively as a building design professional or analyst. These skills are increasingly in demand in architectural and engineering consultancies, utilities and regulatory organisations, and local and national government.

Our graduates go on to work in a wide range of energy, buildings and sustainability roles – for example, energy and environmental consultants, in non-governmental environmental organisations, central and local government (including the European Commission), and multi-national organisations. Some of our graduates stay on at DMU to continue their academic training with PhD studies.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • The Carbon Trust
  • BMW
  • Turley Associates
  • National Energy Foundation
  • European Commission
  • Knightstone Housing Association
  • National Grid
  • Leicester City Council
  • Mott MacDonald
  • WSP Group
  • Arup
  • WYG
  • David Chipperfield Architects

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