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

About the course

This innovative course is for people who wish to understand the ways new and renewable energy can be harnessed in buildings, who wish to gain the ability to undertake the simulation and modelling tasks which are essential for credible building performance analysis, and acquire the ability to work creatively within a multidisciplinary design team.

The need for sustainable approaches to building design is universally acknowledged. As the effects of climate change are 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.

The course has an interdisciplinary approach that gives a broad insight into energy and sustainability issues, and in-depth knowledge of the computer modelling techniques that are used in the design of modern sustainable buildings.

The course has been approved by both the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Energy Institute for completing the educational requirements for chartered engineer registration. CIBSE is an international body which represents and provides services to the building services profession, with a membership of 17,000, one fifth of which is outside the UK.

The Energy Institute (EI) is the leading chartered professional membership body for the global energy industry, supporting over 16,000 individuals working in or studying energy and 250 energy companies worldwide. The EI leads and advises the sector on careers and professional development including the accreditation of academic courses.


Key facts

UKPASS course code: H2K171 

Duration:  One year full-time, two to five years part-time, three to five years distance learning

Start Date: September and January: full-time, part-time and distance learning

Entry and admission 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.

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 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.

If you do not have the normal entry requirements but can demonstrate substantial experience in an appropriate area, you can be considered for entry to the course.

If you feel you would like to talk to us about your qualifications before submitting an application please do not hesitate to call or email using the contact details below.

 

Teaching and assessment

The course is very flexible with attended or distance learning study available and a range of possible awards from a full MSc to a single module. 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 in which prompt 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.

Course modules

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:

To complete the MSc you will undertake a major design exercise working in a team and individually from a realistic architectural proposal and design brief, aiming to produce a design that satisfies specific environmental design criteria.

Energy in Buildings

This module introduces students to how energy is used in buildings, ranging from traditional, climatically adapted architecture to modern low energy buildings.  It explains the basic physical processes and systems, and calculation methods for heat flows, overall heat losses, lighting and radiation, and conditioning of air.

The architecture of passive design adapted to local climate, both ancient and modern, is explained. Use of natural and mechanical systems for ventilation and cooling are described. Modern daylighting and artificial lighting equipment and systems are explained, with an emphasis on low energy design.

Legislation related to energy use in buildings is described and put into context, covering building regulations and codes both in the UK and internationally. This includes not just energy in-use, but embodied energy and other aspects of sustainability such as sourcing building materials, siting etc.

Sustainable Development

This module is concerned with the key concepts of sustainable development, sustainability and their application to the energy sector issues. It presents relevant definitions, indicators and various dimensions (social, ecological and economic) and related sustainability concepts. Sustainability challenges of the energy sector (particularly in the electricity industry and transportation) and the implications of climate change on sustainable development are also examined. Students are encouraged to develop a critical appreciation of the sustainable development debate, and to challenge widely held views.

Renewable Energy

This module covers the fundamental principles of the world energy system, and how it could evolve towards a more sustainable, low carbon energy future. It describes the main sources of energy today, and explains the meanings of primary energy, energy conversion and delivered energy, and the associated technologies and resultant carbon emissions. Established renewable technologies (wind, hydro, solar) are described in detail with some basic methods for calculation of energy output, together with issues around output profiles, storage options and impact on the electricity grid.

Resource Efficient Design

The aim of this module is to provide students with a grounded understanding of resource efficient design in both industrial and non-industrial contexts. Design will be seen to relate to both product and to process and resource efficiency will be intrpreted as the ability to design out waste and design in the efficient use of natural resources.

The module will adopt a 'whole systems' perspective to the introduction of students to the design process and will encourage them to analyse each stage of development in terms of its impact on resource use and overall energy consumption. Discussions will consider the role of the designer and the user when addressing the challenge of moving towards more sustainable consumption.

A number of different approaches to designing more energy efficient products, processes, services and systems will be explored and students will have the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches across various design contexts. Through practical activities, and the use of case studies, students will develop the skills and expertise necessary, at each stage of the design process, to effectively facilitate and manage resource efficient design.

Ventilation & Daylight Modelling

This module will enable students to understand the role of daylight and airflow modelling in the design process of low energy buildings.  It will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the physical principles which govern natural ventilation airflows the basis of the modelling methods commonly used in design practice. Case study buildings will provide students with examples of a wide range of natural ventilation design strategies.

The module will provide a systematic understanding of the mathematical principles behind natural ventilation. These principles  will be used to explain methods for sizing and positioning of ventilation openings.  The influence of key design features such as space geometry and heat gains on the performance of any strategy will be studied.

Students will examine the  design principles for solar control and daylighting. This module will enable students to carry out simulation-based studies to predict solar control and daylighting quantities and to test their sensitivity to building parameters.

Energy Analysis Techniques

The module is designed to enable students to analyse data from buildings and industry to identify energy and greenhouse gas saving opportunities. The underlying science and mathematics is presented. Spreadsheets are used to analyse time series data and identify potential energy saving opportunities. The main opportunities are discussed potential energy efficiency measures described.

The techniques will enable students to carryout the analysis techniques of energy audit, energy survey, energy balance and to be able to establish an ongoing energy monitoring and target setting regime for a building or industry.

Energy and Thermal Performance

This module will enable students to understand why and how building energy simulation methods can be used to analyse building thermal performance in the design process. It provides students a comprehensive understanding of the physical processes that govern building thermal and energy performance. This module also focuses on the inter-relationship of building form, fabric, solar control, airflow and comfort requirements, with energy performance. It will enable students to apply simulation methods to estimate the benefits, in terms of energy and emissions, of a sustainable approach building design.

Students will carry out quantitative analysis on climatic datasets to discern their prevailing characteristics. The fundamentals of the interaction between building fabric/morphology and key meteorological parameters will be described. This module will describe how a consideration of climatic factors at an early design stage can aid the design of low-energy buildings.

The module will focus on performance of naturally ventilated and hybrid sustainable buildings. Students will be able to make appropriate selection of energy simulation methods, evaluate results and give coherent recommendations in a multi-disciplinary context.

Research Methods

The module will provide the skills necessary to successfully complete a research project of a high standard.

The module will cover research methods, data interpretation, report writing as well as basic computing skills.  Additional information will be provided for people needing to acquire particular skills in specific areas.

The module will also cover basic statistical analysis and the design and analysis of questionnaires.

It will introduce students to a range of research methodologies and practices relevant to the successful completion of the MSc.

Design Project

The design project will provide the student experience of analysing building airflow, daylighting and thermal performance in the context of the building design process. Projects will be defined by taking a realistic building design brief and architectural scheme design and setting out environmental design criteria that are to be satisfied.

Students will form collaborative groups and work together to develop a critical analysis of the initial building design proposal. The team is expected to identify key design challenges and propose design strategies for further investigation. The team is expected to organise itself and distribute analysis and report writing tasks appropriately. A group report is required.

At the conclusion of the group work, individual work will continue by development of design proposals and detail analysis by application of appropriate modelling techniques. The objective will be to develop a building design that satisfies the performance criteria set out in the project brief. Students will, individually, prepare a final report that describes their analysis, design development and presents their final proposal in a professional manner.  

The project brief will be chosen from a number of examples prepared by the institute or contributed by industrial advisors.

Academic expertise

Modules are taught by the IESD’s research and teaching staff, which provides you with a unique opportunity to learn from scientists actively involved in furthering knowledge in this area.

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, 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

Fees and funding

  September 2013 Entry

Full-time
UK/EU
Postgraduate Course Standard Fees £6,375
Overseas
Postgraduate Course Standard Fees £12,200
Part-time
UK/EU
Postgraduate Course Standard Fees £3,190 per year of a two year course
Distance learning
UK/EU
Per 15 credit module
£585
Overseas
Per 15 credit module
£800

January 2014 Entry

Full-time
UK/EU
Postgraduate Course Standard Fees £6,375
Overseas
Postgraduate Course Standard Fees £12,200
Part-time
UK/EU
Postgraduate Course Standard Fees £3,190 per year of a two year course
Distance learning
UK/EU
Per 15 credit module
£585
Overseas
Per 15 credit module
£800

For more information please take a look at our Funding| section.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice. Please contact the Admissions Team for up-to-date fees.

* ELQ Student definition - If you are a Home or EU status student and you already have a qualification at or above the level of the programme you wish to study from any country you will be considered as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) student. In 2008 the UK Government decided to stop funding universities for student in this situation and therefore different fees apply. Students from outside the EU are not affected by the policy.

 



Scholarships

Faculty Alumni Scholarship

As part of the University’s on-going commitment to enhance the personal and career development of graduates, we are pleased to announce that from this September the University will be introducing The Faculty of Technology Alumni Scholarship| which will allow graduates to receive up to £2000 off tuition fees* for Postgraduate study.

* see terms and conditions

2014/15 Vice Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarships

All DMU Home/EU students who are graduating or have graduated within the last two years (2012 or 2013), who achieved 2:1 or above, and enrol onto one of our full-time master's degrees will be entitled to a 50 per cent discount in their tuition fee for taught master's courses.

These awards are part of the University’s on-going commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. Find out more about the Vice-Chancellor's 2020 Scholarships|.

How to apply

Students can apply directly to study this postgraduate taught course at DMU by using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For further information and admissions advice

Study enquiries:  +44 (0) 116  2 50 60 70

Submit an online form| to ask questions and get advice.


energy-institute-logoMain

CACLogo2CIBSE

Energy and Sustainable Building Design

“The course proved to be everything I was looking for, blending detailed engineering theory over a diverse background, and was well organised and superbly delivered. It has proved instrumental in securing my current job working within the simulation group of one of the country’s leading building design consultancies, where I now have the opportunity to put my new-found knowledge and skills into practice.”

Philip Pointer, MSc Student (Full-time)

wednesday-mpu|

 
Events target area image
Events

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image
News

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.