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. MSc Energy and Sustainable Building Design is for people who wish to understand the ways new and renewable energy can be harnessed in buildings; who wish to have an ability to undertake the simulation and modelling tasks which are essential for credible building performance analysis; and an ability to work creatively within a multi-disciplinary design team. The programme provides an in-depth study of the modelling techniques that are used in the design of modern sustainable buildings. These skills are increasingly in demand in architecture and engineering consultancies, building analysis and design consultancies, utilities and regulatory organisations, local and national government, and academia. Students with a less technical or numerate background, or who are interested in a broader approach to the big picture of what sustainable development is - how it can be achieved and how to deal with global climate change - will also wish to consider MSc Climate Change and Sustainable Development as an alternative.
The normal minimum entry requirement for the course is a good Degree (second class and above) in a relevant numerate subject; for example, engineering, physical sciences, mathematics. Architects with an interest in computer modelling are also encouraged to apply. Applicants from outside the UK must possess an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution.
MSc Energy and Sustainable Building Design
The MSc programme is very flexible with attended or distance learning study available and a range of possible awards from a full MSc to a single module.
Students attend lectures in the Queens Building, an award-winning low energy building. Full-time students (one year course) attend lectures on two days per week, whilst part-time students (two year course) attend one day per week. A dedicated study area with fully equipped personal computers is provided for our Masters students.
Under the guidance of teaching staff, distance learning students make use of our web-based Virtual Learning Environment and thus must have access to a personal computer, email and a web browser.
The Virtual Learning Environment provides structured lessons with exercises to complete, discussion forums to share your ideas with other students, plus an electronic library of additional information. Password-protected access is provided to over 80 other electronic resources, and a library photocopying service and postal book loan service are available.
International distance learning students can complete all eight taught modules without visiting the UK. Contact with tutors is generally by email or telephone. To complete the MSc, a single visit to Leicester is required for oral examination of the design project.
-Energy in Buildings
-Climate and Daylight Analysis
-Energy and Thermal Performance
-Ventilation and Airflow Modelling
-Energy Analysis Techniques
-Plus a group design project working from a realistic architectural proposal and design brief, seeking to produce a design that will satisfy specific environmental design criteria.
Attending students receive formal lectures from experienced researchers and teaching staff. This is complemented by informal seminars and group discussions. All teaching material is fully documented and available on the web-based Virtual Learning Environment before timetabled events take place.
Distance learning students follow a structured study plan provided on the web-based Virtual Learning Environment, 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 on 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.