Sustainable Architecture MSc

2018-19 (also available for 2017-18)

The aim of this course is to provide skills in environmentally sensitive building design, enabling you to take a leading professional and specialist role as a global practitioner in sustainable architecture.

Start date

17 September 2018

Duration

1 year full-time – September start
Part-time option also available

Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472281

About the course

The course has a very distinct ethos based around the theme of environmentally sensitive building design. The aim is to provide you with skills and understanding that would enable you to take a leading professional and specialist role as a global practitioner within the field of sustainable architecture. It is also driven by the following key underlying themes that apply across all our architecture courses:


• Critical regionalism;
• Sustainability;
• User Centred Design; and
• Professional Development

Environmental issues rank at the very highest levels in the concerns of the general public and are particularly affected by the impact of the design and construction industry. The scale of influence ranges from building to urban dimensions. These are global problems requiring global and interconnected solutions and the course is designed to address issues from a world perspective. Issues are considered for different climate types and locations, giving a strong international dimension as well as providing opportunities to develop solutions that address local circumstances. The course is designed to give you the chance to acquire a mixture of skills and knowledge that would support roles as integrated and important members of design and construction teams. The course also provides opportunities to understand the specific needs of progression onto research degrees in the subject area.

Buildings consume vast amounts of natural resources during their construction and subsequent operation, accounting for around a third of the total energy used globally, and demand exploitation of natural resources to supply the materials. In use, building emissions add to global warming, damage the environment and create waste disposal problems. Buildings can also cause ill health and discomfort for their occupants due to poor air quality and inadequate internal conditions.

This course considers the full range of issues associated with sustainable architecture including:


• Energy You will have the opportunity to understand human comfort and energy use and to examine critically the links between energy consumption and emissions of carbon dioxide. This includes an exploration of energy assessment methods for both domestic and non-domestic buildings in a variety of cultural and climatic contexts.


• Materials and resources You will have the opportunity to be able to examine the relationships between resource use and the design of building fabric, and both passive and active mechanisms for human control of the environment and environmental services.


• Global environment The course is suitable for students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and from different climatic regions. You will have the opportunity to consider the differences and similarities of built environments around the globe and to seek innovative approaches to the development of appropriate architecture in widely different contexts.


• Health and well-being Central to the course ethos is the notion of user-centred design. All design aims to improve life. But in complex scenarios of construction the user, as the primary beneficiary of architecture, can become overlooked. The course aims to ask you to question the needs of the user and examine human comfort in relation to the quality of the built environment.

In all of these aspects you are asked to develop your own perspective and attitude, as part of your own continuing professional development. A key aspect of the course is that we ask you to become pro-active researchers in a complex field, making connections between a huge range of information and responding innovatively and with enterprise. At the heart of the student experience lie the shared experience of personal growth and development and the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding pertinent to the individual in developing their own careers in the field.

The Master's in Sustainable Architecture has a global perspective providing skills and knowledge essentional for successful building design around the world. The course has been running for more than ten years and has both maturity and relevance to contemporary environmental needs and gives students a strong foundation to support future careers.

Adrian Pitts

Professor Adrian Pitts, Professor in Sustainable Architecture

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject or an equivalent professional qualification. Relevant practical experience preferred but not essential.
  • Direct entry without first degree may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Art, Design and Architecture


Explore the facilities and technical resources available to art, design and architecture students at the University of Huddersfield including laser cutting and 3D printing. You’ll see the spaces in which our students work from design suites to textile workshops and photography studios, plus examples of the inspiring work they produce.

Course Detail

The course will cover the following key themes:

Sustainable and Bioclimatic Design

This module will provide opportunities to understand and apply concepts from first principles, and how to make design decisions on use of both passive and active technologies and techniques, in order to produce buildings of high quality and functional capability. Advanced technologies will be explained and students will be encouraged to develop analytical skills in order to understand impacts of design decisions and to subsequently utilise those skills in the design of buildings and to evaluate the outcome in a critical and self-reflective fashion.

Environmental Impacts of Buildings and Urban Development

Buildings have enormous impacts on their environments both internal and external. The construction and operation of buildings within an urban setting further enhances their impacts and can result in beneficial or negative consequences. This module aims to adopt the approach of considering all aspects of impact using a variety of techniques and resources. It will look beyond buildings and closely consider sustainability within the urban environment in which they are located. This module will study the interaction of the human system with building related hazards and suggest methods for reducing the adverse effects. It will also examine the environmental impact arising from the construction and operation of buildings on the external environment. Immediate construction effects will be explored including the use of land, water and raw materials. Impacts will be considered with reference to the main environmental assessment methods (such as BREEAM). The intention for this module is to understand how to change and improve the design philosophy for the construction and operation of buildings and of urban development in order to minimise the detrimental effects.

Advanced Construction and Building Analysis

This module aims to address several key needs for the production and analysis of buildings designed to be efficient in construction and in operation. Reference will be made to the latest exemplars and how the lessons learned from these can be applied to future practice. Advanced construction techniques will be discussed alongside alternative forms of design. The module will consider both non-domestic and domestic examples of sustainable buildings. It will review them with a view to giving you the opportunity for critical questioning and analysis of their claimed performance. A key element of this module is the use of analytical methods including computer simulation to assess performance and how such information is integrated into other aspects of construction.

Research Methods

The research methods module introduces students to a variety of methods, approaches and practical issues involved in conducting academic research. It will give you the chance to become familiar with the key elements involved in designing, carrying out and assessing research relevant to a range of built environment disciplines. The objectives of this module are: to define a topic which is both researchable and manageable within the bounds of a Master’s dissertation/project; to conduct a preliminary literature search and synthesis, providing a background and justification to the research project; to establish clear aims and objectives for the research to specify the detailed plan to be carried out; and to produce a structure for the research which indicates the sources and methods to be employed and a feasible working programme.

Major Project

This module gives you the opportunity to undertake a major, in-depth piece of work along with other This includes a largely self-directed study, of what you have gained from the course and, often, to integrate it with elements from previous studies or professional experiences. It gives the opportunity for you to develop your research skills and abilities, allowing exploration of a particular and complex area covered in the taught elements of your course of study. The major project represents a study of a specified topic based on the gathering and analysis of primary and secondary data, contextualised within existing knowledge in the field and drawing conclusions to a defined research question.

Modules are assessed by a combination of written reports, presentations and design work.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks - unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

What can I research?

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you have the opportunity to benefit and develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant.

Centre for Urban Design, Architecture, and Sustainability (CUDAS):

Further information

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration. You can study this course on a part-time basis but, as this is a full-time course, you may have to attend every day of the week.

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 360 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course, subject to any professional, statutory or regulatory body guidelines.

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Student Work

A gallery of work by our students and graduate shows, from across our Sustainable Architecture course. Click on each image to find out more.
You can see work from across the School of Art, Design and Architecture on our gallery page.

Your career


We know you’re coming to university to undertake your course, meet new people and broaden your horizons. However, we also help you to focus on life after you have graduated to ensure that your hard work pays off and you achieve your ambition.
 
So while you’re here (and even after you graduate) the Careers and Employability Service offer professional help, support and guidance, including industry-supported workshops, careers fairs and one-to-one guidance sessions. Find out more about the Service.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

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