Sustainable Building Design at Solent University (Southampton) - UCAS

Course summary

Solent’s MSc Sustainable Building Design course is the ideal way for students from a wide range of academic backgrounds to pursue a career in this exciting and important sector. By providing you with a thorough understanding of both theory based and practical skills, you’ll graduate from this course as a specialist designer with the education and vision required to help create a sustainable future for the construction industry. Throughout the CIAT accredited course, you’ll be encouraged to develop a holistic approach to reducing the carbon footprint created by buildings. Learning is centred around social, economic, and environmental aspects of design, otherwise known as the three pillars of sustainability. The curriculum introduces the essential academic theory that underpins each of these areas and explores the technical tools required to successfully plan performance-based building projects. You’ll also be introduced to Building Information Modelling (BIM), working with an expert course team on a range of practical projects that simulate real workplace practices. These projects will help you to build a portfolio of practical work and introduce you to the essential tools and software packages used by the industry. You’ll also develop an understanding of globally renowned energy assessment methods such as BREEAM, LEED and Passivhaus. The course benefits from extensive links with industry, formed over many years of delivering accredited courses with professional organisations (eg, CIAT, CIOB, SBID and CABE). Practitioners from a cross-section of the built environment industry contribute regularly to the academic process by providing real-world projects, guest lectures, site visits and informal mentoring sessions. This course is for: Solent’s postgraduate sustainable building design programme is ideally suited to candidates from a wide range of related disciplines. The curriculum is designed to be creative and inclusive, providing students with the opportunity to undertake a dissertation of a technical nature, or a design-based piece of final major project work.


  • Sustainable and Intelligent Building Design
This module introduces students to the concept of sustainable buildings and enables them to demonstrate understanding of how the form, fabric, and equipment of a building affect its environmental impact. An understanding of the passive and active design principles of sustainable building will be developed through a live design project.
  • BIM Frameworks
This module provides an introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) from a holistic perspective. BIM has emerged as the dominant paradigm for Information and Communication Technology in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC). This module covers BIM approaches, as well as the impact these have on the various AEC disciplines.
  • Sustainable Building Assessment
This module covers the environmental assessment methods of buildings in the UK and internationally. You will develop and demonstrate understanding of the sustainable building assessment methods like BREEAM and LEED. Post-occupancy evaluation methods will also be explained to highlight the importance of the end user.
  • Integrated Project
This module brings together the combination of approaches from various disciplines that are utilised for the sustainable design of buildings. Encompassing the state-of-the-art in research and practice from the breadth of architecture, engineering and construction, this module covers aspects such as environmental strategies, instant thermal analyses, and building information modelling.
  • Research Methods
This module develops the skills required to carry out research primarily for dissertation or design project. It aims to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of methodological approaches of research and examines a range of tools used to collect and analyse the data in order to solve complex problems. Optional modules
  • Project Management
This module focuses upon the management of complex building projects in sustainability contexts using systematic approaches. It deals with both hard and soft aspects of managing projects whilst delivering value to the clients by exploring current approaches, industry standard tools and techniques using case studies.
  • Work-Based Project Management
The project management module is available in a work-based format designed to offer a flexible, practice-related approach to learning. Students who are already in relevant employment have the opportunity to gain academic credit for knowledge and skills gained in the workplace through a negotiated learning contract which is agreed by the student, employer and module leader.
  • Research Dissertation
In this module you will undertake a master's stage research project, present the body of work in a conventional dissertation and communicate the outcomes verbally through formal viva. You will explore in-depth a topic relevant to your chosen discipline to develop a significant level of expertise in the area under investigation.
  • Design Project
In this module, students carry out in-depth research into a topic relevant to the discipline, culminating in a design thesis and communicated via visual aids and artefacts as well as verbally.

How to apply

International applicants

Note to all international students requiring a visa: All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office. We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at our 2023 course entry statement document.

Entry requirements

- An honours degree at 2:2 or higher in a related discipline. - Applicants with relevant industry experience may be considered. - Applicants may also be required to send a portfolio and may be contacted for an interview either face to face or through Skype. - Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are: - IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with no component score below 5.5 - TOEFL IBT 92 with a minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 20 in reading, listening and speaking - Duolingo English Language Test - 115 overall with minimum of 100 in each component or equivalent. Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9000 Whole course
EU £15300 Whole course
England £9000 Whole course
Northern Ireland £9000 Whole course
Scotland £9000 Whole course
Wales £9000 Whole course
International £15300 Whole course

Additional fee information

Extra course costs While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact [email protected]. The 2023/24 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been: Although the BREEAM AG course is free to study, students are required to pay for the course certificate if they are successful in achieving the qualification. As at 2016, the cost of the certificate is £30.

Sponsorship information

Southampton Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Sustainable Building Design at Solent University (Southampton) - UCAS