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Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Environmental Studies Sustainability Environmental Design (Architecture) Ergonomics

Course type


Course Summary

The Sustainable Environmental Design (SED) Taught Postgraduate programme leads to either an MArch (16 month) or MSc (12 month) degree. It specialises in areas of expertise that are at the forefront of both architecture and engineering. The pedagogy of the programme is researchled, practice-oriented and evidence-based, addressing real-life projects across climates and urban contexts. Carbon neutral planning and designing for climate change are key drivers of the SED research agenda.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of two consecutive phases. Phase I (Term 1–2) is organised around team projects that engage students in experimental fieldwork and computational studies using the knowledge and tools introduced in weekly lectures and workshops. Refurbishing the City, a continuing SED research agenda, provides briefs for case studies of buildings and outdoor urban spaces within London and other major cities. On-site fieldwork is followed by computational modelling and simulation that explores environmental performance within present and future climates and occupancy scenarios. The results of these studies provide starting points for design research on mixed-use building programmes in Term 2. Design briefs develop in parallel to presentations by invited architects and researchers that highlight the state of the art in current practice.

In Phase II (Term 3–4), individual research for the MSc and MArch dissertation projects addresses a diverse range of geographic locations, climatic conditions, urban morphologies and building typologies. MSc dissertations explore the architectural potential and applicability of research findings across climate zones and building types within selected geographic regions. MArch dissertation research culminates in a specific design application for a given site and brief. Since the first cycle of the MSc and MArch programme in 2005–06, well over 500 projects have been completed for locations across some 60 countries and 150 cities both north and south of the equator. These projects now form part of a growing SED archive that has provided material for over 100 publications in books, journals and conference proceedings.


This course provides a historical overview, as well as future scenarios of environmental design research in architecture, exploring the evolution of benchmarks and standards that regulate energy consumption and indoor and outdoor environmental quality for occupant comfort, health and wellbeing.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Bachelor’s degree (minimum second class honours) in architecture, engineering or a related discipline from a United Kingdom university or a degree of equivalent standard from a recognised university or higher education institution from outside the UK. Evidence of initiative and motivation, design and visual communication skills and an understanding of how the AA and its programmes are required in addition to the formal qualifications.