Teaching and learning in 2020/21

In order to prioritise the safety of students and staff, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning. For more details on changes to this course, see our undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £1,300 *
International Fees £1,600 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per 20-credit module

Course summary

The global environmental and energy challenge facing current and future generations of architects and building professionals calls for a deeper understanding of the principles of environmental design, and their effective application into architectural practice worldwide. Over the last decades Environmental Design as a subject area has developed, responding to new research and experimentation, both in academia and in practice. However, buildings claiming to be environmentally conscious do not perform to the expected standards, still heavily contributing to global CO2 emissions and often providing unsatisfactory comfort conditions to occupants. The same can be said for the existing built environment which is largely outdated and underperforming, requiring urgent implementation of effective retrofit strategies not only to improve energy performance, but also comfort, health and wellbeing. This is due to a lack of comprehensive performance prediction and feedback protocols, which are still not common practice in architectural design.

Students on this course will take a fresh critical look at this subject. Here you will gain the knowledge and tools to make informed design decisions based on post-occupancy feedback and performance analysis, towards a new paradigm of environmental architecture, which is environmentally and energy conscious, yet sensitive to the contextual and socio-cultural landscape we live in. You will learn environmental design methods which relate to the various stages of architectural design for a healthier and less energy and carbon intensive built environment. You will be able to evaluate existing buildings and design new ones following a combined bioclimatic and building occupant-focused approach. In the core design modules you will follow an evidence-based design approach where the acquisition of specialised software and analytical tools will be directly applied to an evaluation or design project.

This interdisciplinary and international course will provide you with skills that can be applied to diverse building typologies and global climatic, environmental and contextual issues. On completion of this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the principles and methodology of environmental design and will develop critical thinking skills to challenge established practices. You will hold the knowledge and the practical tools to better understand existing buildings for retrofit and to design new ones – positively driving change in this field and moving towards a truly environmentally conscious architecture.

The course benefits from having strong links with the Research Community for Sustainable Cities and Urban Environments. This vibrant research community focuses on the planning of cities towards a sustainable and low-energy future and the exploration of the environmental and social impact of concentrating people and economic activity in cities and urban areas.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

This module will introduce the fundamental principles of environmental design in relation to the integration of zero-carbon and passive design strategies in architectural design. The module will cover elements of: building physics and energy foundations, including fundamentals of heat exchange and energy balance of buildings; adaptive comfort theories; natural vs mechanical ventilation, passive vs mechanical heating and cooling, daylight, solar control and artificial light in architecture. An overview of the environmental and energy performance of building materials and their integration into building design will be offered, which will be discussed in the context of their discrete application prior to the minimisation of the building’s energy demand. The principles of environmental design will be explored from the building inhabitant’s requirements perspective and for a variety of building typologies and climatic contexts.

This module will introduce the concept and practice of environmental architecture and methodologies for the evidence-based design of buildings and built environments. These will comprise of digital and analogue modelling and simulation tools necessary for the environmental design of new buildings as well as the spaces between and around buildings. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies will be introduced for the design and the performance prediction of new built environments.

Drawing on the fundamental principles and rule-of-thumbs introduced in Semester 1, this module explores an evidence-based approach to design by using a range of tools including specialist software to carry out performance analysis. This exploration provides the basis to test and refine the initial design intuitions developed in a design studio project. 

The design studio project will be focusing on a site in London (or other suitable location), which, similarly to the Semester 1 design project is used as a live laboratory for design studies. This allows an in-situ exploration of the site and of the mutual relationship between buildings and their urban surroundings. Specifically, it will allow exploration of the synergic effect of an environmental design agenda on the quality of the built environment and on the lifestyles of inhabitants’ in both the present and projected future climatic and contextual scenarios.

The module will comprise of workshops where the students will be introduced to the latest modelling and simulation methods for the generation of new designs and their performance analysis. The software will include Dynamic Thermal Simulation, Daylighting Analysis and two-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics. The main objective of the module is not only to teach a series of simulation software but to include them in a wider design methodology, which includes their responsible and measured application in the context of the various phases of the architectural design. Hence a design studio will be run in parallel to the workshops where this methodology and its supporting analytic skills will be applied to the site specific project for which the students must define and respond to a well-developed brief. The new design agendas will be based on reflections and critical observations undertaken in the semester 1 design studio and on performance feedbacks related to relevant design trends, typological and programmatic requirements, climatic, microclimatic and siting conditions, operational and post-occupancy conditions, including current and projected users behaviour determining the final environmental and energy performance.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in architecture or a related subject within the context of the construction industry and built environment disciplines. Applicants with qualifications in other subject areas which may be relevant to the award are encouraged to apply, each case being considered on merit. You will need a portfolio of work, or a comprehensive written account of relevant experience, and a personal statement which clearly articulates why you wish to study for the award.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one academic reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in architecture or a related subject within the context of the construction industry and built environment disciplines. Applicants with qualifications in other subject areas which may be relevant to the award are encouraged to apply, each case being considered on merit. You will need a portfolio of work, or a comprehensive written account of relevant experience, and a personal statement which clearly articulates why you wish to study for the award.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one academic reference.

More information

Careers

This short course will give you knowledge and skills that can be used in the architectural profession, aiming to be at the forefront of environmental design practice. This postgraduate course can be taken to acquire or refresh knowledge in evidence based design, environmental architecture and principles of building physics within a compact timeframe and it is ideal for professionals who would like to study part-time.

Our Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we provide you with a variety of opportunities to work and develop new skills. As a University of Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements, graduate jobs or voluntary experience related to your course
  • discover international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • write effective CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our career consultants
  • gain insights into your chosen industry through mentoring
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events 

Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service.

Find out more about other employability initiatives at the University of Westminster.

Student work

Our annual exhibition of work from students on our postgraduate Architecture and Interiors courses features thesis project work and provides a fascinating insight into the nature of research in architecture and the built environment.

PG2016 catalogue

PG2015 catalogue

Find out more

About Architecture and Interiors

Watch our video to find out more about studying Architecture and Interiors courses with us.

Meet the academic

Lecturer and practising architect Nasser Golzari talks about the University, his work and research in social commitment in architecture.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £1,300 (Price per 20-credit module)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £1,600 (Price per 20-credit module)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Recent projects

Retrofit of the Informal Settlement of Darawi, Mumbai. Natural ventilation study through Computational Fluid Dynamic.

Three dimensional model of the environmental performance of a classroom in the UK.

CFD simulation architecture

Retrofit of the Informal Settlement of Darawi, Mumbai. Natural ventilation study through Computational Fluid Dynamic.

Facilities

Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million-pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to Westminster Business School and our award-winning Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

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