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 The same can be said for the existing built environment which is largely outdated and underperforming, requiring urgent implementation of effective retrofit strategies not only to improve energy performance, but also comfort, health and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 concept of Climate Positive Environments and its appreciation through direct observation and analysis of existing built environments which either have a climate positive impact or can be modified to achieve it. In doing so the module will introduce the methodological and practical tools for the performance evaluation of buildings and the space between and around buildings. Fieldwork methods and post-occupancy evaluation protocols will be introduced for the appraisal of existing case-study built environments. 

Existing built environments, of a variety of typologies and ages, will be the subject of a semester long case study analysis including the assessment of their current environmental and energy performance, against best practice standards, as well as of the occupants’ satisfaction and behaviour in relation to energy use, comfort and spatial interaction. These assessments will allow the appreciation of performance feedbacks from design to operation of buildings and will form the reflective and critical background for the proposition of new design agendas in the Semester 2 Design studio. The module will comprise of lectures and workshops where the students will be appraised with the latest fieldwork methods, use of relevant instrumentation and analytical skills, including climate data analysis and simplified steady state computations for the assessment of the environmental and energy performance of buildings. These simplified computations will consolidate the understanding of the principles of Environmental Design applied to the evaluation of real buildings and their projected performance in future climate change scenarios. The module will specifically address issues of environmental retrofit towards a climate positive impact. Additionally, a design studio will be run in parallel to the workshops where the aforementioned skills and tools will be applied to a case study analysis project. 

This module will introduce the principles of energy and carbon assessment in the relation to current energy and carbon reduction policies in the national and international context. The module will cover elements of: advanced energy systems, control systems, mechanical systems, building services, renewables systems. An overview of the environmental and energy performance of buildings and their carbon footprint will be offered as well as an overview of building integrated renewables, which will be discussed in the context of the building’s whole life cycle analysis. Issues of capital, operational and life cycle costing will be explored with the specific objectives of identifying a methodology for energy and carbon assessments.

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 environmental design consultancy or in a specialised role within an architectural practice. This postgraduate course can be taken to refresh or acquire knowledge in building sustainability, fieldwork methods and energy systems 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

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