Climate Resilience and Environmental Sustainability in Architecture (CRESTA) MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months  
  • Programme start: September 2022
  • Entry requirements: You will need a 2:1 Honours degree or better in an appropriate field of study.
Sustainable Environmental Design in Architecture (SEDA) MSc study page banner image

Module details

Please note: programme and module details are illustrative and subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Climatic Design for Sustainable Architecture (ARCH716)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aims of this module are: (i) to develop a good understanding of the climate-related data and techniques that are relevant for the sustainable environmental design of buildings; (ii) to demonstrate how such designs should be carried out in a climate sensitive manner; (iii) to explain the role and importance of the microclimate between buildings; (iv) to enable students to select and use appropriate analytical tools and methodologies that can be integrated to show a holistic approach to climate sensitive design that considers climate, sustainable design,choice of materials, energy use and landscape.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) On completion of this module students should have developed the skillsand understanding necessary to successfully undertake the followingtasks:• The design of buildings and their surroundings optimised withrespect to climate, environmental and energy issues.• The acquisition and subsequent analysis of climate information anddata in a way that informs design decisions in a successful andappropriate manner• The appraisal of building schemes from a holistic environmentaldesign point of view and the use of a variety of relevantenvironmental assessment techniques to analyse criticallyproposed and built design solutions.

Designing for A Changing Climate (ARCH719)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aims of this module are (i) to provide an introduction to the physical basis of climate change; (ii) to discuss how a changing climate might impact upon the built environment; (iii) to consider what adaptation and mitigation actions can be taken to reduce this impact; (iv) to develop an understanding of how climate-resilient buildings can be designed.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the basis and impact of climate change

(LO2) Relate this knowledge and understanding to the built environment

(LO3) Apply this knowledge and understanding to a specific building design project

(LO4) Analyse, using appropriate tools, how effective the design project performs for future climates

(S1) Research skills

(S2) Information and digital literacies

(S3) Employability skills

Environmental Assessment Techniques (ARCH717)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

There are both regulatory and environmental pressures on architects and engineers to develop sustainable building design solutions. There are now a range of environmental assessment techniques that allow buildings to be analysed in terms of their overall sustainable performance. These techniques range from spreadsheet analysis, such as SAP, LEED and BREEAM, to very sopisticated computer modelling software, such as and DesignBuilder and Radiance. The aims of this module are (i) to provide knowledge of the type and range of environmental assessment techniques currently available; (ii) to explore how some of these techniques are used; (iii) to examine how some of these techniques can be employed to enhance the sustainable performance of a building design.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) On successful completion of this module the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key concepts in environmental assessment.

(LO2) Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with the use of building environmental modelling software.

(LO3) Students will demonstrate an awareness of how assessment techniques can inform sustainale design decisions.

Thesis : Dissertation (ARCH721)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

A primary aim of this module is to offer the opportunity to submit a conventional written dissertation OR to submit a design thesis with supporting documentation on an approved topic or brief of their choice. The second of these alternatives responds to current research agendas in the field of architecture, sustainability, digital design or BIM.

To develop and practice academic skills in identifying a research topic, formulating a research design, managing the extended research process and achieving milestones, and drawing relevant policy conclusions from the research findings.

To develop a deeper understanding in depth of a relevant body of literature.

To develop analytical skills and critical thinking on current research issues.

To develop writing, presentation and bibliographic skills in preparing and submitting a high quality, fully-referenced dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To identify an appropriate research topic that can be investigated and reported on through sources of information that be in the form of written and/or design output.

(LO2) To manage the research process effectively within given resources and meeting milestones on time.

(LO3) To gain a deeper understanding of a particular topic in a chosen subject area.

(LO4) To form independent and objective views on issues in a specialised subject area.

(LO5) To produce a well-written, clearly presented consistently referenced and properly formatted Dissertation.

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice.

(S2) Improving own learning/performance - Self-awareness/self-analysis.

(S3) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written.

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S6) Research skills - All Information skills.

Research Methodology (ARCH707)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to equip the student with the key skills needed to prepare a written dissertation or design thesis at postgraduate level in architecture, with visiting lecturers describing their own research and dissertation preparation and methods, with the overall aim of assisting students to select, define and launch their dissertation/thesis projects.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Setting up and managing a research project

(LO2) Identifying a topic and understanding the stages of developing and conducting a research project.

(LO3) Using bibliographies, referencing, citations and quotations

(LO4) Understanding the principles of preparing and performing an effective oral presentation

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice

(S2) Time and project management - Project planning

(S3) Research skills - All information skills

(S4) Personal attributes and qualities - Initiative

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

Sustainable Environmental Design (ARCH734)
LevelM
Credit level30
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the principles underpinning the environmentally sustainable design and develop skills for more sustainable design practices in areas such as passive design, sustainable construction and low impact building materials. The module recognises that sustainable development is not limited not only to environmental considerations but also to the establishment of a social, economic and cultural balance - hence, some time is spent considering the eco-refurbishment of existing buildings within their traditional communities. The module will take the form of a series of lectures and design studio tutorials that will introduce basic principles and examples of good practice. For the assignment, students will be expected to derive a design solution and an environmental strategy for a building type and site, and demonstrate both at a strategic and technological level.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Develop an understanding of the principles underpinning environmentally sustainable design in the wider context of sustainable development.

(LO2) Develop sustainable design skills through the completion of a comprehensive building design project that is based on clear environmental design strategies and sustainable architecture principles.

(LO3) Develop an ability to conduct an environmental assessment of own design project according to well established assessment tools.

(LO4) Develop drawing, model making and oral skills for clear communication and presentation of ideas in reviews.

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written.

Net Zero Carbon Design (ARCH747)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module’s main educational aims are:
• To introduce definitions of net zero carbon and basic concepts in net zero carbon design
• To raise awareness of the social, economic, and technical challenges of achieving zero carbon buildings
• To provide knowledge and skills in net zero carbon design in the believe that employers will increasingly specify these attributes in job descriptions.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the impact of the built environment on the climate emergency

(LO2) To relate this knowledge and understanding to the historical context in which climate has influenced building design

(LO3) To display a knowledge of net carbon net zero and related concepts such as ‘embodied carbon’ and ‘life cycle analysis’

(LO4) To explain and evaluate the importance of low carbon retrofitting of the existing building stock

(S1) To demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of how to analyse a net zero carbon building

(S2) To communicate the development and performance of a net zero carbon building

Optional modules

Architectural Theories From 1900 to the Present (ARCH712)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to introduce a broad framework of architectural concepts, themes and theories that have influenced the field of architecture globally from 1900 to the present. This framework can then serve as the critical foundation for design modules as well as the final 60-credit design project or dissertation.

The module also aims to introduce study, research and writing skills and methodologies and to link rigorous academic practices to real world and employment-related scenarios. Finally, the module aims to provide opportunities for the development of presentation, teamwork and time management skills via a variable and flexible seminar series and multiple activities throughout the semester.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Identify a range of theories that have been influential in the field of architecture from 1900 onwards.

(LO2) Recognise and discuss the significance and evolution of key concepts and themes and how these reflect the development of architectural trends from 1900 onwards.

(LO3) Evaluate the content and different perspectives of various written architectural sources.

(LO4) Research, situate historically, critique and present visually and verbally – orally and in writing – the relationship of specific theories to relevant built or unbuilt architectural projects or to the oeuvre of an architect or an architectural practice.

(LO5) Plan and manage a written project.

(LO6) Prepare a well-documented, referenced and appropriately illustrated academic essay.

(LO7) Use well-documented and referenced research in a shorter written format appropriate for real life or employment-related purposes.

(S1) Reading, research and writing skills. How this is developed: Students will be directed to University resources on these skills. They will be implicitly taught through the scrutiny placed on related issues during the module lectures, seminars and tutorials. They will also be practised in the module coursework. Students will be engaging with guided readings in preparation for seminars. Students will also be asked to do additional readings for a visual and oral presentation (summative assessment 20%). Final assessment (summative assessment 80%: essay and real world / employment-related summary) will be based on a well-researched discussion of an agreed topic in written form.

(S2) Critical thinking skills. How this is developed: These skills will be implicitly taught through the scrutiny placed on related issues during the module lectures, seminar discussions, seminar presentations, and tutorials. They will also be practised in the final module coursework. Students will be invited to critically evaluate and discuss related readings during seminars. Students will also be asked to present such a critical evaluation in a visual and oral presentation (summative assessment 20%: presentation). Final assessment (summative assessment 80%: essay and real world / employment-related summary) will be based on a well-researched critical discussion of an agreed topic.

(S3) Visual and verbal communication skills. How this is developed: Students will develop these skills through practice and received feedback during the module seminar discussions, seminar presentations, tutorials and coursework. Students will be invited to discuss readings during seminars. In selected weeks, students will also be asked to prepare a well-researched visual and oral presentation (summative assessment 20%: presentation). Final assessment (summative assessment 80%: essay and real world / employment-related summary) will be a written discussion accompanied by appropriate illustrations.

(S4) Teamwork skills. How this is developed: Students will develop these skills through practice and received feedback during the module seminar. Students will prepare at least one oral presentation within a group. They may also be invited to propose a specific format for some of the seminars and to collaborate towards planning those sessions themselves.

(S5) Time management skills. How this is developed: Students will develop these skills through practice during the module seminar discussions, seminar presentations, tutorials, self-directed study and coursework. The varied format of the module’s summative assessment (presentation, and essay and real world / employment-related summary) and the varied nature of tasks throughout the semester will require good time management.

Parametric Design and Digital Fabrication 1 (ARCH729)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To gain knowledge in the use of parametric modelling tools digital/fabrication techniques and apply them in the design and production of a prototype component.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate basic knowledge and application of parametric tools.

(LO2) Students will be able to demonstrate basic knowledge and application of digital fabrication techniques.

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate ability to present and communicate design and fabrication process.

(LO4) Students will be able to demonstrate ability to apply digital fabrication techniques in relation to meteriality.

(S1) Basic knowledge and application of parametric tools.

(S2) Basic knowledge and application of digital fabrication techniques.

(S3) Ability to present and communicate design and fabrication process.

(S4) Ability to apply digital fabrication techniques in relation to meteriality.

Parametric Design and Digital Fabrication 2 (ARCH730)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To deepen the knowledge of parametric modelling and digital fabrication techniques.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and application of parametric tools/fabrication techniques.

(LO2) Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and application of digital fabrication techniques.

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to present and communicate design and fabrication demonstrate ability to present and communicate design and fabrication process.

(LO4) Students will be able to demonstrate advanced ability to apply digital fabrication techniques in relation to meteriality.

(S1) Advanced knowledge and application of parametric tools/fabrication techniques.

(S2) Advanced knowledge and application of digital fabrication techniques.

(S3) Ability to present and communicate design and fabrication process.

(S4) Advanced ability to apply digital fabrication techniques in relation to materiality.

Urban Design (ARCH731)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To introduce students to the origin, theories and key design principles of urban design; To engage students in debates on current issues and challenges faced in the discipline and wider urban environment;   To promote understanding of the design context for practice and the ways through which urban design theories, principles and best practice examples can be translated into local practice; To encourage students to think critically about urban interventions in the complex system of cities locally and globally for long-term sustainability and place-making;   To provide the opportunity for students to understand and familiarise themselves with a wide range of urban analytical techniques and methods which would benefit their master-planning studio;   To develop students’ understanding of the policy role of urban design, its implementation through the planning system and general issues about design governance.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) After this module, students should be able to understand the key theories and principles of urban design and their influence on or applications to practice.

(LO2) Students should be able to critically discuss current issues and challenges faced in urban design in their local area.

(LO3) Students should be aware of  broader urban issues and challenges faced by other cities globally, not only in the Western context, but also in the global south.

(LO4) Students should be able to apply a variety of urban analytical techniques and methods in their practice for sustainable development and place-making.

(LO5) Students should be able to understand the process and role of urban design governance and its relationship with the planning system.

(S1) Communication skills

(S2) Global perspectives demonstrate international perspectives as professionals/citizens; locate, discuss, analyse, evaluate information from international sources; consider issues from a variety of cultural perspectives, consider ethical and social responsibility issues in international settings; value diversity of language and culture

(S3) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S4) Literacy, application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy – including listening and questioning.

Low and Zero Carbon Energy Systems (ARCH720)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aims of this modules are:
(i) to provide an introduction to trends in global energy consumption;
(ii) to describe a range of low and zero carbon energy systems;
(iii) to discuss the technology and performance of some specific low and zero carbon energy technologies;
(iv) to consider the costs, benefits, barriers and impacts of using low and zero carbon energy systems in the built environment.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of low and zero carbon energy systems.

(LO2) Students will be able to relate this knowledge and understanding to the application of low and zero carbon energy systems in the built environment for sites around the world.

(LO3) Students will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding to building design projects.

(LO4) Students will be able to analyse, using appropriate tools, how effectively a number of low and zero carbon energy options perform in buildings in different locations and climates around the world.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing