Postgraduate study

Advanced Sustainable Design

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding available

Programme website: Advanced Sustainable Design

This programme helps you conceive, refine and explain sustainable strategies in the built environment.

The programme is scenario based, delivered in a series of studio projects supplemented with workshops and seminars on aspects of sustainable design. There is an opportunity to study environmental simulation techniques and discover how these can influence wider issues in the built environment.

We address the complex relationship of design to contemporary sustainable agendas and engage in cultural and professional debates that increasingly influence the production of architecture.

This programme is affiliated with the University’s Global Environment & Society Academy:

You complete your studies in one year.

The first semester is a combination of seminars and workshops on the theoretical underpinnings of sustainable design. Alongside this are a series of design projects at the scales of both settlements and building systems. We set many of the projects in a variety of global contexts that reflects the international nature of our students.

The second semester offers an immersive design project that allows you to form your own building programmes and test them in real contexts. You conclude your studies with a comprehensive dissertation research project that can advance your own interests and can be shaped to your preferred career path.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScAdvanced Sustainable Design1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

Graduates of this programme will have:

  • knowledge of the social, economic and legislative forces that are driving contemporary, sustainable agendas, and understanding of such agendas in relation to architectural cultures
  • an ability to critically assess sustainability as a cultural, economic and environmental phenomenon
  • the ability to interrogate site, programme and context in relation to the production of sustainable construction, engineering and architectural strategies
  • the acquisition of transdisciplinary skills in articulation of sustainable strategies in related industry sectors

As the call for a more sustainable built environment increases, architects, designers, engineers and planners who can produce solutions are in demand. With this qualification you’ll be best placed to embrace these opportunities and advance your career.

Even if you follow an unrelated path, the experience and skill development in communication, team work and project management that you’ll gain from the programme will be a valuable addition to your resume.

Our graduates work in specialist sustainable design consultancies, and design practice across a variety of disciplines. Many of our students choose to continue their academic development through PhD study.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Your portfolio should be a PDF no larger than 2MB in size. It should demonstrate a clear interest in sustainable discourses and strong evidence of engagement or interest in design culture, practice and visual communication.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX