Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies MRes

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Full-time:
1 year
Part-time:
Not available
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
£9,500
International fees:
£21,000
Location:
Loughborough

Achievements

3rd

for Building

Complete University Guide 2018

Overview

With a particular focus on research and research methods, our Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies MRes is ideal for you if you wish to be at the cutting-edge of new developments in this important area.

Our Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies MRes programme covers many topics that are essential to understanding building energy demand, including building simulation techniques, measuring real building performance, the economics of energy demand and statistical techniques for macro-level analyses. The knowledge you will gain on this programme is applied through the MRes dissertation, a major piece of academic work which takes place throughout the year and provides the opportunity to work closely with an experienced staff member on an in-depth research topic.

The Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies MRes programme aims are to:

  • establish understanding of the UK energy landscape and how energy and climate change challenges are interlinked through technical, environmental and behavioural factors
  • provide the skills necessary to support research practice, critical assessment, and the use of evidence on technical, environmental, social and economic factors influencing energy demand in buildings and building stocks
  • to develop students’ transferable skills enabling them to successfully manage, communicate, and lead complex research projects
  • provide real experience of research through the generation, development and implementation of a significant research-based dissertation

The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering has a world leading reputation for its research and strong collaborations with industry and commerce. The School is one of four Royal Academy of Engineering Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, and one of the six most highly funded EPSRC-funded groups working on Built Environment topics.

In the UK Government’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), the School was the highest ranked and most research intensive building energy research school in the UK. 87% of the School’s research was scored as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

During your studies, you will gain access to 3000m2 of unrivalled laboratory and field-scale facilities that enable world-class research to be conducted. Our suite of full-scale test houses are unique in providing a ‘matched pair’ capability that allows high-quality comparative testing of home energy efficiency interventions. In the laboratory, a controllable environmental room combined with laser-based velocimetry equipment and heated breathing manikin allows investigations of the airflows around humans in rooms and the implications for inhaled air quality and thermal comfort for a range of ventilation options. A ‘salt bath’ water tank enables airflows through buildings to be visualised and a large scale indoor solar simulator can be used for testing the solar collection performance of new concepts for renewable energy collection by buildings. There are many questions about moisture flows in buildings, and our newly-completed hygrothermal chambers allow investigation of heat and moisture transfer through building structures. These large-scale facilities are complimented by a suite of workshops and supported by a team of technicians trained in wood-work, plastics, metal-work, mechanical systems and electronics.

What makes this programme different?

  • Led by internationally-leading research staff
  • 3,000m2 open-plan laboratory
  • In collaboration with Energy Institute at University College, London
  • Opportunity to join the LoLo CDT

Who should study this programme?

The MRes in Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies is designed for new graduates and built environment professionals wishing to develop your careers in the field of buildings and their energy use.

An honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent overseas qualification in a relevant science, engineering or similar subject related to energy and the built environment. Applicants with extensive relevant industry experience and a capability in engineering, science, or related fields equivalent to graduate level will also be considered.

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in all elements.

What you'll study

The modules on our Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies MRes programme are designed to provide you with a solid grounding in the knowledge, understanding and research methods of the interdisciplinary field of energy demand reduction in the built environment.

Modules

This programme covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module. The MRes in Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies consists of seven taught modules

Why is reducing the energy demand of buildings a complex challenge? How did we get to where we are? What are the options for the future, and what is your possible role? This module provides an introduction to the many issues of energy demand in the built environment, setting them in the wider context of climate change policy and the history of energy use.

Building energy modelling is used widely in research and consultancy and for a range of different clients and purposes. However, the question of how well these models represent reality is sometimes ignored and is often misunderstood. This module will introduce students to different modelling techniques, help them to discover the underlying methods, and guide them in choosing appropriate modelling tools with awareness of their limitations.

Millions of measurements are made every day, from the temperatures in weather forecasts to the units of energy consumption in our home heating bills. To what extent should we rely on the measurements that we take? This module addresses the principles and practice of measurement as applied to energy demand in the built environment, the uncertainties that are present in all measurement-based data, and the role that these play in the formulation of scientific, evidence-based, conclusions.

The module provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to devise, plan and disseminate research projects — all three are essential components of a high quality PhD thesis. The module will provide skills in: defining research questions and hypotheses; critically reviewing literature; planning a programme of research; communicating to different stakeholders including academia, industry and the public; preparing posters, conference presentations and academic papers; engaging with the public and producing an MRes Research Dissertation proposal. The module also includes project administration skills including research ethics and confidentiality.

The social, economic and policy environment has a substantial influence on the design, fuel supply and energy systems in buildings, but even more so the behaviour of building occupants and owners. This module introduces students to the non-technical factors that influence energy demand and shows how, and the extent to which, they influence energy use behaviours.

Understanding which statistical method to use and why is a vital part of any research design. This module introduces SPSS, which is an ‘industry standard’ software package for data analysis. The course goes beyond the basics in order to provide a highly-relevant university-level grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

It is the research dissertation that distinguishes this course from other Masters’ courses. It provides an opportunity to study a particularly interesting aspect of energy demand in depth with close supervision from experts in the field. Students have undertaken full-scale trials in our research test-houses, conducted monitoring and questionnaire studies in occupied homes, run laboratory experiments using state-of-the-art equipment and applied novel energy modelling tools. The research is often aligned with our large collaborative research projects and the best work is published in conferences or academic journals.

How you'll be assessed

Assessment is entirely by coursework, including presentations and written work such as essays, reports and press releases. The research project is assessed by a dissertation, an academic paper and a viva at which students present the work to an expert panel.

How you'll study

Seminars
Lectures
Tutorials
Independent study
Group work
Practical sessions
Supervision
Workshops

Your personal and professional development

The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

This programme is designed to develop specialist knowledge, skills and expertise in research with a focus on energy and related areas.

Graduate destinations

At the end of their MRes year a number of students progress to PhD study within the University and the opportunity exists for strong MRes candiates to join the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand. Graduates have gone on to enjoy careers in a diverse range of organisations including Loughborough University, The University of Sheffield, De Montfort University, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), Willmot Dixon and Investec Asset Management.

Your personal development

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • understand research methodologies and their application to specific research problems
  • interact professionally with others to achieve a common goal
  • understand organisational structures and frameworks
  • manage personal time
  • plan personal professional development
  • demonstrate awareness of research ethics, issues of confidentiality and data protection, intellectual property and copyright.

Fees and funding

UK/EU:
£9,500
International:
£21,000

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our academics

The Built Environment: Energy Demand Studies MRes course is delivered by leading academic experts in the field and invited speakers from government and industry. Our staff are members of the Building Energy Research Group (BERG) and recognised world-wide as leaders in building simulation and building measurement research. The Building Energy Research Group has an international reputation for work on building energy modelling and monitoring.

BERG has 12 academic staff members, 15 research staff and over 36 PhD researchers. The group carries out major research projects for the UK Research Councils, the European Commission, the UK Government and building consultancy companies. We currently hold £11.4M of research grant funding. BERG also delivers a significant programme of teaching across the School including two postgraduate programmes and several undergraduate modules on building design and building environmental science.

BERG staff regularly carry out consultancy/enterprise projects working directly with industry partners. These activities serve several key purposes: (i) to ensure that BERG staff are always up-to-date with the latest developments in industry; (ii) to deploy cutting-edge research on ‘real world’ buildings; and (iii) to feed this experience back into our teaching.

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