Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
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Loughborough University

Programme Specifications

Programme Specification

MSc Low Carbon Building Design and Modelling

Academic Year: 2018/19

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if full advantage is taken of the learning opportunities that are provided.

This specification applies to delivery of the programme in the Academic Year indicated above. Prospective students reviewing this information for a later year of study should be aware that these details are subject to change as outlined in our Terms and Conditions of Study.

This specification should be read in conjunction with:

  • Summary
  • Aims
  • Learning outcomes
  • Structure
  • Progression & weighting

Programme summary

Awarding body/institution Loughborough University
Teaching institution (if different)
Owning school/department School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
Details of accreditation by a professional/statutory body

The programme is accredited for further learning for CEng and professional membership by the CIBSE and Energy Insitute.

Final award MSc, PGDip, PGCert
Programme title Low Carbon Building Design and Modelling
Programme code CVPT43/44
Length of programme Minimum of 1 year (full-time) and 2 years (part-time) and a maximum of 3 years (full-time) and 5 years (part-time)
UCAS code
Admissions criteria


Date at which the programme specification was published Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:58:37 BST

1. Programme Aims

  • Help students gain their own insight into where and why buildings use energy;
  • Provide students with the opportunity to work in small teams to work on real low carbon building designs under real-world scenarios;
  • Equip students with the skillsets required for developing advanced building simulation modelling skills that will set them apart from traditional building services engineering graduates;
  • Provide instruction on how to use, effectively, some of the world’s leading software tools currently available;
  • Provide an innovative approach to training which will develop a wide range of transferable skills relevant for employment and further research; and
  • Present students with the unique opportunity to conduct a rigorous, detailed research project, on a topic of their choice in the field of low carbon building design and modelling.

2. Relevant subject benchmark statements and other external reference points used to inform programme outcomes:

  • QAA Benchmark statements for engineering.
  • Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
  • CIBSE Competence Criteria for Corporate Membership (based on the Competence Statements issued by the Engineering Council).
  • University Learning and Teaching Strategy.

3. Programme Learning Outcomes

3.1 Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • where and how much energy is used in buildings;
  • climate data and climate change;
  • building regulations and directives;
  • the principles and methods of low carbon building design;
  • the range of renewable energy techniques and technologies available to building designers as part of their low carbon building solution;
  • an understanding of architectural form in relation to space and energy usage;
  • the elements of a building energy control system, together with supervisory and local-loop control strategies;
  • procedures for the commissioning of building energy systems;
  • the role of the architect in building design, and the building concept design process;
  • BIM in conceptual and low carbon building design and modelling;
  • low and zero energy standard, ie Passivhaus and whole life cycle assessment;
  • the principles and methods of a wide range of modelling techniques that can be used in the design of low carbon buildings;
  • how to use state of the art computer simulation, including daylight modelling, dynamic thermal simulation and airflow modelling, as an integrated tool within the building design process;
  • research methods applicable to the field of low carbon building design and modelling, including design optimisation, decision making, risk assessment and uncertainty and sensitivity analysis;
  • knowledge and understanding of design processes and methodologies.

3.2 Skills and other attributes

a. Subject-specific cognitive skills:

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

  • analyse, critically appraise and solve both numerical and qualitative problems of a familiar or unfamiliar nature;
  • generate, collect, and interpret numerical and/or qualitative data;
  • act independently, or in a group, and be able to adapt to dynamically changing situations that arise from the solution of multi-faceted and evolving design problems;
  • interpret, categorise, and simplify the representation the sub-systems and zones of a complex building;
  • identify their own learning needs, plan to meet these needs, and evaluate the learning outcomes;
  • understand the impact of design decisions on overall building design.
b. Subject-specific practical skills:

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

  • take a leading role in design teams concerned with the design of innovative, low carbon buildings;
  • use advanced computer simulation tools effectively and appropriately for modelling thermal performance of buildings;
  • use advanced computer simulation tools effectively and appropriately for modelling ventilation and airflow in buildings;
  • use advanced computer simulation tools effectively and appropriately for modelling lighting in buildings;
  • identify suitable control zones for a building;
  • complete a concept design for a building control system, including the selection of sensors, and local loop and supervisory control strategies;
  • select valves and dampers that produce a linear static control characteristic;
  • working from an architect’s brief, produce an initial concept design for the layout and form of a building;
  • develop procedures for the commissioning of building thermal systems;
  • perform short research projects in the field of low carbon building design and modelling;
  • use communication skills effectively to describe and discuss design options and the analysis of results from computer simulations;
  • analyse and select low carbon technologies and design solutions for low carbon buildings.
c. Key transferable skills:

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

  • communicate effectively, graphically and in writing;
  • communicate effectively, orally;
  • use information technology (IT), such as word-processors, spreadsheets, presentation packages, email, and the world-wide web;
  • demonstrate problem-solving skills, including problems where information is limited, contradictory, and/or unreliable;
  • demonstrate numeracy, mathematical skills, and computational skills;
  • undertake a critical appraisal of their work;
  • undertake a critical appraisal of the work of their peers;
  • work effectively as part of a team;
  • manage workloads and time effectively.

4. Programme structure

For full-time students the modules will normally be taken as 60 credits per semester.  All modules are compulsory and are taught in one-week blocks except the research project module (CVP313). 


Module Title

Modular Weight

Semester 1


Building Energy Consumption



Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technologies



Thermal Modelling and Performance Simulation



Airflow Modelling and Computational Fluid Dynamics



Research Methods in Building Performance


Semester 2


Building Control and Commissioning



Concept Design with 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM)



Low Carbon Building Design 



Climate-Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM) and Simulation


Semesters 1 & 2


Research Dissertation




5. Criteria for Progression and Degree Award

In order to be eligible for the award, candidates must satisfy the requirements of Regulation XXI.

6. Relative Weighting of Parts of the Programme for the Purposes of Final Degree Classification

Not applicable.

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