Environmental Design MArch


Fact file

MArch Environmental Design
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2.1(Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
Other requirements
Architectural design work portfolio must be submitted
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course provides advanced training in integrated environmental design in architecture.
Read full overview

Bioclimatically creative strategies in the MArch Environmental Design course

The 12 month MArch Environmental Design course is a design project-based programme which aims to provide advanced training in integrated environmental design in architecture. It is intended primarily for practitioners in the architecture and building industry who wish to broaden their knowledge in sustainable building design and apply the environmental design knowledge and skills in architectural projects. The course is also designed for individuals who wish to pursue research careers in the environmental design-related areas.

By using the design project as a vehicle, students will be introduced to the integrated design approach where the knowledge of environmental design theories and principles will be applied in the design process. The design proposals will then be tested and refined using a range of physical and computer-based simulation tools. In this way, students can rapidly develop their understanding and skills of environmental design and apply the knowledge in practice. The case study module and dissertation help students to further develop their knowledge in integrated environmental design.

By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and benefits which arise from the application of environmental design principles in architecture and urban design, and the role of an integrated approach in the design process.

Entry requirements: 2:1 (or international equivalent) in architecture or a similar subject. Must include modules in architectural design amounting to 25%-50% of total credits. An architectural design portfolio must be submitted.

Key facts

  • as part of its remit, the Department of Architecture and Built Environment aims to develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude necessary in today’s rapidly changing world.
  • the department enjoys strong collaborative links with overseas institutions. You may have the opportunity to attended conferences, seminars and training courses both in the UK and abroad.
  • the personal benefits of this course include a broadening career horizon; cross disciplinary interaction and debate; working with professionals from other industrial sectors and sharing experience; as well as enhancing your professional network of contacts and support.
  • this course does not currently convey professional accreditation in the UK.

Presessional English for Academic Purposes

The Centre for English Language Education (CELE) runs a 5-week Built Environment English language and study skills course. This course is designed in collaboration with the Department of Architecture and Built Environment to prepare students going onto Architecture and Built Environment programmes.

If you are close to the English language level you need to go on to your MSc course and you meet the entry requirements for the relevant CELE course, you may be eligible for a joint offer. This means that:

  • you only need one TIER 4 visa and CAS
  • you take a 10 or 5-week English Language and Academic Skills preparation course, and then go onto your MSc course
  • you have a guaranteed place on the MSc course
  • your progression to the MSc is automatic, provided you attend and complete all the coursework

For more details, please visit the CELE website or contact cele-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk.


Course details

Based within the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, this course emphasises a problem-solving approach where technical and theoretical knowledge is well integrated and it also builds on a project-based approach, which is unique in environmental design education.

The theoretical and technological aspects of environmental design are treated in equal measures during the studio design projects.

As part of the course content, you will undertake an environmental design module which is a studio-based exercise where practical skills and imagination are challenged and examined through an architectural project.  The key design projects include:

  • Environmental Design in Architecture
  • Sustainable Housing Design
  • Advanced Tall Building Design

Additional lectures and seminar modules provide a parallel knowledge base and intellectual support for the design project.  Other core modules include Architectural Research Methods and Case Study Project.

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

You will spend the summer semester producing a supervised dissertation. This will be an in-depth study of an individually determined topic and is an opportunity to conduct a major piece of independent research that reflects individual interests and aspirations.

The MArch Environmental Design is offered on a full-time basis over one year (September to September).

In the autumn and spring semesters, you will complete 120 credits worth of modules including a number of design projects which provide the platform for the application of integrated design approach in practice.  These design projects are supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials to provide you with a parallel knowledge base and intellectual support for the design projects.

Finally, you will complete a supervised 60-credit written research thesis or dissertation during the summer period towards the end of the course. 



Core modules:

Optional (elective) modules:

*The Case Study Project is a module focused on learning from existing buildings and/or urban spaces through post-occupancy and performance monitoring and evaluation. The module offers opportunities for students to explore environmental design issues in depth, to further develop their preferred speciality and to develop academic writing skills. Much of the work produced in this module has been published in international conferences or journals.

**The Dissertation is an individual research project taken over the summer term under the guidance and supervision of an academic member of staff. It is a great opportunity for students to further develop the area or topic they are most interested in.

For more details on our modules, please see the module catalogue.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



The fees for this course can be found on our tuition fees webpages.

UK/EU Students

Funding information can be found on the Graduate School website

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the department.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



This MArch programme is project oriented - it explicitly calls for design proposals rather than purely theoretical work. The course stresses the importance of connecting design projects to the broader decision-making context of real and complex projects. 

This programme has been specifically designed with the profession's needs in mind and most of the graduates from the MArch courses return to work as professionals within both the private and public sector in their own countries. Many do however continue to PhD programmes either at Nottingham or other leading universities.

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers.*

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

The acquisition of a master’s degree from the University of Nottingham demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

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