Welsh School of Architecture

MSc Degree Programmes Information

How the courses are related

The 3 courses have been designed to be complementary with the broadest perspective given by the Sustainable Design course.

MSc in Sustainable Design

MSc Sustainable Design offers a comprehensive view of the issues involved in the design and construction of sustainable built environments, from product selection to planetary impacts. Although the design of building environments is considered in this course, this aspect of sustainable design is amplified in the next course in the range, Environmental Design of Buildings.

msc

MSc in Environmental Design

MSc Environmental Design: takes the physical environment in and around buildings as its subject. The guiding principle is one aspect of sustainability, in its aim to achieve comfortable and healthy environments in buildings without compromising the environment at large. The environmental performance of the outcome is assessed through the use of computer modelling. However, modelling is becoming an increasingly specialist activity, and this aspect is, in turn, amplified as the subject of the next course, Building Performance Modelling.

MSc in Building Performance Modelling

MSc Building Performance Modelling: gives students practical training at greater length in the safe use of the major types of performance modelling tools.


How the courses are structured

The taught content is delivered in a set of separately-assessed modules. Teaching uses a variety of media, including lectures, set texts, case studies, seminars, workshops, course work, computer modelling, physical modelling, group tutorials and student presentations.

Stage one comprises 120 credits of learning divided across a number of modules, while stage two is the dissertation.

In addition, before the taught programme begins there is an induction course to introduce new students to the school, the university, and its facilities and to give them some experience in the basic skills that they will need.

This is particularly helpful for students without recent experience of full-time education, but it also is designed to define the common standards anticipated from students from varying academic backgrounds.

You can study locally full time (12 months) and part time (24 months) and for MSc Environmental Design of Buildings only, as a distance student (36 months). For more information please visit: MSc Study Options.

More generally, post-graduate students enjoy a high level of staff support in both academic and personal matters, supported through an "open door" policy for students.

Study visits are arranged each year to buildings of interest and relevance to the programmes.

A study visit
A study visit to St Fagans, Cardiff


The three courses share a set of common core modules (60 credits) enabling beneficial social and intellectual interaction between students on the courses: between local and distance students as well as across the variety of academic and cultural backgrounds represented on the entire cohort of students.

Taught material in core modules has been developed for computer-aided learning, providing particularly valuable support to students whose first language is not English.

Core modules - shared between all courses (60 credits)

In stage 1, the scheme shares a set of common core modules. These are taken by all ASM Masters students and comprise:

Click the module names for more information

Module name: Site and Environment (Core teaching - 10 credits)

Millennium Housing

In this module, an analytical approach is taken to the physical environment experienced by users outside buildings. The theme is the ambient environment of the site. The module discusses basic physics needed to understand physical environments in general, climatic processes involved in creating the local environment of a site, procedures for analysing environmental data to provide designers with objectives, and the physical needs that users have for their environments. Successful environmental design must start with an understanding of the ambient environment, of how it arises, of its short and long term variation, of its affect on comfort, and of how it can be harnessed and moderated.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts in environmental physics;
  • discuss in principle the physics of building environmental performance;
  • explain the environmental and human factors affecting thermal comfort;
  • explain the relationship between types of sky and available thermal and visible radiation;
  • explain the factors influencing global and local climate;
  • show how these matters affect the objectives that environmental designers should pursue.

Discipline specific skills

  • solve problems in environmental physics using basic numerical and graphical procedures;
  • gauge relationships between local climate and landscape in specific circumstances;
  • conduct an environmental site analysis;
  • estimate the availability and nature of sun, light and wind at a site;
  • calculate the daylight factor and the changes in solar orientation at any location;
  • interpret design objectives from climatic and environmental data using graphic techniques;
  • operate satisfactorily the software for climatic analysis used in the module.

Module name: Earth and Society (Core teaching - 10 credits)

Law faculty

This module introduces the principal concepts of sustainability and the values, beliefs and assumptions that underpin them. It considers the historic development of the 'green' movement and how social frameworks, which influence people's behaviour and lifestyles, impact on sustainability as well as introducing Climate Change as an important context for sustainable development. It identifies different positions relating to sustainability adopted today, both at a theoretical and practical level and encourages students to question these as well as their own views. It also ensures an awareness of sustainability at a variety of development scale, from individual buildings through communities to the broader urban scale including health and comfort in the built environment. The module provides a structure for students to develop, discuss and formulate their personal sustainability standpoint.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate familiarity with the theories, concepts and context of sustainability;
  • discuss the influence of different frameworks impacting on society and the built environment and their effects on sustainability;
  • illustrate the interrelation of the different frameworks on sustainability;
  • identify historic stages of the 'green' movement;
  • identity influences on and ambitions for a healthy and comfortable building environment
  • show awareness and understanding of leading examples and issues of sustainable design at a building, community and urban scale;
  • appreciate the complexities and interdependencies of sustainable design and the constraints involved in applying the theories of sustainability into practice at a variety of development scales;
  • identify potential and appropriate methods for enhancing the sustainability of personal lifestyles and local and global communities with relation to the built environment;

Discipline specific skills

  • clearly articulate their sustainability standpoint;
  • critically assess ideas, concepts and approaches relating to sustainability.

Module name: Building Fabric (Core teaching - 10 credits)

Students talking

A building's fabric provides the means for forming an enclosure and separating it from the external environment. It can therefore act as a shelter from external environmental conditions, or a means for moderating and taking advantage of them, in order to improve comfort within buildings. Understanding the principles by which a building interacts with the external environment through its fabric, is therefore key in understanding building performance. This module will introduce those principles as well as novel and established techniques to achieve a successful design for comfort, health and energy efficiency.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • describe the basic thermal properties of building materials
  • describe the properties of glazing in relation to thermal and visual parameters
  • explain the issues relating to the provision of comfortable and healthy air in building spaces
  • explain the main techniques for predicting and measuring performance for façade and ventilation design and for estimating thermal load
  • discuss constructively the collection, storage, distribution, and utilisation of energy in a passive building
  • demonstrate the dynamic heat transfer processes in facades and spaces
  • evaluate how heat loss and surface heat transfer can be controlled by glazing, insulation and thermal mass;
  • illustrate how ventilation systems can provide good air quality with the efficient use of energy
  • evaluate how sunlight and daylight can be controlled through facade engineering
  • demonstrate an understanding of core building physics principles thought in the module

Discipline specific skills

  • interpret and act on the information produced by modelling methods.
  • solve problems in building physics using basic numerical and graphical procedures
  • identify appropriate techniques for predicting façade and ventilation performance for specific designs
  • engage in the integrated design process in relation to fabric and ventilation design.

Module name: Primitives (Core teaching - 10 credits)

Group of students

Fundamental skills in three areas can be identified which are necessary for satisfactory completion of these schemes of study and for which many students will need tuition. They are sufficiently important to be taught and assessed as part of the schemes, rather than left to induction and private study. These are skills in basic mathematics, research methods, and environmental evaluation using Ecotect.

On completion of the module, a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, geometry and descriptive statistics, to the level needed for the schemes of study served;
  • understand the purpose, process and standards of academic research;
  • understand how research knowledge advances collectively and how research is distinguished by different methodological approaches;
  • explain the content and structure required of a dissertation;
  • explain the criteria that make a good research proposal;
  • distinguish between fair and unfair practice in research conduct and research reporting;
  • explain the capabilities and limitations of Ecotect software in evaluating the environmental performance of buildings;

Discipline specific skills

  • evaluate the environmental performance of buildings using Ecotect across a wide range of the predictive techniques it offers, particularly as follows;
  • build a valid 3D geometrical model from plans or description;
  • produce accurate shadow maps for a given building;
  • produce accurate daylight factors for a given space;
  • produce, and interpret, a passive energy breakdown, for a given zone;
  • produce seasonal heating/cooling, for a given whole building.

Generic skills

  • demonstrate an ability to solve basic problems in the mathematical areas listed above;
  • conduct a literature research satisfactorily;
  • distinguish between good and bad research;
  • conduct numerical and statistical evaluation of data at a basic level;
  • write a satisfactory research proposal;

Module name: Efficient Services (Core teaching - 10 credits)

The design of 'environmentally friendly' buildings depends critically on the choice of appropriate servicing strategies - an inappropriate servicing strategy can negate all the work undertaken on the form and fabric of the building. This module explores the principles behind current low energy solutions to servicing strategies, and deals with basic application information and strategies. The course is designed to complement information provided in all the other modules.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • describe how, why and where buildings services consume energy;
  • describe the current techniques available to minimise this energy use;
  • present a reasoned argument in favour of efficient building services;
  • describe the interaction between the building services and the building fabric and form.
  • explain the principles behind a range of low energy servicing solutions for buildings;
  • recognise when and where it is appropriate to apply these solutions.

Discipline specific skills

  • assess the impact of the various building services options on a building design problem.

Module name: Low Carbon Footprint (Core teaching - 10 credits)

Low carbon design requires an holistic approach to the energy use of a building. The designer needs to understand in principle how buildings use energy and to supplement this understanding with evidence on energy use from the field. He or she needs to be able to work with goals for building design, such as zero carbon standards, and with ways of off-setting energy consumption with renewables.

The aims of the module are therefore;

  • to introduce the ways buildings use energy;
  • to introduce methods of matching these demands through renewables and low energy systems;
  • to introduce techniques for assessing the energy footprint and sustainable performance of the building using benchmarking and monitoring.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • explain how buildings use energy, the demands and loads with buildings and the impact of occupancy on energy use;
  • explain use of renewables technologies and low energy cooling technologies within buildings;
  • show a basic knowledge of the concept of embodied energy;
  • show an understanding of assessment tools for sustainable design;
  • explain the benefits monitoring and calculate benchmarks for buildings;
  • show an understanding of zero-carbon buildings.

Discipline specific skills

  • evaluate how well a building attains low carbon design;
  • assess the impact of the various building services options on a building design problem.

Each course then has a range of specialist taught and project modules.

Project work is designed to give students opportunities to apply what they have learned in a specialist professional context. The projects are flexible to allow students to follow their own interests and strengths.

MSc in Sustainable Design

Specialist Modules (60 credits)

Click the module names for more information

Module name: Sustainable Building (Specialist teaching - 10 credits)

Sustainable Building

Sustainable building design aims to create resource-efficient buildings that are comfortable and healthy places to live and work. Materials, water and energy are used for the construction and the running of buildings and the use of resources can be associated with environmental and social impacts. Sustainable design ensures that the impacts associated with resources are kept to a minimum while also considering issues of light, temperature, indoor air quality and psychological aspects of buildings that affect health. This module focuses on the design to minimise resource use, while considering the need to create healthy environments.

Knowledge and understanding

  • discuss the principal aims and strategies of sustainable building design
  • identify the impact of resource use of a development
  • explain the typical environmentally preferred construction systems that minimise environmental impacts associated with resources
  • explain the main principles of designing for health and well-being
  • explain the environmental impacts of different materials
  • explain basic environmental and social impacts of resource use locally and globally
  • discuss approaches to minimising resource use adopted by a number of case studies
  • be aware of sources of information on the selection of materials, the design for water and energy efficiency and the design to ensure the health and well-being of the inhabitants

Discipline specific skills

  • evaluate the environmental information on materials provided by different sources
  • investigate and present environmental profile of a building material
  • develop an outline green specification for a particular development
  • assess the options for material specification and design in respect of individual buildings' characteristics and propose an appropriate outline specification
  • assess the opportunities for saving water and energy appropriate for different development types and situations and propose appropriate strategy

Module name: Sustainable Design Practice (Specialist project - 40 credits)

Sustainable Design Practice

The project module in this course allows students to apply to a live situation principles of sustainable design learned in the taught modules. It will provide an opportunity for professionals from different disciplines in the built environment to find out how they each define and approach problem solving in relation to sustainable design, and to explore new working relationships which will require new ways of thinking. Holistic thinking will be encouraged through integrated action, with the emphasis on an individual's transformation through collaboration rather than on team-working itself. This will be a learning-by-doing approach within which a critical reflective learning process will be employed.

The module will incorporate a single development project in co-operation with a local/regional authority, development agency, community group or practice. Students will form multi-disciplinary groups, liaising with officials and with an identified client. Depending on the subject and / or building type there will be indirect or direct participation of user and community groups. The project will be a mutually beneficial activity, with the 'live-project supplier' gaining a significant input, and the students learning from engaging with a real problem.

Knowledge and understanding

  • illustrate how sustainability philosophy, theory and principles can be applied to a practical design problem
  • understand sustainable development principles at pre-contract, procurement and design phases
  • describe his/her own and his/her discipline's role in, and contribution to, a collaborative design process
  • illustrate that he/she has followed a reflective learning process and has identified his/her own transformation and self-development
  • demonstrate ability to model complexity and relationships within a built environment development problem and process
  • show an awareness of the significance and characteristics of interdisciplinary thinking when addressing sustainability design issues

Discipline specific skills

  • identify key issues and action criteria for sustainable design
  • develop strategic approaches which incorporate vision and practical actions
  • illustrate new paradigm sustainability thinking.

Module name: Building Procurement and Performance (Specialist teaching - 10 credits)

Building Procurement and Performance

This module focuses on sustainable buildings in use, as well as the processes required to deliver buildings which will perform as anticipated. In addition it aims to introduce case studies and methodologies for post occupancy monitoring, in the context of targets set through modelling and occupant interaction with buildings. Sustainable development requires the collaboration of all parties involved in the construction process, from the clients, planners and designers to the contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. This module introduces the roles of the different parties involved in the construction process and the approaches that can be adopted to achieve sustainable buildings in use. Research and monitoring methods will be introduced applicable at both building and community scale considering, health, comfort, and wider building performance factors including energy, water, light, noise and waste.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • explain the principles and the benefits of sustainable development, including the environmental performance, cost and productivity benefits, user benefits and marketing advantages
  • identify key parties involved in the construction process and describe their roles in the delivery of sustainably performaning buildings in use
  • identify the legal responsibilities of each party that contribute positively towards sustainable development in use
  • discuss the barriers to the adoption of sustainable construction principles
  • be aware of government and other initiatives supporting sustainable development
  • explain the mechanisms by which sustainable development is encouraged throughout the building development process
  • explain how monitoring and research can be undertaken to help improve building performance
  • identify appropriate monitoring and research techniques to evaluate building and development performance in use
  • discuss case studies of good practice
  • be aware of publicly available sources of information on sustainable development

Discipline specific skills

  • develop and present a plan of action including relevant documents for a theoretical project to ensure building performance meets targets set during the briefing and design stage.
  • discuss merits of and prioritise approaches to procurement to ensure delivery of sustainable development in use
  • discuss the characteristics of performance indicators and assessment methods in respect to sustainable development with the view of making use of one of the methods
  • develop and implement appropriate research and monitoring strategy to exlore building performance.

MSc in Environmental Design

Specialist Modules (60 credits)

Click the module name for more information

Module name: Outside Inside (Specialist teaching - 10 credits)

Environmental Design of Buildings

Earlier modules have introduced the fundamentals of environmental design to the student. One of its objectives is to adapt the ambient environment to make more desirable living conditions: the designer starts with a given climate and tries to achieve specified environmental targets. This module offers advanced treatment of aspects of the environment outside and inside: of both the climatic environment and the internal building environment. Included in this is the main treatment of the acoustic environment offered in the course.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate understanding of the material taught in the module;
  • use climatic data to estimate the availability of sun and wind at a particular site or building surface;
  • estimate how much energy and power the available wind and sun can provide;
  • show how the form and envelope of the building can be used to admit solar radiation selectively;
  • extend the basic metrics of physics to deliver more complex environmental concepts relevant to comfort;
  • discuss quantitative and qualitative standards for lighting, thermal and acoustic comfort;
  • select and explain design tactics for achieving satisfactory internal environments;
  • discuss the theory supporting these standards and design tactics.

Discipline specific skills

  • demonstrate the ability to use effectively the skills introduced in the module;
  • operate satisfactorily the building environmental evaluation software used on the module;
  • use drawings and scale models to investigate the access of built surfaces to sun and wind;
  • select and utilise appropriate techniques from those taught to solve a range of environmental design problems.

Transferable skills

  • present his or her knowledge and understanding in an organised and cogent way.

Module name: Passive Design (Specialist teaching - 10 credits)

Environmental Design of Buildings

Passive Design refers to the practice of designing buildings so that their form and fabric make use of ambient energy to reduce the load on building services. Principles of building physics that need to be understood have been introduced in earlier modules, and it will be assumed that students understand how to apply them in a general approach to this end. In this module specific strategies will be explained, with guidance on when to apply them and what level of performance to expect from them.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate familiarity with the main principles of passive design;
  • discuss constructively the collection, storage, distribution, and utilisation of energy in passive strategies;
  • propose suitable implementations of daylighting, heating and cooling strategies in specific contexts;
  • explain in principle the relative suitability of alternative strategies that could be proposed for these contexts.

Discipline specific skills

  • estimate how the performance of strategies is affected by the selection and sizing of design parameters;
  • use simple techniques to compare the energy and environmental performance of alternative design proposals.

Module name: Environmental Design Practice (Specialist project - 30 credits)

Environmental Design of Buildings

One of the aims of this module is to provide students with the opportunity of learning how to apply the ideas taught in class to problems which, whilst not real, will exercise a similar range of skills to a real problem. The knowledge they require will be taught in the core modules that run in parallel, and which they share with other degree schemes. Another aim of the module is to channel the understanding and skill that students gain from these core modules into problems that call on the more specialist perspective adopted in their specialist area of study in the environmental design of buildings. Because the students are from varied professional backgrounds with different practice needs to meet, another aim is to keep the project brief flexible enough for students to be able to choose problems that suit this variety.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate an understanding of the material taught in the supporting modules through its application;
  • demonstrate extension of his or her knowledge beyond the taught material in investigating the project.

Discipline specific skills - first stage (site)

  • estimate the availability and nature of sun, light, wind and other environmental elements at a site;
  • devise effective methods of harnessing and moderating the existing environment with minimal intervention in the built landscape;
  • show how these matters affect the objectives that environmental designers should pursue;
  • operate satisfactorily the software for climatic analysis used in the module.

Discipline specific skills - second stage (fabric)

  • investigate the potential for environmental design of a specific brief for a building;
  • interpret climatic and environmental data in ways useful for indicating design objectives;
  • propose daylighting, heating and cooling strategies appropriate to a specific site and brief;
  • evaluate the environmental performance of design proposals.

Discipline specific skills - third stage (services)

  • show how building service loads are influenced by the use, form, fabric, and setting of a building
  • estimate the building service loads for a particular building proposal
  • propose appropriate building service systems to meet loads efficiently
  • justify your choice of one building services proposal over another.

Module name: Environmental Design Application (Specialist project - 10 credits)

Environmental Design of Buildings

The students taking the previous project module were able to apply the ideas delivered in the parallel core modules to their specialist interest of environmental design. This module allows them to apply the more advanced ideas that they learn in the specialist teaching modules at the end of Stage One. The knowledge they require will be taught in those modules, so that this module can focus more closely on its application to problems which, whilst not real, will exercise a similar range of skills to a real problem. One of the aims of the module is to provide students with the opportunity of testing out their ability to apply in practice what they have learned in class and of learning the skills involved in doing so. The students are from varied professional backgrounds and will have varied practice needs to meet. Another aim of the module is to keep the project brief flexible enough for students to be able to choose problems that suit this variety.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate an understanding of the material taught in the supporting modules through its application;
  • demonstrate an advanced understanding of how to estimate a building's access to wind and sun;
  • show an advanced understanding of how to use a building's form and fabric to harness the sun and wind;
  • demonstrate extension of his or her knowledge beyond the taught material in investigating the project.

Discipline specific skills

  • devise effective methods of harnessing and moderating the existing outside environment;
  • integrate various passive daylighting, heating and cooling strategies in a single proposal for a particular brief;
  • specify closely the environmental requirements for a given activity;
  • make appropriate provision for the building fabric and services to achieve the environmental requirements;
  • select and deploy appropriate output from the environmental software used in the course to demonstrate achievement of environmental performance;
  • argue how the planned and accidental operation of a building by its occupants might affect its environmental performance.

Transferable skills

  • present his or her knowledge and understanding in an organised and cogent way.

MSc in Building Performance Modelling

Specialist Modules (60 credits)

Click the module name for more information

Module name: Building Performance Modelling (Specialist teaching - 20 credits)

Building Energy and Environmental Performace Modelling

This module will expand the knowledge and skill-set of the student in two key modelling areas;

  • Dynamic thermal modelling, and
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling.

These two areas are arguably the most important in the development of a sustainable built environment, and so form the core of the specialism for this scheme. Both areas will be studied in terms of their theoretical and mathematical backgrounds, of their applicability to problems in the built environment, and of appropriate methodologies of application.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • explain the advantages and disadvantages of detailed modelling methods;
  • explain the modelling approaches for dynamic thermal modelling;
  • explain the modelling approaches for computational fluid dynamic modelling;
  • formulate an evaluation strategy to solve a specific assessment problem;
  • create model descriptions, in a format appropriate to thermal and CFD model methods;
  • run or implement thermal and CFD methods to obtain information on a problem.

Discipline specific skills

  • operate HTB2 (or other dynamic thermal method) sufficiently to carry out a detailed simulation of thermal behaviour of a design and produce meaningful results in support of a design recommendation;
  • operate WinAir (or other Computational Fluid Dynamics method) sufficiently to carry out a detailed simulation of air flow behaviour of a design and produce meaningful results in support of a design recommendation;
  • interpret and act on modelling results to produce design conclusions or recommendations

Module name: Environmental Design Modelling (Specialist project - 30 credits)

Building Energy and Environmental Performace Modelling

An aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity of learning how to apply the ideas taught in class to problems which, whilst not real, will exercise a similar range of skills to a real problem. The knowledge they require will be taught in the core modules that run in parallel, and which they share with other degree schemes. Another aim is to channel the understanding and skill that students gain from these core modules into problems that call on the more specialist perspective adopted in their specialist area of study in the environmental design of buildings.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate an understanding of the material taught in the supporting modules through its application;
  • demonstrate extension of his or her knowledge beyond the taught material in investigating the project.

Discipline specific skills - first stage (site)

  • estimate the availability and nature of sun, light, wind and other environmental elements at a site;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of methods of harnessing and moderating the existing environment;
  • appreciate how these matters affect the objectives that environmental designers should pursue;
  • operate satisfactorily the software for climatic analysis used in the module.

Second stage (fabric)

  • investigate the fabric performance of design of a building;
  • propose improvements or alternative modifications to that design;
  • propose and evaluate daylighting, heating and cooling strategies appropriate to a specific site and brief.

Third stage (services)

  • show how building service loads are influenced by the use, form, fabric, and setting of a building
  • estimate the building service loads for a particular building proposal
  • propose appropriate building service systems to meet loads efficiently
  • justify your choice of one building services proposal over another.

Transferable skills: all stages

  • present his or her knowledge and understanding in an organised and cogent way.

Module name: Explorations in modelling (Specialist project - 10 credits)

Building Energy and Environmental Performace Modelling

The main aim of this module is to provide the opportunity for the student to study, and develop skills in using, a modelling method not otherwise featured in the scheme; this may be a package not previously discussed (such as EPSr), a method in a modelling area not explored in the main scheme (such as lighting), or even involve the development and testing of a new method. Each student will focus on a simulation method individually and produce a written report on the application of that method to the assessment of the performance of building and/or environment. The method to be studied will be selected by the student, in conjunction with the module tutor. The student will be guided and supported by a member of staff in their study (topics may be restricted to those where support is possible), but largely the material will be self-taught.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • outline, in detail, the capabilities, limitations, and operation of a particular modelling method;
  • explain, in detail, the advantages and disadvantages of the method studied, as applied to the simulation of the built environment, and as compared to other methods studied in the scheme;

Discipline specific skills

  • assess and evaluate previously unknown modelling tools;

Transferable skills

  • study independently and produce a product to a strict timescale;
  • construct a formal, informative, written report

The final module is a research dissertation, and is a period of more independent study, in which students report on an investigation that they have conducted under supervision into a research question that interests them.

Dissertation (60 credits)

This final module in the scheme is intended to give students an opportunity to focus on some aspect of the subject matter about which there is insufficient published knowledge to be found. All practitioners working in the forefront of their field find themselves from time to time extending knowledge with original ideas and novel applications. They need to feel secure moving in new territory, to be able to come to reliable conclusions, to pass their experience on to others, and to learn from other people's advances. In this module, students choose some aspect of the programme's subject that needs further study, and conduct academic research in order to make a small advance in knowledge. This will help them to consolidate their capacity for independent study, to develop a critical stance towards standards of research supporting new contributions to knowledge, and to learn some of the techniques needed to conduct academic research proficiently themselves.

On completion of the module a typical student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate, through the dissertation, systematic knowledge in a selected aspect of the subject area of the scheme of study;
  • have made a critical evaluation and analysis of a body of knowledge, or an original contribution to knowledge, in the subject area of the scheme of study;
  • interpret cogently and convincingly the results of the research in relation to the research objectives;

Discipline specific skills

  • define objectives pertinent to the chosen research problem and make an effective plan for pursuing them;
  • apply established techniques of research and enquiry productively in pursuing the research objectives;

Transferable skills

  • exercise initiative and personal responsibility in planning and implementing the research;
  • communicate the aims and methods and results of the research with clarity and in a style appropriate to the expected audience;
  • show a thorough and systematic approach to planning, implementing, and reporting the research.

Useful links

Study options

Click here for more information on the Programme Structure.

Financial support

Click here for more information on scholarships and other forms of financial support for study on these courses.

Application information

Click here for more information on how to apply.

FAQ's

Click here for further information on the courses and how to apply.