Develop the knowledge of modern building design practice, methodologies, and processes sought after by major engineering and design consultancies.

Our master's is for students with a background in construction disciplines related to architecture and civil engineering who want to learn integrated approaches to building design. It introduces you to modern practices and focuses on integrated design.

The first two semesters give you a thorough understanding of the issues related to working in the construction industry. You’ll learn about the challenges involved in managing the building design process. This includes understanding how to balance the often conflicting design tensions in projects. Being able to integrate regulatory requirements, low-carbon certification and basic building physics will prepare you to work in multidisciplinary environments.

You'll explore the relationship between building information modeling and collaborative integrated design management. Dynamic digital modeling tools allow you to use your knowledge of building physics, regulations, and codes, and low-carbon building envelopes to find more optimal building solutions. We provide you with guidance and tutorial support in industry-specific software that you will use during your degree.

Briefs from live projects challenge you to solve design problems in real time. You'll work with students who will bring their experience in engineering and architectural design to the mix. This approach gives you insight into the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration in building design projects.

You'll embed theory and professional knowledge in a research dissertation informed by your placement. This gives you the opportunity to resolve industry problems and deliver company-specific solutions.

Our course was developed with professional partners in architecture and civil engineering. It focuses on your employability by giving you a range of practical and interpersonal skills. You'll graduate with a detailed knowledge of the managerial design processes, tools, and strategies used in modern building design. Your ability to show initiative in low-carbon and energy efficient design will help you start your career in the industry. Some of our best-performing students continue their studies with us through our Ph.D. programme.

Our Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering’s research strengths include:

  • innovative construction materials
  • sustainable and low-carbon development
  • energy and the environment

Our academics’ expertise and international collaborations feed into teaching and contribute to your learning experience.

Course structure

This course lasts 4 semesters. It starts in October 2018 and ends in 2019.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Semester 1

  • Professional development through the design process
  • Building information modeling (BIM) and the design process
  • Regulations codes and certification
  • Building physics visualization tools
  • Low-carbon building envelopes

Semester 2

  • Professional development through the design process (continued from semester 1)
  • Building information modeling (BIM) and the design process (continued from semester 1)
  • Regulations codes and certification (continued from semester 1)
  • Dynamic modeling tools
  • Research methods and professional practice
  • Future structural and building materials

Summer and final semester

  • Professional practice placement
  • Research dissertation


You'll spend three months in professional practice between June and December and will run parallel with your research dissertation. A placement is an opportunity for you to apply what you’ve learned by working on industry-driven research topics. We have links with engineering and design companies offering placements both in the UK and further afield. You can start your placement any time between June and the end of August.

We will do our best to help you find a placement and support and guide you through the process. Our placements team runs workshops in CV writing and interview techniques to prepare you for applying. However, we cannot guarantee you a position. If you are unable to secure a placement, you will transfer on to our 12-month alternative course and graduate with an MSc in Low-Carbon Building Design.

Learning and assessment


  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops


  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Oral assessment
  • Portfolio
  • Seminar

Professional accreditations

By studying a course with a professional accreditation, you could have the chance to get workplace experience, learn about new developments in the industry and apply for membership with the accrediting body. You may also be able to apply for jobs in the industry without having to do any more exams.

  • Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators with ICE as meeting the requirements for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who already have an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) first degree.
  • Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators with IStructE as meeting the requirements for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who already have an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) first degree.
  • Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators with CIHT as meeting the requirements for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who already have an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) first degree.
  • Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators with IHE as meeting the requirements for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who already have an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) first degree.

Case study

MSc Modern Building Design – Course overview from University of Bath on Vimeo.

Entry requirements

  • You should have a bachelor’s honors degree or international equivalent, typically a high 2:2 or above.
  • To apply for this course, you should have an undergraduate degree in architectural engineering, building engineering, civil engineering or environmental engineering.
  • We may make an offer based on a lower grade if you can provide evidence of your suitability for the degree.

English language requirements

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 69 with no less than 62 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 100 overall with a minimum 24 in all 4 components

If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.

For international students, please contact the school for more information.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

How to pay

Tuition fee loans

If you are studying a postgraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. You do not have to pay it back.

Other payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.


You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing, and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of textbooks.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation, and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)
Last updated September 20, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
4 semesters
11,875 GBP
Home/EU: £11,875. Overseas: £22,125
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Sep 30, 2020
Application deadline
Application deadline
End Date
Sep 30, 2020

MSc Modern Building Design