School of Art, Design and Architecture

MSc Low Carbon Architectural Engineering

Programme code 7662

1 year

Course type

Full-time, Part-time route available

Study location Plymouth

This programme provides a multidisciplinary environment that prepares you for professional practice in the built environment sector. Benefit from a distinctive research and innovation profile built around sustainable construction and environmentally aware building technologies, led by excellent academics with expertise in construction project management, sustainability and architectural engineering.

Low Carbon Architectural Engineering

Careers with this subject

Our research-informed teaching prepares you for a range of professional practice opportunities, or the option to continue towards postgraduate research.

Key features

  • Expert-led. Teaching by world-leading experts in the field, underpinned by internationally recognised research. 
  • Integrated. Engage with students from other programmes such as MA Architectural Design, MA Games Design, and MDes Master in Design. 
  • Further study opportunities. Pursue doctoral research opportunities with our built environment staff, with the potential for interdisciplinary supervisory arrangements with areas such as architecture and digital futures. 
  • State-of-the-art facilities. Benefit from the resources, expertise and cutting-edge skills training available in our Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Laboratories such as architectural production, manufacturing applications in the built environment, immersive media, and building simulation.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This programme has a focus on areas such as operational building performance monitoring, low carbon design and building systems, and emerging construction technologies. You have the opportunity to work alongside students from MA Architectural Design, reflecting a professional design-to-construction environment.

    Core modules

    • Low Carbon Material Systems (ADA7104E)

      This Module will provide students with technical knowledge and understanding of the emerging low carbon agenda including concepts such as embodied carbon, sustainable supply chains, and circular economies, and will support students’ learning across a range of design, architecture, and built environment subjects.

    • Research Project / Dissertation (ADA7300)

      This module supports students’ delivery of their final research project / dissertation through combinations of group and individual work. It includes broader disciplinary research skills, methods and ethical practices, as well as subject-specific supervisory arrangements for each students’ research interests. This can include practice-based, text-based or entrepreneurial research outputs.

    • Design Project (MAAD7201)

      This module allows students to develop actionable, impactful project propositions in the fields of architecture and built environment. By introducing a diversity of methodological strategies, the module will enable students to experiment with technologies on the prototyping, resolution and demonstration of a project ranging from building design, to advanced data-driven, place-based interventions.

    • Ultra Low Carbon/Natural Building Materials and Technologies (MLCAE7101)

      This module explores the state-of-the-art of natural building materials and technologies including fabrication and construction methods. It provides students with an awareness of developments in this area, and disruptive innovations. The module develops a practical understanding of peculiarities of the construction process of Ultra Low Carbon buildings and materials, and how this might differ from conventional operations.

    • The Monitoring and Performance of Buildings (MLCAE7201)

      This module introduces the connections between design and performance of buildings. It bridges the theoretical and practical understanding of how buildings behave allowing students to monitor and analyse their performance. The content covers building science, prediction, design of details, monitoring systems and tools, data presentation and analysis, and compare and contrast results from different sources.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

We require a 2:2 degree in Architectural Engineering (or similar design-related discipline such as Architectural Technology, Architecture, Construction Project Management, Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying among others). Alternatively, the course also welcomes applications from professionals with substantial experience in industry. 
We also require suitable references from previous academic institutions and/or employers. 
For applicants with previous relevant postgraduate studies, the Programme Lead will assess the applicability of the Recognition of Prior Learning policy on a case-by-case basis. 
English Language Requirement equivalent to 6.5 IELTS with a minimum 5.5 in all four components for International applicants. Please check the University of Plymouth English language requirements website for additional information and equivalent recognised qualifications. 
Alternative modes of admission (e.g. interviews) can be provided for applicants requiring disability support. 
Other qualification subjects/levels may be required if CIBSE membership requested. This may have particular bearing on students wishing to aspire to Chartered Engineer status. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,500 £9,500
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £530 £530
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students wishing to study on this programme, including the  Postgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship, worth £2000 off your tuition fees.

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 10% or 20% discount on tuition fees for home students 
  • For 2024/2025 entry, a 20% discount on tuition fees for international students (International alumni who have applied to the University through an agent are not eligible to receive the discount)

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Real-world, relevant projects

A key feature of our course is the broad range of ‘live projects’ - set in response to real contexts and ethical issues, typically in the context of community regeneration and involving the participation of clients and users, as well as government bodies and professionals. These projects aim to equip you with the knowledge and associated skills for your future career. 
This programme also provides intellectually challenging assessments that reflect a focus upon current national and international policy and guidelines.
Students on the Coastal Urban Regeneration module visiting the redevelopment of the Devonport Naval base South Yard into a high tech marine production campus.

International applicants

Postgraduate scholarships for international students
We offer several scholarships for international students wishing to study on this programme, including the International Academic Excellence Scholarship worth 50% off your tuition fees and the Postgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship worth £2000 off tuition fees. 
Study with us
At the University of Plymouth, we have a thriving international community made up of 2,000 students from over 100 different countries.
International students at a welecome event at the University of Plymouth