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Masters Excellence Scholarshipsup to £500,000 in tuition fee discounts available

Sustainable Mega-Buildings (MSc/PgDip)

1 year (Full-time) / 2 years (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

Mega-buildings are defined as large scale developments comprising a single building, or an estate of buildings, that may be high-rise, high density, skyscrapers, or groundscrapers, often situated in urban contexts.

The Welsh School of Architecture is launching this new MSc programme aimed at building design professionals who intend to develop their skills in addressing the subject of sustainable design of mega-buildings.

Course Aims

model city and super-building

This interdisciplinary programme aims to prepare students for professional autonomy and excellence in mega-building design and planning. The programme aims to train students for adopting the role of planners and designers of mega-buildings that perform sustainably, and gaining the skills required in response to the rising interest in sustainable design of the built environment. Taught modules, project work and dissertations are aimed at equipping students with cognitive, experiential, analytic and synthetic skills, thus enabling them to engage in interdisciplinary design and practice of sustainable mega-buildings.

Special Features

Course Description

The course content is designed to assist students appreciate the interdependence and interrelationship of social, technological, and environmental issues and to be able to relate this to the particular economic, political and legal contexts of planning and designing mega-buildings. The course content introduces and reviews state of the art design methods of sustainable mega-buildings relating to architects, engineers and practitioners in the built environment. The course encourages students to articulate their sustainability perspective in design, so that they may become active and experienced at promoting the benefits of sustainable mega-buildings which are taking a significantly wider scale than in previous decades.

Course Structure

The Programme is offered in full-time (one year) and part-time (two years) modes of study. Thre are two stages to the programme; Stage one which comprises the core and specialised modules (a total of 120 credits), and Stage two which comprises the dissertation (60 credits).

First: Core modules

Second: Specialist modules

Third: Dissertation (60 credits)

A research project that provides students a valuable opportunity to consolidate their capacity for independent study, learn techniques to conduct research, and develop knowledge within the subject area of sustainable mega-buildings.

For more information on the course structure please see the programme timetable.

There are two exit points from the programme, one at the end of Stage 1, the other at the end of Stage 2:

Skills Acquired

The programme offers new transferable skills. Among those is learning to be analytical and innovative in the formulation of solutions to complex problems and demonstrate greater initiative and personal responsibility when doing so, and critical evaluation of advanced research and scholarship in order to develop self-direction and originality in interdisciplinary research and practice. Besides, the programme encourages independent learning abilities that are required for students’ continuing professional development.

The programme also offers students valuable discipline-specific skills where they undertake self-directed research that builds on advanced scholarship in the field. In addition, the programme provides learners with new transferable skills. Among those is learning to be analytical and innovative in the formulation of solutions to complex problems and demonstrate greater initiative and personal responsibility when doing so.

Career Prospects

There is definitely an employment shortage developing in the field of planning and designing mega-buildings which perform sustainably, and hence a rising demand for graduates from this type of course. It is expected that Masters graduates in the field of sustainable mega-building will gain employment in large environmentally-focussed design and planning companies and practices, environmental design consultancies, research and development centres, or may even set up their own companies / practices. Given the current intense public, government and professional interest in this area, employment opportunities for graduates who specialise in this field are only likely to grow and become even more attractive both in the UK and globally.

Entry Requirements

The course is suitable for graduates in disciplines related to the built environment, such as architecture, urban design, building services engineering, building technology or a relevant discipline in engineering or the built environment, Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree from a British or recognised overseas university. Applicants with relevant professional experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants whose first language is not English or Welsh must satisfy the English Language requirements for entry to the University by attainment of a minimum IELTS overall score of 6.5 or equivalent.

International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

How to Apply

Applications can be made for this course via our Online Application Service. A PDF portfolio of relevant academic and/or professional architectural / environmental / urban design work will be required along with the application.


50% fee scholarships are currently available to UK and EU residents applying to study on PGT programmes. The 21st Anniversary Scholarship Fund is designed to attract and reward the brightest students from across the UK and the European Union to study at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.

Our PGT programmes are open to candidates from architectural and built environment backgrounds and draw on established and widely recognised research strengths within the School. If you are a UK or EU resident with a good academic and /or work experience record we would like to hear from you.

We expect a high level of competition for scholarships and ask for expressions of interest for the course of your choice by 21st June 2014.

For further information, please see the Financial Support pages of the School website.

Tuition Fees:

  • UK & EU Full Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
  • UK & EU Part Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
  • International Full Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
  • International Part Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Ms Christine Heywood  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 9332 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4623 


School Website:

More information