SAS Student Exhibition

MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies

Start date September
Duration 1 year full-time / 2 years part-time

Course overview

The interdisciplinary MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies programme provides research-led learning and teaching. It will inspire and enable you to pursue innovative research and design strategies for the built environment.

Driven by the ethos of global stewardship and positive regeneration; you will be involved in promoting sustainable architecture, with the aim of transforming the built environment for a more equitable future.

Collaborations with local, national and global partners enrich the learning experience. Lecturers and supervisors have research expertise in lighting, modelling, building performance, parametric design and materials with low embodied carbon. 

Combining social and technical aspects of sustainable architecture this programme focuses on exploring sustainability through design with dedicated studio modules.

Many of our students have already worked in professional practice after completing four or five years of architectural training and recognise the benefits of advancing their knowledge and skills at a School which has an excellent reputation for both teaching and research.


Entry requirements

Course outcomes

I’m very grateful to the SSoA for the year I studied there and I particularly recommend this School to anyone who is especially interested in social and environmental aspects of architectural design.

Anton Bashkaev, MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies

By the end of the programme graduates will possess skills to produce complex design proposals which adopt a holistic approach to design and address the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable architecture.

The MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies provides a foundation for those wishing to go on to further research which may influence national and international agendas and for those wanting to pursue leadership roles in the design of a sustainable built environment.



The MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies is organised on a modular credit system. The MSc is awarded upon successful completion of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and the research module (60 credits).

The total 180 credits may be completed in twelve months of full-time study (September – September). It is also available on a part-time basis, normally over a period of twenty-four months. The part-time route is designed to enable practitioners to join the programme for one to two days per week during the taught semesters.

The programme is not designed to give exemption from professional examinations (such as those covered by the RIBA/ARB) which are covered by other courses within the School of Architecture.

In addition to the optional modules listed, students taking the MSc Sustainable Architecture Studies may select up to 30 credits of taught course units over the teaching semesters from other postgraduate course units in the School of Architecture with agreement from the Programme Leader.



Core Modules

Building Environmental Simulation and Analysis (15 credits) - ARC6780

Renewable Energy (15 credits) - ARC6840

Sustainable Design Project 1 (15 credits) - ARC6841

Sustainable Design Project 2 (30 credits) - ARC6842

Principles of Building Physics for Sustainable Design (15 credits) - ARC6843

Sustainable Design Thesis Project (60 credits) - ARC6990

Optional Modules

In consultation with a postgraduate tutor, students also choose two optional modules (15 credits each) aimed either to enhance understanding of a specific field of interest, or to develop the area of study in which the dissertation and/or subsequent PhD study will be based.

This module can be selected from a rich range of options offered by the School of Architecture and other departments in the University.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of changes the University will consult and inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Teaching staff

Core Staff

In 2018-2019 the course is delivered by:

Dr Sally Shahzad
Programme Leader

Aidan Hoggard
Programme Leader

Professor Fionn Stevenson
Professorial Lead

Ulrike Passe
Visiting Professor

Paul Testa
University Teacher

Dr Wen-Shao Chang
Senior Lecturer

Other staff involved in teaching and supervision

Professor Steve Fotios, and Dr Chengzhi Peng plus guest lecturers and guest design review panel.

Student experiences

Each year we attract excellent national and international postgraduate students to this School who all contribute to a socially vibrant and academically challenging environment. Here, our students share their reasons for choosing this programme and their experiences in Sheffield. 

Anaclara Pehna
MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies

FaithNgenoFaith Ng'eno Chelangat
MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies

Why did you choose Sheffield?

The question, why Sheffield, is one that keeps coming up. The answer to this is quite complex yet simple. The more usual answers would be it’s ranking, which was a great contributing factor, the programme duration, a one year programme is very attractive, and the detailed prospectus and course outline which I felt was tailored to my interests.

However a few more personal and less technical factors influenced my decision. To begin with, the first Kenyan Architect is a University of Sheffield alumnus, now, how’s that for inspiration. The current School of Architecture (JKUAT) Dean is also a female alumnus of Sheffield. Sheffield is the greenest city in Europe - what better place to study ‘green’ (sustainable) architecture. Another significant contributor was the website interface and the email response time, accuracy and patience I received during the pre-application process. I did send Allanah, our Postgraduate Administrator, several emails with several questions of which she responded politely, accurately and in record time

Coming to a new place and being the introvert that I am, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However the department staff are very approachable and have continued to show great support. My first thought on seeing the Arts Tower was, I hope my department is housed somewhere in there, and what do you know-it is. One cannot mention the Arts Tower without mentioning the paternoster - at first I was very sceptical, but now i'm quite fond of it.

What was your background before you came here?

I was Graduate Architect and assistant lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya. I briefly worked with JAKK limited on completing of my undergraduate studies at the same university in 2011, and joined Cadplan Architects later that year.

What was your first lecture/studio like?

Anxious to begin my lectures I was met with my first question, you guessed right; why Sheffield? It was interesting to listen to my new course mates from different parts the world share their varied responses.

4 months on… and how do you feel now?

I have continued to appreciate learning, interacting and sharing experiences with students from a great range of nationalities that the department attracts. By now you must have gathered I am enjoying my study, from the different forms of lectures, to the seminars and field trips, the computer labs and other facilities that are available to aid your study. The School of Architecture has exceeded my expectations and has got me thinking of extending my stay by applying for a PhD in the department. Away from academics there are several clubs and societies one can be a part of even for us who are introverts.

MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies - Student selfies

View 2018 catalogue of student work

Studio field trip to Zurich, Lucern and Basel Students taking part in materials visits