Sustainable design for structure
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2021

See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.

Overview

The need for sustainable urban living has never been greater. Today, our cities are responsible for almost 80% of all CO2 emissions – and with estimates suggesting up to 70% of the world will live in a city by 2050, that figure could rise even higher.

If you want to plan and design the sustainable urban communities of the future and help reduce the demands and impacts we make on the natural world, our MA Sustainable Cities degree course is the perfect way to fulfil your ambitions.

Building on our Cluster for Sustainable Cities, you'll learn from leading experts and explore new systemic and integrated solutions for cities, and help shape the journey towards greener, healthier, more inclusive and resilient environments.

And when you graduate, you'll be ready for a career in urban design within architectural firms and environmental organisations, or to enter further academic study.

Entry requirements​

MA Sustainable Cities Master's degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A good honours degree in Interior Design, Architecture or a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Selection process

An online portfolio submission will be required as part of the selection process.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our MA Sustainable Cities portfolio guide.

What you'll experience

On this Sustainable Cities degree course, you'll:

  • Engage with leading research into sustainable cities
  • Use facilities including dynamic studios with advanced architectural computing facilities
  • Develop collaborative projects with external partners, such as practitioners and academic institutions in the UK and overseas
  • Work on live projects, with real clients
  • Take an optional field trip to learn more about global urban sustainability
  • Get to meet leading figures in the field of Environmental Design
  • Combine theory, practice, research and work-based learning to understand contemporary issues in sustainable development

Careers and opportunities

When you graduate from this course, you can choose a career in organisations including design practices, architectural firms and cross-disciplinary environments.

What can you do with a Sustainable Cities degree?

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Consultancy
  • Urban planning and urban design
  • NGOs and environmental organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Further academic study

You'll also learn creative skills and professional competencies which are valuable in fields like virtual design and modelling or project management.

We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

What you'll study on this MA Sustainable Cities degree course

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.

Modules

Full-time

Core modules
  • Research Methods (30 credits)
  • Sustainable Design and Practice (30 credits)
  • Sustainable Design: Theories (30 credits)
  • Thesis (60 credits)
Optional modules
  • Integration of Transdisciplinary Experiences (30 credits)
  • Work-Based Learning: Opportunity (30 credits)

Part-time

Core modules
  • Sustainable Design and Practice (30 credits)
  • Sustainable Design: Theories (30 credits)

Part-time

Core modules
  • Research Methods (30 credits)
  • Thesis (60 credits)
Optional modules
  • Integration of Transdisciplinary Experiences (30 credits)
  • Work-Based Learning: Opportunity (30 credits)

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in urban design, architecture, and the planning of sustainable cities.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques
A wireframe concept drawing of a sustainable city plan

See our students' work

Browse our School of Architecture yearbook, showcasing work across our undergraduate and postgraduate Architecture degrees.

See School of Architecture Yearbook 2018-19

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • written or design-led thesis project
  • independent study

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • Teaching block 1 – October to January
  • Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
  • Teaching block 2 – February to May
  • Assessment period 2 – May to June

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • illustrated written coursework
  • final report assessment
  • studio review

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2021 start)

UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full time: £7,950
  • Part time
    • Year 1: £2,650
    • Year 2: £5,300

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full time: £7,950
  • Part time
    • Year 1: £2,650
    • Year 2: £5,300

International students

  • Full time: £15,500
  • Part time
    • Year 1: £5,170
    • Year 2: £10,330
Fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You'll need pay for drawing equipment, model making, stationery, reprographic requirements, and printing costs. These costs are normally in the region of £100 - £300 per year.

Depending on the projects that you choose on the course, you may decide to purchase extra material or software. These costs will depend on the project that you choose.

If you take part in any of the optional study trips on this course, you'll be expected to pay full costs. Optional study trips to Europe cost in the region of £300 - £500.

Apply

Start your application by following the link below:

Starting in September 2021

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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