The MSt in IDBE is accredited as a Master's for further learning by:
Who is the course designed for?
The course is aimed at practising professionals with at least three years' work experience in the built environment. It is open to architects, engineers, and all those involved in commissioning, design, construction and management. It is offered by the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership in association with the Departments of Architecture and Engineering.
Aims of the programme
- To equip professionals for strategic decision making, inventive problem solving and team leadership
- To develop skills in effective collaboration and communication, particularly between clients, consultants, contractors, specialists and occupiers
- To provide a strategic overview of the production of the built environment including current challenges faced by the construction industry such as technological innovation, global climate change, resilience and sustainability.
Teaching and learning
The course is part-time and lasts for two years. During that time, students spend six separate residential weeks studying in Cambridge at 3-4 month intervals, as well as taking part in an online module.
Each of the residential weeks is based around a theme, such as:
- The client, the user, and the design team
- Sustainable construction and climate change
- Personal development, teamwork, and leadership
- Conservation, retrofit, and adaptation
- Innovation, new technologies, and materials
- Urbanism, change, and future communities
Teaching on the course is delivered though a mix of lectures, workshops and seminars during the residential weeks. Each residential week comprises an intensive programme of formal lectures (from leading practitioners and university academics), workshops and seminars.
A design project relating to the theme of the week is undertaken in small interdisciplinary teams, which present their design proposals to reviewers at the end of each of the weeks. Through the design project students apply and implement what they have been taught, as well as benefitting from the knowledge and expertise of their team members; in this, the design projects support experiential learning.
Supervision and learning support
In preparing the four written assignments (4,000 word case study; one 3,000 word essay, one 7,000 word group project; and a 15,000 word thesis in the second year) students are supported by academic supervisors whom they meet on an individual basis.
- Lectures: 42 hours per year
- Seminars and classes: 15 hours per year
- Practicals: 45 hours per year
- Supervision: 8 hours per year
- Dissertation: 15,000 words maximum (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography).
Essays, projects and written papers
- A reflective case study: 4,000 words maximum.
- One essay: 3,000 words maximum.
- One group project: 7,000 words maximum.
- In the six course weeks, students are asked to work in small multi-disciplinary groups to think, discuss, draw, write and persuade in order to come to a unified solution to the set problem over the course of a few half days. At the end of each week all teams present their solutions to their fellow students and a review panel of studio leaders and stakeholders.
- Each student does a presentation on their case study (the first written assignment) to their fellow students and the Course Directors.
Students are given formal feedback on their assignments and informal feedback throughout their course, including during supervisions. Supervisions also result in an annual progress report at the end of year 1 and termly reports during year 2.
To continue to read for the PhD degree following the course, students must achieve an overall total score of at least 70%. Continuation is also subject to Faculty approval of the proposed research proposal, and the availability of an appropriate supervisor.
Expected academic standard
Applicants for this course will normally have achieved a UK 2.i honours degree or overseas equivalent.
In addition to the academic entrance requirement, applicants need to have at least three years of professional experience in the built environment since graduating.
- IELTS Academic: Overall score of 7.5 (a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component)
- TOEFL Internet: Overall score of 110 (a minimum of 25 in each individual component)
- CAE: Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a Language Centre assessment
- CPE: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 in each individual element)
You will be required to provide supporting documents as part of your application. Please see below for details.
Fees and funding
The fees for 2017 will be £8,001 per year, which includes college membership and tuition fees. This does not include accommodation and meals, but you will benefit from reduced rates at Wolfson College.
Students will be expected to cover the application fee (£50 online) and any costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence during residential sessions in Cambridge.
Sources of funding
University of Cambridge CamFunds website
Prospects Postgraduate Funding Guide - provides information on sources of funding available to UK, EU and overseas students.
Sources of government funding and financial support - including Professional and Career Development Loans
How to apply
Applications will be accepted online from 1 February 2017 until 30 June 2017.
Read the MSt Application Guide to find out more about the application process and what you need to do and consider as a potential applicant. See below for details of the supporting documents you will need to provide when applying for this course.
Apply online when you are ready to start the application process.
Find out more
For full information about the course, visit the IDBE website and/or the host department.
If you have any questions about the application process, contact the MSt Admissions team: email@example.com or +44 (0)1223 746262.
For all other enquiries, contact the IDBE office: firstname.lastname@example.org.