This research-based programme will provide the academic training and research- based learning that is necessary for future leaders in sustainability and resilience. Students will understand the nature of the choices they will face in the construction and operation of the built environment and will be able to design and construct a built environment that is flexible and efficient regardless of which future actually emerges.
Engineering, Sustainability and Resilience
The potential focus of research activity is very broad and could include aspects of resource consumption, particularly energy and water, environmental design considerations and the interrelationship between these and the provision of a high quality built environment.
The construction and operation of the built environment is responsible for a significant proportion of global, annual natural resource consumption as well as influencing our daily lives through living costs, wellbeing, perceptions of quality of life and security. The increasing urbanisation of global societies means the significance of the built environment, particularly cities, is likely to continue to grow over the coming decades. The necessity of delivering spaces where people choose to live and work while minimising the associated social, economic and environmental costs is widely recognised. Civil engineers, planners and designers already have to work with a range of indicators, toolkits and assessment frameworks which are designed to help achieve this goal.
By the nature of the long asset lives associated with the built environment, often in excess of eighty years, any attempt to (re)develop our urban landscape is an exercise of ‘constructing the future by designing the present’. The ‘performance’ of these urban spaces, whether in terms of energy and water consumption, or the satisfaction users of such spaces derive from their experience of them, is in part dependent on the social, technical, economic and environmental contexts within which they are situated.
Many of the challenges of urban living, such as alleviating congestion, the provision of affordable, quality housing, and ensuring an adequate supply of resources, have remained the same over the last century. However, our post-industrial urban environment has to function in a very different set of contexts than were prevalent at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Such changes manifestly influence the ability of existing urban structures to remain effective and efficient in the longer term.
It is likely that the urban environment currently being designed and built will also witness social, economic, technological or environmental changes over its life time that could similarly affect its performance. However, the precise nature of these changes is highly uncertain and almost impossible to predict, consequently, the implications for performance are difficult to quantify. Perhaps chief amongst such future uncertainties is the prospect of changes in the global climate with all of the potentially significant implications for the performance of the built environment.
To remain effective under uncertainty all disciplines involved with the construction of the built environment must consider the likely resilience of their choices. Only in this way can we begin to ensure that those solutions implemented today in the name of sustainability remain effective and efficient over their whole life. They must adapt and respond to changes in climatic, social, environmental and technical contexts as they arise.
With thanks to funders Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund for the capital investment which supports this teaching and research activity as part of the Birmingham Science City initiative
Tuition Fees for UK and EU students 2013/14
Part-time programmes: Most part-time programmes run for two years and their fees are one half of the standard full-time programme fees.
Tuition fees for international students (2013/2014)
International student tuition fees are set at £18,680. For further information please view the fees for international students page.
Learn more about fees and funding
The School also offers the William Lardner award (PDF) in support of MRes students.
Scholarships and studentships
We have several research council studentships, bursaries and postgraduate scholarships available, most of which provide full funding and some of which are enhanced by industrial funding where the topic has a specific industrial relevance. Other sources of funding are the EPSRC, the BBSRC, the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), the European Union and industrial funding for UK and EU students. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
The School also offers the William Lardner award (PDF) worth £9000 every other year.
For more information contact the School directly or alternatively email email@example.com