Study Smart Energy and the Built Environment MSc at UCL

  • London, All EnglandLondon, All England


Smart Energy and the Built Environment

To reduce carbon emissions and transform global energy systems a new relationship is required between how we produce, supply and consume energy in our buildings. Smart energy technologies and services are central to this transformation, ensuring resilience and security of supply and controlling costs. UCL’s Smart Energy and the Built Environment MSc will train you to be at the forefront of the smart energy revolution and lead the transformation to a sustainable global energy system.

To fight climate change and deliver the transition to zero carbon, from generation to consumption, transformations must happen throughout the energy system. This has led to significant global investment into smart energy systems: a revolution in the way the energy system works by matching energy demand and supply through making the way we consume our energy more flexible. Smart energy systems reduce costs, increase reliability and support decarbonisation; the built environment plays a central role, being associated with 40% of global energy demand. A new generation of experts is needed to drive the transition and be at the forefront of the smart energy revolution.

UCL’s Smart Energy in the Built Environment MSc will equip you with an in-depth understanding of the energy system, its smart, flexible operation, and the role of the built environment.

You will:

  • Learn the fundamentals through physical, social and data-driven approaches.
  • Develop skills in modelling, statistics and data analytics, social sciences, communication and business to address real challenges we face in creating a sustainable energy system.
  • Learn the important role of smart energy systems for the energy transition: the nature of energy demand in the built environment and the physics and social factors that shape it; the role of renewables, storage and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies; business models; and the role of regulation and policies.
  • Apply your new knowledge and skills to real case studies, engaging in a stimulating multidisciplinary environment.

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Who this course is for

This programme is suited both to recent graduates and early or mid-career professionals looking to expand their skills and knowledge. Energy and the built environment are a multidisciplinary subjects, students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Suitable academic backgrounds of applicants include physics and related physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, geography, psychology, social science, architecture, planning, or economics. We also welcome applications from those from different degree disciplines with relevant experience.

The foundation of your career

This degree aims to help you develop a successful career in the emerging smart energy sector through developing your skills, knowledge and network. We run a careers oriented seminar series where industry experts speak about their work and company, grounding your learning in real world applications as well as to keeping you up-to-date with the latest in the field.

Industry views

We have discussed our programme with potential employers, who have shared their views on the MSc.

Dave Worthington, Managing Director of Verco said:
“The success of Verco’s mission to provide the solutions that our clients need to transition to net zero emissions within the next decade is largely reliant on the recruitment and development of team members with an exceptional mix of skills and knowledge. This includes a deep understanding of the interrelated nature of buildings and infrastructure and the role of regulatory, technological and behavioural solutions, which aligns well with the scope of this MSc. With many residual challenges to be overcome on the route to net zero, we are looking for individuals with firm foundations on the technical and commercial practicalities of smart energy systems in the built environment which they can then adapt and rapidly evolve in a dynamic market.” 

Sonny Masero, Chief Strategy Officer at Evora said:
“At EVORA Global, the real estate investors and asset managers that we work with see the transition to net zero carbon as their No. 1 environmental, social and governance priority. The pathway to net zero carbon and climate resilience lies in our smarter use of energy so these technical skills in the built environment are something we actively seek out. They enable our clients to have a positive impact with their capital allocations.”


The programme has been developed with employability as a key priority, focussing on skills relevant in the sector. We address both technical and transferable skills, including statistics and data analysis, modelling, communication skills, critical thinking and social sciences. You will be encouraged to develop your own solutions to energy problems through both individual assignments and group work, collaborating with peers. Our research-based curriculum also teaches you how to undertake independent research, identify research questions and design a research programme to answer them, but also how to gather, organise and analyse evidence effectively, strengthening both your critical and your creative thinking skills.

Smart Energy and the Built Environment MSc is designed to prepare you for a career in:

  • Energy consultancies
  • Public sector
  • NGOs
  • Energy start-ups
  • Institutions which value expertise in energy and the built environment

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