Building Retrofit

PgCert
Students looking at thermal images of a building

New for 2022, the Building Retrofit course at Robert Gordon University has been developed to improve the energy performance of existing buildings to help decarbonise and deliver a net zero carbon future. You will gain the scientific and technical knowledge, together with skills in application, to successfully deliver effective retrofit projects.

Buildings are an important source of carbon emissions and account for almost a third of final energy consumption globally. Social and private housing providers are legally required to upgrade their housing stock to meet a minimum standard. To meet this standard will require upskilling the building industry to meet the UK target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The course is primarily aimed at graduates and practitioners in the professional areas of architecture, architectural technology, building surveying and engineering, who are seeking to supplement their core expertise in an area of critical industry development.

This course has multiple study options
View study options

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date

September

Course Length

15 weeks

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date

January

Course Length

15 weeks

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date

September

Course Length

30 weeks

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date

January

Course Length

30 weeks

Module 1 (Theory)

Weekly topics include the energy context, climate and microclimate, thermal comfort, construction typologies, heat and moisture movement, airtightness and ventilation, the frameworks for certification and relevant standards, environmental performance of materials, low carbon heating and ventilation systems, implications of cost/performance.

Module 2 (Practice)

You will be exposed to different case studies and discuss the various retrofitting approaches applied by professionals, and gain the knowledge and skills to use PHPP Software. At the end of the course you will undertake a supervised personal retrofitting project.

Through the learning process, you will develop a theoretical understanding of the key principles, tools, and methods, as well as the skills necessary to apply knowledge in a practical setting in the delivery of effective retrofit projects. Learning includes opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with professionals involved in the development of comprehensive retrofitting assessments and designs, together with appropriate plans for effective implementation. You will also participate in peer and professional group reviews covering a guided retrofitting project experience and practically apply knowledge through case study/final project work. You will be supported and challenged in relation to some of the key variables that you will encounter with deep retrofit, translating theoretical understanding into practice. You will also participate in peer and professional group reviews covering a guided retrofitting project experience.

 

Modules

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Activity Summary

  • Lectures - 15 hours per module
  • Seminars - 15 hours per module
  • Project supervision - individual, 6 hours per term

How long is the Retrofit Building course?

Online learning full time

  • September & January intakes – 1 semester of 15 weeks

Online learning part time

  • January intake - 2 semesters, 30 weeks in total. Semester 1 starts in January, Semester 2 starts in September
  • September intake - 2 semesters, 30 weeks in total. Semester 1 starts in September, Semester 2 starts in January

Each module will have only 1 summative assessment.

Staff Delivering on this Course

The course benefits from the established expertise of staff within The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment developed over 25 years of research and practice in the field of low energy, low carbon design, Passivhaus and building retrofitting.

Assessment

There will be 1 report required for each module.

Feedback

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

Independent Study

Approximately 75% of your time for each module will be self-directed. This time is used to develop and deepen your understanding of taught topics through further reading, research, analysis and personal assignments. You will be introduced to simulated case studies for an effective retrofitting exercise including the assessment, design, implementation and post occupancy evaluation. This work is supported by tutor input and guidance.

 

Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

 

Job Prospects

Upon completing the course, you will be employable across various projects involving the retrofitting of existing buildings. Various job roles include Building Retrofit Designer and Building Retrofit Project Manager.

 
 

What is needed for PGCert Building Retrofit?

  • Applicants should normally hold a Bachelor Degree in a relevant subject area such as Architecture, Architecture Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Management Planning, or Engineering.
  • Applicants with an HNC/HND who hold relevant industrial experience (minimum 3 years) may be considered for entry and may also be called for an interview as part of the admission process.
  • Each application is individually assessed based on qualifications and the level of experience.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact admissions@rgu.ac.uk for further information.

 

The Building Retrofit course has the following tuition fees:

For Academic Year 2022/2023

  • All students: £3,360 for entire course.

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Printing

Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Disclaimer

For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:

 

Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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