Sustainable Housing Development URBAN5049

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Housing development is vital for meeting housing needs and demands but it also impacts upon climate change and carries high risks for environmental, economic and social sustainability. This course examines what sustainability means in relation to housing development, and provides a critical examination of current policy and practice. It adopts a multi-scalar approach and considers the sustainability and resiliency of regions and cities, neighbouhroods, and dwellings. The course uses blended learning techniques, incorporating field visits to live development projects at the cutting edge of sustainable housing practice, student-led presentations and debates and guest workshop by practitoners working to deliver more sustainable homes. The course asks students to challenge their understanding of 'sustainability' as it relates to housing and to develop new perspectives on how to create a more sustainable built environment in the future.


Classes to run in Semester 2 and delivered in 3 hourly blocks, once per week, over 9 consecutive weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses

Sustainable Housing Development (URBAN5097)





This course will be assessed by two written assignments. The first (1,200 words; 30% of credits) will be designed to allow students to demonstrate their critical understanding of sustainability in the context of climate change. The second (2,800 words; 70%) will enable them to answer one of three questions focused on the practical application of sustainable housing development 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the concept of sustainable housing development in the context of climate change through the lens of the environmental, economic and social sustainability, and explore the process by which it is delivered at different spatial scales. The course furthermore seeks to develop students' confidence in evaluating sustainable housing at the national, city and regional levels, the neighbourhood scale, as well as developing students' technical knowledge about low carbon dwellings and how to deliver more sustainable homes and neighbourhoods in practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc City Planning and MSc Real Estate is D3 or above.


University standard regulations apply to students on other qualifications.