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Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment

A part-time Master's course from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Studying at Cambridge


Learning approach

You will be exposed to a great range of new concepts, ideas and knowledge during the two years of the course.

The ways in which these are supported and presented include:

  • Technical lectures on specific aspects of the individual themes of the course, presented by some of the foremost thought leaders from academia and industry.
  • ‘Horizon’ lectures on wider interdisciplinary ideas; recent lectures include ‘The structure of Bach’s Fugues’ by Dr Martin Ennis, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Music; ‘How animals move’ by Dr David Bainbridge, the University Clinical Veterinary Anatomist; and ‘Maths, geometry, nudity and art’ by Allan McRobie, Reader in the Department of Engineering.
  • Workshops and lectures helping you to progress your critical analysis, and research and writing skills.
  • Online modules to develop teamwork, leadership and research skills.
  • Focused learning and exercises on teamwork, including understanding individual learning styles, personality types and roles.
  • Design projects in small teams focusing on a specific problem related to the week’s theme; co-producing knowledge and supporting the development of an understanding of different disciplinary cultures.
  • Presentations of the studio projects and of each individual case-study assignment to a supportive and interested audience of your peers.
  • Written assignments, based on your own pressing questions, and supported through access to the best academic libraries in the world.
  • Individual ‘supervisions’ (the Cambridge word for tutorials) with academic advisors providing expert support for your research.
  • Detailed individual written feedback on your assignments and presentations to help you develop as a reflective practitioner.

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Residential workshop dates for Cohort 24 (2018 intake)

Workshop 1: 09-15 September 2018
Workshop 2: 09-15 December 2018
Workshop 3: 24-30 March 2019
Workshop 4: 08-14 December 2019
Workshops  5 & 6 (2020) dates to be confirmed

Residential workshop dates for Cohort 23 (2017 intake)

Workshop 1: 10–16 September 2017
Workshop 2: 3–9 December 2017
Workshop 3: 18–24 March 2018  
Workshop 4: 9–15 December 2018
Workshop 5: 24–30 March 2019
Workshop 6: 16–22 June 2019


Becky Stanley, IDBE Course Administrator