Master of Building Science (MBSc)

Programme overview

Our Master of Building Science (MBSc) bridges the gap between architecture, engineering, testing and building research. As future building scientists you will explore, question, test and explain how building performance, construction, sustainability, environmental factors and materials function within the built environment.

Courses address the practical aspect of how buildings impact on the natural world, their design, construction, operation and maintenance.

In Part 1 - your first year, you will take courses exploring:

  • advanced construction theory, practice and technology integration
  • green building assessment systems
  • the interaction of energy with buildings, focusing on energy performance and management
  • the principles of project management
  • interactions between buildings and the environment at the urban scale
  • appropriate sustainable engineering systems to achieve sustainable urban development
  • advanced research techniques, including historical and theoretical approaches.

In Part 2 - your second year of study, you will complete a written thesis. In considering a thesis topic, you can choose to extend on your specialisation in Project Management or Sustainable Engineering Systems, or explore another area of interest with supervision from the academic staff in the School of Architecture.

Research topics and areas of interest within the School of Architecture include:

  • digital craft in architecture multimedia, the internet and the building production process
  • daylight, productivity and health
  • digital stimulation of building energy, thermal and lighting performance
  • monitoring energy use and personal satisfaction in work environments
  • sustainability of inner-city communities
  • seismic design of buildings
  • earthquake engineering in developing countries
  • fire engineering
  • integration of building structures with architecture
  • alternative, low cost building construction technologies.


Two years of full-time study or up to four years part-time.

Admission requirements

Entry into the Master of Building Science (MBSc) normally requires one of the following:

  • a Victoria University of Wellington Bachelor of Building Science
  • a Victoria University of Wellington Bachelor of Building Science (Honours)
  • an equivalent qualification, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning and Students) of the Faculty of Architecture and Design.

Degree requirements

The Master of Building Science degree requirements are outlined below for each year’s course of study.

Part 1

120 points in courses numbered 400-499 including:

BILD 411Project Integration15 pts
BILD 421Integrated Technologies15 pts
BILD 431Green Building Assessment15 pts
SARC 491Research Methodologies15 pts

A further 60 points from courses numbered 400-499

Part 2

120 point thesis

BILD 591Thesis120 pts

Part 1 will include an appropriate level of practical work, as determined by the Head of School.

Students who complete Part 1 and do not proceed to Part 2 may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Building Science (PGDipBSc).

Research requirements

All postgraduate students are expected to conduct their research with a high level of competency in the English language.

Victoria University offer a range of University Preparation courses to assist students in English as a Second Language (ESOL) or the English Proficiency Programme.

To make an inquiry contact the Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office. Include a comprehensive description of your qualifications and your initial research interests.

Career opportunities

Many students who enrol in the Building Science programme will move into a career in mainstream architecture in private practice or as an employee in a firm or government organisation.

The skills and training you gain in this programme are broad in scope allowing you to find opportunities for careers various.

Some examples include:

  • construction project management
  • sustainable systems engineer
  • consultant advising  design teams on energy conservation
  • lighting adviser, designer or supplier
  • researching building materials’ performance within the private sector
  • building consent adviser
  • fire design and regulations analyst
  • acoustic engineer
  • quantity surveyor.

How to find out more

The Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office offer additional information on:

  • admission
  • qualifications and courses
  • course advice and selection criteria
  • exemptions and prerequisites
  • your Application to study.

Building Science courses are taught at the School of Architecture, Te Aro Campus, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington.

For further assistance, please contact us:

Phone: 04 463 6200
Email: address

To find out what is available to you as a Master’s student see PostgradLife.