IDBE Master’s Programme for Experienced Built Environment Professionals

University of Cambridge

The Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) Master of Studies is a two year, part-time University of Cambridge degree which attracts candidates looking to expand their understanding of global challenges and opportunities facing the industry. The programme equips professionals for strategic decision-making, inventive problem-solving and evidence-based design and provides the skills and confidence to support and lead interdisciplinary design teams.

From structural engineers to transport planners, design managers to architects, the IDBE has enhanced the careers of built environment professionals all over the world.

Who is the course designed for?

The course is aimed at practising professionals with at least three years' work experience in the built environment. It is open to architects, engineers, and all those involved in commissioning, design, construction and management. It is offered by the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership in association with the Departments of Architecture and Engineering.

Aims of the programme

To equip professionals for strategic decision making, inventive problem solving and team leadership

To develop skills in effective collaboration and communication, particularly between clients, consultants, contractors, specialists and occupiers

To provide a strategic overview of the production of the built environment including current challenges faced by the construction industry such as technological innovation, global climate change, resilience and sustainability.

Teaching and learning

The course is part-time and lasts for two years. During that time, students spend six separate residential weeks studying in Cambridge at 3-4 month intervals, as well as taking part in an online module.

Teaching blocks

Each of the residential weeks is based around a theme, such as: Interdisciplinarity; The client, the user, and the design team; Infrastructure and landscape; Personal development, teamwork, and leadership; Conservation, retrofit, and adaptation; Innovation, new technologies, and materials; Urbanism, change, and future communities.

Teaching on the course is delivered though a mix of lectures, workshops and seminars during the residential weeks. Each residential week comprises an intensive programme of formal lectures (from leading practitioners and university academics), workshops and seminars.

A design project relating to the theme of the week is undertaken in small interdisciplinary teams, which present their design proposals to reviewers at the end of each of the weeks. Through the design project students apply and implement what they have been taught, as well as benefitting from the knowledge and expertise of their team members.

For full details please visit our website:

The closing date is 28 June 2018.

Scholarship competition for candidates of outstanding academic ability and bursaries

For information on our scholarship competition and on bursaries please visit our website:

The closing date for scholarship and bursary applications is 31 March 2018

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