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The MSc ISD is a one-year post-professional degree programme for individuals with an interest in the sustainable development of the built environment. The programme’s past and current students include architects, engineers, landscape architects, urban planners, project managers and educators.

WHY MSc ISD? The programme offers insights, knowledge and skill-sets for a holistic approach to sustainability. Its curriculum has four areas of emphases:

- The Asian Context | The programme asks what it means to design and build for Asia. It inculcates a sensitivity to climate, socio-economic factors and environmental vulnerabilities that are particular to the region.

- Buildings & Cities | The programme’s modules examine different scales at which the built environment is designed and operated. The first semester is devoted to the building scale; the second semester probes the urban scale. In both, candidates are taught to understand the interdependency of buildings and urban networks.

- Strategic Thinking | Modules emphasise strategic and critical thinking over text-book learning. This is about asking the right questions at the start of the design-construction process.

- Interactive, Integrative, Multidisciplinary | Learning focuses on process: the how and why of decision making. It advocates synergy between disciplines and stakeholders, bridging knowledge and viewpoints.

WHY SDE@NUS? WHY SINGAPORE? Singapore is on the forefront of environmental policy and action in Asia. The MSc ISD programme takes full advantage of this: its curriculum incorporates visits to completed projects and guest lectures by policy-makers and consultants, bringing to life the Singapore model. The National University of Singapore (NUS) is the premier university in Singapore, one that is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Asia. NUS’ School of Design and Environment (SDE) is a leading research and learning hub for the Asia-Pacific.

The MSc ISD programme is taught by its highly qualified faculty who bring cross-disciplinary viewpoints and cutting edge research. In-house teaching is augmented with Master Classes by internationally renowned scholars and practitioners who are brought in each semester. Students also have many informal learning opportunities outside the programme. Each semester, SDE hosts many local and international guest lectures, offering important and emerging viewpoints.


The 2016/17 Semester 2 commenced with a welcome tea for all students on 9th January 2017.  The event was opened by the MSc ISD program director, Prof. Stephen Lau.  Dr. Eddie Siu-Kit Lau (Co-program director), A/Prof. Nirmal Kishnani, and A/Prof. Chrisna Du Plessis.  The welcome tea included a discussion with students on the goals of the programme and expectations of students.
(see picture below).

Lectures of AR 5106 (Sustainability models and blueprints) were completed in the first week of the 2016/17 Semester 2. The module was coordinated by Dr. Eddie Siu-Kit Lau from NUS with A/Prof. Chrisna Du Plessis from University of Pretoria, South Africa (see picture below). The focus of this module was an in-depth examination of strategies for sustainability in Asian cities where the challenges of social equity, urbanization and rural conditions prevail.

The module also had several that included A/Prof. Nirmal Kishnani (NUS), A/Prof. Tan Puay Yok (NUS), Jeffery Neng (Assistant Managing Director, BCA), and Prescott Gaylord.