Course overview

Our Building Performance Engineering MSc is designed to provide you with a high level of engineering and technical expertise in energy conversion processes, combined with practical abilities in management-related issues.

This programme is tailored towards graduates in engineering, science and related disciplines. The strong emphasis on science, technology and engineering is specifically targeted towards subject areas within the context of renewable and sustainable energy technologies and the built environment and uniquely combines this with effective management skills, economic appraisal and an understanding of the current policies and regulations that can be applied within modern industry in the UK, EU and internationally.

This course offers a unique combination of advanced engineering and technology-focused study, combined with management, current regulations and auditing skills.

Why choose this course?

Top 100

and 5th in the UK for Architecture

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023


in the Russell Group universities for ‘overall satisfaction’ in Architecture

The National Student Survey 2022


in Architecture

Times Good University Guide 2023 

Course content

The course comprises 180 credits, split across 120 credits worth of taught modules during autumn and spring semesters, and a 60-credit dissertation on an individually chosen topic completed over the summer period. This will be your opportunity to undertake a major piece of independent research, using the knowledge and experience gained during the course.


Building Services Technologies (autumn) 20 credits

Students will be able to discuss the design of building systems that provide heating, cooling, lighting, and acceptable air quality for small and large-scale buildings, and estimate their running costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

This module introduces the building services technologies and environmental control systems required to control heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and the acoustics of large and small buildings.

It discusses the reasons for using mechanical over passive systems and design issues relating to:

  • building heat gains and losses
  • thermal comfort; air quality
  • relevant climatic data
  • system types and associated secondary plant
  • plant selection, location, sizing, costing, and environmental impacts


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hour
Seminar 11 weeks 1 week 2 hour

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework project report 100.00  
Building Physics
Building Information Modelling and Management (full year) 20 credits

This module equips students with the knowledge and understanding needed to:

  • be able to define project information and modelling requirements
  • set out a project information management approach and
  • to create and co-ordinate 3D models for heating and ventilation systems.

This module introduces the requirements for information management and 3D modelling. It is based on the primary International and British Standards and Specifications directly associated with BIM Level 2.

The module covers information management processes and develops the capability to model and co-ordinate heating and ventilation systems. It also covers the requirements for and purposes of component and systems data for the purpose of asset management.


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Seminar 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 50.00  
Coursework 2 50.00  
Building Simulation (full year) 20 credits

This module provides competence in the use of a range of industry-standard environmental simulation tools and the ability to apply them to inform building design.

This module introduces a range of software simulation tools used to explore and develop environmental strategies in buildings.

The tools are used to undertake basic site analysis; select an appropriate environmental strategy; consider the effects of solar radiation on heating, cooling, and daylighting systems; to design appropriate ventilation strategies; conduct dynamic thermal and plant simulations; and to predict and reduce the energy demand and carbon emissions of a building.


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 3 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Workshop 10 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework Report 100.00  
Energy and the Environment (spring) 20 credits

The aim of this module To identify the need for sustainable development and to show how the energy and environmental sustainability of buildings can be determined and improved.

Highlight the importance of the internet of things and the development of smart systems. Use a standard assessment procedure to determine the lifetime sustainability of a building.

This module begins by discussing current worldwide energy resources and energy demand, international carbon reduction targets, and the need for sustainable development.

Within this context, it describes the methods and technologies used to convert those energy sources to usable forms, such as thermal, mechanical, and electrical energies, and used by built environment systems. Their relative performance, economics, and environmental impacts, are considered and improvements are discussed.

The ability of environmental systems to record and share performance data can be exploited to improving their performance so that they become smart systems. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is identified as a method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings and students will complete training that would allow them to sit the examination (not included) to become a certified BREEAM Assessor.


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Seminar 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
Research and Professional Skills, Tools and Methods (spring) 20 credits

This module enables students to acquire the core skills used in research, and to practice these through exploration of a specialist subject relevant to architecture and the built environment.

This module covers the skills and resources needed to conduct independent academic research, including how to present findings effectively. It will cover choosing a research topic, how to shape research literature search techniques, including the use of the web.

As a result, students will be able to conduct their own primary research, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies; data collection and simple statistical analysis. Opportunities to practice these skills will be presented through participation in a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops designed to introduce specialist subject areas relevant to the field of architecture and related disciplines.


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 14 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Workshop 12 weeks  1 week 1 hour

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Assignment 15.00 3,000 word essay
Presentation 1 30.00 Presentation of the research topic
Presentation and report 30.00  
Research portfolio 25.00  
Dissertation, Architecture and Built Environment (summer) 60 credits

This module aims to enable students to plan, implement and write up a substantial piece of original research which will make a contribution to the intellectual life of the discipline.

This module seeks to enable students to:

  • demonstrate and develop research skills in their chosen area of study
  • select a topic of inquiry in consultation with relevant members of academic staff
  • search and critically review the appropriate literature
  • develop appropriate research questions for their chosen area of study
  • consider the ethical aspects of their investigation
  • select an appropriate methodology for their investigation
  • collect data, rigorously explore and critically analyse it
  • interpret findings against what is already known in the field of study
  • critically evaluate/reflect on the study itself; make appropriate suggestions for further research


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Tutorial   1 per week 1 hour
Lecture   1 per week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Dissertation 100.00 20,000 word dissertation


The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 18 July 2023.

Due to timetabling availability, there may be restrictions on some module combinations.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Design studio
  • Design projects

You will learn by listening to and participating in, lectures, seminars, and design tutorials. You will also be expected to complete self-study. You will have access to on-campus library facilities.

How you will be assessed

  • Group coursework
  • Presentation
  • Coursework
  • Oral exam

Contact time and study hours

You will spend 12 hours a week learning through lectures and/or seminars. This does not include your independent study time.

We expect 10 hours of study (which includes contact time) per 1 credit.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 or above in Engineering, Science or Architecture discipline


Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification MSc
Home / UK £10,500
International £28,600

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you may factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £100 per year.

In addition to this you may spend up to £50 per on printing and up to £50 on model making and drawing equipment. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Students on this course undertake training that enables them to take exams to become a Passivhaus Designer and a BREEAM environment assessor. Taking these exams isn't required to graduate, however the cost of the exams must be met by students.


There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Many graduates of this MSc programme have been rewarded for their innovative ideas and contribution to real energy projects, for example the prestigious National Energy Award for work on a large-scale solar project in Mexico. Graduates have entered both academia and industry in the UK and overseas.

Career progression

87.3% of undergraduates from the Department of Architecture and Built Environment secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,150.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

The course is accredited by the Engineering Council through the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" Sustainability, architecture and engineering go together. The cohesive and coordinated workflow among all the element leads to the net zero carbon neutral future that all of us aspire to live in. This course has enabled me to be part of that future by broadening my horizons and exposure to the workflows used in the industry "
Sri Ammanabrolu, Building Performance Engineering MSc

This content was last updated on Tuesday 18 July 2023. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.