Triangle

Course overview

Our international programme gives graduates a unique environment to study and broadens future career options. It is a proven route to global employment opportunities and PhD research.

This programme is structured to accommodate the interests and skills of those who are related to building design and technology and building energy and environmental performance. It is open to applicants from various backgrounds, including architecture, engineering and town planning / urban design.

The course introduces students from different backgrounds, to many relevant fields of expertise, at a global level:

  • Sustainable building design and technology
  • Climate responsive and energy conscious site planning, landscape and urban design
  • Passive solar design, integration and simulation
  • New and renewable energy technologies
  • Novel materials and their influence on buildings and occupant thermal comfort
  • Advanced software applications and energy software development/programming

Why choose this course?

Top 3

architecture school in the country

 

Top 10

Best Architecture schools in the UK

Present at conferences

Opportunity to attend and present your dissertation research at relevant conferences.

Vocational skills

will develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude

Progression

Many graduates have completed a further stage of doctoral research

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 completed over the summer period.

During the autumn semester, you will be given a comprehensive background on the subject and on the use of a number of powerful computer programs, including Ansys and EnergyPlus.

In the spring semester, you will undertake laboratory work and design and simulation projects related to the course area.

In the spring term, students from all academic backgrounds are taught how to write/develop computer programs for energy modelling and many other applications, using step-by-step Microsoft Object Oriented programming.

Modules

Principles of Renewable and Energy Efficient Systems (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in renewable energy sources and allied conversion systems with the focus on their application within the built environment.

Specifically the module will cover:

  1. energy principles
  2. solar energy resources
  3. solar thermal collectors
  4. solar photovoltaics
  5. wind energy
  6. district heating and heat pumps
  7. biomass energy
  8. CHP
  9. efficient boilers
  10. heat recovery

For each of the renewable and energy efficient systems, the student will learn and develop an understanding of principle of operation, basic components, merit and limitations, and investigate the contribution they can make to a building's energy requirement with reference to their environmental impact.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Laboratory 5 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight
Exam 70.00
Laboratory report 30.00
Wind Environment 3D Simulation in Architecture (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students from architectural, engineering and relevant professional backgrounds with advanced knowledge and skills to perform 3D modelling of wind environments outside and inside buildings with simple and complex forms, using well known computer software to assess impact on building and site ventilation and indoor and outdoor human thermal comfort.

Detailed and realistic 3D modelling and simulation of wind environment outside and inside buildings (e.g. wind speed, direction and pressure at any point) is extremely important for town planners, urban designers, architects and building engineers. It allows building professionals (e.g. planners/architects and engineers) to produce climate responsive site planning and sustainable/energy efficient building form/shape and thermally comfortable indoor building layout/design, both at individual buildings and urban scale.

This is a modelling, simulation and design module. It will examine wind environment in the context of architecture, human thermal comfort and ventilation heat loss/gain employing advanced 3D computer simulation techniques (using CFD software ANSYS, plus other supporting computer tools).

The module will address the processes of wind induced ventilation focusing on site and envelope flows and internal air movement, considering different wind speeds and directions. It will also address the effects of building shape and orientation and building components such as partition walls, windows and doors on outdoor and indoor ventilation design. Students will also gain valuable skills in design and modelling performance of wind towers/catchers and their integration into the building envelope and for the siting of urban wind turbines.

Delivery

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

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
Passive Solar Design Principles and Simulation (autumn) 10 credits

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the concepts, principles and application of passive solar building design and technology in different latitudes. Students use this knowledge and relevant computer software to design, test and optimize passive solar buildings, which support application of the module content and develop research skills.

This module introduces students from architectural, engineering and other relevant professional backgrounds to the concepts, principles and application of passive solar building design and technology in different latitudes.

The use and integration of passive solar systems will be addressed such as conservatories, Trombe walls, solar chimneys and mass walls. Students will be taught how to use software (EnergyPlus with Sketchup) to model passive solar building performance and assess the potential of day-lighting, solar control and ventilation for promoting energy saving and user comfort. Students from an architectural background will use their knowledge and computer skills to develop and test the design of a passive solar village as part of an individual design and simulation project.

Students from engineering and other backgrounds will use their knowledge and computer skills to test and optimize the design of passive solar systems and their effect on overall building energy performance.

Renewable Energy Technology Design and Appraisal (spring) 20 credits

This module will examine aspects of performance analysis and system design/sizing of renewable energy systems for building integration. The course provides opportunities to gain experience in issues of technology selection, system design, installation and performance analysis of a range of renewable energy systems. The module will emphasize solar energy technologies (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems) and small-scale wind turbines, and their integration into buildings.

This includes aspects of weather data resource/collection, system performance analysis, system design parameters, design/simulation tools, field evaluation of these technologies and cost appraisal.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Laboratory 1 week 1 per week 6 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 per week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
Climate Responsive Building Design Project (spring) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills on designing climate responsive site and building design and technology in different climatic regions

Architects, engineers and other relevant professionals engaged in designing sustainable and energy efficient buildings and neighbourhoods require in-depth understanding of human thermal comfort and the impact of prevailing local site physical and climatic conditions on building design and its surrounding environment, (e.g. site topography/landscape, sun’s position and radiation, ambient temperature and humidity and onsite wind speed and direction).

In this module students will be introduced to the principles of site planning, building design and technology in different climates, employing critical review and analysis of examples of real building projects from different climatic regions. Lectures will also present and discuss results of field measurements and computer simulations of real traditional and modern buildings thermal performance.

Lectures will also be supported by relevant video presentations, to help students further understand module contents such as human thermal comfort and building energy performance.

This module will also examine the concepts of bioclimatic design and outdoor and indoor human thermal comfort at international level. These include the role of thermal mass, earth-sheltering/integration and ventilation in controlling indoor temperature. The module will also address climatic and socio-economic impacts on building form and structure in a global context.

Students will have the opportunity to work together in groups to produce climate responsive site plans and landscape for a complex of public building in different climatic regions. In their project, students use the knowledge gained from this module and well-known computer programs, such as EnergyPlus and ANSYS, which are taught as part of two other MSc autumn modules.

Students will also use other free computer tools which are specifically developed for this module for the assessment of human thermal comfort and development of the human comfort zone and potential of passive cooling and heating. 

In the process, students are expected to give group PowerPoint presentations of their final projects. Students will also work individually to produce detailed climate responsive building design and energy efficient building envelope/structure, depending on their professional backgrounds. Students will receive studio-style tutorial support during their group and individual project work.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 30.00 Individual Student Particulate Process Control Design Project
Coursework 2 60.00  
Presentation  10.00  
Building Energy Performance Rating and Programming (spring) 10 credits

This module aims to provide students from architecture, engineering and other relevant professional backgrounds computer programming skills, which they can use to gain a better understanding of the key parameters used in building heating and cooling load calculations, model the performance of passive solar systems, such as Mass Walls, Sun-spaces and Water Walls, and model the performance of PV systems and wind turbines.

For building professionals (e.g. architects, engineers and others from relevant professional backgrounds) to be able to design buildings with an optimised energy saving shape, layout and structure and make the best use of available renewable energy sources/technologies, they need detailed knowledge and understanding of key parameters/factors involved and their impact on building energy performance/rating.

This module provides students from architecture, engineering and other relevant professional backgrounds a powerful research tool, which can be used to gain understanding of key parameters affecting building heating and cooling load calculations, to model the performance of passive solar systems, such as Mass Walls, Sun-spaces and Water Walls, and model the performance of PV systems and wind turbines.

Designed to support students who have little or no previous experience of computer programming, this module allows them to develop their own software tools for modelling building energy performance and gain in-depth understanding of the key design parameters/variables. Use is also made of commercially available energy modelling/simulation tools (e.g. EnergyPlus) to carry out advanced simulations/research on renewable energy and energy efficient design applied to complex building forms.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 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.

Delivery

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

Delivery

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 Wednesday 20 October 2021.
Passive Solar Design Principles and Simulation (autumn) 10 credits

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the concepts, principles and application of passive solar building design and technology in different latitudes. Students use this knowledge and relevant computer software to design, test and optimize passive solar buildings, which support application of the module content and develop research skills.

This module introduces students from architectural, engineering and other relevant professional backgrounds to the concepts, principles and application of passive solar building design and technology in different latitudes.

The use and integration of passive solar systems will be addressed such as conservatories, Trombe walls, solar chimneys and mass walls. Students will be taught how to use software (EnergyPlus with Sketchup) to model passive solar building performance and assess the potential of day-lighting, solar control and ventilation for promoting energy saving and user comfort. Students from an architectural background will use their knowledge and computer skills to develop and test the design of a passive solar village as part of an individual design and simulation project.

Students from engineering and other backgrounds will use their knowledge and computer skills to test and optimize the design of passive solar systems and their effect on overall building energy performance.

Wind Environment 3D Simulation in Architecture (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students from architectural, engineering and relevant professional backgrounds with advanced knowledge and skills to perform 3D modelling of wind environments outside and inside buildings with simple and complex forms, using well known computer software to assess impact on building and site ventilation and indoor and outdoor human thermal comfort.

Detailed and realistic 3D modelling and simulation of wind environment outside and inside buildings (e.g. wind speed, direction and pressure at any point) is extremely important for town planners, urban designers, architects and building engineers. It allows building professionals (e.g. planners/architects and engineers) to produce climate responsive site planning and sustainable/energy efficient building form/shape and thermally comfortable indoor building layout/design, both at individual buildings and urban scale.

This is a modelling, simulation and design module. It will examine wind environment in the context of architecture, human thermal comfort and ventilation heat loss/gain employing advanced 3D computer simulation techniques (using CFD software ANSYS, plus other supporting computer tools).

The module will address the processes of wind induced ventilation focusing on site and envelope flows and internal air movement, considering different wind speeds and directions. It will also address the effects of building shape and orientation and building components such as partition walls, windows and doors on outdoor and indoor ventilation design. Students will also gain valuable skills in design and modelling performance of wind towers/catchers and their integration into the building envelope and for the siting of urban wind turbines.

Delivery

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

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
Principles of Renewable and Energy Efficient Systems (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in renewable energy sources and allied conversion systems with the focus on their application within the built environment.

Specifically the module will cover:

  1. energy principles
  2. solar energy resources
  3. solar thermal collectors
  4. solar photovoltaics
  5. wind energy
  6. district heating and heat pumps
  7. biomass energy
  8. CHP
  9. efficient boilers
  10. heat recovery

For each of the renewable and energy efficient systems, the student will learn and develop an understanding of principle of operation, basic components, merit and limitations, and investigate the contribution they can make to a building's energy requirement with reference to their environmental impact.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Laboratory 5 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight
Exam 70.00
Laboratory report 30.00
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.

Delivery

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  
Renewable Energy Technology Design and Appraisal (spring) 20 credits

This module will examine aspects of performance analysis and system design/sizing of renewable energy systems for building integration. The course provides opportunities to gain experience in issues of technology selection, system design, installation and performance analysis of a range of renewable energy systems. The module will emphasize solar energy technologies (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems) and small-scale wind turbines, and their integration into buildings.

This includes aspects of weather data resource/collection, system performance analysis, system design parameters, design/simulation tools, field evaluation of these technologies and cost appraisal.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Laboratory 1 week 1 per week 6 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 per week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
Climate Responsive Building Design Project (spring) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills on designing climate responsive site and building design and technology in different climatic regions

Architects, engineers and other relevant professionals engaged in designing sustainable and energy efficient buildings and neighbourhoods require in-depth understanding of human thermal comfort and the impact of prevailing local site physical and climatic conditions on building design and its surrounding environment, (e.g. site topography/landscape, sun’s position and radiation, ambient temperature and humidity and onsite wind speed and direction).

In this module students will be introduced to the principles of site planning, building design and technology in different climates, employing critical review and analysis of examples of real building projects from different climatic regions. Lectures will also present and discuss results of field measurements and computer simulations of real traditional and modern buildings thermal performance.

Lectures will also be supported by relevant video presentations, to help students further understand module contents such as human thermal comfort and building energy performance.

This module will also examine the concepts of bioclimatic design and outdoor and indoor human thermal comfort at international level. These include the role of thermal mass, earth-sheltering/integration and ventilation in controlling indoor temperature. The module will also address climatic and socio-economic impacts on building form and structure in a global context.

Students will have the opportunity to work together in groups to produce climate responsive site plans and landscape for a complex of public building in different climatic regions. In their project, students use the knowledge gained from this module and well-known computer programs, such as EnergyPlus and ANSYS, which are taught as part of two other MSc autumn modules.

Students will also use other free computer tools which are specifically developed for this module for the assessment of human thermal comfort and development of the human comfort zone and potential of passive cooling and heating. 

In the process, students are expected to give group PowerPoint presentations of their final projects. Students will also work individually to produce detailed climate responsive building design and energy efficient building envelope/structure, depending on their professional backgrounds. Students will receive studio-style tutorial support during their group and individual project work.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 30.00 Individual Student Particulate Process Control Design Project
Coursework 2 60.00  
Presentation  10.00  
Building Energy Performance Rating and Programming (spring) 10 credits

This module aims to provide students from architecture, engineering and other relevant professional backgrounds computer programming skills, which they can use to gain a better understanding of the key parameters used in building heating and cooling load calculations, model the performance of passive solar systems, such as Mass Walls, Sun-spaces and Water Walls, and model the performance of PV systems and wind turbines.

For building professionals (e.g. architects, engineers and others from relevant professional backgrounds) to be able to design buildings with an optimised energy saving shape, layout and structure and make the best use of available renewable energy sources/technologies, they need detailed knowledge and understanding of key parameters/factors involved and their impact on building energy performance/rating.

This module provides students from architecture, engineering and other relevant professional backgrounds a powerful research tool, which can be used to gain understanding of key parameters affecting building heating and cooling load calculations, to model the performance of passive solar systems, such as Mass Walls, Sun-spaces and Water Walls, and model the performance of PV systems and wind turbines.

Designed to support students who have little or no previous experience of computer programming, this module allows them to develop their own software tools for modelling building energy performance and gain in-depth understanding of the key design parameters/variables. Use is also made of commercially available energy modelling/simulation tools (e.g. EnergyPlus) to carry out advanced simulations/research on renewable energy and energy efficient design applied to complex building forms.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
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 Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Seminars
  • Lectures

The course is delivered in a style that encourages every one on the course to learn, regardless of their academic, professional or cultural backgrounds.

The course is delivered in purpose-built teaching rooms and facilities which are equipped with powerful computer software and display plasma screens.

You will be able to see and learn from real on site renewable energy technologies which are installed in buildings, as part of the Department site.

You will have the opportunity to learn how to use powerful computer software and learn how to write, develop and use energy related computer programs, even if you have never written a computer program before and regardless of your professional or educational background.

You will learn to use powerful industry-standard computer programs, such as Ansys and EnergyPlus. You will also be using a number of other free computer tools, which were developed specifically and are unique tools, for this course. These include:

  • CFDTUTOR - New platform for teaching 3D CFD simulation
  • BDCTUTOR - New platform for teaching building design in different climates
  • VBTUTOR - New platform for teaching energy software programming.
  • WINCOM - New software tool for the prediction of outdoor user thermal comfort.
  • COMZONE - New software tool for the prediction of indoor
    user thermal comfort.

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Presentation
  • Group project
  • Project work
  • Computer simulations

Six out of seven modules will be assessed by written coursework which is based on individual and team design projects, computer simulations and PowerPoint presentations.

One module will be assessed by exam and written coursework.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in architecture, building engineering, building services engineering, electrical engineering, town planning / urban design, civil/structural engineering or mechanical engineering. Applicants from other relevant professional backgrounds may also be considered.

Applying

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

How to apply

Fees

All listed fees are per year of study.

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in August 2021.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

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

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 around £100 per year.

In addition to this you may spend around £50 per year, on printing. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Funding

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

Careers

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

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

This content was last updated on Wednesday 20 October 2021. 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.