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Course overview

Our MSc Sustainable Building Technology is tailored towards graduates in building services, architectural environmental engineering, architecture and other related disciplines.

The course is structured to accommodate the interests and skills of those who are related to building design and technology and building energy and environmental performance.

The strong emphasis is targeted to successful integration of renewable and sustainable energy technologies into buildings, which requires an understanding of both design and technology and hence the close co-operation of architecture and engineering.

Why choose this course?

Top 3

architecture school in the country

 

Top 5

Best Architecture schools in the UK

Vocational skills

will develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude

Collaborative links

The department has strong collaborative links with overseas institutions

Course content

The course is designed to allow discussion and exchange of information between different disciplines and encourages novel and imaginative solutions to the challenge of producing environmentally friendly buildings.

You will have the opportunity to explore integration of sustainable technologies in design-oriented projects, while engineering students will pursue more technical-based projects.

You will spend the summer semester producing a supervised dissertation. This will be your opportunity to undertake a major piece of independent research related to building and sustainable energy technologies.

The course comprises 180 credits, split across 120 credits worth of taught modules and a 60-credit written dissertation completed over the summer period.

Modules

Principles of Renewable and Energy Efficient Technologies 20 credits

This module will give you an understanding and working knowledge of the role of energy within the built environment, issues around environmental impact and security of supply, the role played by renewable and energy efficient systems as alternatives to conventional energy generation as well as the regulatory and economic factors that influence their deployment.

By undertaking this module you will acquire the ability to relate building design and context to energy needs and from this develop and assess environmentally responsible approached to meeting these needs. You will also learn to design and evaluate key renewable and energy efficient energy technologies with a focus on building application.

CFD for Building Engineering (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with an overview of indoor air flow and CFD from which skills in CFD modelling of air flow, heat transfer and pollutant transport processes in buildings are developed.

This module will provide the basics of air flow and heat transfer associated with building ventilation and a brief introduction to the principles of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) for building applications. Students will be introduced to a commercial CFD package (ANSYS Fluent), which will be used to develop practical modelling skills through exploring air flow, heat transfer and pollutant dispersion in and around buildings based on a variety of ventilation strategies.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 3 hours
Tutorial 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00 Written report
Cooling and Heating Systems and their Applications (autumn) 10 credits

This module aims to provide an understanding of air conditioning technology and develop skills in the design of air conditioning systems.

This module covers the cooling and heating technologies for building applications, focusing on vapour compression, absorption, adsorption and ejector cooling technologies, as well as the design and performance calculations for these systems.

Advanced multi-stage, multi-effect and combined systems designed to offer efficient use of thermal energy will also be introduced. The suitability of these technologies for applications in buildings will be discussed in relation to the efficient use of energy.

The module will address issues of thermal comfort, indoor air quality, air conditioning processes, psychrometrics, and cooling and heating load calculations. The design of systems for building cooling and heating is also discussed including the thermal comfort design conditions, the methods of delivery and sizing. With the knowledge provided by this module, students will be able to understand how to design efficient cooling/heating systems for various building applications.

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  
Sustainable Building Research Project (spring) 20 credits

This module develops research skills through a collaborative design project that explores the integration of sustainability concepts and strategies. This provides opportunities to apply different approaches to assessing performance and developing a holistic understanding of a building and its systems.

This is a research-based module with emphasis on modelling, design and analysis. Students will be equipped with knowledge and skills for assessing the interactions between a building, its occupants and local microclimate conditions.

Through optimisation and other procedures, integrated design solutions are explored that seek to reduce energy use in building heating, cooling and lighting whilst achieving acceptable environmental performance.

Students will work in groups to develop a building design from which individual projects are identified that will assess baseline energy performance and investigate appropriate energy efficient and sustainable strategies to improve efficiency.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Practicum 12 weeks 1 week 7 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Project 100.00 4000 word illustrated individual report
Technology Integration for Sustainable Buildings (spring) 10 credits

The module will further students’ knowledge and skills, and provide awareness of the technical and economic aspects of sustainable technologies available for building sustainability including, selection, design, installation and operation.

This module introduces a range of sustainable technologies suitable for integration into the built environment for enhanced building performance.

It provides students with the tools to assess the impact of integration of these sustainable technologies, including green roofs and walls, smart windows, super insulated walls, daylighting technologies, passive cooling and ventilation, renewable energy technologies, etc., on the operational performance of buildings, in line with building performance analysis tools.

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
Technology Integration for Sustainable Buildings 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 Thursday 01 July 2021.
Cooling and Heating Systems and their Applications (autumn) 10 credits

This module aims to provide an understanding of air conditioning technology and develop skills in the design of air conditioning systems.

This module covers the cooling and heating technologies for building applications, focusing on vapour compression, absorption, adsorption and ejector cooling technologies, as well as the design and performance calculations for these systems.

Advanced multi-stage, multi-effect and combined systems designed to offer efficient use of thermal energy will also be introduced. The suitability of these technologies for applications in buildings will be discussed in relation to the efficient use of energy.

The module will address issues of thermal comfort, indoor air quality, air conditioning processes, psychrometrics, and cooling and heating load calculations. The design of systems for building cooling and heating is also discussed including the thermal comfort design conditions, the methods of delivery and sizing. With the knowledge provided by this module, students will be able to understand how to design efficient cooling/heating systems for various building applications.

CFD for Building Engineering (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with an overview of indoor air flow and CFD from which skills in CFD modelling of air flow, heat transfer and pollutant transport processes in buildings are developed.

This module will provide the basics of air flow and heat transfer associated with building ventilation and a brief introduction to the principles of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) for building applications. Students will be introduced to a commercial CFD package (ANSYS Fluent), which will be used to develop practical modelling skills through exploring air flow, heat transfer and pollutant dispersion in and around buildings based on a variety of ventilation strategies.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 3 hours
Tutorial 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00 Written report
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 (autumn and 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 per week 1 hour
Workshop 12 weeks  1 per 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  
Sustainable Building Research Project (spring) 20 credits

This module develops research skills through a collaborative design project that explores the integration of sustainability concepts and strategies. This provides opportunities to apply different approaches to assessing performance and developing a holistic understanding of a building and its systems.

This is a research-based module with emphasis on modelling, design and analysis. Students will be equipped with knowledge and skills for assessing the interactions between a building, its occupants and local microclimate conditions.

Through optimisation and other procedures, integrated design solutions are explored that seek to reduce energy use in building heating, cooling and lighting whilst achieving acceptable environmental performance.

Students will work in groups to develop a building design from which individual projects are identified that will assess baseline energy performance and investigate appropriate energy efficient and sustainable strategies to improve efficiency.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Practicum 12 weeks 1 week 7 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Project 100.00 4000 word illustrated individual report
Technology Integration for Sustainable Buildings (spring) 10 credits

The module will further students’ knowledge and skills, and provide awareness of the technical and economic aspects of sustainable technologies available for building sustainability including, selection, design, installation and operation.

This module introduces a range of sustainable technologies suitable for integration into the built environment for enhanced building performance.

It provides students with the tools to assess the impact of integration of these sustainable technologies, including green roofs and walls, smart windows, super insulated walls, daylighting technologies, passive cooling and ventilation, renewable energy technologies, etc., on the operational performance of buildings, in line with building performance analysis tools.

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
Technology Integration for Sustainable Buildings 100.00  
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  
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 Thursday 01 July 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Design studio

How you will be assessed

  • Exams
  • Assignments

Contact time and study hours

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

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.

MSc/PGDip

Undergraduate degree2:1 in a relevant subject area (or international equivalent). 2:2 accepted for PGDip.

Applying

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

How to apply

Fees

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 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.

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

Many graduates on this programme have been rewarded for their 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.

The course develops a practical and theoretical understanding and therefore enables graduates to work with architectural or engineering firms.

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

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of undergraduate teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Thursday 01 July 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.