Postgraduate study
This course focuses on integrating renewable energy and sustainable technologies to improve comfort and climate.
MSc Renewable Energy and Architecture
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in architecture, building engineering, building services engineering, civil/structural engineering or mechanical engineering; applicants from other relevant professional backgrounds may also be considered
Other requirements
Experience of working with computers and computer software such as MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint is essential
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£7,785 - Terms apply
International fees
£17,910 - Terms apply
University Park Campus



MSc Renewable Energy and Architecture is a multi-disciplinary course for world-wide integration of renewable energy and sustainable energy and building technologies into the site plan and building form, fabric and services with focus on climate and human comfort, using architectural and engineering techniques and powerful computer and laboratory simulations.

This international course is carefully 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 (mechanical, civil / structural, electrical and building engineering) and town planning / urban design.

The course addresses issues such as:

  • sustainable building design and construction
  • energy use
  • new and renewable energy technologies
  • novel materials and their influence on buildings and occupant comfort.

It is designed to stimulate and encourage novel and imaginative solutions to the challenging task of designing sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally responsible buildings and cities worldwide.

By the end of the course, you will have gained useful and technical knowledge as well as experience on this subject, and you will be adept at communicating and presenting yourself and your projects to an audience.

Key facts

  • the course attracts students from over 40 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Latin America; many graduates have completed a further stage of doctoral research or joined energy employment or academia in different countries
  • as part of its remit, the Department of Architecture and Built Environment aims to develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude necessary in today's rapidly changing world
  • the department enjoys strong collaborative links with overseas institutions. You may have the opportunity to attend and present / publish your MSc dissertation research at relevant conferences both in the UK and abroad

Full course details

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 Revit.

In the spring semester, you will undertake laboratory work and design and simulation projects related to the course area. You will also learn how to use another piece of powerful computer software, EnergyPlus.

A unique feature of this course is that in the spring term, students from all academic backgrounds will be taught how to write/develop computer programs for energy modelling and many other applications, using step-by-step Microsoft Visual Basic programming.

You will spend the summer semester producing a supervised dissertation (60 credits). This will be your opportunity to undertake a major piece of independent research, using the knowledge and experience gained from the taught modules. The research project could be related to the climate and buildings in your home country. 

The MSc Renewable Energy and Architecture is offered on a full-time basis over one year (12 months).

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.

Course aims and content

Successful integration of renewable energy into buildings requires an understanding of both design and technology, and hence the close co-operation of architects, engineers and other building professionals. The course is structured to accommodate the interests of those who are related to building design and energy performance, such as architecture and engineering. Core modules provide an introduction to energy systems that may be used to utilize natural energy resources and show how these may be incorporated into the design of buildings. Students have the opportunity to explore these in a manner that suites their backgrounds.

In the autumn semester, you will be given a good background on the subject and on the use of a number of computer programs such as Ansys and Revit. In the spring semester you will undertake laboratory work and design and simulation projects related to the course area and also learn how to write/develop  computer programs using Visual Basic. You will also be given the opportunity to learn how to use advanced computer programs such as EnergyPlus. No previous experience in using any of the above computer programs is essential.

During the course you will carry out group and individual design and modelling projects, depending on your academic background. You will also prepare and give oral presentations, using MS Powerpoint. In the summer term, you will conduct your dissertation research, which could be related to your own countries’ climate and architectural style.

The course has been attended by students from over forty countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Latin America. At the end of the course you will gain useful experience on the subject and also learn how to communicate with others, as well as how to present yourself and your projects to an audience. A number of MSc graduates have already been offered jobs in the UK and abroad. Others have been able to undertake research leading to PhD, in renewable energy and architecture, after successfully completing the MSc course.

Required documents for application

A detailed CV, two references and a detailed academic transcript showing your GPA are required for the application. All documents MUST be in English.

Progression to summer dissertation

If a Postgraduate Diploma student manages to achieve at least 50% as an overall average for both autumn and spring semester modules, by June, he or she will be allowed to continue as a MSc student and therefore can register for the MSc dissertation in the summer period.

This condition of achieving at least 50% overall average also applies to other students on the course, in order to proceed to summer dissertation.

English language course for academic purposes

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English, the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) runs 5-week English language and study skills courses for engineering.

These courses are designed in collaboration with the faculty and prepare students going on to postgraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering.

If you are close to the English language level you need to go on to this course and you meet the entry requirements for the relevant CELE course, you may be eligible for a joint offer. This means that:

  • you only need one TIER 4 visa and CAS
  • you take a 5-week English language and academic skills preparation course, and then go onto your course
  • your progression to the course is automatic, provided you attend and complete all the coursework

For more details, please visit the CELE website or email

Find out more



  • Principles of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Systems (20 credits)
  • Wind Environment 3D Simulation in Architecture (20 credits)
  • Passive Solar Design Principles and Simulation (10 credits)
  • Renewable Energy Technology Design and Appraisal (20 credits)
  • Climate Responsive Building Design Project (20 credits)
  • Building Energy Performance Rating and Programming (10 credits)
  • Research and Professional Skills, Tools and Methods (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)


This course includes a 60 credit module research dissertation, which is completed over the summer. The project area is flexible and will be supervised by an academic member of staff.

Previous research projects have included:

  • solar energy technology for building integration
  • environmental performance of vernacular architecture
  • use of porous materials for enhanced night cooling of naturally ventilated buildings
  • impact of curved roofs on buildings’ energy performance in different climates
  • integrating renewable energy solutions into the design of contemporary buildings
  • wind power as a renewable energy source for modern buildings
  • the potential impact of solar energy for office buildings
  • site planning strategies for maximising renewable energy options

The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

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 modelmaking and drawing equipment. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

Faculty of Engineering scholarships

UK/EU students

Funding information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

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.

The MSc course develops a practical and theoretical understanding and therefore enables graduates to work with architectural or engineering firms, move into teaching at university level, or undertake research leading to a PhD.

Career prospects and employability

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

The acquisition of a master’s degree from the University of Nottingham demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Boost your earning potential

Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.

  • We are second highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
  • We are second highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

(Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies data:



This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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