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Course overview

Buildings are the world’s greatest energy users. We need architectural environment engineers to work at the forefront of creating a global low carbon future.

This course gives you the knowledge and skills to work alongside architects, influencing design of sustainable, smart buildings as well as structures like stadiums, water parks and indoor ski-slopes. You’ll learn all about renewable energy generation, smart controls, thermal comfort, acoustics and lighting design.

You’ll become an engineer that can make a difference – sharing your knowledge to improve global building performance and services.

Why choose this course?

  • Become a highly qualified engineer with advanced knowledge on how to design sustainable, low carbon buildings
  • Extensive career options from building services engineers, sustainability consultants to building performance and public health engineers
  • Study at the world's most sustainable urban university, according to the UI Greenmetric ranking 2019
  • Our school of architecture has been voted a top 3 school by Architects' Journal 2020
  • Our school of architecture has been voted a top 5 school by The Guardian University Guide 2021

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer AAB-ABB (depending on subjects taken)
Required subjects

A level or Higher Level (IB) maths is essential. Other preferred subjects (for an offer of ABB) are physics, chemistry, biology, design and technology, geography, geology, computing or further maths. Otherwise offer is AAB.

Excludes general studies, thinking skills, global perspectives and research, critical thinking.

For A level subjects containing a practical examination, a pass in this element is also preferred.

IB score IB 34-32 including 5 in Higher Level maths or 6 in Standard Level maths and 5 at Higher Level in one of biology, chemistry, physics, geography or geology (for an offer of 32) We can also accept the following IB Mathematics courses: Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches = 5 at Higher Level or 6 at Standard Level. Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation = 5 at Higher Level only.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Group study
  • Independent study
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Supervision
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Examinations
  • Practical write-ups
  • Presentation
  • Research project

Contact time and study hours

All students will receive two days per week of studio tuition supported by lectures in architectural humanities and sciences. Typical contact time is circa 30 hours per week.

Study abroad

Explore the world, experience different cultures and gain valuable life skills by studying abroad.As well as starting an international network of contacts, you will discover new strengths and abilities – helping to enhance your future employment prospects. See our study abroad pages for full information.

Year in industry

You can spend the fourth year of this course in industry. You will receive support in applying for a year-long placement with an appropriate company. During the placement you will significantly enhance your knowledge and skills. You will have regular meetings with your tutor throughout the year and will remain fully registered with the University. 

Please use UCAS code K24B for BEng Architectural Environment Engineering including a year in industry.

What is it like to study Architectural Environment Engineering at UoN?

Hear what Alice, final year student, has to say about studying Architectural Environment Engineering.

Modules

Architectural Engineering Design 1

This module aims to help you develop a basic awareness of the building design process and the design skills and techniques used by engineers. Visits to construction sites help to deepen your understanding of the material covered in lectures and tutorials. The module introduces:

  • an overview of the construction sector and the role of the engineers in design teams
  • hand sketching and 2/3D computer drafting tools, and their role as an aid to the design process
  • communication and IT skills, including programming, used by professionals involved in the design of buildings
  • simple assessments of the designed performance of buildings
  • a field trip
  • training in how to present work through use of graphics, numerical data and text

You’ll have two hours of lectures and six hours of tutorials a week for this module.

Performance of Construction Materials

This module introduces you to some of the technical knowledge and techniques for surveying buildings and structures and identifying common defects using both qualitative and quantitative methods of assessment. Through a two-hour lecture each week you will cover topics such as moisture ingress, surface and interstitial condensation, freeze/thaw resistance, rot and infestation, sulphate attack, carbonation and corrosion.

Fluid Mechanics and the Built Environment 1

Building on Level 1 design modules, you’ll be introduced to engineering concepts that inform and enrich the environmental performance of buildings. You’ll cover the fundamentals of fluid mechanics (fluid properties, hydrostatics, fluid dynamics) and then explore some of these through the analysis of flow through piped water systems and the design of hot and cold water services. You’ll spend around three to four hours in lectures and workshops studying for this module.

Engineering Mathematics 1

This module introduces you to the algebra of complex numbers providing a key mathematical tool for analysis of linear mathematical and engineering problems. You will have one 3-hour lecture and workshops each week where you will study the complexity of solving general systems of equations using matrix techniques and review the calculus of a single variable.

Environmental Science for Architects 1

Introducing you to the environmental agenda as it applies to the architectural profession, you’ll explore the key bioclimatic strategies used to maintain appropriate conditions for the occupants of buildings, thus tying together occupant comfort, building schedule and climate. You’ll have a two-hour lecture per week using both physical modelling and computer simulation techniques to gain a better understanding of the strategies involved and their relationship with building design.

Thermofluids

This module introduces the principles of thermodynamics and the thermodynamic concepts relevant to the applications to building environment engineering. Topics covered include: dimensions and units, thermal properties, thermodynamic systems, energy, work and heat transfer processes, perfect gases, steady flow energy equation, 1st law and 2nd law of thermodynamics and basic modes of heat transfer.

Architectural Engineering Design 2

This module aims to provide you with a basic understanding of design software and techniques for the design of simple building services systems. It also aims to give you practical experience of fabrication skills. The lectures will introduce you to the engineering design principles of building services, including heating, lighting, piping design, water supply, drainage and basic control systems.

In the design project tutorials you’ll develop the basic design skills introduced in K11AE1 by carrying out a simple services design project for a case-study building. The project makes use of the knowledge gained from the lectures.  The engineering fabrication practicals will give you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the practical skills used by craftsmen responsible for the installations. You’ll have workshops on metal work, plumbing, electrics and wall building. The module is delivered through two hours of lectures and three hours of practicals a week.

Electricity and the Built Environment

You will be given an understanding of the role that electricity plays in controlling the environment within buildings and the wider built environment through two hours of lectures each week.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

Your knowledge and competencies in environmental design and building services systems are further developed in year two. Engineering design forms the main core of the year with specialised subjects such as environmental performance modelling, acoustics, lighting and management feeding into the design process. The built environment in its wider context is considered in the study of renewable energy systems.

Thermofluids 2

Advancing on from the year one module Thermofluids 1, you will cover topics such as: vapour compression and vapour absorption, adiabatic saturation of moist air, steady-state one-dimensional conduction of heat conduction, convection heat transfer and introduction to radiant heat transfer. You will spend around four hours per week in lectures and laboratory classes studying for this module.

Acoustics and Lighting

This module introduces you to the fundamentals of acoustic and lighting phenomena as they relate to design within the built environment. During two hours of lectures each week, you’ll be given an overview of the psychological and technical considerations that underpin design requirements and explore the selection of acoustic and lighting strategies relating to the design of buildings through the introduction of appropriate tools and techniques.

Architectural Engineering Design 3

This module aims to introduce you to large scale building services, principally natural ventilation, air conditioning and other environmental control systems, and to discuss the reasons for resorting to and avoiding A/C and the consequent design issues.

Topics include:

  • assessments of heat gains and losses, thermal comfort and relevant climatic data
  • system types and associated secondary plants
  • plant selection, location, sizing and design alternatives

This module is delivered through four hours of lectures each week.

Differential Equations and Calculus for Engineers

You will learn techniques for solving selected classes of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) relevant to the analysis of engineering topics. This module also provides the basic calculus to help analyse engineering problems in two or three dimensions and special solutions of partial differential equations relevant to engineering applications. You will spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.

Environmental Performance Modelling

The aim of this module is to introduce you to computer simulation tools and explore how they may be used to understand the energy behaviour of buildings. Specifically, you’ll learn about the methods of examining non-steady state performance of buildings. Starting from a theoretical exploration of transient building response, computer simulation tools are introduced and then used to explore energy flows through buildings.

The simulation process is used to explore and develop an awareness of the relationship between building performance and climate, design, materiality and occupant behaviour. This module is delivered through four hours of lectures each week.

Architectural Engineering Design 4

This module aims to help you develop and extend your skills in designing building services of increasing complexity. You’ll study design topics such as:

  • large scale HVAC systems
  • utility services
  • lighting and fire protection services
  • natural ventilation
  • sustainable systems

This module expands the design principles of HVAC, along with utility services, and the fire protection systems, into a co-ordinated design. Engineering systems are integrated into a building which is at the design stage. You’ll make design calculations and sketch drawings of system layouts. By the end of the module you should be able to design and commission air distribution systems within buildings, understand various cooling techniques for buildings and have an appreciation of lighting and drainage systems. The module is delivered through a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar each week.

Introduction of Renewable Energy

Examining various sources of renewable energy suitable for use in buildings, you will concentrate on wind, water waste heat, solar, geothermal and bio-mass as potential sources of energy. You will investigate the potential contribution they make to a building's energy requirement, the technology used to harness them and limitations associated with their use. For this module you will have a two hour lecture per week.

Project Management and Development

Two main themes are addressed in this module: Project Development issues and Project management issues. Lectures will introduce the process of procurement of land and buildings, project management, development finance and economic factors, strategies and controls, facilities, estate and property management in relation to interests in the architectural profession and the building industry. Risk management and studies on human resources management will also be introduced.

Fluid Mechanics and the Built Environment 2

This module aims to develop an awareness of fluid mechanics and its application within building environment engineering and to teach you the fundamental principles of fluid mechanics and their application to practical problems in building environment design. You’ll spend around four hours per week in lectures and workshops studying for this module.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

A final year engineering design module provides the opportunity to deliver a project with a stronger emphasis on building analysis, advanced environmental design and environmental performance modelling. This project is used to develop your skills and ability in utilising appropriate aspects of the material covered in years one, two and three, and to consider in more detail the holistic design of a building, its internal environment and the systems necessary to achieve a sustainable building.

Computational Fluid Dynamics for the Built Environment

This module will introduce you to the techniques and procedures employed in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It focuses particularly on the development of hands-on experience in the numerical modelling of fluid flows for the built environment. CFD, once the domain of academics, postdoctoral researchers or trained specialists, is becoming progressively more accessible to graduate engineers for research and development as well as design-orientated tasks in the built environment. You’ll learn about the necessary operations that are involved in setting up a fluid problem, solving the numerical problem, and managing some graphical representation of the results. This module is delivered through two hours of lectures and a one-hour workshop each week. 

Heat Transfer and Cooling Technology
Architectural Engineering Design 5

In this module you will get the opportunity to create work as part of a ‘consultancy’ team with other students to produce a group report. The project will utilise, extend and develop the fundamental knowledge and skills that you have gained throughout the previous semesters. The initial task is to analyse a current building and, based upon an assessment of the current climate and thermal comfort condition, you will propose a method to take the building towards net zero energy demand. You’ll need to research the relevant standards and apply manual calculations and computer simulation.

The second stage will build upon the initial analysis to develop a building services solution for the building. You’ll produce a professional report documenting a plan for HVAC design. With your team, you’ll investigate appropriate systems and provide reasoning behind the solution you have chosen. You’ll make applicable engineering calculations throughout the design process. We’ll support and encourage you to research the actual plant, consider the physical sizing and detail how this plant would be accommodated in the actual building. Controls will also be considered and the impact that these have upon energy demand. Your team will attend a weekly tutorial session to discuss your work with an individual member of staff where you will receive support, direction and knowledge for fulfilling a successful project. 

Research Project

You will undertake an individual piece of original research on a topic in building/environmental services engineering. You will be allocated a supervisor and moderator who are both normally members of staff within the department in order to provide guidance in choosing and carrying out the project, while the moderator helps judge the effectiveness of your understanding and presentation of work.

Energy and Waste

The aim of this module is to give you an understanding of the importance of traditional fossil fuels and biomass fuels to the current and future energy supplies, the environmental impacts of energy consumption, the benefits and types of combined heat and power, and waste treatment and disposal. You will have a two hour lecture per week.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who 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 Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should 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, and the department covers the travel cost of compulsory field trips and personal protective equipment. Please allow around £50 to cover the cost of printing over the three years.

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

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Faculty-specific funding

In addition to the above, students applying to the Faculty of Engineering may be eligible for faculty-specific or industry scholarships.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Strong links with UK and international companies offer our graduates excellent prospects for employment, research training and professional recognition. This course involves the use of modern and environmentally friendly technologies to create comfortable and efficient indoor environments. Typically employed within Consulting Engineer practices, graduates in this field apply their skills to design occupant focused, energy efficient buildings incorporating renewable energy, sustainable design, ventilation, lighting, acoustics and electrical/control systems.

Our graduates work for a range of companies including global engineering and construction firms such as Atkins, Arup and Laing O’Rourke to smaller national and regional consultancies such as Pick Everard, Preston Barber and Long & Partners.

Average starting salary and 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.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

CIBSE

This course is currently in the process of accreditation by the Engineering Council through the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and offers excellent prospects of obtaining a rewarding job in an advancing industry. Graduates may study for a further year at masters level before gaining the necessary industrial experience to gain Chartered Engineer status, or may work towards Chartership through company training schemes.

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" Everyday is different! Today we might be learning about the application of building regulations to our designs and the next day could be about computational fluid dynamics or using building simulation software. It may be difficult at times but the lecturers are amazing and motivate you as their love for their subjects shines through when they teach. "
Omolade Osinaike

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

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.