Architectural Environment Engineering BEng


Fact file - 2018 entry

BEng Hons Architectural Environment Engineering
UCAS code
3 years full-time
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.

For A level subjects containing a practical examination, a pass in this element is also preferred.
IB score
34-32 (depending on subjects taken)
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This course addresses the increasing need for highly qualified engineers who can take a holistic approach to designing architectural environments for a low-carbon future.
Read full overview

Architectural environment engineers create comfortable and efficient indoor environments using modern technologies and sustainable design. Built on traditional building services engineering foundations, this forward-looking and challenging course addresses the increasing need for highly qualified engineers who can take a holistic approach to designing architectural environments for a low-carbon future.  

The course is accredited by the Engineering Council through the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)  and offers the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer.  

Year one 

In year one you are introduced to the engineering fundamentals and principles required to develop an understanding and appreciation of the important connections between science, engineering, environmental design, building services and technologies.

Year two

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.

Year three

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. The choice of an optional module enables you to develop key engineering, science and management skills. The dissertation research project allows you to consider an area of research from a wide range of topics within the built environment. This project will develop your individual research skills, whilst working under the supervision of an academic supervisor.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAB-ABB (depending on subjects taken)

Required subjects: Maths plus English, maths, physics or double science at GCSE. A level or Higher Level (IB) maths is essential. 

Preferred subjects: We prefer students to have taken physics, chemistry, biology, design and technology, geography, geology, computing, further maths. For A level subjects containing a practical examination, a pass in this element is also preferred.

IB score: 34-32 (depending on subjects taken)

The ABB offer will be made to applicants who are taking maths plus an additional preferred subject to A-Level. The AAB offer will be made to those taking only maths with no additional preferred subject.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Cambridge certificate of proficiency grade B

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication 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 the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Typical year one 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.

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.

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.

Engineering Mathematics 2

You will be introduced to techniques for solving selected first-order and second-order differential equations relevant to the analysis of generic engineering problems, spending around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.

Thermofluids 1

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. You will spend around four hours per week in lectures and practicals studying 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.

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.

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 will 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.


Typical year two modules


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.

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.

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 will 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.

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.

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. 

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.

Control Systems of Built Environment

This module aims to provide you with a mix of theory and application through computer simulation of control systems with particular focus on buildings technologies. This includes deriving dynamic models of building service, block diagram presentation, time response of systems, and selection and design of a controller. You will spend two hours a week in lectures studying for this module.


Typical year three modules


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.
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. 

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. 
Topics of Heat Transfer 
You will cover a number of topics relating to the study of engineering heat transfer including: heat exchangers, heat transfer enhancement, phase change processes, boiling and condensation, and the principles of heatpipes. You will spend around two hours in lectures and two hours in practicals each week studying for this module.
Principles of Refrigeration and its Applications 
This module covers the topics of refrigeration technologies which are used for cooling and air conditioning. It introduces the mechanical and heat-powered refrigeration technologies based on vapour compressions, absorption, absorption, ejector and air cycles. Some advanced multi-stage, multi-effect and combined systems aimed for efficient use of thermal energy will also be introduced. You will spend around two hours per week in lectures and tutorials studying for this module.


Strong links with UK and international companies offer our graduates excellent prospects for employment, research training and professional recognition. The BEng Architectural Environment Engineering 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. The course is accredited by 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.


Professional accreditation

Engineering Council accredited degree

This degree has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.


This course is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)


Average starting salary 

In 2016, 95% of undergraduates in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,460 with the highest being £28,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Careers Support and Advice

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.  


Fees and funding

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.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 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

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.



Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


How to use the 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.


bringing theory to life with our Urban Observatory and Creative Energy Homes projects
+44 (0) 115 951 5559 Make an enquiry


Engineering Student Support Centre



Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry