Architecture and Environmental Design MEng


Fact file - 2018 entry

MEng Hons Architecture and Environmental Design
UCAS code
4 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
English, maths and physics or double science at GCSE. At least one of A level maths or physics is essential. Preferably students would have also taken chemistry, art or design & technology (a portfolio will be required).

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

A foundation year is available for those with BBB grades but not in the required subjects.
IB score
36 (preferably including an arts-based subject, maths and a numerate science at Higher Level)
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This interdisciplinary course provides an education in architecture with an engineering specialisation in the design of environmental systems for buildings.
Read full overview

The MEng provides an education in architecture with an engineering specialisation in the design of environmental systems for buildings. The course is recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the  Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for exemption from the Part One professional examination, and by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) as a route to Chartered Engineer status. For those wishing to become professional architects, the MEng course is followed by one year's supervised professional experience before embarking on the two-year MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II) (see MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II) for further details) and one further year's professional experience culminating in a Part Three exam.

Year one 

This year is structured around a core studio module that develops key design skills and techniques. Supporting modules cover fundamental ideas and concepts relating to environmental design, construction, structural design, and architectural theory. The year also introduces mathematical tools that support the design of environmentally responsible building systems.

Year two

You will study modules that explore the concepts behind the active and passive systems used to provide healthy, comfortable conditions for building occupants. The design studio serves as a forum to explore the application of these ideas and material covered in structures, construction and architectural history.

Year three

Studio projects offered in the third year seek to extend your ability to tackle briefs for more complex building types. These are linked to environmental systems modules that provide material to inform this work. Independent research skills are nurtured through completion of a dissertation that allows you to develop a specialism in a relevant area of your own choice.

Year four

The final year introduces advanced environmental design techniques, that facilitate a holistic approach to design. The year culminates in the completion of a major studio project where you are expected to bring all of your skills to bear in response to a brief for the design of a complex building.

Ongoing study

If you choose to follow an engineering career path, you will be in a position to secure employment with a consulting engineer practice and work towards Charted Engineer status. If you choose to pursue architecture, you will be fully prepared for a supervised year in industry before embarking on the MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II).

Graduates wishing to pursue a career in architecture are expected to undertake a year of supervised professional experience to enable them to continue onto the MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II).

After the successful completion of the MEng Course (RIBA Part One) and year out in practice, students wishing to pursue a career in Architecture have an opportunity to continue onto the two year MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II). Please refer to the MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II) K10I course for further details.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAA including maths or physics and art/design technology at A level; we prefer students to have taken chemistry, art or design and technology (a portfolio will be required). For A level subjects containing a practical examination, a pass in this element is also preferred. English (or recognised English Language test), maths, physics or double science at GCSE.

We are willing to make lower offers to students who may be predicted AAB or ABB and have an outstanding portfolio, if we are confident that such candidates are able to manage the technical demands of the course.

Portfolio submissions

The Department will contact applicants with details on how to submit their portfolio. 

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 the 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


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’ll have one three-hour lecture and workshops each weekwhere you’ll study the complexity of solving general systems of equations using matrix techniques and review the calculus of a single variable.

Integrated Design in Architecture

This module introduces you to the principle of a holistic and integrated approach to building design. Firstly, you’ll learn about the notion of thinking architecture, the fundamental principles of design and drawing skills and typologies as key areas of study. Then you’ll focus on methodology and approaches relevant to the studio comprehensive design project with a more intensified examination of topics such as light, narrative and sustainability. For this module you’ll have a one-hour lecture per week for this module.

Environmental Science for Architects 1

This module introduces you to the many interrelated factors that influence human interaction with the natural and built environment. Its objective is to develop your understanding of the role that measurable environmental forces, specifically sunlight and daylight, play in establishing user comfort and satisfaction within space, while minimising impacts on the environment. The module builds on the learning that you will have completed in your first semester of study.

Deepening the analysis of the basic principles of how we respond to our environment, and how the environment in turn responds to our interventions, the module seeks to integrate the fields of human behavioural psychology and physiology to the physical quantification of environmental stimuli, with a view to achieving an analytical understanding of the role that physical factors have on obtaining comfort and satisfaction inside and outside buildings. 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.

Tectonics 1

This module introduces you to the technology, materials and techniques used in constructing buildings and the importance of considering it as an integral part of the design process. Through two hour weekly lectures you’ll conduct practical structural modelling exercises and develop a basic understanding of the qualitative behaviour of structures and the interaction between structural form and the loads that they have to carry.

Architectural Humanities I: History of Architecture

This course offers a chronological and thematic survey of the history of architecture from ancient times to the early decades of the twentieth century. A two-hour weekly lecture aims to familiarise you with major architectural typologies and the social and technological changes that brought them into being.

Ultimately the module should deepen your understanding of the present state and practice of architecture, and teach you some of the basic methods of architectural history. It aims to develop your understanding of the evolutionary nature of architecture, and the way in which architectural lessons and achievements from the past inform the present and future of architectural development.

Design Studios 1A

This studio-based module introduces you to basic design, drafting, model making and drawing skills. The theme of Year 1 is ‘People and Place’ and this module is structured into three phases. Phase 1 introduces freehand drawing, perception, spatial composition, observation of people and context, model making and typological analysis.

Phase 2 introduces Architectural Orthographic drawings, model making and analysis of key 20th century houses and includes an international field trip which will help you to get to know your course mates better, while also helping you to expand your architectural vocabulary.

Phase 3 will introduce you to the process of designing a private studio dwelling for a chosen client (an artist) on a rural site, while testing the skills you have gained in Phases 1 and 2. You’ll have two weekly six-hour design practicals and the studio day begins with a lecture to inspire and direct your work.  

Design Studio 1B

Developing on from the phases of work in the first semester design module, this module is structured in two phases. In phase 4 you will be introduced to CAD whilst further developing your skills in orthographic drawing, model making, and visually representing your ideas and designs.

Phase 5 further tests your ability, knowledge and understanding through the comprehensive design project. You will be asked to design a larger and more complex building than in the first semester, whilst being tested on the understanding and application of the knowledge achieved in Phases 4. A portfolio of design development and final design proposals is submitted at the end of the semester. You’ll have two weekly six-hour design practicals. 

People, Buildings, Landscape

What characterises healthy and welcoming places? In this module you’ll explore how environments can be designed to respond to a range of physical and psychological needs, from the most fundamental (shelter, safety, orientation, physical health and ongoing availability of resources) through to the most sophisticated (community, identity, well-being and sense of place). You’ll consider how different types of indoor and outdoor spaces work.

These spaces range in scale, from the qualities of individual rooms and buildings through to the structure, experience and performance of streets, public open spaces and ultimately entire cities. Theories will be introduced which address the breadth and complexity of built environmental design, encompassing urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, sociology and environmental psychology. This holistic way of thinking about built environments is essential as part of a sustainable design approach.


Typical year two modules


Engineering Mathematics 2

You’ll 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.

Electricity and the Built Environment

You’ll 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 module provides:

  • an overview of the role electricity plays within the built environment
  • the background to DC and AC supplies
  • understanding of electrical phenomena and uses to which they may be put
  • the infrastructure for the generation and distribution of electricity and the working of associated equipment
  • an understanding of electrical machines, their operation and different areas of application
  • an awareness of the environmental consequences of conventional methods of electricity generation
  • an appreciation of the scale of demand and resource use and an awareness of alternative methods of production and consumption that can reduce environmental impact
Integrated Design in Architecture 2A 

Following on from the key principles introduced in the year one module - Integrated Design in Architecture, you’ll further develop your communication and research skills which will underpin your work in both the theorisation and practice of architecture. Through one hour weekly lectures you’ll explore the research methodologies and skills needed to identify and synthesise relevant and accurate information as well visual communication skills focusing on CAD programs, where skills will be developed through workshops and self-directed exercises.

Tectonics 2A

Dealing with small-to-medium scale buildings, you’ll build on knowledge acquired in Tectonics 1, focusing on structural systems, building elements, material, components, connections, construction methods and detailing. Emphasis is placed on how constituent parts come together to construct building entities through investigation and analysis of structural principles, detail, material composition and performance of primary building elements. Structural understanding is developed through the examination and analysis of structural form informed by the underlying theory of structures. This is reinforced by a tectonic evaluation of a studio based design project that will enable you to quantify forces and actions in structural solutions.

The principles of thermal comfort and environmental control are used to show how design decisions relating to context, orientation, material choice, construction methods and detailing influence building performance. You’ll also study how these, along with the systems used to effect environmental control, influence efficient use of resources during construction and occupancy of a development. The role of codes of practice, BS/EN Standards and Building Regulations in shaping architectural design will be outlined. The module will continue to develop your skills in the presentation of technical information via drawing and modelling. You’ll have two hours of lectures each week for this module. 

Architectural Humanities II

This course provides a historical, cultural and philosophical context to the major contemporary debates in architecture today, giving you an understanding of architecture's potential as both a useful and meaningful cultural activity. Key issues from the history of philosophy will be examined alongside a range of building case-studies in order to develop a series of alternative interpretive frameworks through which buildings may be analysed, criticised, debated and understood. This process will also engage with interdisciplinary debates in fields such as art, technology, social and cultural studies, politics and ecology, as well as the major schools of twentieth century philosophy. For this module you’ll have a two-hour lecture every week.

Environmental Sciences for Architects 2

Building upon the themes covered in the Year 1 module Environmental Science for Architects 1, this module looks more specifically at the flows of energy that occur out with and within buildings and how these relate to and integrate with some of the numerous systems employed that may help with their control. The module is delivered as eight inter-related teaching blocks and is delivered through two hours of lectures each week.

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.

Environmental Services Design 1

This module gives you an introduction to the environmental services systems common to many simple buildings. Developing awareness of the systems, through eight hours per week of practical workshops and lectures, you’ll be introduced to the techniques used to select and size systems, explores issues associated with the integration of these systems and be given an opportunity to practise the fundamental skills used by system installers.

Design Studio 2

This module focuses on developing your practical architectural design skills and exploring the relevance of related subjects, such as structure and construction. The emphasis is given to the ‘craftsmanship of architecture’, improving the spatial, aesthetic and sensual, as well as practical, structural and dimensional qualities of your design. You’ll learn how to translate an abstract idea into a form with a positive physical presence. The units are organised into five thematic blocks:

  • Urban Settings
  • Making Processes
  • Context
  • Poetic Narratives
  • Sustainable Communities

Phase 1 addresses site and context and is intended as a short and flexible project, introducing you to the unit theme, approach and work process. Phase 2 is a key design project with the generic brief “Learning to Dwell”. You will be tasked with designing places for activities rather than rooms; places for eating, sleeping, talking, cooking, thinking and washing. For this module you’ll have two six-hour practical workshops per week. 

Simulation and Design

Computer laboratory sessions are used to introduce the tools and acquire basic competence in their use. Their use in project work provides an opportunity for you to develop an enhanced ability to apply these tools to understanding environmental strategies in existing buildings and to confirm strategies in new designs. You’ll spend around two hours a week in computer classes studying for this module.

Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer 1

This module introduces the principles of thermodynamics and the thermodynamics concepts relevant to applications in building environment engineering. Some of the topics covered include thermal properties, thermodynamic systems, work and heat transfer processes, perfect (ideal) gases, 1st Law and 2nd Law of thermodynamics, steam table and the Ranking cycle. You’ll spend around four hours per week in lectures and workshops studying for this module.


Typical year three modules


Differential Equations and Calculus for Engineers
You’ll 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’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.
Advanced Study Dissertation

This is an individual project module which seeks to develop the ability to plan, execute and report on a piece of work at a professional level. The detailed content of the project is a matter for discussion between you and your supervisor. However, the project will normally involve a mixture of experimental, theoretical and computational work together with a relevant literature review. You will see your supervisor each week for one hour. 

Design Studio 3

This module focuses on developing your practical architectural design skills and exploring the relevance of related subjects, such as structure and construction. The emphasis is given to the ‘craftsmanship of architecture’, improving spatial, aesthetic, sensual as well as practical, structural and dimensional qualities of your design. You will learn how to translate an abstract idea into a form with a positive physical presence. The units are organised into five thematic blocks:

  • Urban Settings
  • Making Processes
  • Context
  • Poetic Narratives
  • Sustainable Communities

Teaching is delivered through two six-hour practical sessions per week. 

Environmental Services Design 2

Introducing you to large scale building services, principally natural ventilation, air conditioning and other environmental control systems, you’ll discuss the reasons for resorting to and avoiding A/C and the consequent design issues.  You’ll also cover some of the following topics including: Assessments of heat gains and losses, thermal comfort and relevant climatic data system types and associated secondary plant introduced; plant selection, location, sizing and design alternatives discussed. For this module you’ll have a one two-hour lecture per week.

Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer 2

This module develops and advances the principles of thermodynamics and how these are applied in the expression and solution of simple engineering problems as well as thermofluids and its application within building environment engineering. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and two hours per week in practicals studying for this module.

Integrated Design in Architecture 3

This module continues to develop your architectural understanding and skills through a hands-on approach to the construction, documentation and testing of buildings and materials. A series of site visits and workshops as well as supplementary one hour lectures develop the idea of integrated building design and construction. Module activities will typically include training on CAD software, materials workshops, environmental design analysis skills, and construction site visits. Accurate, succinct and reflective documentation of activities through a combination of images, diagrams and text will be encouraged.

Tectonics 3

This module aims to increase knowledge of building technology by focusing on components, connections, structural systems and construction techniques related to medium-scale and large buildings and their sustainable development. Study of the theory of structures reinforced by practical studio based design projects will enable students to quantify forces and actions in structural systems. The module will also increase structural understanding by the examination of some advanced structural forms. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures studying for this module.

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.


Typical year four modules


Integrated Environmental Design

You’ll explore the steps involved in the identification of appropriate environmental strategies for integration within the context of an overall building design and practice the development of these ideas from scheme design to detailed design stage. Emphasis will be placed on developing strategies to a level appropriate to the relevant design stage and the effective communication of the strategy to both technical and non-technical audiences at each stage. You’ll have a one-hour tutorial each week to support your learning during this module.

Architectural Humanities III: Theories in Contemporary Architecture

This course explores contemporary architecture in relation to major social, economic, political, ecological, and technological transformations after the Second World War. A wide range of topics including consumerism, globalization, mass media, cultural identities and changing economic structures are discussed in terms of their role in shaping architectural theory, practice, and built environment. Two hours of lectures each week employ building case studies, film excerpts, and assigned readings to analyse key concepts.

Integrated Design in Architecture 3

This module encourages the notion that ‘integrated design’ is a holistic practice, in which technical issues from the fields of structural engineering, construction and environmental design inform the development of studio projects in the related module Architecture Design Studio 3. Teaching content is delivered through a combination of lectures, skill based workshops and technical tutorials.

Design Studio 4

This studio-based module aims to develop your skills and approaches to architectural design to a more advanced level through six hours per week of study. You are expected to produce a well-crafted comprehensive design project of some complexity based on a thorough investigation and developmental process. At a more advanced level you’ll be expected to show a comprehensive understanding of the project's technical performance. This module aims to achieve the following General Attributes of the ARB/RIBA Criteria.

Practice and Management

Introducing you to the context of professional practice, you’ll be given preparation for your year in placement, how to go about getting the right job and the skills involved in achieving. The RIBA jobs stages are defined with a focus on key tasks undertaken by the architect in practice. The important regulatory requirements and processes and the principles and priorities of running a traditional contract on site together with standard documents used in this process are introduced. You’ll have a two hour lecture per week for this module



You will have developed the full set of architectural design skills offered by our BArch course but with a specialism in environmental design. Graduates may gain experience with consulting engineers and gain Chartered Engineer status or follow the same part as our BArch students towards gaining professional architect status.

Professional recognition

This course is recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) for exemption from their Part One professional examination. It is also accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Average starting salary and career progression

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.

Time in lectures, seminars and similar

Although this figure may appear low, you will undertake a module during your studies which involves over 90% of independent learning. This module is usually a dissertation, thesis or research project and will provide the opportunity to gain research and analytical skills as well as the ability to work independently. You will have a higher percentage of contact hours for other modules. 


There is assessment associated with this programme that is not attached to a specific module. Students continuing onto the Architecture Diploma are expected to gain 6-12 months of professional practice, in an architect's office or equivalent.

Students must keep a log of their practice experience in RIBA's Professional Education Development Record. This is to be signed off by the department before undertaking the Architecture Diploma.

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.


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