Brunel University Uxbridge logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 9.98k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 20.6k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English


    The aim of this programme is firstly to respond to the worldwide demand for building services engineers and managers who have a sound knowledge of engineering principles and the ability to apply this knowledge to the complex situations prevailing within the building services industry.

    In addition, in recent years it has become increasingly recognised that the design and operation of buildings need to take greater account of energy consumption. For example, the Government´s white paper "Our Energy Future - Creating A Low Carbon Economy" states, "Policies to raise the energy efficiency of products and buildings will have an important role." One of the explicit strategies identified in the paper is the achievement of higher standards within new and existing buildings. Finally, by 2006 the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings must be implemented; this will require a declaration of the energy performance and increased attention to the continued improvement in performance.


    This course is based on our successful MSc in Building Services Engineering which began in the mid 1970s. Former full-time recent graduates now work in building services and construction related consultancies such as Hoare Lea, WSP Group, Faber Maunsel and Hilson Moran. Other employers include several County Councils within their Building Management and Environmental departments, EDF Energy, Scanska and Honeywell Control Systems. The course fully prepares you for work in the building services engineering field. The course also prepares you to carry out related academic research. A number of students have stayed on to carry out a PhD at Brunel University - on average one student per year is offered a PhD position.

    Modes of Study

    1-Year Full-Time

    The taught element of the course (September to April) includes seven modules; delivery will be by a combination of lectures, tutorials and group/seminar work. A further four months (May to September) is spent undertaking the dissertation.

    3-to-5-Years Distance-Learning

    The distance learning programme is designed to enable you to conduct most of your studies at home, in your own time and at your own pace. There is no requirement to attend lectures at Brunel University and there is no set timetable of lectures, instead you follow a structured programme of self-study at home or at work. This gives you the freedom to arrange a work programme to suit yourself and you should usually allow about twelve hours each week for study. There are set submission dates for assignments but we have tried to design the programme so that they are well spaced, giving you the maximum flexibility in your study plans.
    Students can take between 3 and 5 years to complete the course. The average is 3 years, with students taking four modules in the first year, three modules in the second year and the dissertation in the third year. However, depending on your other commitments you can take longer up to a maximum of 5 years. Students are supplied with a study pack in the form of text books and CD-ROMs; you have assignments to submit and exams to sit each year. Examinations can be taken either at Brunel University or in the country you are resident in. We have an extensive network of organisations (Universities, Colleges and British Council Offices) throughout the world who will provide invigilation services. The cost of invigilation away from Brunel is your responsibility. Examinations are held in May each year.

    Typical Modules

    Core Modules

    Building Heat Transfer and Air Conditioning (15 credits)

    * Building Heat Transfer analyses the various mechanisms of heat transfer appropriate to buildings and the principles of heating and cooling load calculations. Areas covered include solar gains, fabric heat transmission, infiltration, effects of moisture content, methods of heating and cooling load calculations, CIBSE admittance procedure, condensation and finite difference techniques.

    * Air Conditioning covers the principles of psychometrics and the design of air conditioning systems. Emphasis is placed on the properties of humid air, thermal comfort, inside and outside design conditions. Air Conditioning design includes air and water, all water systems and unitary equipment.

    Electrical Services and Lighting Design (15 credits)

    * Electrical Services covers aspects of electrical energy supply, electricity tariffs, switchgear and the design of electrical installations to satisfy lEE Wiring Regulations. Also covered are the principles of electrical machines and power electronic devices used in building services applications.

    * Lighting Design considers the human visual system, the nature and control of light, photometric units, lighting calculations, interior lighting design, daylighting, lamps and luminaires and energy efficiency aspects of lighting systems.

    Acoustics, Fire, Drainage and Lifts (15 credits)

    * Acoustics covers the basic terms and physical principles, sound power and intensity, the ear and hearing, propagation of noise, legal requirements and noise standards, room acoustics, sound generation in services systems, and vibration isolation.

    * Fire, Drainage and Lifts considers fire and smoke control, sanitation and waste disposal, industrial ventilation and exhaust requirements, lift and escalator design, space allowance for building services, commissioning and testing.

    Energy Conversion Technologies (15 credits)

    * This element provides a broad introduction to the principles of energy conversion and thermodynamic machines and demonstrates their application to energy conversion and management in buildings. Emphasis is placed on refrigeration plant, energy conversion plant and energy management.

    * Refrigeration covers the basic principles and components of vapour compression systems, heat pumps and absorption systems.

    * Energy Conversion considers power cycles, combined heat and power, combustion processes, boiler plant, thermal energy storage and environmental impacts of plant operation.

    Building Services Design and Management (30 credits)

    This module consists of three elements:

    * Sustainable Design considers the effects of engineering design solutions on the internal and external environments.

    * Project Management considers management of physical assets, maintenance standards, health and safety and risk assessment.

    * Building Services Design provides specialist knowledge of the building services design organisation process.

    Dissertation (60 credits)

    The dissertation is a stimulating and challenging part of each MSc course. Dissertations may be carried out on any approved topic related to the building services industry and/or sustainable energy technologies and environmental issues. Essentially the dissertation gives the student the opportunity to apply the techniques and disciplines covered in the taught course to a topic of their own interest, of interest to a sponsoring or industrial organisation, or of research interest. Some recent dissertations include:

    * Feasibility Study for Tri-Generation Serving a Telecom Switching/Data Centre

    * Energy Performance Assessment of the Michael Sterling Building at Brunel University

    * Investigation of CO2 heat pumps for hot water use in Greece

    * Energy Optimization & Utilization of Efficient A/C Systems for Buildings in Hot & Humid Climates

    * Thermal Analysis of Phase Change Material

    * Modelling the Energy Consumption and Thermal Control in Supermarket

    * Energy modeling of a building in Sri Lanka

    * The Implementation of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Technologies in Scotland's Largest City

    * Utilisation of Solar Energy for Sea Water Desalination in Cyprus

    Sustainable Energy Modules

    Renewable Energy Technologies (15 credits)

    This element includes: energy sources, economics and environmental impact, energy storage technologies, the role of renewables, solar thermal, solar electricity, wind power generation, hydro, tidal and wave power, biofuels, building integrated renewables.

    Energy Efficient Ventilation in Buildings (15 credits)

    This module considers current regulations on energy efficiency in buildings in relation to natural, hybrid and mechanical ventilation and explains the principles of energy efficient ventilation services applications. It includes sections on ventilation and impact on energy consumption and environmental impact, requirements of indoor air quality and climate, criteria for ventilation rates, mechanisms and approaches for natural and hybrid ventilation systems, incorporating controls, calculation guidelines, ventilation for urban buildings, energy efficient mechanical ventilation, room air distribution, ventilation efficiency and assessment of building ventilation including measuring ventilation and comfort parameters, commissioning and balancing of ventilation systems, commissioning of controls and sensors and measurement of air tightness.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification usually in engineering or other appropriate science and technology subject areas. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

    The Brunel International Scholarship

    The Brunel International Scholarship is an annual award scheme designed to promote talent and encourage excellence in scholars coming to Brunel from around the globe. For 2010/11, 35 awards of either £3,000 or £2,000 are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been offered a place on a full-time course at Brunel.

    All applications must be submitted online before 26 May 2010.


    Bursaries may be available from your School, and your course director once you have secured and accepted a place on a course for information on any funding opportunities.

    * A limited number of part-scholarships of £1,500 are available for the MA programmes in Music and Drama. Details will be sent to candidates who have confirmed their intention to study at Brunel in the 2010/11 academic year.
    * The Leaders of Tomorrow PhD Bursary in Human Centred Design is supported by a donation from Brunel graduate and philanthropist Peter Ilori. The bursary provides £5,000 of financial support towards the study fees of high-achieving graduates who wish to pursue a PhD in Human Centred Design. Selection is based on the quality of applicants´ PhD study proposal.

    Extra-curricular scholarships

    Extra-curricular scholarships do not cover living costs or tuition fees. They are available to both taught and research students.

    A number of Music Awards to help cover music tuition costs are made each year to students who are not studying music performance as part of their academic course.

    The Brunel Sports Scholarship helps elite performance athletes by supporting their academic study and sporting needs simultaneously.


    This programme is accredited by CIBSE, the IMechE and the Energy Institute and this will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.

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