Building Services Engineering MSc

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

This programme responds to the worldwide demand for building services engineers who have a sound knowledge of engineering principles and the ability to apply this knowledge within the building services industry.

NSSBuilding Services Engineering courses awarded the Happold Brilliant Award for teaching excellence by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

Building Services Design for Energy Efficient Buildings.

College Research wins CIBSE Building Performance Award 2013.

What do our students think about this course? See what our students say in Student Profiles.

About Mechanical Engineering at Brunel

Mechanical Engineering offers a number of MSc courses all accredited by professional institutes as appropriate additional academic study (further learning) for those seeking to become qualified to register as Chartered Engineers (CEng). Accrediting professional institutes vary by course and include the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Energy Institute (EI) and Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). 

Teaching in the courses is underpinned by research activities in aerospace engineering, automotive/motorsport engineering, solid and fluid mechanics, and energy & environment. Staff generate numerous publications, conference presentations and patents, and have links with a wide range of institutions both within and outside the UK. The discipline benefits from research collaboration with numerous outside organisations including major oil companies, vehicle manufacturers, and other leading industrial firms and governmental laboratories. We have links with at least six teaching hospitals and work with universities in China, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Denmark, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy and the US.

Women in Engineering Scholarships


Building services engineering is an interdisciplinary profession. It involves the specification, design, installation and management of all the engineering services associated with the built environment. With the growing complexity of engineering services in modern buildings and the significance of energy conservation and emissions control, the role of the building services engineer is becoming increasingly important. In addition, the need to provide an internal environment that balances the comfort needs of the occupants with the functional requirements of the building calls for engineers with a wide range of knowledge and skills.

The aim of the programme is to respond to the worldwide demand for building services engineers 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.

The Building Services Engineering course is of particular relevance to engineers who want to develop technical understanding and expertise across the multi-disciplines of Building Services Engineering.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265370 (College Marketing Office)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Course Director: Dr Yunting Ge

Related Courses

Course Content

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.

3-5 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

The course comprises four core modules, three technical modules and a dissertation. The taught modules are:

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.

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. 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:

  • Fan Coil Unit System VS Chilled Beam System in a Typical Office Building
  • Energy Performance of a Dwelling in Malta
  • Efficacy of Hollow Core Cooling in Maun Hospital – Botswana
  • Experimental Investigation of Air-side Heat Transfer and Hydraulic Behaviours of Microchannels Heat Exchanger
  • Use of Phase Change Material for Summer Cooling of Buildings in a Moderate Climate: An Experimental Study of a Test-Cell
  • Energy optimisation in buildings and HVAC systems using BMS

Technical Modules

Building Management and Control Systems (15 credits)

This element considers the basic theory of instrumentation, control and communications and applies the theory to the control of HVAC plant and building management systems. It includes measurement and instrumentation, revision of control theory, control components and control systems related to services installations. Communications covers principles of signal interfacing, standards and codes of practice, and real time data transfer. Building Management Systems considers the basic principles of building management, components and controls, applications, integration, operation and maintenance.

Fluid Services and Heat Transfer Equipment (15 credits)

This element considers the design and selection of heat transfer equipment for building services applications and the principles of design of air and water distribution systems within buildings. It includes:
  1. the heat transfer processes in various types of heat exchangers, cooling and heating coils, condensers and evaporators;
  2. cold water demand and supply, hot water services, low, medium and high temperature water systems, chilled and dual temperature systems, pipe sizing and pump selection, system testing and balancing;
  3. duct design methods, duct design considerations - low and high velocity systems, fan characteristics and fan selection, system testing and balancing.

Building Services Design and Management (30 credits)

This module consists of the following elements:

  1. Sustainable Design considers the effects of engineering design solutions on the internal and external environments.
  2. Project Management considers management of physical assets, maintenance standards, health and safety and risk assessment. .
  3. Building Services Design provides specialist knowledge of the building services design organisation process and experience in the design of integrated building services systems.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel.

Special Features

Building Services Engineering courses awarded the Happold Brilliant Award for teaching excellence by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

There are several advantages in choosing the Brunel Building Services programme:

  • Relevance: it is well established within the building services industry, with sponsors of students that include major design and contracting organisations, area health authorities, local authorities and the British Council, as well as several national governments.
  • Applicability: emphasis on applications enables students and employers to benefit immediately from the skills and knowledge gained.
  • Responsiveness: Brunel's proximity to London, where large and innovative building developments have been taking place over the last decade, enables rapid infusion of new ideas and technological innovations into the programme content.

Who is this course suitable for?

  • Recent engineering and technology graduates, moving into Building Services and related disciplines.
  • Established engineers and technologists, working in Building Services and faced with the challenge of new areas of responsibility.
  • Building Services designers, who need to broaden their experience and require updating.
  • Lecturers in higher education, moving into or requiring updating in Building Services Engineering.
  • Others with engineering and technology backgrounds, perhaps working in advisory or consultancy roles, who wish to familiarise themselves with Building Services Engineering. However, choice of course will be dependent upon the type and extent of knowledge and skills required.

The MSc Building Services Engineering is of particular relevance to engineers who want to develop technical understanding and expertise across the multi-disciplines of Building Services Engineering.

Excellent facilities

We have extensive and well-equipped laboratories, particular areas of strength being in fluid and biofluid mechanics, IC engines, vibrations, building service engineering, and structural testing. Our computing facilities are diverse and are readily available to all students. The University is fully networked with both Sun workstations and PCs. Advanced software is available for finite and boundary element modelling of structures, finite volume modelling of flows, and for the simulation of varied control systems, flow machines, combustion engines, suspensions, built environment, and other systems of interest to the research groups.

Foundation course at Brunel

The Intensive International Pre-Masters Course is a full-time 14-week course for international students who have marginally fallen below the postgraduate direct entry level and would like to progress onto a Master's degree course in the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences. It combines academic study, intensive English Language preparation, study skills and an orientation programme.


These courses are approved by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Energy Institute (EI) as appropriate additional academic study (further learning) for those seeking to become qualified to register as Chartered Engineers (CEng).


Each module is assessed either by formal examination, written assignments or a combination of the two. Cut-off dates for receipt of assignments are specified at the beginning of the academic year. Examinations are normally taken in May. MSc dissertation project normally is carried out over 4 months (FT students) or one year (DL students) and it is accessed by submission of an MSc dissertation.


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.

This course is also delivered by distance learning and the students are already in relevant employment. Anecdotal evidence suggests immediate promotion and/or salary increase on completion of the course.

The course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the Energy Institute (EI) and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as appropriate additional academic study (further learning) for those seeking to become qualified to register as Chartered Engineers (CEng).

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/6 entry

UK/EU students: £8,000 full-time

International students: £16,500 full-time

Distance learning students: £750 per 15 credit module, plus £3,000 for a 60 credit dissertation

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students.

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements 2015/6

A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in an engineering; appropriate science or technology discipline. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas) 
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Thursday 04 June 2015