Taught course

Building Services Engineering

Institution
Brunel University London · Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering
Qualifications
MSc

Entry requirements

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.

Months of entry

September

Course content

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.

Professional ‘Building Services Engineers’ design all of the systems that are necessary in a building for occupants to carry out their business. These systems include: heating, lighting, air-conditioning and electrical systems. The role is increasingly involved with the provision of sustainable, energy efficient and green building within our society. Services have to be carefully designed and installed so that they are unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing, and also work in harmony with the architecture of the building. The programme will respond to the worldwide demand for building services engineers who have a sound knowledge engineering principles and the ability to apply this knowledge to the complex situations prevailing within the building services industry.

The course is available either as a full-time, 1-year programme at Brunel or as a 3-to-5 year distance learning programme.

Aims

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.

As an interdisciplinary profession that involves the specification, design, installation and management of all the engineering services associated with the built environment, comfort and function also need to be combined – which calls for engineers with a wide range of knowledge and skills.

This MSc programme is 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.
  • Engineers who want to develop technical understanding and expertise across the multi-disciplines of building services engineering.
  • Managers and 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.

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 study 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.
  • You can take between three and five years to complete the course. The average is three years, with students taking four modules in the first year, four 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 five years.
  • You are supplied with a study pack in the form of textbooks 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, Lifts and Drainage (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 it gives you the opportunity to apply the techniques and disciplines covered in the taught course to a topic of your own interest, of interest to a sponsoring or industrial organisation, or of research interest. Some recent dissertations include:

  • Fan coil unit systems vs. Chilled beam systems 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.

Design of 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:

  • The heat transfer processes in various types of heat exchangers, cooling and heating coils, condensers and evaporators.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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 and experience in the design of integrated building services systems.

Special Features

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

  • Award-winning courses: Building Services Engineering courses have been awarded the Happold Brilliant Award for teaching excellence by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.
  • 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.

Accreditation

This course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as appropriate additional academic study (further learning) for those seeking to become qualified to register as Chartered Engineers (CEng). Additioanlly we are seeking reaccreditation with the Energy Institute.

Employability

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.

The course is 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.

Information for international students

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

Fees and funding

UK students
http://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/Building-Services-Engineering-MSc
International students
http://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/Building-Services-Engineering-MSc

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students.

Qualification and course duration

MSc

distance learning
36-60 months
full time
12 months

Assessment

AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations17
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Dissertation33 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Name
Marketing and Recruitment Office
Email
sed-pg-admissions@brunel.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1895 265370