Taught course

Building Services Engineering

Heriot-Watt University · School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Entry requirements

Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area for MSc entry. Third class or ordinary cognate or semi-cognate subject area plus relevant industry experience for PgDip entry.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Building Services Engineering is how formal engineering and technology practices are applied to building design and construction in today’s fast-paced, ecologically responsible and cost-driven construction industry. It is an exciting, broad-based and challenging profession and the role is evolving today at an unprecedented rate.

Building services engineers play a critical role in the interdisciplinary design teams of today’s built environment sector and as a consequence rank among the highest paid built environment professionals.

Our Building Services Engineering programme considers low carbon building design and the integration of renewable energy systems into buildings. It deals with services engineering issues, building the skills required to cope with the challenges in services design and implementation which will be experienced in the working environment, and provides students with the best foundation for launching or accelerating a career as an building services Engineer.

Career opportunities

There is an increasing need for architects, engineers, facilities managers, quantity surveyors and other construction professionals who understand the need to mitigate against future carbon emissions, and to adapt to future climate threats and predictions.

Professionals who understand design lifecycles and who can make appropriate material and design decisions which meet the needs of building users now, but also preserve resources for future generations, are sought in every industry sector. The ability to save money, improve sustainability and lower organisational impact is critical.

Professional recognition

This programme meets the professional development needs as specified by the Engineering Council (ECUK) and relevant engineering institutions in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).

It allows graduates at either Diploma or MSc level to achieve a qualification equivalent to an MEng which will therefore gain professional recognition by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Energy Institute (EI). The programme does this by providing:

  • learning which contributes to the educational requirement for CEng;
  • design tasks undertaken to an acceptable standard;
  • development of transferable skills appropriate to professional practice.

Industry links

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design has excellent industry links. Staff within the Institute are actively engaged in a variety of research projects relating to building design, specification, management and operation.

Information for international students

English language requirements

If English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

Applicants who have previously successfully completed programmes delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree programme. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Flexible study options

This programme can be studied full-time, part-time or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL), ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. As an IDL student you will not be required to attend any lectures, tutorials or other events at any of Heriot-Watt University’s campuses.

Fees and funding

UK students
Refer to website
International students
Refer to website

Please see the programme web page for up-to-date information on fees and funding.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24-84 months
part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
21 months
full time
9 months
distance learning
24-84 months


full time
6 months
distance learning
24-84 months
part time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr D P Campbell
+44 (0)131 451 4618