Engineering students discussing models of buildings


Building Services Engineering

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Architecture and the Built Environment
Three years
Programme leader:
Patrick O'Flynn
Key fact:
Learn how to create the next generation of smart, sustainable and energy efficient buildings and gain valuable experience from the world leaders in building services.

Page last updated 7 March 2017


Why BEng(Hons) Building Services Engineering?

Buildings are becoming ever more complex and as a result, there is a high demand for technically inspired graduates who understand the best ways to use new technologies in their creation. Building services professionals are at the forefront of innovation in a number of areas: architectural engineering, sustainability, energy efficiency, intelligent buildings and the latest Building Information Modeling (BIM) modelling software.

Why study our course?

BEng(Hons) Building Services Engineering at UWE Bristol will teach you how to analyse and design the mechanical and electrical engineering aspects of buildings. Topics covered include environmental engineering, air and water systems, lighting, acoustics, electrical services, fire engineering, security engineering, IT systems and integrated smart technologies. As well as enhancing your technical creativity and competency, you will develop the necessary skills to succeed in a highly competitive business world.

Real world experience

Learning from industry-experienced tutors, your studies will draw on a variety of real world sources. You will use buildings from around Bristol as case studies for energy and usability analysis. To inspire and inform your work, you will go out to assess buildings on day trips. You will also take part in a range of practical activities in our well-equipped teaching laboratories where you will work alongside students from a broad range of disciplines in a collaborative approach reflecting industry. There will be an opportunity to network and learn, with a choice of professional organisations and student societies.

Where it can take you

The UK is a world leader in building design and engineering and large multi-nationals, including Buro Happold, Arup and Atkins have sizable offices in Bristol and London. Graduate opportunities are available with these companies, as well as smaller private practices. Careers include those in consultancy, design engineering, specialist installation and maintenance contracting, and facilities or property management.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Building Services Engineering involves the analysis and design of the engineering aspects of building envelopes and their engineering services. This includes thermal performance and energy management, heating and cooling, lighting and electrical services, water, drainage and public health.

This course recognises that building engineers must work closely in teams in a commercial environment and must have knowledge of a complex, diverse industry that presents some challenging issues and thorny decisions.

As well as helping you become technically creative and competent, we will also help you develop the skills necessary for success in a highly competitive business world.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Mathematics for Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Engineering Principles (Building Engineering)
  • Investigating Structures
  • Law, Economics and Management
  • Building Physics and Services.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Building Services Applications
  • Energy Transformations
  • Application of Mathematics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Procurement and Contract Practice
  • Sustainability and Energy Simulations.

In addition, you will study one optional module from the list below:

  • Collaborative Practice
  • Industrial Placement
  • Project Management (Work Based Learning).

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Interactive Systems and Comfort Control
  • Energy Management and Performance Evaluation
  • Mechanical Services
  • Design Project.

In addition, you will study one optional module from the list below:

  • Dissertation
  • Low Carbon Building Services.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Most taught modules involve a programme of lectures to the larger cohort, with follow-on tutorials or seminars in smaller groups.

Many technical subjects demand attendance in laboratories to observe demonstrations or undertake practical investigations and experiments.

Work-based learning is common in several modules, requiring activity in real-world settings such as plant rooms and various local buildings.

Design assignments in project modules often require the use of CAD and modelling software applications and are given tutorial support in IT labs following instruction from tutors. These are often incorporated into a design studio model widely used across the Department.

In a number of the early modules, a formal system of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) has been developed, in which immediate past students are trained and given faculty support to aid your learning as a current student.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

If you are a part-time student, you will be expected to attend classes one day a week (usually 9:00-17:00) during the 12 weeks of term one (September to December) and the 12 weeks of term two (January to April). You will be expected to undertake an average of 12 hours a week of self-directed study time.


During assessment periods in January and May, you will undertake exams at times that are in accordance with the university scheduling. This may involve multiple days per week. Options to submit coursework either online or by post will be provided.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Study facilities

You will be taught in modern, well-equipped facilities where, you will:

  • study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room
  • attend model-making workshops and develop CAD, data analysis and building information modelling (BIM) skills in integrated studios
  • explore the environmental interaction with different materials in our materials testing workshop, where you will consider concrete, wood, metals and a range of emerging materials
  • test lighting in environmental physics and acoustics laboratories with specialist technicians supporting teaching and research
  • consider airflow and cooling, mechanical systems and water flow in our environmental services laboratory.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

We arrange regular presentations from visiting professionals and past students so you can learn about industry challenges and best practice. You will be encouraged to become involved in the CIBSE Young Engineers Network, meeting young professionals in the region.

Socialise and volunteer

You can attend guest lectures, field trips, live projects and social events with like-minded students in our Architecture Society. Students in our Engineers without Borders society have also gained valuable experience, volunteering on projects including an energy management survey for the Glastonbury festival and a nature centre in Borneo.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase their work at the annual plan + make degree show.


Careers / Further study

The UK has a strong global reputation in building engineering design and many graduate employers have international development interests and responsibilities. As a result, you will be able to go on to projects, which are both geographically and intellectually diverse.

Opportunities will be available in organisations ranging from small private practices to large multi-nationals. Career opportunities include those in consulting and design engineering, specialist installation and maintenance contracting and facilities or property management.

You can also choose to go on to study for an MSc or post-graduate diploma. Many of our graduates go on to complete their Masters as either full-time students, or on a part-time basis while working for their first employer. 

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing. Further information about fees and funding.

The honours degree is 360 credits in total. If you area part-time student, you will generally study between 60 (15 x 4) and 90 (15 x 6) credits each year and pay annually for credits taken in that year. As a part-time UK or EU student, you may be entitled to a fees loan from the Government.

Find more information on our part time UK students funding pages.


Typical offers

  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.

Entry requirements

Accepted qualifications

If you have an HNC, HND FdSc or FdEng Business Services Engineering qualifications, please list in your application the units that you are taking/have taken.

We can consider your application if you do not meet the normal entry requirements but have other Engineering qualifications and relevant work experience.

For further information

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