Professional/Short Course Zero Carbon Buildings (Environments and Materials) (Level 4)

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Architecture and Environment
Frenchay and City of Bristol College, Advanced Construction Skills Centre
21 weeks of teaching, 6 weeks of assessment
Part-time / blended
Course Director
Patrick O'Flynn

Page last updated 12 October 2023


Funding is available for applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.

The Zero Carbon Buildings (Environments and Materials) course will explore aspects of zero carbon buildings including indoor environmental design (heat, light, sound, energy) and material selection (timber, metals, concrete, bricks and emerging materials). You will also learn to present work in the form of a professional report.

It will be delivered as a stand-alone credit-bearing short course and meets the criteria for Higher Education Short Course (HESC) loans, available to apply for once your application has been approved.

This course forms part of a portfolio of HESC funded courses which include: 

Zero Carbon Buildings (Technology and Modelling) (Level 5) 

Zero Carbon Buildings (Energy Management and Performance) (Level 6) 

If you are unfamiliar with higher education settings, full support will be given and the course has been designed to meet the highest standard of inclusive design, with a mix of in-person teaching and an online learning environment where material is available in digital formats, including recordings of live sessions, learning material and online reading lists in accessible formats.

Learning will be divided into short presentations on theory, followed by interactive learning activities, using technology enhanced learning, detailed session plans and related reading lists.

The use of hands-on learning equipment and real-world case studies will be used to give the learning a professional focus.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and calculate the technical aspects of indoor building environments, such as heat, humidity, light, sound and air quality, explaining the underlying scientific principles and the link to health, comfort, energy use and carbon emissions.
  • Answer questions regarding the physical properties and related carbon footprint of a range of construction materials and how aspects of quality can be tested using established scientific processes, to judge suitability for use in construction.
  • Summarise the objectives, procedures, analysis and findings of a science-based evaluation relating to either construction materials or an aspect of indoor environments, using professional report writing techniques.

Entry requirements

  • All applicants will need GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4.
  • Fundamental study skills associated with a level 3 qualification, such as an A-level, BTEC, Access course or Foundation year.
  • Applicants who do not meet these entry requirements but have relevant experience may be considered on a case by case basis. 

Careers / Further study

Upon completion of the course, you will have the knowledge to engage with more advanced design related learning such as the level 5 course Zero Carbon Buildings (Technology and Modelling).



  • Materials: timber; bricks and masonry; iron and steel; concrete; glass; polymers; emerging materials; carbon footprints.
  • Building Science: comfort and health; climate and weather; steady state heat flow; ventilation; condensation; acoustics; light and lighting; heat gains; energy.
  • Sustainable practice and design.


Learning and Teaching

Tutorials reinforce module content through worked examples and discussion. Some will focus on the mathematical and analytic techniques required to fully understand and describe properties of materials and environments.

Laboratories and demonstrations will provide tangible evidence for, and explanation of, topics covered in the lectures and develop the skills of observation, data collection, analysis and presentation.

Contact time will primarily be face-to-face, with secondary supporting material being made available through a diverse and accessible virtual learning environment.

Free enhancement courses in academic study skills will be offered by the UWE Library.


Assessment will include online tests and a written report.

An element of continuous assessment will be used as a means to encourage the development of good study habits and allow timely constructive support and feedback. There will also be a requirement to demonstrate skills relating to information literacy and report writing, that would be transferable to a professional environment.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol is superbly equipped with libraries and computer labs, and an excellent campus environment. Our online learning environments deliver an integrated learning experience to you and you also have access to a vast number of professional and academic journals and databases online through the UWE Bristol library. 

This course is partly delivered at City of Bristol College's Advanced Construction Skills Centre, a state-of-the-art £9m facility in south Bristol where learners will gain the skills they need for a future-proof career in an inspiring, modern facility that reflects the real world.

The award-winning, eco-friendly building is home to a range of fantastic facilities including:

  • Civils yard
  • Classrooms and study areas
  • Construction workshops
  • Light vehicle workshops

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

Get a feel for the Geography and Environmental Management facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Course dates

This course is planned to run again in 2023/24. Course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in the summer of 2023. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once these details are made available.

Should government restrictions be enforced this module will move to online delivery.

Cohort TimeLocation

Course fees

As an indication, the cost of this course was £2,310 in 2022/23. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once these details are made available.

Higher Education Short Course (HESC) Loan Applications

Funding for this course is available from the Student Loans Company (Student Finance England).

To be eligible for this funding you must first check you meet the loan eligibility criteria below and then make an application using the link below in the How to Apply section.

At the point of booking with us you will not be asked to pay any fees.

Once we have confirmed your place you will be eligible to apply to the Student Loans Company via GOV.UK for a HESC loan to cover the course fees. You cannot make an application for a loan until we have confirmed your place.

Each loan application covers the fee for one course. Loan applications can take 4-6 weeks to be processed so please complete the booking with us as soon as you are able to.

Loan Eligibility Criteria

You can apply for a HESC loan if all of the following are true:

  • you're a UK national or Irish Citizen or have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to enter or remain so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay
  • you normally live in England
  • you've been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 continuous years before the first day of your course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday

Please see our Higher Education Short Course Loans page for further details.


How to apply

How to apply

To apply there is a three-step process:

1. Complete the booking process by clicking on the Apply Now link below. You will then be sent an email requesting the supporting documents listed below.

2. The Course Leader will review your application form and documents and then offer/decline a place on the course.

3. If successful you will receive an offer letter. This can be used to support your application for the HESC loan.

TBCBooking ClosedEnquire now

Supporting documents to be submitted with your application form

As this module carries university accreditation, once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information to the administration team for the Course Leader to be able to review and formally accept your application as required by the university.

  • An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
  • A brief personal statement to support your application
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
  • A copy of photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport including current settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to enter or remain as necessary)
  • If English is not your country's first language, you will be required to provide evidence to show you meet the UK Border Agency and the University's minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on our English Language Requirements webpage regarding required levels for study

For further information

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 3)