Professional/Short Course Zero Carbon Buildings (Technology and Modelling) (Level 5)

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Architecture and Environment
Frenchay; Arnolfini
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 Building (Technology and Modelling) course will enable you to gain technical knowledge on the application of principles relating to zero carbon dwellings (such as Passivhaus), including site analysis, fabric evaluation, services selection and renewable energy options.

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 (Environments and Materials) (Level 4) 

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

For a given case study site, develop the conceptual design of a residential dwelling using zero carbon principles, including the evaluation of the site's microclimate opportunities and constraints, a comparison of different environmental strategies, and the identification of potential design risks.

Evaluate, contrast and select appropriate construction technology relating to a zero carbon dwelling for a given site, supporting choices with quantitative data relating to predicted performance of operational energy use and related carbon emissions, and identifying potential risks to actual post-occupation performance.

Present a design proposal that is appropriate for a professional audience, demonstrating an ability to articulate the process of how zero carbon theory was applied and answer questions relating to how key design issues could be resolved.

Entry requirements

Applicants joining this level 5 course are expected to have fundamental knowledge of building physics (such as the heat-balance equation), as covered in the level 4 course Zero Carbon Building (Environments and Materials).

  • To gain entry to this course, learners require either:

a) completion of the related level 4, 30 credit, short course Zero Carbon Buildings (Environments and Materials);


b) completion of 120 credits of level 4 in a related technical programme of the built environment;


c) evidence of experiential learning that map to the learning outcomes of the level 4 short course Zero Carbon Buildings (Environments and Materials).

  • All applicants will need GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4.
  • Applicants who do not meet these entry requirements but have relevant experience may be considered on a case by case basis. 



You will learn about the relationship between buildings and energy supply systems, including the electrical grid, gas systems, liquid and solid fuels. You will compare and contrast fossil fuels to those derived from carbon neutral processes.

You will learn how to apply the principles of the passive design of buildings, using computer aided design systems to help evaluate the impact of design on energy performance.

You will evaluate and apply heat generation, storage and recovery systems. These will include boilers, heat pumps, district systems, solar thermal systems, ventilation heat recovery systems and thermal stores. Case study of a commercial boiler house shall be used to understand heat flows at a large scale.

You will learn to evaluate and apply a range on-site electricity generation and storage: Solar PV generators; battery systems; uninterruptable power supplies; combined heat and power; trigeneration; fuel cells and hydrogen cycles

Energy Modelling: Energy benchmarking; CO2 emissions; compliance software.

Learning and Teaching

Regular online (flipped) lectures are used to introduce topics, define the scope of learning required and provide initial conceptual development.

Lectures are followed by supervised face-to-face tutorial/seminar sessions to reinforce cognitive development and provide feedback. Supervised tutorials provide guidance in applying quantitative methods required for solving problems, and provide feedback on independent learning and activities undertaken in support of the planned site visits. Software workshops are used to support student learning simulation software.

Directed independent learning in this module includes time engaged with essential reading, completion of tutorial exercise drills, preparation for, and completion of, summative assignment.


Professional accreditation

Assessment will include a poster presentation and submission of a portfolio.

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. 

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.


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 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.

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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)