PhD in Sustainable Energy/Building Technologies

Introduction to the Program

The PhD in Sustainable Energy/Building Technologies at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) is a a three to four-year postgraduate degree program taught in English.

About UNNC

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China. Established in 2004, with the full approval of the Chinese Ministry of Education, we are run by The University of Nottingham with cooperation from Zhejiang Wanli Education Group, a key player in the education sector in China.

The University of Nottingham is in the top one percent of more than 7,500 higher education institutions worldwide and league tables consistently rank the University highly. For more info visit the page here.

About the Program

This PhD programme offers students flexible supervision between The University of Nottingham’s China campus (UNNC) and UK campus (UNUK). Students will be registered at the China campus but can spend up to half of their research degree at the UK campus, graduates will be awarded a University of Nottingham UK degree which is also recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Students will work in the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) at UNNC. CSET is based in a landmark eco-building, built to demonstrate state-of-the-art techniques for environmentally responsible, sustainable construction. The building generates its own energy from local renewable sources, stores rainwater, re-uses grey water, and endeavours to develop its own ecology and biodiversity within the site.

UNUK is a major centre for sustainable energy research addressing issues of global importance. It offers excellent and extensive research facilities including a prestigious eco-experimental house from the Creative Energy Homes Project – a showcase of seven innovative state-of-the-art energy efficient homes of the future.

Course Content

This course is taken full time over three to four years or part-time over four to six years. Supervision is provided by two members of academic staff one from UNUK and one from UNNC.

Research activities focus on new and renewable energy systems for domestic and commercial/public buildings. Research topics are available in the following areas:

  • Solar-powered air conditioning systems
  • Solar energy system
  • Wind energy technologies
  • Phase change energy storage
  • Green roof technologies
  • Thermochemical energy storage systems
  • Heat pumps
  • Eco-buildings
  • Façade engineering
  • Building renewable energy integrated systems
  • Combined heat and power systems
  • Hybrid powered systems
  • Vortex cooling technologies
  • Lighting and day-lighting systems
  • Passive cooling devices
  • Integration of renewable energy technologies in refurbished buildings
  • Ventilation and heat recovery systems
  • Sustainable energy transport systems
  • Ground-source energy systems
  • Innovative thermal insulation material
  • Building acoustics
  • Energy modeling
  • Urban heat island technologies
  • Desiccant cooling systems
  • Integrated water management systems
  • Thermoelectric cooling/heating generation systems

Entry Requirements

Applicants for PhD programmes are generally required to hold an honours degree at 2:1 level or above (or international equivalent) in an appropriate subject. Normally, applicants with a degree from a Chinese University should have completed a Master’s degree. Holders of First Class Honours degree or equivalent from selected universities will be considered. Evidence of relevant personal, professional and educational experience may be taken into consideration.

Students whose first language is not English or their entry qualifications were not obtained from an institution where English is used as the medium of study are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their proficiency in

  • IELTS: 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 87 with no less than 21 in listening and writing, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking

Start Date of the program


Application Deadline

Applications can be made throughout the year, although you must allow at least one month for processing your application before the commencement of the programme.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees are RMB90000 each year. The total tuition fee for the 4 year program is 360000 RMB.


The University has several buildings designated for international students, building 11, 18 and 20. All rooms are fully furnished and equipped with air conditioning and a telephone and computer point; enabling students to make and receive telephone calls and access the University’s data network from their bedrooms. For further information on the accommodation visit the accommodation page here.

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