Gain a robust understanding in renewable energy and sustainable technologies, as well as carbon management and energy use in the built environment.
The MSc Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability deals with the applications of renewable energy and sustainable technology combined with the impact on the environment of using non-sustainable technologies. We focus on the technical and policy questions arising from global demands for secure, affordable and sustainable energy. We cover rapidly-evolving fields that are vitally relevant to how society develops in the 21st century. This course is accredited by the Energy Institute and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers.
The distinctive focus is on renewable energy and sustainable technologies, as well as carbon management and energy use in the built environment.
There is international concern about the environmental damage associated with the conversion of energy from all sources. Renewable energy sources can make a significant contribution to the reduction of pollution, if used in a sustainable way. Renewable fuels and energy systems can also offer protection against future shortages and price increases of conventional energy, and can provide energy supplies in remote areas.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
The dissertation is a major individual research project. Guidance will be given on choosing a research topic, research techniques and the style and presentation of the finished document. Classes in research skills are provided as part of the dissertation module. Students will have their own carefully selected dissertation tutor whose role is to help them plan and successfully execute this key part of the programme.
We offer a one-year, full-time modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. The full-time programme starts in September each year.
We also offer a two-year, part-time modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. The duration of the flexible route is strongly recommended as two years, but this is not fixed. The flexible course starts in September each year.
The School has international alumni spread throughout the world. Many are in senior positions within governments, NGOs or the private sector. Graduates from the MSc in Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability are uniquely equipped to engage with the challenges of reducing the carbon footprint of energy generation and use. You will acquire the expertise and skills to significantly enhance your employability options in a wide range of energy and sustainability-related occupations. Particular attention is given to the development of research skills and critical thinking. The specific aim is to develop specialist skills. These arise from exposure to theory, research and methods of critical evaluation, while enabling career development.
Graduates will typically be employed in professional roles, such as:
Whether you’re from an engineering, scientific or technical background, this programme will equip you with expertise in new and traditional energy technologies, renewable energy sources, solid waste recycling, air pollution, climate change and energy management systems.
You’ll gain an understanding of the environmental impacts of energy technology choices and the technical expertise to further develop them, preparing you to handle the complex challenges created by the growing energy demands, climate change and urban growth of the 21st century.
Core modules will build your knowledge of topics like atmospheric pollution controls, as well as a range of renewable technologies. You’ll also choose from optional modules that suit your interests and career plans such as combustion theory, energy management or fuel processing.
You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of sustainable energy engineering. We have a wide range of analytical facilities for advanced fuel characterisation, environmental monitoring and pollution control.
There are also pilot scale combustion systems, and wide range of experimental facilities researching the production of low carbon fuels and energy from waste and new materials such as biomass and algae. In our Energy Building, you’ll even find a full scale engine testing and transport emissions suite, and pilot scale wave power, fuel cell, gas turbine power station, wind and solar labs and rigs.
The course is accredited by the Energy Institute (EI) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council, which adheres to the requirements of further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.
Core modules will develop your understanding of key topics such as how air pollution and carbon emissions can be measured and controlled, as well as their impact on the surrounding environment. You’ll also focus on renewable technologies such as wind, solar and geothermal energy and hydroelectricity.
In addition, you’ll consider waste and biomass as renewable technologies and how energy can be recovered from landfill and waste incineration. You’ll also gain a broader understanding of the contexts in which these technologies are emerging, including related legal, environmental and financial issues.
With this foundation, you’ll specialise in areas that suit your interests and career ambitions when you choose from optional modules. You could focus on energy management and conservation, or how developments in engine technology are making transportation more fuel efficient, among other topics.
In the latter part of the year, you’ll focus on your research project. You’ll choose your topic – normally related to one of our world-class research institutes – and work closely with your supervisor to apply what you’ve learned to a real-life problem.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Energy and Environment module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent research projects by students on this programme have included:
A proportion of research projects are formally linked to industry, and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.
The need for all businesses and industrial companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions will be a major driver of future development. Graduates with the skills offered by this course will be in high demand.
Typically, graduates are likely to go on to work in senior posts with high levels of responsibility in energy and environmental consultancies, energy specialists, architectural firms, environmental departments of local authorities, government agencies, major funding bodies, large industrial companies and emerging businesses in the renewable sector.
You’ll also be well prepared for PhD level study and a career in academic research.