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With this MSc Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability course you will develop a broad understanding of the applications of renewable energy and sustainable technologies, as well as a strong awareness of the environmental impact of using non-sustainable technologies.

Are you looking to pursue or develop your career in energy or sustainability related fields? A master’s from our renowned School, with its strong reputation for research and education relating to the design, construction and operation of the buildings and places within which we live, work and play, will help you take the next step. (The University of Reading is ranked 3rd in the UK for research impact in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning in the Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked by Subject, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014.)

Throughout this course, you will engage with issues and debates concerning the role of energy, including examining the technical and policy questions arising from global demands for secure, affordable and sustainable processes.

Accredited by the Energy Institute, and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, the course is designed to enable you to develop your knowledge further in a range of areas including carbon management and energy use in the built environment. We are a partner of Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community), which is Europe’s largest climate innovation initiative. This partnership provides Reading students with many opportunities for free and significantly discounted Climate-KIC short courses and summer schools. (Accreditation is reviewed periodically. Successful completion of this course satisfies the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer.)

This course is offered as a one-year full-time course, or as a flexible modular course with entry in January. Both the full-time and flexible modular courses are delivered via residential weeks at our campus and supported through our online learning environment.

In addition to the University facilities available to all students, you will have access to the School's dedicated facilities, such as the School’s Resource Room, which includes:

  • study spaces for individual and group work as well as subject-specific learning resources
  • dedicated computer labs for use by our students, equipped with the latest digital technology and software, including building information modelling (BIM), 3D laser scanning, 3D visualisation, virtual reality headsets, building energy simulations and urban microclimate simulations.

Whether you join the full-time or flexible course, you will be taught in one-week intensive blocks, with assignment work between teaching weeks. Class sizes may vary from 10 to 40 students, and optional modules are shared with other programmes in the School. You will develop your skills and knowledge on this course through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, guided reading, online resources and written assignments.

The School has a wide-ranging and diverse research programme that is continuously developing. Every lecturer is involved in research and scholarship, all of which feeds into the teaching you will receive. We also have strong links with industry, and you will benefit from industry visits and industry speakers on this course.

What will you study?

Core modules

  • Research project and dissertation
  • Sustainable heat and power
  • Carbon management
  • Renewable energy in power systems
  • Energy carbon and the environment
  • Sustainable urban systems
  • Carbon management and analysis
  • Engineering project management

Optional (two from the following)

  • Urban sustainable development in emerging economies
  • Energy in buildings
  • Building simulation
  • Building information modelling
  • ICT and energy management
  • Advanced visualisation and interactive technologies

Please download our MSc Programme Guide (PDF – 25MB) for further module information.

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 in relation to 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.

Flexible modular

We also offer a two-year modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. Entry to the flexible course is available in September or January each year; please note that the January start is an early start and requires that your studies be spread over three years instead of two.

What career can you have?

This degree enables you to pursue a variety of careers in professional roles, such as: 

  • energy officer
  • sustainability consultant
  • sustainable energy consultant
  • renewables engineer
  • renewables consultant
  • technical director
  • project analyst
  • researcher
  • sales and marketing specialist
  • design engineer.

Visit the Renewable Energy: Technology and Sustainability MSc page on the University of Reading website for more details!