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Course content

Climate change, the global consumption of energy and the use of fossil fuels to provide us with heat, power and transportation are all engineering challenges which need addressing now and in the future. It is clear that solutions to these long-term problems ­– ensuring the best use of resources, and developing new more sustainable ways to produce and use energy – will require graduates who can work in an increasingly multidisciplinary environment.

This course will offer you the knowledge and expertise you will need in relation to sustainable energy and the environmental impact of energy systems.

The distinctive features of the programme include:

• The opportunity for students to learn in a research-led teaching institution serviced by staff rated in the highest possible category by independent Government assessment.

• The opportunity to work in facilities commensurate with a top-class research unit.

• The opportunity for students to undertake project work in a successful, research-based environment.

• The programme has been designed to provide technical and managerial skills needed by industry, academia and the public sector.

• The substantial industrial input to the programme through invited lecturers and where appropriate offer industrially-based projects.

• A variety of specialist modules on offer.

• An open and engaging culture between students and staff, with student representatives as full members on School committees.

Structure

The programme is presented as a two-year part-time Master's level programme, and is also available in full-time mode over one year.

The programme is presented in two stages: In Stage 1 students follow taught modules to the value of 120 credits, with a limited amount of choice between optional modules. Stage 2 consists of a Dissertation module worth 60 credits.

Core modules:

Risk and Hazard Management in the Energy Sector
Energy Management
Energy Studies
Fuels and Energy Systems
Sustainable Energy and Environment Case Study
Dissertation: Sustainable Energy and Environment

Optional modules:

Earth and Society
Low Carbon Footprint
Environmental Fluid Mechanics
Advanced Power Systems & High Voltage Technology
Condition Monitoring, Systems Modelling and Forecasting
Alternative Energy Systems
Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer 1
Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer 2
Waste Management and Recycling

Teaching

A wide range of teaching styles are used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. You will be required to attend lecture-, lab- and tutorial-based study during the semesters, and later undertake an individual research project.

While a 10-credit module represents 100 hours of study in total, typically this will involve 24–36 hours of contact time with teaching staff. The remaining hours are intended to be for private study, coursework, revision and assessment. Therefore all students are expected to spend a significant amount of time (typically 20 hours each week) studying independently.

At the beginning of Stage 2, you will be allocated a project supervisor. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff in consultation with industrial partners, usually in areas of current research or industrial interest. You are also encouraged to put forward your own project ideas.

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and give feedback.

Assessment

Achievement of learning outcomes in the majority of modules is assessed by a combination of coursework assignments, plus University examinations set in January or May. Examinations count for a third to a half of assessment in Stage 1 of the programme, depending on the options chosen, the remainder being largely project work and pieces of coursework.

Award of an MSc requires successful completion of Stage 2, the Dissertation, with a mark of 50% or higher. Candidates achieving 60% may be awarded a Merit and for those achieving a 70% average a Distinction may be awarded. Candidates failing to qualify for an MSc may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma of Higher Education for 120 credits in Stage 1. Candidates failing to complete the 120 credits required for Stage 1 may still be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education for the achievement of at least 60 credits.

Career prospects

Graduates typically gain employment in large energy-focussed companies, the public sector, consultancies, research and development, or set up their own companies. A number also go on to undertake PhD study.

Visit the Sustainable Energy and Environment MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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