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    School of Engineering Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Engineering

    Environmental Sciences

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    MSc: 1 year full-time; PgDip: 9 months full-time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    02 November 2018

Course content

This internationally renowned degree, based within a world-leading renewable energy research group, equips graduates and professionals with a broad and robust training.

Wind, marine and solar energy technologies are covered, as well as the wider environment in which they are to fit, including: resource assessment; energy production, delivery and consumption; efficiency; sustainability; economics, policy and regulation.

In addition, our MSc students actively engage in research as part of their dissertation projects either within the Institute for Energy Systems or with industry, with some joining our PhD community afterwards.

This programme is accredited as counting towards further learning (FL), as a requisite in the educational base for a Chartered Engineering (CEng). This programme is also affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

This programme is run over 12 months, with two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project leading to a masters thesis.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses:

  • Technologies for Sustainable Energy
  • Energy and Environmental Economics
  • Sustainable Energy Contexts (MSc)

Plus one of:

  • Electrical Engineering Fundamentals of Renewable Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering Fundamentals of Renewable Energy

Semester 2

  • Sustainable Energy Group Design Project (MSc)

All students will complete a group design project based on a real life scenario and location. Each team will conduct a preliminary design of a hydroelectricity scheme.

Students with a background in Electrical or Power Engineering will take three courses covering the following major sources of renewable energy: solar, wind and marine.

  • Solar Energy & Photovoltaic Systems (MSc)
  • Principles of Wind Energy (MSc)
  • Marine Energy (MSc)

In addition, students who do not have a background in Electrical or Power Engineering will get the chance to acquire a practical feel for how machines are connected and interacting with a power grid through a hands-on Power Systems course based on laboratory experiments and a simulation software. They will also take a minimum of two of the previously listed three courses on solar, wind and marine.

All students will also choose a complement of optional courses so that their total number of credits for Semester 2 adds up to 60 credits. The optional courses can be selected from available courses from the Schools of Engineering, GeoSciences, Mathematics, and Social and Political Science, and from Scotland's Rural College.

Career opportunities

Graduates go on to a wide range of activities in industry, public organisations or academia. The MSc has well established links with industry, with many graduates finding employment with leading national and international companies involved with energy, consultancy and engineering. Recent graduates are now working as civil, structural, automotive, subsea and electrical engineers and as power systems, energy and environment and renewable energy consultants. Employing firms include Arup, Alston, Avery, Dennison, GE, Schneider, SSE and Scottish Power.


Visit the Sustainable Energy Systems (MSc/PgDip) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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