This fresh, new programme for 2017 is a collaboration between the School of GeoSciences and the School of Social and Political Sciences.
The world is facing an ‘energy trilemma’; how to achieve energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. Whilst equipping students with an active understanding of low carbon technologies, policies and markets, this new MSc programme is focused squarely on analysing the social, societal and environmental dimensions of energy transitions. You will examine how citizens are involved in and are affected by changes in energy systems.
On a more theoretical level, the programme will enable you to relate supply-side issues to geo-politics and political economy, whilst energy demand will be studied in relation to broader challenges of sustainable consumption.
On a more practical level you will explore the potential of ‘smart’ ICT to affect consumption and inform strategic choices in sustainable living at household and community level. With Scotland being a world leader in renewable electricity generation (especially wind and marine), but also being economically dependent on declining North Sea oil and gas and suffering from high levels of energy poverty, this interdisciplinary MSc. benefits from close access to a high number of insightful case studies, which will serve to examine links between global and local issues, explore international best practices and identify locally suited pathways to more sustainable energy management.
Applicants receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500. Please see the fees and costs section for more information.
The programme has been designed to develop transdisciplinary perspectives on the energy trilemma and integrative analytical skills (qualitative and quantitative) which are in short supply in the energy sector. The full-time programme is divided into two semesters of taught courses, followed by a field trip at Easter before the dissertation period over the summer. We are happy to accommodate different working patterns for part-time students, including a half day a week schedule for three-year part time study.
The programme consists of four core modules (20 credits each, two core courses per semester), two optional modules (20 credits, one for each semester) and a 60 credit dissertation.
Students will also undertake one 20 credit course per semester. The University of Edinburgh offers an unrivalled selection of relevant optional courses for the MSc in Energy, Society and Sustainability. Bearing in mind your particular background and interests, the Programme Director will assist you in your choice from a large menu of optional courses related to six potential specialisation pathways; sustainable technologies and economics, politics, development, environmental sustainability, science and technology and public policy.
Optional courses may include*:
**Please note, courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
The programme aims for students to develop transdisciplinary skills in the assessment of the transition potential of energy systems towards greater sustainability, focussing especially on the human dimension of technological change and working and experimenting with energy users to co-produce knowledge about pathways to change.
Upon successful completion of the programme, students will have gained:
UK research councils cite a major skills gap in the energy sector, one of the biggest growth sectors within the UK economy in recent years. Demand has never been higher for sound evidence on behavioural change, public engagement with energy issues, and public support for community and commercial investments in low carbon energy generation. We train our graduates to translate complex science into effective policies and new business opportunities. We have strong links with government departments, energy relevant NGOs and key industry players who want to make use of these skills. Committed to helping you meet prospective employers and network with those active in the field, we organise careers events and encourage dissertations conducted in partnership with external organisations.
Created in the context of the rapid advancement of the renewable-energy industry, this Masters programme investigates both renewable energy and systems technologies.
It is designed to build your competence and confidence in the R&D and engineering tasks that are demanded of scientific engineers in the renewable and sustainable-development sector.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Modules related to the different groups are taught by a total of six full-time members of staff and a number of visiting lecturers.
As part of their learning experience, students have at their disposal a wide range of relevant software needed to support the programme material dissertation projects. In recent years, this work included the design of various knowledge-based and business systems on the internet, the application of optimisation algorithms, and semantic web applications.
Numerous laboratory facilities across the Faculty and the University are also available for those opting for technology-based projects, such as the process engineering facility, a control and robotics facility and signal processing labs.
The work related to the MSc dissertation can often be carried out in parallel with, and in support of, ongoing research. In the past, several graduates have carried on their MSc research to a PhD programme.
Engineers and scientists are increasingly expected to have skills in information systems engineering and decision-support systems alongside their main technical and/or scientific expertise.
Graduates of this programme will be well prepared to help technology-intensive organisations make important decisions in view of vast amounts of information by adopting, combining, implementing and executing the right technologies.
This programme investigates both renewable energy and systems technologies in order to produce scientific researchers and engineers who are competent in the R&D and engineering tasks applicable to the renewable energy and sustainable development sectors.
Its primary aims lie in developing a global understanding of the major types of renewable energy technologies, in-depth knowledge of the technology for biomass-based renewable energy, and knowledge and skills in systems modelling and optimisation.
A balanced curriculum will be provided with a core of renewable energy and systems engineering modules supplemented by a flexible element by way of elective modules that permit students to pursue an element of specialisation relevant to their backgrounds, interests and/or career aspirations.
An integrated approach is taken so as to provide a coherent view that explores the interrelationships between the various components of the programme.
Knowledge and understanding
The programme aims to develop the knowledge and understanding in both renewable energy and systems engineering. The key learning outcomes include:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
The programme aims to strengthen cognitive skills of the students, particularly in the aspects of problem definition, knowledge and information acquiring, synthesis, and creativity, as collectively demonstrable through the successful completion of the research dissertation. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:
Professional practical skills
The programme primarily aims to develop skills for applying appropriate methods to analyze, develop, and assess renewable technologies and systems. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:
Key / transferable skills
The programme aims to strengthen a range of transferable skills which are relevant to the needs of existing and future professionals in knowledge intensive industries irrespective of their sector of operation. The key learning outcomes include the further development of the skills in the following areas:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The Master's course in Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy places strong emphasis on state-of-the-art semiconductor devices and technologies, advanced power electronics and drives, and advanced power systems. The Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy course also covers conventional and renewable energy generation technologies. Exciting new developments such as wide band gap electronics, energy harvesting, solar cells and biofuels are discussed and recent developments in power electronics are highlighted.
The College of Engineering has an international reputation for electrical and electronics research for energy and advanced semiconductor materials and devices.
Greenhouse gas emission and, consequently, global warming are threatening the global economy and world as we know it. A non-rational use of electrical energy largely contributes to these.
Sustainable energy generation and utilisation is a vital industry in today’s energy thirsty world. Energy generation and conversion, in the most efficient way possible, is the key to reducing carbon emissions. It is an essential element of novel energy power generation system and future transportation systems. The core of an energy conversion system is the power electronics converter which in one hand ensures the maximum power capture from any energy source and on another hand controls the power quality delivered to grid. Therefore the converter parameters such as efficiency, reliability and costs are directly affecting the performance of an energy system.
Transmission and distribution systems will encounter many challenges in the near future. Decentralisation of generation and storage systems has emerged as a promising solution. Consequently, in the near future, a power grid will no longer be a mono-directional energy flow system but a bi-directional one, requiring a much more complex management.
The MSc in Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy is modular in structure. Students must obtain a total of 180 credits to qualify for the degree. This is made up of 120 credits in the taught element (Part One) and a project (Part Two) that is worth 60 credits and culminates in a written dissertation. Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy students must successfully complete Part One before being allowed to progress to Part Two.
Part-time Delivery mode
The part-time scheme is a version of the full-time equivalent MSc in Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy scheme, and as such it means lectures are spread right across each week and you may have lectures across every day. Due to this timetabling format, the College advises that the scheme is likely to suit individuals who are looking to combine this with other commitments (typically family/caring) and who are looking for a less than full-time study option.
Those candidates seeking to combine the part-time option with full-time work are unlikely to find the timetable suitable, unless their job is extremely flexible and local to the Bay Campus.
Modules on the MSc Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy course can vary each year but you could expect to study:
Advanced Power Electronics and Drives
Power Semiconductor Devices
Advanced Power Systems
Energy and Power Engineering Laboratory
Power Generation Systems
Modern Control Systems
Wide Band-Gap Electronics
Environmental Analysis and Legislation
Communication Skills for Research Engineers
The new home of MSc in Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy is at the innovative Bay Campus provides some of the best university facilities in the UK, in an outstanding location.
Engineering at Swansea University has extensive IT facilities and provides extensive software licenses and packages to support teaching. In addition the University provides open access IT resources.
Our new WOLFSON Foundation funded Power Electronics and Power System (PEPS) laboratory well-appointed with the state-of the-art equipment supports student research projects.
Employment in growing renewable energy sector, power electronic and semiconductor sector, electric/hybrid vehicle industry.
The MSc Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy is for graduates who may want to extend their technical knowledge and for professional applicants be provided with fast-track career development. This MSc addresses the skills shortage within the power electronics for renewable energy sector.
BT, Siemens, Plessey, GE Lighting, Schlumberger, Cogsys, Morganite, Newbridge Networks, Alstom, City Technology, BNR Europe, Philips, SWALEC, DERA, BTG, X-Fab, ZETEX Diodes, IQE, IBM, TSMC, IR, Toyota, Hitachi.
As a student on the MSc Power Engineering and Sustainable Energy course, you will learn about numerical simulation techniques and have the opportunity to visit electronics industries with links to Swansea.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranks Engineering at Swansea as 10th in the UK for the combined score in research quality across the Engineering disciplines.
The REF assesses the quality of research in the UK Higher Education sector, assuring us of the standards we strive for.
The REF shows that 94% of research produced by our academic staff is of World-Leading (4*) or Internationally Excellent (3*) quality. This has increased from 73% in the 2008 RAE.
Research pioneered at the College of Engineering harnesses the expertise of academic staff within the department. This ground-breaking multidisciplinary research informs our world-class teaching with several of our staff leaders in their fields.
With recent academic appointments strengthening electronics research at the College, the Electronic Systems Design Centre (ESDC) has been re-launched to support these activities.
The Centre aims to represent all major electronics research within the College and to promote the Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree.
Best known for its research in ground-breaking Power IC technology, the key technology for more energy efficient electronics, the Centre is also a world leader in semiconductor device modelling, FEM and compact modelling.
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.