To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aid sustainable development, there is an urgent need to support our electricity generating capacity through the development of low carbon technologies, particularly those generated from renewable sources. The ocean represents a vast and largely untapped energy resource, that could be exploited as a form of low carbon electricity generation, and there is much European and global commercial and R&D activity in this energy sector. The UK is the world leader in the development of wave and tidal stream technologies, and if marine energy deploys globally, the UK is uniquely positioned to capture a substantial market share, with the potential to contribute as much as £4.3 bn to UK GDP up to 2050. The aim of this MSc programme is to equip students with the skills necessary to identify and quantify the potential of specific locations for marine renewable energy generation installations, with an emphasis on the resource (waves and tides), time series analysis, numerical modelling, and the challenges faced when placing arrays of devices in the marine environment.
This 12 month taught postgraduate course introduces students with a first degree in the physical, mathematical or other numerate sciences to the subject of Marine Renewable Energy. As well as providing an overview of marine renewable energy, the course enables students to research in detail those aspects of the subject in which they are particularly interested. The course places particular emphasis on assessing the wave & tidal energy resource, and geophysical nature of sites, providing students with the necessary skills for marine renewable energy resource and site characterisation from a theoretical, technical, and practical perspective.
Course Structure and Modules The first two semesters of the course are taught, introducing the student to the physics of the ocean, and the ways in which we can make use of the ocean to generate electricity, whilst minimising environmental impacts. Modules cover both oceanographic theory and its application, as well as practical oceanography. The latter includes an introduction to state-of-the-art instrumentation and numerical modelling, as well as practical experience working on the University's state-of-the-art research vessel, the 35 metre RV Prince Madog. The course also includes a module on geophysical surveying, teaching the techniques used to survey sites suitable for deploying wave and tidal energy arrays. Student achievement in the course is evaluated by a combination of continuous assessment and module examinations.
During the second semester, the students begin to focus on specific aspects of the subject, initially through a dedicated module on marine renewable energy, and subsequently through an extensive literature review followed by a research project. The research project, which forms a major component of the course, is selected in close consultation with the students such that it is of direct relevance to their intended future work. The School of Ocean Sciences has extensive links with the marine renewable energy sector, and many of the projects will be in collaboration with industry. For overseas students, well founded projects based on investigations being undertaken in a home institute are encouraged.
Successful applicants normally hold, or expect to obtain, a 2(ii) undergraduate Honours degree in a physical, mathematical or other numerate science. If places are available, we will also consider applicants with a good and relevant Lower Second Class Honours Degree. Applicants from Geography, Geology, Biology and other sciences will be considered if they can demonstrate high motivation and have mathematics to A-level or beyond. Mature students with at least two years alternative experience relevant to the course are also encouraged to apply.
Recipient: Bangor University
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