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MSc in Energy Policy

Course Description

This course provides a broad-based, social science training in energy and climate policy, focusing in particular on the role of technological innovation.

Our approach is interdisciplinary, practical and applied, providing you with the skills to analyse policy problems and to propose and evaluate viable policy solutions. The course provides you with an essential foundation for future careers in government, international organisations, the private sector and NGOs.

This MSc is unique in combining ideas from economics, innovation studies and policy studies while requiring no prior training in these fields.

You explore the opportunities, challenges and constraints in creating sustainable and low-carbon energy systems throughout the world. You investigate real-world policy problems in a range of countries, engage with concepts and debates from a number of disciplines, and draw on the latest research and practice in this field.

You will be taught by internationally recognised faculty from SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/) and the Sussex Energy Group (SEG) (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sussexenergygroup/), one of the largest energy policy research groups in the world.

Take this opportunity to join a generation of graduates taking on the challenge of creating sustainable energy systems.

[[Assessment ]]

Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework, group projects, multiple-choice exams, extended essays, presentations and policy briefs. The summer is devoted to a research-based dissertation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

Autumn term: you take Introduction to Energy Policy • Policy-Making and Policy Analysis • Science, Technology and Innovation: Markets, Firms and Policies.

Spring term: you choose two modules from Energy and Development • Energy Policy and Sustainability • Governing Energy Transitions • Innovation for Sustainability • Management of Risk • Governing and Using Technology for Development.

In addition, you take Perspectives, Methods and Skills, and either Introduction to Statistical Research Methods or Multivariate Analysis.

Summer term: you undertake supervised work on a 20,000-word research-based dissertation.


Fees for studying on courses available on a part-time basis will be charged at 50 per cent of the full-time fees listed below.

Home UK/EU students: £9,000 per year(1)
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £9,000 per year
Overseas students: £17,000 per year

(1) The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

For more information on fee status, visit Fees - http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/fees/pg2016

Visit Living costs - http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/livingcosts


The funding sources listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual funding source to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate taught scholarships 2016 - http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016

Visit Career development and part-time work - http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/pg/careersandalumni

Career Paths

Given the importance of energy on political and corporate agendas around the world, there is a growing demand for energy policy professionals.

SPRU graduates have been successful in obtaining employment in a variety of roles within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. For example, recent MSc graduates have gained employment in international organisations (eg OECD, UNDP, UNEP), government departments (eg UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Government of British Columbia, Canada), local authorities (eg Brighton & Hove Council sustainability team), the private sector (eg RWE npower renewables, Ecofys, EDF, Unilever, Southern Solar, Renaissance Re, Centro de Apoio a Inovação Social-CAIS) and NGOs (eg International Social Science Council, Green Jobs Alliance, People and Planet), while others have gone on to study for PhDs in this area.

Visit the MSc in Energy Policy page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Paula Rolffs; Researcher at E3G Third Generation Environmentalism

3668.jpg ‘Prior to starting the course I did an internship at the German international cooperation agency GIZ in the area of sustainable energy policy and renewable energy, both at their headquarters and in Brazil. Having gained some work experience in the field of climate change, renewable energy and international cooperation, I felt that I was lacking expertise on the academic side. The MSc in Energy Policy for Sustainability helped me to find a job in the very competitive sphere of climate change and sustainability, and added to my international experience and background.

‘The course has taught me about the complexity of national energy systems and the related carbon emissions, as well as about innovation and technology policy. It’s also given me specific knowledge on government policies and support mechanisms needed to shift to low-carbon technologies. This has proven to be really helpful in my current role as a researcher at E3G Third Generation Environmentalism.

‘Overall, the great mix of interesting course content linked to real-life issues, and meeting great people from all over the world who were also studying at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) made my experience of Sussex exceptional.’


Entry Requirements

A first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree in either a social or a natural science. Applicants with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

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