MSc Offshore Energy Transition (Online Learning)

Key facts

  • Start date: September 2024
  • Application deadline: December
  • Study mode and duration: Fully online and part-time, over 36 months
  • Places on the course: 20

Study with us

  • designed for those who are working full-time in industry and are seeking further training for new job opportunities and enhanced career trajectory in the offshore renewable energy sector
  • gain skills in engineering problem-solving, energy transition and renewable energy technologies
  • become equipped with the necessary training to work as a future leader in offshore energy transition
  • this is a distance learning course delivered through pre-recoded lectures and live Zoom sessions
  • for an MSc degree 180 credit are required, however,  other exit routes are available which include PGDip (120 credits) and PGCert (60 credits)
  • although the average duration for completing the part-time online learning MSc course is 36 months, the candidates can complete their 180 credits anytime between 18 and 60 months
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Why this course

With the increasing demand for energy transition solutions around the world, there is an urgent need to train a sufficient number of experts with the required skillsets to take up the relevant technical and managerial positions in industry.

This course has been designed in response to this essential need and facilitates career change for those who have previously worked in relevant industrial sectors and are keen to take part in the emerging renewable energy industry.

What you'll study

You'll study four compulsory modules which will develop a fundamental understanding of the offshore energy transition key concepts, needs and solutions. In addition to these core modules, you'll select four optional modules based on their strength, interest and the technical area that they would like to specialise in.

After completing the modules, you'll work on a literature review-based individual thesis project followed by a case-oriented dissertation project to design an energy transition roadmap for your current company or a nominated company from the list of suggestions provided by the course leader.

Offshore windfarm in the distance with sand dunes in the foreground.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner


During this course, you'll have access to a wide range of computer software packages which would be required to make informed engineering decisions for various aspects of energy transition. You'll also work with leading academics in the offshore energy sector who have strong track records in the development of clean energy solutions for various industries.

Our facilities

Students gathered round a computer.

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Course content

You'll take 180 credits made up of 120 credits of taught modules and 60 credits individual project. The part-time MSc course spans 36 months (typically) as follows:

  • Year 1 - 60 credits of taught classes
  • Year 2 - 60 credits of taught classes
  • Year 3 - 60 credits dissertation

Energy Transition Barriers & Readiness

This module aims to:

  • cover implications related to global warming and climate change risks as industries transition to net zero futures
  • cover set targets at the UK, EU and non-EU contexts with a view to distinguish opportunities and new business models
  • provide students with the fundamentals for decision-making under uncertainty

This module covers:

  • energy and climate change economics, and the business landscape
  • energy balance sheet towards net-zero
  • risks, uncertainties, barriers and opportunities in a changing landscape
  • energy and environmental law and policy
  • gap analysis, leadership and change management
  • technology and innovation
  • net-zero business strategies for resilient organisations
  • case studies of successful business models

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • appreciate the impact of climate change to traditional businesses within the UK, EU and non-EU context and evaluate the requirements and influencing factors towards net-zero strategies
  • analyse the technological and operational uncertainties and incorporate them into a risk analysis
  • identify and manage risks and opportunities to an organisation's internal and external context and appraise the impact of policies and regulations to inform future strategies
  • identify gaps within the organisation and understand the role of technology and innovation to the development and implementation of net-zero strategies

Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) relates to the process of identifying, evaluating, and mitigating the biophysical, social, economic, cultural and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made. This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering but open to all MSc and MEng students across the University, introduces the methods used to predict environmental impacts, and evaluates how these may be used to integrate environmental factors into decisions.

The class draws principally on the UK planning context of environmental impact assessment of individual projects (project EIA), but also takes account of EIA experience in other countries and international organisations. Participants evaluate the quality of Environmental Statements (or EIA Reports) and of the EIA process using the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) methodology.

The class discusses how EIA can be used a pro-active design tool for projects and how it can contribute to the enhancement of environmental, social and health issues. Students are also introduced to key principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and biodiversity net gain (BNG). Class has the contribution of key practitioners in the field and includes different case studies, such as proposed onshore and offshore windfarms.

Health & Safety for Offshore Energy Systems

This module aims to demonstrate how health and safety-related risks are identified and managed in offshore energy systems.

Numerous principles and methods will be introduced to aid effective safety management. Managing health and safety-related risks require learning from safety events (i.e. incidents and accidents) and considering human and organisation as a whole to manage and change organisational safety culture. The module will provide fundamental knowledge in the key areas of safety in offshore energy systems and will provide tools and techniques to enable professionals involved in offshore energy systems to manage and implement operations in a safe manner. Module will also cover safety assessments and support decision-making in safety-related considerations.

This module covers:

  • safety, risk and risk analysis; key terminology
  • accident Investigation: Procedure, taxonomies, human error and causal factors
  • lessons learnt from past experience
  • human capabilities and limitations
  • safety assessment and key components
  • decision support and cost-benefit analysis
  • organisational factors and safety culture

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • understand the concepts and importance of safety, risk and of all requisite fundamentals enabling quantification of risk
  • developing frameworks (including methods and tools) for collation and application of effective learnings from safety events, accidents and near misses
  • understand human factors in safety critical operations and implement tools and techniques to enable integration of human factors in maritime.
  • be able to appreciate components of a safety assessment and apply it for indicative problems of offshore operations

Materials & Structures in Marine Environment

This module aims to:

  • develop an understanding of the material degradation and structural failure mechanisms in marine environment
  • provide an understanding of pertinent issues concerning the use of engineering materials and practical tools for solving structural integrity and structural fitness-for-service problems
  • presenting the theoretical and applied methods for design and life assessment of offshore structures

This module covers:

  • structural design considerations for marine applications
  • material degradation and damage evolution in marine environment
  • fatigue crack initiation and growth analysis
  • regulatory requirements and life assessment procedures
  • fabrication effects on design and integrity of offshore structures
  • environmental damage effects on design and life assessment
  • linear-elastic and elastic-plastic fracture mechanics theories and applications
  • fracture and failure analysis
  • defect assessment in offshore structures

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • gain a systematic understanding of material selection and design requirements for offshore applications
  • demonstrate an in-depth awareness of the design and life assessment procedures for structures operating in marine environment
  • develop a critical and analytical approach towards the engineering aspects of structural design and asset integrity management
  • be able to confidently assess the applicability of the tools of structural integrity to new problems and apply them appropriately

Techno-Economics of Energy Systems and Integration

This module aims to:

  • introduce fundamentals of techno-economic assessment of energy systems and key aspects of their integration in future energy systems.
  • provide students with myriads of ways in which energy can be produced, stored, distributed for national, regional, local and individual consumption
  • emphasise on wind energy systems and thermo-chemical conversion technologies, and their integration into national grid and district heat networks

This module covers:

  • energy conversion technologies and their key performance indicators
  • economics and policy of energy systems
  • links between energy systems, environmental systems and the economy
  • life cycle cost modelling of renewable energy technologies (DEVEX, CAPEX, OPEX)
  • energy system definition based on different policy scenarios (tools, scenarios and criteria)
  • optimisation of energy systems at different scales
  • net-zero energy systems (CCUS, Hydrogen, Storage, Power to X)
  • case studies (Wind Energy Systems to Power Grid; Biomass for District Heating)

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • understand the main stages of a renewable energy project’s lifecycle and explain the role of emerging technologies in the development of future net zero energy systems
  • explore the links between energy systems, environmental systems and the economy
  • identify key performance and cost indicators for renewable energy systems
  • discuss variety of economic and policy scenarios, formulate optimisation problems and analyse objective functions and constraints in energy systems modelling, assessment and optimisation

Risk Management & Technology Qualification

This module aims to:

  • provide students with an understanding of risks involved in the design and operation of marine structures subjected to various deterioration mechanisms (fatigue, fracture, ultimate strength, etc.)
  • present and apply the analytical and numerical methods to assess the reliability of structural systems
  • present and apply the appropriate methods for risk-based asset management for marine structures

This module covers:

  • introduction to risk, reliability, and structural safety
  • fundamentals of uncertainty modelling and reliability analysis
  • structural Reliability Methods
  • reliability updating based on Bayes’ theorem
  • risk-based inspection and maintenance planning

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • identify the sources of uncertainties and quantify the uncertainties within the context of risk and reliability analysis.
  • formulate appropriate limit states for reliability analysis subjected to relevant deterioration mechanisms.
  • apply the structural reliability methods to analyse the effect of uncertainties on the performance of structural systems.
  • perform a risk assessment considering reliability and consequence and develop effective risk management strategies.

Offshore Wind Turbines Dynamics I: Environment Modelling & Wave Loading

This module aims to:

provide the student with the knowledge necessary to model and analyse:

  • the marine environment (wind, waves, currents, soil) characteristics
  • the wave loading characteristics

This module covers:

  • marine environment modelling
    • wind (turbulence, wind shear, wind spectrum)
    • waves (Regular, Irregular, short- and long-term predictions)
    • marine currents (intro)
  • hydrodynamic loads on the substructure
    • wave loading regime: Diffraction parameter and Keulegan-Carpenter number
    • loads on large volume bodies: potential approach (radiation and diffraction)
    • loads on small volume bodies: Morison Equation

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • propose the most suitable analytical and numerical approach to model the relevant aspects of the marine environment conditions: wind, waves, marine currents – normal conditions
  • propose the most suitable analytical and numerical approach to model the relevant aspects of the marine environment conditions: wind, waves, marine currents – extreme conditions
  • evaluate how to model the wave loads acting on the substructure and foundation of an offshore wind turbine

Offshore Wind Tubines II: Aero-Hydro-Servo-Elastic Coupled Dynamics with OpenFast

This module aims to:

provide the student with the knowledge necessary to model and analyse:

  • the marine environment (wind, waves, currents, soil) characteristics
  • the wave loading characteristics

This module covers:

  • hydrodynamic loads on the substructure: Hydrostatics
  • equations of motion: frequency approach
  • environmental loads in the time domain:
    • Wind loading on fixed bodies and on rotor (Actuator Disk theory, Blade Element-Momentum theory, correction factors to the theory)
    • Hydrodynamics loads in time domain: Cummins equation
    • Mooring system dynamics
    • Soil dynamics
    • Intro to control strategy and structural dynamics (modal approach, blades and tower)
  • offshore wind turbine aero-hydro-servo-elastic analysis in the time domain:
    • state of the art
    • time domain analyses: static equilibrium, free decay, wave only (regular/irregular), wind and wave
    • postprocessing: basic statistics, FFT, RAO

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • perform a preliminary assessment of the dynamic response of the platform in the frequency domain
  • select how to model the dynamic response of the offshore system, in the time domain
  • set up and run a numerical aero-hydro-servo-elastic coupled dynamics analysis of an offshore wind turbine, critically reviewing the results

Data Analytics & AI for Energy Systems

A strong part of the business case for smart grids is using intelligence and automation to gain more capacity from existing assets to avoid large expenditure on further assets. Also, autonomy and intelligence is key to the flexible operation of smart girds, integration of low carbon generation and effective interaction with consumers.

This module teaches the key AI and data science methods that are applicable to smart grids, and provides case studies of their application. We are moving to a future where much more can and will be monitored and new techniques, leveraging data analytics, are needed to fully exploit the data. Areas covered will be machine learning, knowledge based methods, distributed intelligence methods and architectures, applications in asset management, applications in network management and control.

Marine Pipelines

This module aims to provide you with an in-depth insight into marine pipelines, emphasising the overall design process, pipeline hydraulics analysis, installation methods, environmental loading and stability, materials selection, and corrosion prevention.

This module covers:

  • design overview and process; Diameter and wall thickness; Installation methods; Operation and integrity management; Environmental conditions; Dynamic loading; Lateral stability; Scour; Free span; Trenching
  • internal fluids; Single and two-phase flows; Pressure and thermal profiles; Wax; Hydrate; Thermal insulation; Flow assurance; Drag reduction
  • materials and corrosion; Pipeline material; Steelmaking; Manufacture of linepipe for onshore and offshore applications; Internal corrosion; Corrosion detection and control; External corrosion and mitigation

On completion of the module, you're expected to:

  • have an overview of marine pipelines with regard to their design, installation, operation, and maintenance
  • gain an understanding of some fundamentals of marine pipeline design and analysis
  • apply analysis tools for pipeline hydraulics, multi-phase flows and thermal protection
  • identify the differences between pipe grades and pipe manufacturing methods
  • identify risk areas for internal and external corrosion in marine pipelines and describe the methods for corrosion inspection and control and select appropriate mitigation methods

Assessment will be in the form of coursework.

Finite Element Analysis of Floating Structures

This module aims to provide you with a theoretical and practical knowledge of the finite element method and the skills required to analyse marine structures with ANSYS graphical user interface (GUI).

This module covers:

  • introduction to finite element analysis and ANSYS GUI
  • truss elements and applications
  • solid elements and applications
  • beam elements and applications
  • plane stress, plane strain and axisymmetry concepts
  • plane elements and applications
  • plate & shell elements and applications
  • assembly process and constructing of the global stiffness matrix

At the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • understand the basics of finite element analysis
  • understand how to perform finite element analysis by using a commercial finite element software
  • understand specifying necessary input parameters for the analysis
  • understand how to visualize and evaluate the results

There is one exam and one coursework assignment. The exam is during the exam period of the first semester. Exam has a weight of 70% and coursework assignment has a weight of 30%.

Individual Thesis Project

This module aims to give students a good understanding of all aspects of research work.

In addition, the technological study must be accompanied by survey of the relevance and applicability of the findings to the energy transition at large. Students will learn efficient ways to gather information and distribute workload, to efficiently analyse their results and to appreciate the broader implications of the whole project. In-depth technological studies will be accompanied by increasingly important competence in managerial skills, quality assurance and a sound appreciation of the technological, economic, political, social and environmental issues crucial to professional success.

This module covers:

  • a detailed structure for the class is outlined in the Project Brief presented to the students. This includes details of key milestones and assessment criteria
  • the Project Brief is reviewed regularly to reflect changing technical and economic opportunities in the fields of activity embraced by the Department’s MSc courses

On completion of the module, you’re expected to:

  • developing a broad and critical review of prospects for techno-economic growth in energy transition activities in a particular context/area
  • proposing and evaluating specific design-related activities with a view to proposing a future research and/or development project in, for example, key areas such as green hydrogen; novel fuel transportation technologies; energy transportation infrastructure
  • being able to present a research/development proposal to an expert panel and defend the recommendations

Individual Dissertation Project

The aim of the individual project is to develop the student’s project development skills and to combine many of the aspects learned during other modules within a specific topic and a coherent body of work. This will be achieved through students carrying out work into a particular topic relating to their theme and preparing a dissertation.

The individual project is a major exercise undertaken throughout the period of study.

The student will investigate a relevant and agreed topic, adhering to a defined schedule, with the findings being documented in a dissertation.

Project topics are selected from a supplied list or may be proposed by the student.

Projects may be undertaken in any department with approval, or wholly in industry, in which circumstances a co-supervisor may by appointed.

Based on the work of a project, a student will submit an individual dissertation which forms the main basis for assessment.

The project report will be submitted in late August.

Learning & teaching

Each module will be delivered in 5 consecutive weeks. There will be 2 hours of pre-recorded lectures, 2 hours of live sessions (which include lectures/tutorials/group activities) and a list of supplemented recommended readings for each week. The live sessions will be recorded and uploaded on MyPlace after each session for those who could not attend the live sessions.

Guest lectures

The course involves numerous evening talks and specialised seminars delivered by key experts in offshore energy transition sector, both from academia and industry.


The modules will be assessed through written assignments and individual projects.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant engineering or science discipline and/or extensive industrial experience.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please visit our English language requirements page for full details of the requirements in place before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

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Fees & funding

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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£5,100 per 60 credits

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.


We work closely with the University's Careers Service. They offer advice and guidance on career planning and looking for and applying for jobs. In addition, they administer and publicise graduate and work experience opportunities.

Whether you're planning to progress your career into engineering management, redevelop yourself as an engineer or move into the renewable energy industry – a master’s degree will expand your career opportunities.

Potential Sectors

High-calibre energy transition experts are in demand throughout the world. This course is designed to meet industrial demand for qualified staff in offshore energy transition. It's particularly suitable for those who are working full-time in the offshore Oil and Gas sector and would like to have a career change towards the emerging offshore renewable energy market to work in the following areas:

  • Fixed-bottom offshore wind
  • Floating offshore wind
  • Wave and tidal energy
  • Offshore energy engineering consultancy
  • Offshore structures asset integrity management
  • Design of offshore renewable energy structures
  • Manufacturing and construction of renewable energy structures

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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During the application process, you're required to upload the following supporting documents. If these are not provided, we'll not be able to process your application:

  • certified individual semester mark sheets/academic transcript showing subjects taken and grades achieved for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide individual semester mark sheets to date
  • certified degree certificate for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide this after completing the qualification
  • provide evidence of suitable English language proficiency if English is not your first language, or you're not from a “UKVI recognised "Majority English Speaking" country”; check the University’s language requirements
  • if you have been out of full-time education for over two years, provide a CV, detailing employment history, organisations worked for and a brief description of roles and responsibilities
  • a copy of your passport containing your photo and passport number
  • a copy of your sponsor letter/scholarship award (if appropriate) 
  • names, job titles and email addresses for two nominated referees

Start date: Sep 2024

Offshore Energy Transition

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Jan 2025

Offshore Energy Transition (January intake)

Start date: Jan 2025

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484