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MSc Offshore Wind Energy

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: RINA / IMarEST
  • Study mode and duration: On-campus, MSc: 12 months full-time, PgDip: 9 months full-time

Study with us

  • UK University of the Year 2019 (Times Higher Education Awards)
  • Scottish University of the Year 2020 (The Sunday Times Good University Guide)
  • access to excellent teaching facilities that include a fully operational ship model experiment tank, racing yacht and industry software packages
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Why this course?

With almost 20 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity worldwide, and projected to increase fifteen-fold by 2040, the offshore wind energy market is booming, and it urgently needs qualified people to further succeed in being the leading sustainable energy source.

We offer a uniquely well-rounded, offshore wind-focused MSc, taught by staff having internationally leading expertise and track record in both wind turbines offshore engineering and electric and electronic engineering, unparalleled in the world.

This course is designed for ambitious graduates with a background in engineering, maths or physics who want to gain in-depth and industrially relevant knowledge in offshore wind energy.

Offshore wind turbines

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

The MSc course will be delivered by the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering (NAOME), and the Department of Electronic and Electric Engineering (EEE). There are six compulsory modules, a group project, and an individual project. The taught parts of the course will comprise 120 credits including a 40-credit group project. The taught part includes modules dealing with the following subjects:

  • offshore wind, wave, and current modelling
  • aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loads
  • structural analysis and integrity assessment
  • generators, power converters, and control systems
  • risk and reliability engineering
  • offshore wind farm Economics, Operation & Maintenance

Work placement

There’s the opportunity to carry out the individual project through the departments’ competitive MSc industrial internships.

The internships are offered in collaboration with selected department industry partners, including ScottishPower, Smarter Grid Solutions and SSE. You'll address engineering challenges facing the partner, with site visits, access and provision of relevant technical data and/or facilities provided, along with an industry mentor and academic supervisor.

Group projects

You’ll be part of a group of three to five people, acting as engineering consultants for 10 weeks, addressing a practical engineering problem. An industrially relevant, practical problem will be allocated (e.g. techno-economic feasibility assessment of an offshore wind farm, design of a novel floating support platform for a given wind turbine, et.c.), and the students will need to develop a plan, allocate tasks, manage resources, and presenting the results to a panel of academic and industry expert. This is not only an opportunity to apply your technical knowledge but also to develop your teamworking skills, an essential part of every engineer.

Facilities

We have excellent teaching facilities including:

  • Catalina - our departmental racing yacht
  • Kelvin Hydrodynamics Lab - the largest fully operational ship-model experiment tank in any UK university
  • cutting-edge computer facilities including high-performance computers
  • industry-standard software packages
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.

Student competitions

The Department of NAOME supports and promotes students in various competitions and awards, from cash bursaries for top-performing students to the highest of awards from international organisations.

In recent years students from NAOME have been triumphant in the following high profile competitions:

  • Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year (SET Awards)
  • Best Maritime Technology Student (SET Awards)
  • Double winner of BP’s Ultimate Field Trip Competition
  • Strathclyder of the Year
  • Maritime Masters
  • TRA, the Transport Research Arena, is the largest European research and technology conference on transport and mobility

Guest lectures

You’ll appreciate industry experts involved in the teaching on selected modules within this PGT programme. In addition, the group project will be assessed by a panel of industry experts.

NAOME runs a so-called Marine Forum seminar series for all students in the Department, which is timetabled into all MSc programmes. The seminars are delivered by industrial experts, visiting academics and researchers of the Department in subjects relevant to the marine industry. As well as providing an opportunity for making contacts, specific seminars are also arranged to provide careers advice and promote membership of professional societies including the accrediting bodies

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Course content

Offshore Structural Integrity

This module aims to provide:

  • principles and methodologies to analyse and evaluate pertinent issues concerning the use of engineering materials and structural integrity in the marine environment
  • practical tools for considering structural integrity and structural fitness-for-service problems throughout the design life cycle in the marine environment

The module will teach the following:

1. Introduction:

  1. Structural design philosophies
  2. In service failure modes (fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion) (overview)
  3. Application of materials testing (tools of failure analysis)
  4. Methodologies of materials and process selection

2. Materials specification and sourcing:

  1. Metallic materials (Steels, Aluminium, and Metal Matrix Composite (MMC))
  2. Mechanical properties, manufacturing methods, deformation and materials forming, standards and Industrial applications
  3. Composite (Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC))
  4. Composite materials in offshore structure

3. Joining and welding:

  1. Advanced manufacturing process
  2. Joining and Welding in metals and composites
  3. Residual stress: origins and measurement of residual stress in Metallic and Composite component

4. Fracture mechanics:

  1. Stress analysis of cracks
  2. Fracture toughness
  3. Connecting the fracture theories, critical crack sizes (ductile vs brittle) & NDE
  4. Limitations of LEFM, Crack Tip Plasticity
  5. Mixed-mode fracture problems, KIc testing
  6. Elastic-plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM), J-Integral, JIc testing, Application Case Studies
  7. Fractography

5. Fatigue:

  1. Fatigue life analysis
  2. Stress-Life and how to develop and use S-N curve
  3. Cyclic stress/strain behaviour leading to hardening or softening (microstructure origins)
  4. Fatigue crack initiation, damage tolerant lifetime
  5. Corrosion fatigue
  6. Notch effects on fatigue, fatigue crack growth testing
  7. Fatigue fractography case studies

6. Corrosion:

  1. Corrosion prevention and mitigation
  2. Embrittlement mechanisms
  3. Environmentally assisted crack growth

7. Creep and stress rupture:

  1. Time-dependent mechanical behaviour
  2. Mechanisms of creep deformation
  3. Structural changes during creep
  4. Creep-fatigue interaction
  5. Creep under combined stresses

8. Nondestructive evaluation:

  1. Introduction to methods for determining the presence of defects and their size
  2. Structural health monitoring
  3. Inspection reliability
  4. Defect and remaining life assessment

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

  • show a systematic understanding of structural integrity and fitness-for-service issues
  • demonstrate an in-depth awareness of the current practice and its limitations in aspects of structural integrity
  • develop a critical and analytical approach towards the engineering aspects of structural integrity
  • be able to confidently assess the applicability of the tools of structural integrity to new problems and apply them appropriately

Assessment and feedback are in the form of coursework.

Risk & Reliability Engineering

This module aims to introduce the principles of risk management and reliability engineering and solve relevant engineering problems through widely applied methods and tools.

The module will teach the following:

  • Introduction and Fundamentals of Risk and Reliability Engineering
  • Risk Management Process
  • Statistics, Probabilities and Mathematics for Risk Analysis
  • Failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis (FMEA/FMECA)
  • Hazard and operability study (HAZOP) Analysis
  • Qualitative Reliability Analysis (FTA/ETA)
  • Systems modelling using Reliability Block Diagrams
  • Quantitative Reliability Analysis, Introduction to MCS
  • Risk Control and Decision Support Systems, Failure Consequences
  • Insurance and Certification of Engineering Applications

On completion of the module you're expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the fundamentals of risk management and reliability engineering and a critical awareness of their application on relevant engineering problems
  • evaluate and select appropriate techniques for risk analysis (qualitative and quantitative), failure consequences assessment, and methods for control/mitigation through decision support systems and other relevant methods/tools
  • develop a critical and analytical approach to the collection and stochastic modelling of data in the application of stochastic modelling
  • demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the development and use of commonly used methods and standards related to asset integrity management (including Reliability-Centred Maintenance and Risk-based Inspection)

Assessment will be in the form of a one-hour closed-book oral exam.

Principles of Generator Modelling and Control

This module provides you with fundamental understanding of the control of electric generators via power electronics for wind power applications. The module revises all the relevant theory in electric machines and power electronics required to perform electrical and mechanical generator control. As such, this course is suitable for non-specialist engineers.

Wind Turbine Technology

This module introduces the principles of wind turbine power conversion, including an introduction to turbine dynamics suitable for non-specialist engineers and scientists, and explain the evolution of contemporary wind turbine technology. You'll gain sufficient understanding to outline the design and operation of multi-megawatt machines, including modelling and control design methods of wind turbine control systems.

Offshore Wind Turbines Dynamics Modelling

This module aims to provide you with the knowledge necessary to model and analyse:

  • the marine environment (waves, currents, soil) characteristics
  • the loads acting on the wind turbine sub-structure and foundation
  • the dynamic response of the offshore wind turbine system as a whole

This module covers:

  • marine environment modelling
    • wind
    • waves (regular, irregular)
    • marine currents
    • soil mechanics
  • hydrodynamic loads on the substructure
    • hydrostatics
    • 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
  • 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 to the theory)
    • hydrodynamics loads in time domain: Cummins equation
    • mooring forces
    • soil forces
  • offshore wind turbine aero-hydro-servo-elastic analysis in the time domain:
    • state of the art
    • free decay, wave only (regular/irregular), wind and wave
    • postprocessing: basic statistics, FFT, (pseudo) RAO

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

  • propose the most suitable analytical and numerical approach to model the relevant aspects of the marine environment conditions (waves, currents, soil)
  • evaluate how to model the loads acting on the substructure and foundation of the offshore wind turbine
  • select how to model the dynamic response of the offshore system
  • set up and run a numerical aero-hydro-servo-elastic coupled dynamics analysis of an offshore wind turbine, critically reviewing the results

Assessment and feedback are in the form of two coursework assignments, each one contributing to 50% of the final mark. The first assignment will be set in semester 1, week 10, and submitted in the semester 1 exam period. The second assignment will be set in semester 2, week 10, and submitted in the semester 2 exam period.

Offshore Wind Farms Operation & Maintenance, and Economics

This module fully educates you on the operational challenges and solutions facing offshore wind operators. This will be approached both in terms of Operation & Maintenance planning for project development and final investment decision; post-warranty asset transfer; day-to-day operational decisions; and finally repowering and life extension. You'll be able to identify key operational choices and how these manifest in operational metrics (such as availability, OPEX, yield targets). Post-subsidy operation for offshore wind is also discussed.

Group Design Project

The overall aim of the module is to provide you with an enriched experience in the selection, conceptualisation and designing of a novel vessel or an offshore asset. The group projects will also include a thorough market review, concept and focused design studies and techno-economic analysis in a simulated design project environment. It will also provide you with an opportunity to present their project outputs to a panel involving academic/industry staff.

This module covers:

  • development of a broad but nevertheless critical review of prospects for techno-economic growth in maritime related activities in a particular context/area of the world
  • proposal and evaluation of specific design-related activities with a view to developing a design project to a concept level but with substantial calculations in at least one design objective
  • demonstration of analytical ability and understanding of engineering principles and problem-solving techniques, creativity and self-reflection
  • the ability to present and defend the design choices to a panel.

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

  • identify and prioritize the key-design issues along with their basic interrelations in the context of naval architecture
  • materialize a design project according to a given timeline through design steps along the key-design-issues priority path
  • work efficiently and openly in a collaborative context involving different cultures and expertise
  • choose at each design step the proper rationally-based computation methods

Assessment and feedback are in the form of either design report or presentation. There will be five tasks: each task may include the submission of a design report or an oral presentation followed by questions from the lecturers and the advisory groups.

Learning and teaching

There are two teaching semesters of 11 weeks each.

Course modules are delivered in form of formal lectures supported with tutorials and laboratory experiment.

You’re required to attend an induction prior to the start of the course.

Assessment

There are two types of method for module assessment. One is course work assessment only, the other is examination assessment. For examined modules the final assessment mark typically consists of 30 to 40% course work and 60 to 70% examination.

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be an Engineering student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

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Entry requirements

MSc

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant engineering or technical subject.

PgDip

Applicants with marginally lower qualifications will be considered for the Postgraduate Diploma in the first instance. Applicants with other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

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 EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

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

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

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Scotland

£9,250

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

International

£23,050

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Visa & immigration

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

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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.

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Careers

There will be huge home/EU and overseas demand for these graduates. Job titles for future graduates of this postgraduate programme include but not limited to:

  • PhD students/researchers
  • Energy Analyst (e.g. at SSE, Natural Power)
  • Graduate/Senior naval architect/engineer (e.g. at SiemensGamesa, ARUP, Frazer-Nash)
  • Inspection Engineer (e.g. Cyberhawk Focus on wind turbine blade inspection)
  • Marine surveyor (e.g. at DNVGL, RINA)
  • Design engineer
  • Project Engineer (e.g. at DEME Offshore)
  • Wind Engineer / Wind Turbine Engineer (e.g. at Senvion, ESB, EDP Renewables)

Our graduates should be able to work at:

  • Classification and Certification societies
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Naval Architecture companies
  • Offshore Engineering companies
  • Offshore wind farm developers
  • Operations and Maintenance companies
  • Research centres, experimental facilities, and universities
  • Specialist offshore wind engineering consultancies
  • Wind turbine OEMs

Hear from employers

The MSc in Offshore Wind Energy will provide the students with the industrially relevant skills necessary to work in this field. BPP-Tech would look to employ 2-4 such graduates in each year.

Minoo Patel, Founder and Director BPP-Tech

The proposed MSc in Offshore Wind Energy has a structure and content that will give the necessary formation and skills to the students allowing them to work in the industry.

Claudio Bittencourt-Ferreira, Senior Principal Surveyor, DNVGL UK

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Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Apply

Start date: Sep 2022

Offshore Wind Energy

MSc
full-time
Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484 / +44 (0)141 574 5482

Email: eng-admissions@strath.ac.uk