MSc Renewable Energy & Decarbonisation Technologies

Key facts

  • Start date: January & September
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Study with us

  • the UK’s first MSc programme in renewable energy and decarbonisation technologies
  • address and implement the transition in the industry from fossil fuels to zero/low carbon sources through the integration of electrical technologies into our current and future energy systems
  • engage with our industry partners on real-world energy challenges
  • gain the knowledge and experience via the involvement of other departments in the programme delivery such as Civil & Environmental Engineering, Design Manufacturing & Engineering Management, Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering, and Economics
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Why this course?

Our MSc Renewable Energy & Decarbonisation Technologies course aims to provide students with detailed knowledge of the technology required to ensure future energy transition in industry. It will give both a theoretical and practical grounding for future managers and engineers of energy-based projects. Where possible, the final individual project is carried out in industry, providing an opportunity for personal research and giving a deeper insight into particular energy transition future.

This programme will provide a solid basis for future engineers entering the energy transition industries. It will focus on the challenging problems related to industry decarbonisation, state-of-the-art technologies and future technologies that will support this process on a significant scale.

Renewable Energy & Decarbonisation Technologies will provide an opportunity for graduate engineers to develop advanced skills and knowledge in this vital area. The programme aims to equip graduates with the required skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to find employment in the energy sectors, or to undertake research in a specialised energy, decarbonisation-related field.

In addition to developing transferrable skills and preparing graduates for wide-range employment opportunities, the programme will develop critical and analytical problem-solving skills in several specialist areas dealing with the specification, design, investigation, operation and maintenance of future power networks, and sustainable energy systems infrastructure.

Learning outcomes

Studying our Renewable Energy & Decarbonisation Technologies Masters degree you'll:

  • have a comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles of energy transition and related disciplines
  • have an awareness of developing technologies and standards related to energy transition technology
  • have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computer models relevant to energy transition engineering applications and an appreciation of their limitations
  • understand concepts from multidisciplinary engineering and management areas, and the ability to apply them effectively in smart grid technology projects
  • understand the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the energy transition technology
  • have a comprehensive knowledge of emerging technologies required to design, build, operate and maintain energy transition systems; these relate to automation and control, renewable energy and power electronics, and management

Wind farm.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

You'll have two semesters of compulsory and optional classes, followed by a three-month summer research project in your chosen area. There’s the opportunity to carry this out through the department's competitive MSc industrial internships.

The internships are offered in collaboration with selected department industry partners, including oil and gas companies, ScottishPower, Smarter Grid Solutions and SSE. You'll address real-world 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.

Facilities

You'll have exclusive access to our extensive computing network and purpose-built teaching spaces, including our outdoor test facility for photovoltaics high voltage laboratory, equipped with the latest technologies including:

  • LDS 6-digital partial discharge & measurement system
  • Marx impulse generators & CIS test rigs
  • £1M distribution network and protection laboratory comprising a 100kVA microgrid, induction machines and programme load banks.

You'll have access to the UK’s only high-fidelity control room simulation suite and the PNDC. This is Europe’s first centre dedicated to the development and demonstration of “smart-grid” technologies.

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Course content

You're required to complete a minimum of 180 credits (one compulsory 20 credit module, eight compulsory 10 credit modules, a 60 credit MSc project and two optional 10 credit modules).

Asset Management and Condition Monitoring (10 credits)

This class will present and give an understanding of the economics, trading and pricing of electricity supply and how it is shaped by technical, commercial and regulatory considerations.

It will give you an understanding of power system economics under an environment of multiple suppliers and users, and present the challenges, technologies and value of asset management within an electricity supply industry context. You'll gain a deep appreciation of factors affecting security of supply and how it might be quantified.

Energy Economics (10 credits)

In this class you'll explore key economic issues at the heart of topical energy questions – building on the University’s outstanding reputation as a centre of excellence in energy technology and policy. The class covers the objectives of energy policy; private and social perspectives on energy supply and demand; the special case of regulation of energy markets; the use of economic models in energy analysis; the economics of oil and gas activity and links between energy use and the energy sector and an economy.

Wind Energy and Distributed Energy Resources 1 (10 credits)

This class will provide an understanding of the principles of wind turbine power generation with attention to the wind resource, rotor aerodynamics, structural design, power conversion and control.

It will also examine the socio-economic issues relating to wind power and provide an underpinning in distributed energy resources including small scale generation, energy storage and demand management and their integration and management within power networks.

Solar Energy Systems (10 credits)

This module offers understanding of the solar energy industries including resources, technologies, practical implementation, development, barriers, environmental and sustainable issues. They students will gain familiarity with the techniques required to analyse common solar energy systems that comprise PV system and to enable them to carry out analysis and design of these components. Students will carry out a design project to enhance their intellectual ability and transferable skills.

Energy Storage Systems (10 credits)

This module offers understanding of how current and future energy storage systems operate and how these can be used to deal with the variable nature of the demand and supply on the grid in particular due to the intermittent nature of renewable electrical energy sources. The students will gain familiarity with different energy storage technologies. A case study of battery-based system will be carried out to learn how to design these components.

Optional Modules

Students should select a 10 credit module from this list:

Systems Engineering Concepts (10 credits)

This module will enable you to understand the principles and techniques of Systems Engineering. You will learn how to apply systems engineering techniques in engineering contexts, taking into account a range of regulatory requirements as well as commercial and industrial constraints.

Sustainable Product Design & Manufacturing (10 credits)

You'll develop the skills to address global challenges in sustainable product development and the study of environmental legislation.

Renewable Marine Energy Systems (10 credits)

This module aims to provide you with:

  • principles and methodologies to analyse and evaluate the marine renewable energy sources potential
  • principles and methodologies to analyse and compare the main offshore wind, wave, and tidal systems available

This module covers:

  • introduction to marine renewable energy systems: context, trends, basic concepts
  • offshore wind energy resource characterisation and analysis
  • wave energy resource characterisation and analysis
  • tidal energy resource characterisation and analysis
  • marine Renewable Energy Systems economics: an introduction
  • offshore wind turbines: main technologies and modelling approaches
  • wave energy converters: main technologies and modelling approaches

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

  • analyse the potential of the main marine renewable energy sources (offshore wind, wave, and tidal)
  • classify and compare, from a techno-economic point of view, the main offshore wind, wave, and tidal energy systems
  • propose a preliminary design of a marine renewable energy system for a given geographical area
  • discuss on the main challenges of the experimental testing of marine renewable energy systems
  • demonstrate an awareness of the wider, multidisciplinary context for marine renewable energy devices

Assessment and feedback are in the form of:

  • quick quizzes for formative feedback
  • a class test, mid-way through the module, weighting 40% of the final module mark
  • an exam, at the end of the module, weighting 60% of the final module mark
Strategic Technology Management (10 credits)

This class highlights the role of technology in business strategy for maintaining market competitiveness.

Assignment and Professional Studies (20 credits)

The aim of this class is to provide you with support for your general academic and professional development.

You'll undertake an advanced investigation of an electronic or electrical engineering topic of your choice, to enhance your learning, and develop presentation and communication skills.

Energy Decarbonisation Technologies (10 credits)

The energy decarbonisation from conventional resources to renewable enable resources brings new challenges such as interfacing, reliability, stability, security of supply, metering, pricing, communication, protection, coordination and distribution. This course aim is to provide an introduction to the key technologies of energy decarbonisation in electrical networks, transportation (Electrical vehicle, trains, and aerospace) and Oil and Gas industry.

Power Electronics Principles (10 credits)

Modern energy conversion systems rely on the integration of a range of technologies including power electronics, electromechanical actuators and energy storage elements. This class will build knowledge of power electronics converters and show their application to modern energy conversion systems.

Offshore Wind Farms O&M and Economics (10 credits)

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.

Optional modules

Students should select a 10 credit module from this list:

Environmental Impact Assessment (10 credits)

This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, provides an introduction to 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. Students are also introduced to key principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

Circular Economy and Transformations towards Sustainability (10 credits)

The class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, introduces circular economy as a systems-based concept in which production is designed to be restorative and resilient, while waste is designed out of the system. Circular economy is thus featured as a reaction to the conventional dispensation of the linear ‘make-use-dispose’ economy, and as a framework for the development and management of a sustainable, ‘waste-as-a-resource’ economic system. The implications of the concept for research, policy and industrial practice are also explored as these relate to innovation and knowledge production; social trends and consumer behaviour; conservation and sustainable use of energy and material resources; climate change and environmental sustainability; and design of business models for green enterprise development and for sustainable growth and employment generation.

Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products (10 credits)

This module aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the key concepts for the Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products, current practices, tools and processes, and possible future development routes.

The module covers the current and latest state-of-the-art in Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products, including the identification of challenges and areas requiring further development in terms of research and technology innovation, product and service development, supplier management, production, routes to market, delivery, in service, maintenance, repair, remanufacture and reuse, and business plan development and management aspects. It also explores the latest initiatives worldwide that tie with Design for Industry 4 and Smart products (Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Cyber-Physical Systems, Cloud Manufacturing, Big Data analytics and Edge Analytics, Additive Manufacturing for Smart Products, IIoT Security aspects) and Through-Life Engineering and Through-Life Engineering Services (TES) concepts.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Formulate an overview of the tools, processes and best practice currently employed in Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products
  • Understand initiatives currently undertaken worldwide for the future development of Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products, and assess how proposals for future development given would affect the current processes.
  • Assessment and feedback is in the form of classwork (100%) including a group presentation and a report.
Waste Management and Landfill Design (10 credits)

This class covers organisational and regulatory aspects of waste management practice in the UK: legislation, composition of domestic and industrial wastes, storage, collection, reception, and disposal of solid wastes, clinical wastes, sewage sludge disposal, recycling and recovery.

Control and Protection of Future Networks (10 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable students to appreciate the principles of control and protection of present-day and future electrical systems including:
The steady-state and dynamic analysis of electrical systems under normal, transient and fault conditions.

Grid-codes and other legislation that impacts upon the functional requirements of protection systems, generation and HVDC transmission units.

The main concepts related to the requirements, functions, design and operation of protection schemes for power system transmission and distribution systems.

How HVDC and converter-interfaced generation pose challenges to operation and protection system design; but also, how their enhanced controllability has great potential to enable new alternative concepts.

Offshore and Pan European Supergrids (10 credits)

This module establishes the case for a massive expansion of DC in transmission systems in order to access diversity of load and generation at a European level. Students will investigate different design strategies for new offshore networks compared to traditional networks in recognition of different risk and cost profiles.

The module also covers the fundamentals of HVDC grid, including multi-level converter topology and configuration, operation, modelling and control of multi-terminal DC grids. This will also include the approach taken to control DC networks to provide support and integration of AC networks, and how an AC network is affected by a high penetration of DC links.

Project in Electrical Energy Transition (60 credits)

The aim of the research project is to provide you with an opportunity to bring your knowledge and skills together and deploy them in a significant practical investigation, using relevant engineering literature, and where relevant, initial experiments or simulations.

Assessment

A variety of assessment techniques are used throughout the course. You'll complete a combination of compulsory and optional modules. Each module has a combination of written assignments, individual and group reports, oral presentations, practical lab work and, where appropriate, an end-of-term exam.

Assessment of the summer research project/internship consists of four elements with individual criteria:

  • interim report (10%, 1,500 to 3,000 words) – the purpose of the report is to provide a mechanism for supervisors to provide valuable feedback on the project’s objectives and direction
  • poster presentation (15%) – a vital skill of an engineer is the ability to describe their work to others and respond to requests for information; the poster presentation is designed to give you an opportunity to practice
  • final report (55%) – this assesses the communications of project objectives and context, accuracy and relevance of background material, description of practical work and results, depth and soundness of discussion and conclusions, level of engineering achievement and the quality of the report’s presentation
  • conduct (20%) – independent study, project and time management are key features of university learning; the level of your initiative, independent thinking and technical understanding is assessed through project meetings with your supervisor and your written logbooks

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (in Electrical or Electronic Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or cognate subject) from a United Kingdom university; or a similar institute internationally.

English language requirements

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.

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Fees & funding

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

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 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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Scotland

£9,250

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

International

£23,050

Placement & Field Trips

The department and student societies support a number of industrial visits throughout the year. These trips are not mandatory for specific programmes and modules and any incurred charge to cover transport is either met by the students of by the department.

International Students

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

Other costs

Students are not required to purchase any specific software licenses – all software used is available on campus machines, either locally or remotely. All students are provided for the duration of their course with student membership of IET (Professional Body) paid by the department.

Some hardware (micro controllers, design boards) may be made available to students for loan subject to appropriate refundable deposit. Students may consider purchase of low-cost microcontroller boards for project work – cost from £10-£30.

Access to EEE Computer labs out of working hours is via card access – card cost if £20 refundable on return of card.

Students are provided with an additional print-quota for use in EEE labs for EEE classes conducted in EEE computer labs. Paid top-ups possible via University IT services.

Expected printing and report binding costs are around £10-£15 a year – will depend upon exact programme and class assignments. Binding is provided at cost (50p to £1.00) by EEE Resource Centre in R4.01.

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.

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.