MSc Smart Grids with the Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time
  • Industry links: paid internships with Iberdrola, Minsait/Indra and UFD Distribucion Electricidad S.A.

Study with us

  • double degree in partnership with the ICAI School of Engineering at the Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid and in collaboration with Iberdrola, Minsait/Indra and UFD Distribucion Electricidad S.A.
  • paid industrial internships available in the UK/USA/Spain/Brazil
  • build the skill set to meet the needs of the power sector
  • gain expertise in electrical power and smart grids
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Why this course?

This course responds to the growing demand for engineers required to lead the process of the digitalisation of the electric grid. It's designed specifically for graduates in the areas of electrical, electronic or telecommunications engineering.

It will both deepen the knowledge of electrical engineering graduates in the new challenges and opportunities around smart grids, and allow information and communications engineers to gain new insights into the power sector’s emerging needs and the global energy transition. You'll gain the foundations to contribute to the new energy paradigm and the utility of the future.

Extensive international experience

You'll spend one term in Spain and one term in Scotland, followed by a paid internship offered within the framework of the MSc degree  with Iberdrola, Minsait/Indra and UFD Distribucion Electricidad S.A. at one of their offices in Spain, UK, USA or Brazil.

network of pylons at dusk.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

Academic & industry teams

The academic team consists of internationally-renowned researchers from both institutions whose expertise spans the smart grid field. Iberdrola is the core industry partner to the course, providing unique international insight on the utility of the future, and guaranteed internships for every student.

Strathclyde Academic Team

Comillas Pontifical University Academic Team

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Course content

The structure of the course is as follows:

  • Term 1 (September – December): 30 ECT credits – ICAI School of Engineering, Comillas Pontifical University
  • Term 2 (January – mid-May): 30 ECT credits – Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde
  • Term 3 (mid-May – mid-Sept): 30 ECT credits – Individual Research Project: this will take the form of a practical, applied project with one of the University partners, or a paid internship with Iberdrola, Minsait/Indra and UFD Distribucion Electricidad S.A. at one of their offices in Spain, UK, USA or Brazil; internships are available for the top-performing MSc students

Classes in Spain are taught from 3pm to 9pm; classes in Scotland are taught from 9am to 5pm.

Operation and Planning of Future Distribution Networks

The aim of this course is to develop an understanding of the principles and main methodologies behind the planning and operation of distribution networks, understand how distributed energy resources affect these activities, and comprehend what technical solutions distribution grid operators need to deploy in order to address the new challenges of the Smart Grid.

Regulation and New Business Models

The course presents an in-depth interdisciplinary perspective of the electric power sector, with regulation as the core for networks business providing the link among the engineering, economic, legal and environmental viewpoints.

Telecommunications for Smart Grids

The aim of this course is to provide the student with knowledge about the main technologies and standards used for digital communications. More precisely, the course is focused on technologies that are or could be useful in present and future Smart Grids, respectively. Contents will vary from a mathematical model of the signal transmission to a higher-level view of the network architecture for Smart Grid Networks. Cybersecurity will be a recurrent topic in this course.

Fundamentals of Telecommunications

The objective of this course is to develop some basic understanding of the fundamental foundations on telecommunication. The course focuses not only on the transmissions systems and techniques used nowadays for transmitting information at a high level but it also elaborates on the fundamental concepts of signal modulation and propagation.

Fundamentals of Power Systems

The aim of this course is to provide the student with the fundamental foundations on power systems that allow them to tackle more advanced concepts.

Leadership, Change Management & Corporate Responsibility

This course provides skills and knowledge necessary to manage staff in dynamic company structures, which are subject to changes and difficulties as part of a more complex organization. In addition to this, the course addresses situations which encompass dilemmas and implications of an ethical and professional nature, which will not only affect students in their future personal or professional life, but also have consequences that go beyond their own personal lives.

Detailed information on these modules is available at the Comillas Pontifical University.

Control and Protection of Future Networks

HVDC transmission systems and renewable generation units use power electronic converters rather than synchronous machines to interface to the AC network. Hence, classic control and protection methods meant for classic power systems may not be able to accommodate high penetration of renewables and long distance HVDC links.

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.
Hardware IoT Communication System Design

This module will provide you with the essential skills to design, build and test a sensor network for your smart grid application. The course makes use of radio frequency (RF) Internet of Things (IoT) development boards and a range of sensors and radio modules. You'll program the boards to communicate with the sensor nodes and wirelessly transmit data to gateway and onwards to a PC receiver or mobile wi-fi device. You'll analyse the measurement data and produce a graphical user interface to display it in a user-accessible manner.

5G Comms Networks

This module covers the core principles and operation of packet-based communications networks leading to the design and operation of future 5G networks. It describes the operation of the key transport layer protocols within the internet architecture including wired and wireless networks. Specific areas include 5G Quality of Services based networks, techniques to measure and report the network performance and operation.

The course will contain topics in relation to cyber security including browser and HTTP fundamentals, security architecture and security analysis methodologies highlighting common web vulnerabilities, security management systems and policies and security governance.

Offshore & Pan European Supergrids

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.

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.

Power Electronics for Transmission & Distribution

Power electronics provides one of the key technologies for delivering the flexible power networks necessary for future low carbon energy systems. This module will help to build the skills and knowledge necessary to analyse power electronic-based systems, evaluate their operation within the wider power network, and identify the key advances that will facilitate wider adoption.

In particular, the module will build understanding in the following areas.

  • The operation of power electronic-based energy conversion systems
  • The application of power electronics to transmission and distribution networks
  • The benefits and disadvantages of power electronics in power systems

Practical paid internship at any of the Iberdrola international branch offices, with salary provided.

MSc in Smart Grids Individual Project

Individual research project: This will take the form of a practical, applied project with one of the University partners or as a paid internship with Iberdrola at one of their international branch offices in the UK, Spain, USA or Brazil.

Students will identify an engineering problem, critically review the existing literature relating to this, formulate a project plan with clear objectives, milestones and deliverables. They will then define and implement one or more methodologies independently, interpret the results and provide a contextual analysis of these, to make sound contributions to solve or address the problem, and make recommendations for future work.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in electronic, electrical or telecommunications engineering, or a related physical sciences subject.

English Language requirements

UKVI-recognised English language qualification at C1 level (IELTS 7.0) for non-native English speakers.

Additional requirements

Candidates must be willing to travel, as teaching takes place in both Spain and Scotland, and the internship will be carried out in Spain, the UK, USA or Brazil.

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.

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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€15,935 for the entire Master's Degree (one year)

England, Wales, Northern Ireland & EU


Registration fee: €3,385.80
8 instalments: €1,568.70



Registration fee: €3,384
8 instalments: €2,232

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?

Grants and financial aid are available to support with course costs. Iberdrola offer a number of scholarships to the most talented candidates joining the course. Further information on these scholarships is available on Iberdrola's website or from the Comillas Pontifical University Coordinator.

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The course aims to develop expertise in both the power systems and telecommunications dimensions of Smart Grids.

Academic excellence, together with internships in real-life projects taking place in a leading multinational energy company, Iberdrola, enable you to acquire new skills, which are in demand in the energy industry.

This type of professional profile is already in high demand in the energy industry around the world.

Professional opportunities

  • Electric Power Utilities: transmission system operators, distribution system operators, retailers, aggregators and new ventures involving distributed energy resources
  • Electric equipment and systems suppliers
  • Telecommunications equipment and services suppliers
  • Government and regulatory agencies
  • Institutes for research and innovation
  • Energy sector consultants

Academic career paths

  • Research, development and innovation
  • Doctoral candidates

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

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Comillas Pontifical University will deal with all admissions to the MSc.

Applications for the MSc starting in September 2022:

  • 1st Call for Applications: 01/11/2021 to 13/05/2022
  • 2nd Call for Applications: 14/05/2022 to 30/06/2022

Find out more about how to submit an application, along with information on what documentation is required.

The Admissions Committee will consider all applications on the basis of:

  • Student academic transcript – 80%
  • Letters of Recommendation, cover letter and if applicable interview – 20%

Start date: Sep 2022

Smart Grids with the Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid

Start date: Sep 2022

Applicants Admission portal and online application form on Comillas Pontifical University's site.