Postgraduate study

Sustainable Energy Systems MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Accreditation

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Sustainable Energy Systems

This internationally renowned degree, based within a world-leading renewable energy research group, equips graduates and professionals with a broad and robust training.

Wind, marine and solar energy technologies are covered, as well as the wider environment in which they are to fit, including: resource assessment; energy production, delivery and consumption; efficiency; sustainability; economics, policy and regulation.

In addition, our MSc students actively engage in research as part of their dissertation projects either within the Institute for Energy Systems or with industry, with some joining our PhD community afterwards.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Accreditation

This programme is accredited as counting towards further learning (FL), as a requisite in the educational base for a Chartered Engineering (CEng).

This programme is run over 12 months, with two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project leading to a masters thesis.

Semester 1

Compulsory courses:

  • Technologies for Sustainable Energy
  • Energy and Environmental Economics
  • Sustainable Energy Contexts (MSc)

Plus one of:

  • Electrical Engineering Fundamentals of Renewable Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering Fundamentals of Renewable Energy

Students will also choose 20 credits of available courses from the Schools of Engineering, GeoSciences, Mathematics, and Social and Political Science, and from Scotland's Rural College.

Semester 2

  • Sustainable Energy Group Design Project (MSc)

All students will complete a group design project based on a real life scenario and location. Each team will conduct a preliminary design of a hydroelectricity scheme.

Students with a background in Electrical or Power Engineering will take three courses covering the following major sources of renewable energy: solar, wind and marine.

  • Solar Energy & Photovoltaic Systems (MSc)
  • Principles of Wind Energy (MSc)
  • Marine Energy (MSc)

In addition, students who do not have a background in Electrical or Power Engineering will get the chance to acquire a practical feel for how machines are connected and interacting with a power grid through a hands-on Power Systems course based on laboratory experiments and a simulation software. They will also take a minimum of two of the previously listed three courses on solar, wind and marine.

All students will also choose a complement of optional courses so that their total number of credits for Semester 2 adds up to 60 credits. The optional courses can be selected from available courses from the Schools of Engineering, GeoSciences, Mathematics, and Social and Political Science, and from Scotland's Rural College.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScSustainable Energy Systems1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Graduates go on to a wide range of activities in industry, public organisations or academia. The MSc has well established links with industry, with many graduates finding employment with leading national and international companies involved with energy, consultancy and engineering. Recent graduates are now working as civil, structural, automotive, subsea and electrical engineers and as power systems, energy and environment and renewable energy consultants. Employing firms include Arup, Alston, Avery, Dennison, GE, Schneider, SSE and Scottish Power.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in engineering or physics.

If you apply with a background in another field, you may be accepted if you hold a UK first class honours degree, or its international equivalent, and have studied mathematics to first year undergraduate level, including vectorial calculus (gradients, curls, etc), complex algebra and Fourier transforms. You must also be able to demonstrate a strong interest in the energy sector.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

MSc students at the School of Engineering are required to pay for their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These costs can range from £3 to £70, depending on the programme.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScSustainable Energy Systems1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Taught Student Conversion Officer, Flora Reynolds
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3565
  • Contact: pgtenquiries@eng.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Taught Student Conversion Officer, Flora Reynolds
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3565
  • Contact: pgtenquiries@eng.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL