Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Gain the skills required for the application of new and renewable energy technologies.
1 year, full time
The MSc in Renewable and Sustainable Energy is designed to equip graduates with the skills required to meet the growing challenge of achieving energy and environmental sustainability through the application of renewable and sustainable energy technologies. The course enables students to develop the capacity to solve problems across the traditional engineering boundaries, to have an appreciation of complete energy systems from source to the end-user, to have knowledge of the relevant technologies and to understand the interactions between systems. The course also provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in research, development, design and project management through individual and team-based project work.
The course consists of a set of core modules to provide advanced engineering education in renewable and sustainable energy technologies and systems alongside an optional module that allows students to increase their understanding in an area suited to their interests and needs, sometimes straying beyond renewable and sustainable energy. In addition to these taught modules, you will also complete a group design project and a major, individual research and development project working closely with an academic in your chosen subject area.
Core taught content:
Optional Modules available in previous years include:
Students usually select one optional module from modules such as:
The core lecture modules typically involve 38 hours of lectures and cover topics such as electricity generation from renewable and conventional sources, energy transmission and distribution (including smart networks), and low carbon technologies (including electric and low carbon vehicles and decarbonised heating and cooling).
A significant core module is a group design project focused on a realistic application of system design ideas with a focus on energy systems and sustainability. You will gain experience of teamwork, presentation skills and project management, as well as the technical aspects of engineering design. You will also benefit from the opportunity to develop your research skills in preparation for your individual research and development project.
A major individual research and development project completes the core modules. This provides an open-ended challenge to each student, in collaboration with a staff supervisor. Regular meetings are held with your supervisor to discuss project progress and planning. There are opportunities for mid-term feedback to ensure your project is on track. At the end of the project, you will submit a final report on your work, in the style of a research paper. There are opportunities throughout the project to present your work to your supervisor and peers so that you can gain experience of communicating technical engineering content. You should expect to have up to 10 hours of contact time with your supervisor plus over 500 hours allocated for research work and preparation, supported by the Department’s technicians and other research staff as appropriate, over the course of your research project.
There is a wealth of support provided by academic and support staff throughout the course. At the very basic level, every lecture course is paired with office hours, where students can discuss one-to-one questions and ideas with the lecturers delivering the course. Both students and staff find this valuable to help overcome what can sometimes be simple points of detail that individuals find challenging.
The team-based design projects are overseen by a design tutor, with whom students meet regularly to discuss progress. Tutors also provide advice and guidance when teams are unsure of direction, as well as some technical support when needed.
The individual research and development dissertation project is supervised by a member of academic staff. The student and supervisor will meet regularly to discuss progress, the technical work and next steps when advice is needed.
All students are allocated an academic adviser and participate in an ongoing programme of academic adviser meetings, careers activities and project skills seminars.
A second class honours degree (typically equivalent to UK 2:1 Honours) or better. This should normally be in an appropriate engineering or engineering-related subject including modules in electrical engineering and/or thermodynamics, as well as engineering mathematics and computing/programming experience, although in some instances we can consider industrial or other relevant experience if you have a different first degree.
The tuition fees for 2023/24 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
For further information on career options and employability, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.
The Department of Engineering offers postgraduate courses that are challenging and technologically relevant. Durham engineering postgraduates, both taught and research, will be making a vital contribution to our challenge areas: future energy systems; next generation materials and microsystems; and sustainable infrastructure. A broad range of specialist research clusters support our activities in these areas. You will also have access to extensive and diverse research facilities to support your learning.
For more information see our department pages.
The Department of Engineering features a number of dedicated teaching laboratories including the newly refurbished Electrical laboratory. Students use these facilities to gain practical experience to complement theory learned in lectures.
More information on our facilities and equipment.
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