Energy Systems and Thermal Processes MSc


MSc in Energy Systems and Thermal Processes Course

Energy is an essential precursor for sustaining economic development and improving standards of living. However, the rational and economic use of energy, with the least damage to the environment, is vital for the future welfare of our planet. Achieving energy efficiency and reducing environmental pollution are increasingly important aspects of professional engineering.

The MSc in Energy Systems and Thermal Processes course has been developed to equip graduates and practicing engineers with an in-depth understanding of the fundamental issues of energy thrift in the industrial and commercial sectors. It provides up to date technical knowledge and skills required for achieving the better management of energy, designing of energy-efficient systems and processes, utilisation of renewable energy sources and the cost effective reduction and control of pollution. This knowledge can be directly applied to help various sectors of the economy in improving their competitiveness in the face of dwindling resources, probable substantial increases in unit energy costs and the urgent requirement to comply with the increasingly restrictive pollution control standards.

The course is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as environmentally aware energy professionals.

Watch MSc course video: From a student's perspective: video one (YouTube)

Watch MSc course video: From a student's perspective: video two (YouTube)

Course overview

The MSc in Energy Systems and Processes consists of nine taught modules, including an energy audit group project, and an individual research project.

In addition to management, communication, team work and research skills, each student will attain at least the following outcomes from this degree course:

  • Demonstrate competence in the current concepts and theories governing energy flows, heat transfer and energy conversions.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the issues involved in the management of energy in industry and commerce and the design of energy-efficient systems and processes.
  • Effectively acquire and critically review information from various sources.
  • Apply effectively learnt techniques and technologies to achieve cost-effective conservation of energy and reduction of environmental pollution in industrial/commercial applications.
  • Assess the potential and viability of energy policies and projects and making informed judgement in the absence of complete data.

Group project

The Energy Audit group project is part of the Energy Management for Industry module. It requires teams of students to carry out energy audits on selected industrial/commercial sites. Teams must produce prioritised recommendations to reduce energy costs. Each team is expected to present findings and conclusions at various stages and submit a final report for assessment. 

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Individual Project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. As our academic research is so closely related to industry, it is common for our industrial partners to put forward real practical problems or areas of development as potential research topics. The individual research project component takes place between April and August.

For part-time students, it is common that their research project is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work. 

Research projects will involve designs, computer simulations, feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations and experimental investigations.

Typical areas of research include:

  • Modelling of energy-conversion systems and thermal processes
  • Renewable energy utilisation schemes
  • Control of environmental pollution
  • Combustion and heat transfer processes.

Recent Individual Research Projects Include:

  • Feasibility study for a mini hydropower plant in Peru
  • Developing a self-powered generator for energy usage
  • Feasibility assessment of Installing photovoltaic systems in a house in Alicante, Spain
  • Biomass gasification plants for decentralised small scale rural electrification in Northern Ghana: Assessing the economic viability of its utilisation
  • Thermal analysis on a vertical axis wind turbine generator
  • Investigation of jet pump performance under multiphase flow conditions.


The taught programme for the Energy Systems and Thermal Processes masters is generally delivered from October to March and is comprised of eight compulsory taught modules, and one optional module to select from a choice of three. A typical module consists of five days of intensive postgraduate level structured lectures, tutorials or workshops covering advanced aspects of each subject. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the compulsory modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the course director.


  • Management for Technology: Energy
    Module LeaderMr Stephen Carver - Lecturer in Project & Programme Management
    • Project management: Scope definition. Planning and Scheduling. Critical path analysis
    • People management: Understanding you. Understanding other people. Working in teams. Dealing with conflicts
    • Marketing: Marketing technology. Selling technology. Market segmentation
    • Negotiation: Preparation for Negotiations. Negotiation process. Win-Win solutions
    • New product development: Commercialising technology. Market drivers. Time to market. Focusing technology. Concerns
    • Presentation skills: Understanding your audience. Focusing your message. Successful presentations. Getting your message across
    • Finance: Profit and loss accounts. Balance sheets. Cash flow forecasting.  Project appraisal
    • Business game: Working in teams (companies), students will set up and run a technology company and make decisions on investment, R&D funding, operations, marketing and sales strategy.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On completion of this module the student should:

    • Understand the structure of a company, and the importance of business policy, financial matters and working environment
    • Recognise the commercial aspects relevant to the manufacture of a product or provision of a technical services
    • Demonstrate an understanding of  the key elements of management required for design, research and development
    • Work effectively in a team to set up and make the appropriate decisions to run a successful technology company.
  • Environmental Management
    Module LeaderDr Ilai Sher - Lecturer

    Environmental pollution - an introduction: Pollution. Main ecological concepts. Ecosystem processes. The human dimension. Environmental gradients, tolerance and adaptation.  Major biogeochemical cycles.

    Atmospheric pollution: Sources, sinks and concentration trends for atmospheric pollutants. 

    Environmental impacts of atmospheric pollution: Global issues (global warming; ozone-layer depletion). Regional issues (acid deposition; the Arctic haze). Urban air pollution (urban growth patterns; urban air pollutants; atmospheric pollution and human health; effects of atmospheric pollution on plants). 

    Dispersal of atmospheric pollutants: Air pollution and meteorology (lapse rate and atmospheric stability; Temperature inversions; Atmospheric mixing height and ventilation coefficient). Dispersion modelling (plume rise; The Gaussian plume dispersion model).

    Control of atmospheric pollution: Particulate pollutants (gravity settling chambers; Centrifugal separators; Electrostatic precipitators; Filters and scrubbers). VOCs (Adsorption; Condensation; Absorption; Thermal oxidation; Bio-oxidation). SO2 (Removal of SO2 from rich waste gases; Sulphuric acid plants; Removal of SO2 from lean waste gases; Scrubbers; Dry systems; Wet-dry systems). NOx (Selective catalytic reduction; Selective non-catalytic reduction; Non-selective catalytic reduction). CO2 (Industrial emissions; The Kyoto Protocol; CO2 capture from flue-gas streams of fossil fuel-fired power plants; CO2 storage; CO2 utilisation). 

    Water pollutants and basic treatment principles: Water contaminants. Overview of drinking water treatment processes. Regulatory requirements for drinking water in Europe. 

    Wastewater pollutants and basic treatment principles: Rationalization of wastewater quality including the origin, abundance and classification of pollutants. Pollution measurement. Overview of regulations.  Brief description of common wastewater treatment processes and main principles. 

    Water flowsheet exercise: Exploration of the logical sequence of treatment processes required to achieve water/wastewater treatment.

    Solid waste management: Solid waste generation. Options for management of the waste. Waste recycling. Composting. Anaerobic digestion. Gasification. Pyrolysis. Refuse-derived fuels. Waste incineration. Waste disposal. Integrated solid waste management.  

    Overview of environmental law and legislation

    Introduction to environmental impact assessment

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Recognise the complexity of environmental issues facing industrial organisations
    • Identify  the emissions  of atmospheric and water pollutants from an industrial activity and assess their environmental impacts
    • Appraise critically available pollution control technology/equipment in order to make a successful selection of the most appropriate and viable option for a given application
    • Make sound judgement in the absence of complete data and communicate effectively conclusions obtained
    • Continue to advance their knowledge and assimilate new future technologies.
  • Heat Transfer
    Module LeaderDr Ilai Sher - Lecturer
    • Modes of heat transfer. Conduction: Thermal conductivity. The differential heat-conduction equation. One-dimensional, steady state conduction. Two-dimensional, steady state conduction. Transient heat conduction.
    • Convection: Forced and free convection. The convective heat transfer coefficient. Fluid flow and the boundary layer concept. Turbulence. Boundary layer equations. The conservation equations. Boundary-layer equations. Analytical and integral solutions of boundary-layer equations. Analogy between heat and momentum transfer. Dimensional analyses of convective heat transfer.
    • Empirical and practical relations for forced convection: Flows over flat plates. A cylinder and a sphere in cross flow. Tube bundles in cross flow. Forced convection in packed beds. Forced convection inside tubes and ducts.
    • Empirical relations for Natural convection: Vertical planes and cylinders. Horizontal cylinders. Horizontal plates. Inclined surfaces. Spheres. Enclosures. Channels between parallel plates. Combined natural and forced convection.
    • Thermal radiation: Physical mechanism. Intensity of radiation and emissive power. Irradiation. Blackbody radiation. Radiation properties of surfaces. Radiation exchange between surfaces. Radiant energy transfer through absorbing and emitting media.
    • Boiling heat transfer: Fundamentals of boiling heat transfer. Pool boiling. External forced-convection boiling. Internal forced-convection boiling. Pressure drop in forced-convection boiling systems.
    • Condensation heat transfer: Mechanisms of condensation. Film condensation. Dropwise condensation.
    • Case studies:  Application of numerical techniques for solving a one dimensional,transient conduction problem with radiative and convective boundary conditions. Steady state analysis of a combined conduction, convection and radiation Heat transfer problem.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the principles governing the transfer of heat and knowledge of the techniques, tools and skills required to analyse and solve typical engineering problems
    • Formulate appropriate procedures/strategies for solving more complicated problems and making sound judgements in the absence of complete data
    • Apply the knowledge and skills gained/ acquired independently to analyse energy flows in complicated systems and design heat-transfer equipment.
  • Power Generation Systems
    Module LeaderDr Ilai Sher - Lecturer

    Overview: World electricity demand and generation. Fuels. Environmental impacts. 

    Steam power plants: Thermodynamic principles. Fuels. Steam power generation cycles. 

    Gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants: Gas turbine engines and performance. Gas turbine cycles. Combined-cycle power plants. 

    Diesel- and gas-engine power plants: Diesel engines. Fuels. Emission control. Heat recovery systems. 

    Nuclear power generation: Basic nuclear physical processes (fission and fusion). Nuclear fuels. Types of reactors. Safety considerations in the nuclear industry. Developments in nuclear fusion. Decommissioning problems of nuclear sites. Nuclear‑waste disposal systems. 

    Fuel cells: Definition and principles of operation. Losses and efficiency. Possible fuels. Fuel-cell technologies and applications (alkaline fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, phosphoric acid fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, and regenerative fuel cells). 

    CHP systems: CHP schemes (micro-scale CHP systems, small‑scale CHP systems, large‑scale CHP systems including district heating schemes). Application of CHP systems for the provision of heating, cooling and electric power. Selection criteria of CHP prime-movers. Integration of CHP systems into site services. Feasibility analysis of CHP schemes using spreadsheets/software tools. Case study (site appraisal for CHP scheme and evaluation of economic and environmental viability).

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Recognise and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals and laws governing energy conversion
    • Debate  issues related to the performance of conventional power-generation plants
    • Propose appropriate  technologies  for improving energy-utilisation efficiency of power-generation plants
    • Assess the need of a particular industrial/commercial site for a CHP system, identify the appropriate systems and undertake design, sizing and economic analyses
    • Review critically technologies employed for fuel-cell systems and advances in their applications
    • Continue to advance their knowledge and assimilate new future technologies.
  • Industrial Heating Systems
    Module LeaderDr Ilai Sher - Lecturer
    • Combustion and Fuels (12 class contact hours)
    • Thermodynamic analysis of combustion processes: Basic reaction chemistry. Chemistry of combustion. Heat of formation. Enthalpy and internal energy of combustion. Calorific values. Adiabatic flame temperature. Dissociation and chemical equilibrium.
    • Primary fuels: Primary solid fuels. Primary liquid fuels. Characteristics of fuel oils. Unconventional sources of liquid fuels.  Primary gaseous fuels. Unconventional sources of gaseous fuels. Transport fuels.
    • Secondary fuels: Carbonisation of solid fuels. Gasification of coal. Gasification of oils. Reforming of petroleum gases. Hydrogen production. Liquid fuels from coal. Conversion efficiency.
    • Combustion systems: General principles. Combustion of gaseous fuels (Gaseous flames and burners, combustion characteristics of gases and burner design). Combustion of liquid fuels. Combustion of coal (combustion of coal on grates, pulverised-coal combustion, the cyclone furnace and fluidised-bed combustion).
    • Combustion efficiency. Emission of pollutants from combustion systems:  Formation of trace species. Emission factors. Emission standards. Emission-abatement technologies for combustion processes.
    • Furnaces and Boilers (18 class contact hours)
    • Open-flame furnaces: Furnace types and classification. Aerodynamic and heat transfer in furnaces.
    • Mathematical modelling of furnace performance: The single gas zone model. The "long" furnace and other multi zone models.  Validation of furnace models.
    • Efficient furnace operation: Effect of operating variables. Reduction of furnace wall losses. Temperature control in industrial furnaces. Oxygen enrichment in combustion processes.
    • Industrial boilers: Sectional, shell and water tube boilers. Design features of shell boilers. Boiler water treatment and conditioning. Gas side corrosion and fouling problems. Oil and gas firing of boilers. Coal firing. Wastes as boiler fuels.  Boiler efficiency and part load operation. Condensing boilers.
    • Waste heat recovery from furnaces. Environmental aspects: Smoke formation and control. Control of other particulate emissions. Overall collection and grade efficiencies. NOx formation and control. Industrial chimney design.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Evaluate combustion processes based on a comprehensive understanding of the governing principle laws and  appraise various fuels and their characteristics
    • Analyse the performance of various combustion systems, and evaluate techniques to reduce the formation and emission of pollutants in stationary and mobile combustion systems
    • Assess the operation of furnaces and boilers based on a fundamental understanding of the governing laws, and debate issues influencing the design/selection of furnaces and boilers and future trends
    • Design energy-efficient furnaces and boilers based on successful application of heat transfer and combustion modelling.
  • Thermal Systems Operation and Design
    Module LeaderDr Ilai Sher - Lecturer

    Heat exchanger Design and Operation:

    • Heat exchangers: classification; theoretical principles and design of recuperative systems (effectiveness, NTU and capacity ratio approach for parallel, counter and cross-flow configurations); series cross‑flow arrangements; regenerative heat exchangers (intermittent and continuous systems); pressure‑loss assessment; heat‑exchanger optimisation (optimal pressure drop and surface area to maximise economic returns)
    • Process integration: heat-exchanger network; utility systems; fundamentals of pinch analysis and energy analysis

    Waste Heat Recovery and Thermal Storage:

    • Waste‑heat recovery: sources of waste heat; heat recovery for industrial applications; energy density considerations; economics of waste-heat recovery
    • Thermal storage: principles and application to hot and cold systems; storage duration and scale; sensible and latent heat systems; phase-change storage materials; application to source and load matching
    • Design exercise: design of an optimised heat exchanger for a waste heat recovery  application

    Refrigeration and Air Conditioning:

    • Application of refrigeration and air conditioning
    • Vapour-compression refrigeration systems: simple systems; multi-stage compressor systems; multi-evaporator systems
    • Refrigerants: halocarbon refrigerants; CFC alternatives; refrigerant-selection criteria
    • Refrigeration compressors: reciprocating compressors; rotary screw compressors; scroll compressors; Vane compressors; centrifugal compressors
    • Expansion devices: capillary tubes; thermostatic expansion valves; constant-pressure expansion valves
    • Absorption refrigeration: the absorption process; properties of fluid-pair solutions; the basic absorption cycle; double-effect systems; advances in absorption-refrigeration technology
    • Psychrometry and principle Air-conditioning processes: psychrometry; heating, cooling, humidification and dehumidification processes
    • Air conditioning equipment: humidifiers, air washers, cooling towers.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Analyse and design heat exchangers, competently applying the principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics
    • Construct optimised heat exchanger networks by applying principles of process integration
    • Recognise and debate  the issues related to the efficient use of thermal energy and appraise  techniques and technologies employed
    • Design and analyse the performance  of refrigeration and air conditioning  systems.
  • Renewable Energy Technologies, Policy and Markets

    Context of Renewable Energy

    • Introduction to Renewable Energy Technologies: Global, EU and UK targets. Current Status of RE projects. Global Energy Trends. The Energy Balance sheet. The Energy Mix and Outlook
    • Law and Policy: The international law framework: principles and problems. The European Union and approaches to renewable energy. National legal structures. The marine environment. Case study
    • Finance and Economics of Projects: Overview of current and future expected volumes of financing for RE and sources of financing for renewables projects. Role of Government. Typical financing structure of an RE project. Funding of a pilot project, a mid-size project (£5-25m) and a very large scale project 
    • Risk and Certification: Understanding what Risk is and the different ways of looking at it. What is Certification. Insurance. Case Studies. Group Exercise

    Renewable Energy Technologies

    • Solar-thermal Power Generation: Fundamentals of solar radiation. Solar thermal technology. Central-receiver and distributed solar-thermal systems. The future for solar-thermal systems
    • Photovoltaic Technology: photovoltaic systems. Field experience
    • Wind Energy: Wind energy resources. Wind energy utilisation technology. Commercial development of wind energy
    • Geothermal Energy: Origin, types and resources of geothermal energy. Utilisation of geothermal energy for power generation. Commercial development of geothermal power generation
    • OTEC: Temperature gradients in Oceans. Technologies for OTEC systems. Recent OTEC developments
    • Wave Energy: Origin and characteristics of ocean waves. Wave energy conversion technologies. Future utilisation of wave energy
    • Tidal Energy: Nature and characteristics of tides. Tidal-energy resources. Tidal energy utilisation technologies. Major operational and potential schemes. Tidal-current
    • Hydro Power: The hydro energy resources.  Utilisation of hydro energy. Small-scale hydro-power plants.  Pumped-storage systems
    • Energy from Biomass: Photosynthesis. Biomass resources. Utilisation of biomass for electricity generation and production of fuels.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On completion of this module, the student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the background of renewable energy in a UK and International level
    • Have developed a critical and analytical approach to law and policy challenges of renewable energy projects
    • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the risk employed in renewable energy projects and obtain the ability to propose ways to mitigate their impact
    • Appraise current technologies of utilising renewable-energy sources and evaluate critically respective R&D activities required
    • Assess the potential and economic viability of the utilisation of a renewable-energy source at a particular location
    • Make sound judgement in the absence of complete data and communicate effectively conclusions obtained.
  • Energy Management for Industry
    Module LeaderDr Ilai Sher - Lecturer

    Energy and Environmental Economics

    • Economics and the global energy market: Energy prices and geopolitics. Energy subsidies.  Privatisation and liberalisation of energy markets. The emergence of environmental constraints
    • Environmental regulations: Key environmental impacts. The need for governmental intervention.  International legislation on emissions. Emission trading. Global development and the environment
    • Green energy markets: Supporting near market technology options. Creating green energy markets
    • Environmental externalities: Comparing environmental costs. Assessing risks and environmental impacts. Internalising costs. Social costs
    • The economics of energy conservation:  Energy Conservation. Conservation versus supply
    • Choosing technology: The problems of selecting and introducing new technologies 
    • Technological Innovation: Devising new energy technologies (the innovation process and support systems)
    • Developing technology: Renewable energy and economics of scale
    • Technological foresight: Estimating the future. Long-range energy scenarios. Long-range energy trends 
    • Sustainable energy futures: The economics of change.  Strategic issues. Ideological issues. Sustainability

    Energy Auditing

    • Energy management in industry: Energy management. Energy data base. The energy audit.  Energy conservation opportunities. Energy-audit report. Monitoring and targeting
    • Industrial services: Economic use of electricity. Electric motors. Compressed air. Refrigeration. Chilled and cooling water
    • Industrial heating processes: Combustion efficiency. Boilers and boiler-plant management. High-temperature process industries. Low-temperature process industries 
    • Industrial Buildings: Thermal comfort. Indoor air quality. Building fabric. Effects of climate and internal heat gains, equipment, occupants and lighting Internal design conditions. Ventilation and infiltration. Determination of heating and cooling loads in buildings
    • Building services: Space heating.  Ventilation and air conditioning. Domestic hot water and water supply. Lighting. Design specification and selection of plant, equipment and systems
    • Energy Management for industrial buildings: Degree days. Energy performance indicators for industrial buildings. Uses of degree days
    • Monitoring and targeting

    Energy Audit, Group Project: Teams of students carry out energy audits on industrial or commercial selected sites and produce prioritised recommendations for cost‑effective investments in projects   leading to the reduction of the costs of energy inputs to the site. Each team is expected to present findings and conclusions at various stages and submit a final report for assessment.

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Apply economic principles for choosing a technology, technological innovation or developing a technology
    • Apply available rules, tools and techniques of energy auditing for the efficient conservation of energy
    • Appraise the performance of industrial-building services and select/design appropriate systems for a given application
    • Work effectively as a useful member of an energy-audit team
    • Compose a professional energy-audit report
    • Make sound judgement in the absence of complete data and communicate effectively conclusions obtained.


  • Process Measurement Systems
    Module LeaderDr Liyun Lao - Senior Research Fellow

    Principles of Measurement System

    • Process monitoring requirements: operating conditions, range, static performance, dynamic performance 
    • Sensor technologies: resistive, capacitive, electromagnetic, ultrasonic, radiation, resonance
    • Signal conditioning and conversion: amplifiers, filters, bridges, load effects, sampling theory, quantisation theory, A/D, D/A
    • Data transmission and telemetry: analogue signal transmission, digital transmission, communication media, coding, modulation, multiplexing, communication strategies, communication topologies, communication standards, HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus
    • Smart and intelligent instrumentation
    • Soft sensors. Measurement error and uncertainty: systematic and random errors, estimating the uncertainty, effect of each uncertainty, combining uncertainties, use of Monte Carlo methods
    • Calibration: importance of standards, traceability
    • Safety aspects: intrinsic safety, zone definitions, isolation barriers
    • Selection and maintenance of instrumentation

    Principles of Process Measurement

    • Flow measurement: flow meter performance, flow profile, flow meter calibration; differential pressure flow meters, positive displacement flow meters, turbine, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, vortex, Coriolis flow meters
    • Pressure measurement: pressure standards, Bourdon tubes, diaphragm gauges, bellows, strain gauges, capacitance, resonant gauges
    • Temperature measurement: liquid-in-glass, liquid-in-metal, gas filled, thermocouple, resistance temperature detector, thermistor
    • Level measurement: conductivity methods, capacitance methods, float switches, ultrasonic, microwave, radiation method
    • Multiphase flow measurement: general features of vertical and horizontal multiphase flow, definition of parameters in multiphase flow, multiphase flow measurement strategies, water cut and composition measurement, velocity measurement, commercial multiphase flow meters, developments in multiphase flow metering
    • Density and viscosity measurement
    • Case study: flow assurance instrumentation/ environmental measurement/ measurement issues and challenges in CO2 transportation.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On completion of this module, the student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the factors affecting the operation of a process sensor and a familiarity with the types and technologies of modern process sensors
    • Recognise the factors which have to be considered when designing a process measurement system
    • Propose the most appropriate measurement system for a given process application.
  • Advanced Control Systems
    Module LeaderDr Yi Cao - Reader
    • System dynamics: Modelling of typical physical systems. Operating point. Linearization. Differential equation representation. State space representation of systems. Laplace transforms. Transfer functions. Block diagrams. SISO and MIMO systems. Time and frequency domain responses of systems.
    • Feedback control: Positive and negative feedback. Stability. Methods for stability analysis. Closed loop performance specification. PID controllers. Ziegler-Nichols. Self tuning methods.
    • Enhanced controllers: Cascade control. Feedforward control. Control of non-linear systems. Control of systems with delay.
    • Digital controllers: Effects of sampling. Implementation of PID controller. Stability and tuning.
    • Advanced control topics: Hierarchical control. Kalman filter. System Identification. Model predictive control. Statistical process control. The use of expert systems and neural networks in industrial control.
    • Design packages for process control systems: Examples including Simulink and MATLAB.
    • Case studies: Examples will be chosen from a range of industrial systems including mechanical, chemical and fluid systems.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

    • Evaluate and select appropriate modelling techniques for dynamic systems
    • Formulate control methodologies in single loop, multi-loop, and large scale systems
    • Recognise and appraise the key design tools and procedures for continuous and discrete controllers of dynamic systems
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    Module LeaderDr Patrick Verdin - Senior Research Fellow
    • Introduction to CFD & thermo-fluids: Introduction to the physics of thermo-fluids. Governing equations (continuity, momentum, energy and species conservation) and state of the art Computational Fluid Dynamics including modelling, grid generation, simulation, and high performance computing.  Case study of an Industrial problem and the physical process that CFD can be used to analyse.
    • Computational Engineering Exercise: specification for a CFD simulation. Requirements for accurate analysis and validation for multi scale problems. Introduction to Turbulence & practical applications of Turbulence Models: Introduction to Turbulence and turbulent flows. Traditional turbulence modelling.
    • Advanced Turbulence Modelling: Introduction to Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes equations (RANS) simulations and Large eddy Simulation (LES).
    • Practical sessions: A fluid process problem will be solved employing the widely-used industrial flow solver software FLUENT. Lectures will be followed by practical sessions to set up and simulate a problem incrementally.  Practical will cover the entire CFD process including geometric modelling, grid generation, flow solver, analysis, validation and visualisation.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

    • Assemble and evaluate the different components of the CFD process
    • Understanding of the governing equations for thermo fluids and how to solve them computationally
    • Appreciation of the wide range of applications using CFD
    • Compare and contrast the various methods for simulating turbulent flows applicable to mechanical and process engineering
    • Set up the simulation and evaluate a practical problem using a commercial CFD package.


Taught modules: 40%; Group project: 20% (dissertation for part-time students); Individual Research Project: 40%.
The taught modules are assessed by an examination and/or assignment. The Group Project is assessed by a written technical report and oral presentations. The Individual Research Project is assessed by a written thesis and oral presentation.

Start date, duration and location

Start date: October

Duration: Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years

Teaching location: Cranfield


The MSc in Energy Systems and Thermal Processes, established in 1972, was the first of its type to be instituted in Europe, and remains the most prestigious degree in technical energy management in the UK. The course has evolved over the past 40 years from discussions with industrial experts, employers, sponsors and previous students. The content of the study programme is updated regularly to reflect changes arising from technical advances, economic factors and changes in legislation, regulations and standards. 

Cranfield has a world class reputation for its industrial-scale research facilities and pilot-scale demonstration programmes in the energy area. Close engagement with the energy sector over the last 40 years has produced long standing strategic partnerships with the sectors most prominent organisations including Alstom Power, BP, Cummins Power Generation, Doosan Babcock, E.ON, npower, Rolls Royce, Shell, Siemens and Total.

Our strategic links with industry ensures that all of the materials taught on the course are relevant, timely and meet the needs of organisations competing within the energy sector. This industry-led education makes Cranfield graduates some of the most desirable in the world for energy companies to recruit.

Accreditation and partnerships

This course is accredited by:

  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Your teaching team

You will be taught by Cranfield's experienced leading technology experts including:

  • Dr Ilai Sher, Course Director, a specialist in the study of thermo-fluid phenomena and thermal systems, particularly boiling heat-transfer,IC engines, and spraying systems.
  • Dr Ossama M Badr, whose teaching and research interest are mainly in the areas of heat transfer, modelling of energy and thermal systems, renewable-energy utilisation, technical and economic assessment of energy-policy options, and atmospheric pollution.

Our teaching team work closely with business and have academic and industrial experience. The course also includes visiting lecturers from industry who will relate the theory to current best practice. Knowledge gained working with our clients is continually fed back into the teaching programme, to ensure that you benefit from the very latest knowledge and techniques affecting industry.

Facilities and resources

Students can take advantage of the near industrial scale test facilities on offer at Cranfield that are used to actively promote the practical application of research theory. These facilities are utilised throughout the course with particular emphasis for the group and individual research projects which are predominately conducted in collaboration with industrial partners.

The close working relationship with many of the energy sectors key players and the high level of academic research within Cranfield, are underpinned by the industrial-scale experimental facilities that are available. Research and teaching for this program are supported by heavy investment in electronic information retrieval systems and computing and modelling facilities and a wide range of specialist software packages, including MATLAB.

Cranfield University offer a comprehensive library and information service, and are committed to meeting the needs of students, creating a comfortable environment with areas for individual and group work as well as silent study.

In addition to our own unique facilities, we have also arranged industrial site visits in recent years including a glass plant, car painting plant and a power generation plant.

Experience and familiarity with using the more specialist industry resources will be recognised and valued by future employers. Developing skills to make the most of our rich information environment at Cranfield is not only important to you whilst you are studying, it is also vital for your future employability and career progression.

Entry Requirements


A first or second class UK Honours degree in mathematics, physics or an engineering discipline. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.


English Language

 If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5

TOEFL - 92 

Pearson PTE Academic - 65

Cambridge English Scale - 180

Cambridge English: Advanced - C

Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.



Home EU Student Fees

MSc Full-time - £9,000

MSc Part-time - £1,500 *

Overseas Fees

MSc Full-time - £17,500

MSc Part-time - £17,500 **


The annual registration fee is quoted above. An additional fee of £1,300 per module is also payable.


Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration). 

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.


To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Prestige Scholarship

The Prestige Scholarship provides funding of up to £11,000 to cover up to £9k fees and a potential contribution to living expenses. This scholarship has been designed to attract exceptional candidates to Cranfield University so we welcome applications from UK or EU graduates with a first-class honours undergraduate degree. Prestige Scholarships are available for all MSc courses in the Energy, Environment and Agrifood themes.

Merit MSc Bursary

The Merit MSc Bursary provides funding of up to £5,000 towards tuition fees. Applicants should be UK or EU graduates with a first class honours, 2:1 honours or in exceptional circumstances 2:2 honours undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. Merit MSc Bursaries are available for all MSc courses in the Energy, Environment and Agrifood themes.

International MSc Bursary

The International MSc Bursary provides funding of up to £5,000 towards tuition fees. Applicants should be from outside the EU with a first class honours or upper second class honours undergraduate degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. International MSc Bursaries are available for all MSc courses in the Energy, Environment and Agrifood themes.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)

The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)

Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Application Process

Online application form. Applicants may be invited to attend for interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.

Career opportunities

There is a considerable demand for environmentally aware energy specialists with in-depth technical knowledge and practical skills. Our industry-led education makes graduates of this program some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment by companies and organisations competing in the energy sector.

Graduates of the course have been successful in gaining employment in energy, environmental and engineering consultancies and design practices, research organisations and government departments. A number of our MSc graduates follow further research studies leading to PhD degrees at Cranfield and in other academic institutions.

Recent graduates have gained positions with:

  • Alstom Power
  • Blue Circle Cement
  • British Gas
  • Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lanka
  • DELPHI Automotive Systems, Mexico
  • Electrolux, Denmark
  • Energy Saving Trust
  • Environmental Agency
  • Ministry of Energy (Botswana, Jordan, Tanzania, Uganda)
  • Powergen
  • Scottish Power
  • Unilever.

Clean Energy