Renewable Energy Technology MSc/PgCert/PgDip

Full-time/Part-time

Renewable Energy Technology

Cranfield is a respected provider of energy-related research and teaching, which represents about 10% of the University’s income. Students benefit from dedicated state-of-the-art facilities including unique engineering-scale facilities for the development of efficient technologies with low CO2 emissions.

Evidence is growing that production from conventional oil resources has already peaked, and that, at current usage rates, similar peaks will occur in the foreseeable future for natural gas and coal. The use of renewable resources through the development and application of renewable energy technologies is likely to play a major role in future energy supply.

Developed economies now face a number of challenges in procuring energy security and responding to energy pricing and affordability issues, as well as dealing with contributions to carbon emissions in line with the UK Government’s ambitious targets of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The MSc in Renewable Energy Technology develops professional engineers and scientists with the multidisciplinary skills and ability to analyse current and future energy engineering problems, and design and implement appropriate solutions, taking into account the social, environmental, technical, regulatory and commercial issues and constraints.




Course overview

The MSc course comprises eight assessed modules, an integrated group project and an individual project. Students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) complete the eight modules and the group project. Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) students complete six modules, a project and a personal development portfolio.

Group project

The group project experience is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. It provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. For part-time students a dissertation usually replaces the group project.

Recent group projects include:

  • Review of the state of art in the oxy turbine power cycles with CO2 capture
  • Electric buses scaling the power requirements
  • Study of state of the art in micro combined heat and power (mCHP) systems for domestic applications
  • Study of conversion of algae biomass to biocrude using hydrothermal liquefaction coupled with concentrated solar power.

Individual Project

The individual thesis project, usually in collaboration with an external organisation, offers students the opportunity to develop their research capability, depth of understanding and ability to provide solutions to real business or industrial challenges in renewable energy technology.

Modules

The MSc course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual project.

Core

  • Principles of Sustainability
    Module LeaderDr Paul Burgess - Reader
    Syllabus
    • Moving from an “Empty World” to a “Full World”
    • The Ecosystem Service Approach (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and UK National Ecosystem Assessment)
    • Ecosystem processes and succession; the role of energy; feedback systems; biodiversity and system restoration
    • Using an ecosystem approach: quantifying trade-offs and synergies; improving water and nutrient management, reducing greenhouse gases emissions, enhancing stability, resistance and resilience
    • Introduction to the circular economy: opportunities for businesses; opportunities for consumers
    • How design, manufacturing practice and management can contribute to a circular economy
    • Case study: trade-offs, synergies, and opportunities to enhance well-being and ecosystem service provision in terms of energy, food, feed and wood for a case study area.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Critique the “ecosystem services”, “circular economy”, and “per capita energy use” approaches
    • Critique associated terms such as “human well-being”, “sustainability”, and “biodiversity”
    • Explain the role of energy and feed-back systems in natural systems
    • Explain how an ecosystem service approach can help society to identify and make decisions regarding the use of ecological resources, with a focus on biodiversity, greenhouse gases, nutrient loss, and water use.
    • Explain how we can enhance the stability, resistance and resilience of natural systems.
    • Explain how the “circular economy” provides commercial opportunities
    • Explain how industrial activities such as design and manufacturing can promote a circular economy
    • Use a per capita approach to explore the synergies between food, feed, wood, and renewable energy production to guide decision making and identify opportunities in the context of a case-study.
  • Environmental Valuation
    Module LeaderDr Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan - Senior Lecturer in Environmental/Energy Economics
    Syllabus
    • Techniques for non-market valuation: cost and income based approaches, demand estimation methods - expressed and revealed preference, choice modelling: examples of applications
    • Multi-criteria analysis
    • Environmental accounting for business
    • Environmental accounting at sector and national levels
    • Case study examples of application
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Demonstrate an understanding and ability to apply different approaches and techniques to determining environmental value and demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of economic valuation and accounting
    • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of methods to incorporate them into decision making techniques, especially extended cost benefit analysis, risk assessment and multi criteria analysis  
    • Critically appraise the contribution of economic valuation and economic mechanisms to environmental policy
    • Demonstrate an appreciation of the purpose and methods of environmental accounting at sector and national level
  • Renewable Energy Technologies: Fundamentals
    Module LeaderDr Stuart Wagland - Lecturer in Renewable Energy from Waste
    Syllabus
    • Solar energy technologies, including photovoltaic and concentrated solar power [CSP]
    • Definition of solar radiation fundamentals and models of solar radiation
    • Biochemical sources of energy
    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Landfill gas
    • Waste and biomass
    • Onshore and offshore wind energy: fundamentals of wind turbines and placement
    • Geothermal and Hydroelectric Systems (operating principles of the geothermal and hydroelectric technologies)
    • Wave and tidal energy technologies
    • Ground-source heat pumps.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Articulate the fundamental principles, terminology and key issues related to the major onshore and offshore renewable energy technologies.
    • Understand and critically compare the challenges for the development and operation of the major technologies.
    • Identify gaps in the knowledge and discuss potential opportunities for further development.
  • Fuels and Energy Conversion
    Module LeaderDr Hamidreza Gohari Darabkhani - Academic Fellow in Energy Processes
    Syllabus
    • Definition of chemical and physical properties and characteristics of the main fuels (coal, oil, natural gas, biomass, waste, etc)
    • Fundamentals of thermodynamics of the major energy conversion systems
    • Principles of operation of fossil fuel and biomass systems
    • Combustion
    • Gasification
    • Pyrolysis
    • Fundamentals of hydrogen production and fuel cells
    • Polygeneration and combined heat and power (CHP) systems
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Articulate the main principles, terminology and key issues related to the major energy conversion systems.
    • Describe and explain the major energy conversion systems related to the use of fossil and related fuels and explain the difference between conventional and renewable fuels.
  • Energy Production Emissions Control, Carbon Capture and Transport
    Module LeaderDr Kumar Patchigolla - Lecturer in Carbon Capture & Storage
    Syllabus
    • General understanding of electricity/heat generation technologies and their integration into energy systems
    • The large point sources of CO2 emissions, fossil fuel plants such as power stations, oil refineries, petrochemical and gas
      plants, steel and large cement plants
    • Emission control options for NOx, SOx, particulates and trace metals
    • The main approaches to capturing CO2, covering pre-combustion, post-combustion, oxy-combustion, chemical looping, etc CO2 transport by land via pipelines and tankers (rail, road and barge), or by sea using ships
    • Different CO2 storage options, including the difference between value added and non-value added storage options
    • The role of CO2 capture and storage within utilities company: Electricity /Gas /CO2 /Grid.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the various technologies used in electricity and heat generation and their current status of development
    • Demonstrate an understanding of methods developed to control emissions and other residues, including their advantages, disadvantages and commercial readiness
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues associated with energy supply and the impact of global warming
    • Demonstrate an understanding of methods for the control of greenhouse gas emissions and their integration into energy systems, including CO2 capture, transport and storage
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the principle methods of CO2 capture and their integration into power plants, CO2 compression technologies and the main operating issues associated with its transportation and storage
    • Analyse and determine the best options for the control of emissions and other residues from plants using different fuels.
  • Renewable Energy Technologies: Systems
    Module LeaderDr Stuart Wagland - Lecturer in Renewable Energy from Waste
    Syllabus
    • The current energy demand and methods of managing changing demand patterns, including the use of smart metering and smart grids
    • Energy Storage (fundamentals of Chemical, Biological, Electrochemical, Electrical, Mechanical and Thermal Storage- link to energy generation  technology)
    • The concept of a resilient energy system made up of a broad range of renewable energy technologies.
       
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Discuss the concept of an energy system with regards to demand management, managing intermittency and smart grids
    • Describe and explain the main renewable energy systems and critically discuss how these differ to the conventional energy mix and the challenges with moving towards a low carbon energy future
    • Critically analyse how different renewable energy technologies will co-exist to form a national resilient energy system.
  • Renewable Energy Technologies: Design Case Study
    Module LeaderDr Stuart Wagland - Lecturer in Renewable Energy from Waste
    Syllabus
    • Multi-criteria decision analysis [MDCA] applied to renewable and low carbon energy technologies to identify the best available technology
    • Energy technologies and systems: understanding the development and scaling/design of the technologies by applying an understanding of the available resources and land space in the assigned location
    • Assessing available solid fuels and competing markets (e.g. paper waste)
    • Researching and modelling energy demand and supply in the case study location to determine the scale of the technologies required to fulfil the brief
    • Public engagement strategies and the planning process involved in developing energy technologies (i.e. solar PV, wind energy, energy from waste etc).
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the main principles, terminology and key issues related to the major renewable energy systems
    • Critically evaluate available energy options and be able to use valid methods to assess the best available technology for specific scenarios
    • Critically apply knowledge to identify and design a viable renewable energy system for a given application using multi-criteria decision analysis
    • Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a group to achieve the stated requirements of the module brief.
  • Management for Technology: Energy
    Module LeaderMr Stephen Carver - Lecturer in Project & Programme Management
    Syllabus
    • 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.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), individual project 40%.

Start date, duration and location

Start date: Full-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year.

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

Teaching location: Cranfield

Overview

Cranfield is a respected provider of energy related research and teaching, which represents about 10% of the University’s income. Students benefit from dedicated state-of-the-art facilities including unique engineering-scale facilities for the development of efficient technologies with low CO2 emissions.

Informed by industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. These include:

  • P A Consulting
  • Joint Research Centre, Ispra
  • Adas
  • Cresswell Associates
  • Chartered Institute of Waste Management
  • Geospatial Insight
  • Oakdene Hollins
  • Golder
  • Astrium Geo-information Services
  • Unilever
  • Landscape Science Consultancy
  • WRc PLC
  • FWAG
  • RSPB
  • ERM
  • GIGL
  • WRG
  • Environment Agency
  • Chartered Institute of Water and Environment Management
  • Enviros
  • Health Protection Agency
  • Neales Waste
  • Natural England
  • National Trust
  • Trucost
  • SLR Consulting
  • Highview Power Storage
  • Nomura Code Securities

Your teaching team

You will be taught by industry-active research academics from Cranfield with an established track record, supported by visiting lecturers from industry. To ensure the programme is aligned to industry needs, the course is directed by its own Industrial Advisory Committee.

Facilities and resources

Students benefit from access to dedicated state-of-the-art facilities at Cranfield including unique engineering-scale facilities for the development of efficient technologies with low CO2 emissions. These include a variety of energy conversion facilities for renewable fuels such as biomass and waste (using combustion and gasification), burner rigs and furnaces to simulate process environments in gas turbines and other systems using gas and liquid biofuels, CO2 capture and transport research facilities, anaerobic digestion, etc.

Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related science or 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.

Fees

Home EU Student Fees

MSc Full-time - £9,000

MSc Part-time - £1,500 *

PgDip Full-time - £7,200

PgDip Part-time - £1,500 *

PgCert Full-time - £3,600

PgCert Part-time - £1,500 *

Overseas Fees

MSc Full-time - £17,500

MSc Part-time - £17,500 **

PgDip Full-time - £14,000

PgDip Part-time - £14,000 **

PgCert Full-time - £7,000

PgCert Part-time - £10,800 **

*

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.

Funding

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. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at that time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

Career opportunities

With the current worldwide focus on addressing low carbon energy production and renewable energy technologies, graduates of this course can expect to be highly sought after by employers. Successful graduates will have the skills and knowledge to be able to analyse current and future energy needs, and design and implement appropriate solutions, taking into account the social, environmental, technical, regulatory and commercial issues. Graduates can expect to go on to a wide-range of careers as professional scientists or engineers in energy production, distribution and demand management across the full breadth of industrial and public sector organisations.

Cranfield students share their experience

Cranfield experience video captures the thoughts of some of our recent graduates on their time at Cranfield.




Renewable Energy