Technical, economic and environmental challenges facing the industry require exploration of how to manage waste, alongside the conversion of wastes to energy and the role of energy from waste in terms of the technology and the biochemistry of fuels.

At a glance

  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year
  • DurationOne year full-time, two-three years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), individual project 40%.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

This course will appeal to graduates from across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world wishing to pursue a career in energy from waste. 

This course is targeted at engineering and physical science graduates due to the nature of the modules. Students completing this course will gain a broad appreciation of the technical, economic and environmental challenges that face the 'energy from waste' industry.

Why this course?

Energy from waste is becoming a popular option globally for dealing with wastes, with the added benefit of providing a secure source of energy.

This course provides students with training on waste management options and explores the role of energy from waste in resource management and clean energy production.

Your teaching team


Accreditation

Cranfield University’s Energy from Waste MSc degree is officially accredited by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).

Accreditation

Course details

The course comprises seven assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project. The modules include lectures and tutorials; and are assessed through practical work, written examinations, case studies, essays, presentations and tests.

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.

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 energy from waste processes.

Assessment

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

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2016–2017. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Core modules

Environmental Risks: Hazard, Assessment and Management

Module Leader
  • Jude, Dr Simon S.R.
Aim

    Over the past decade environmental regulators and the public have aimed to improve the quality of environmental management by basing choices on reliable data and assessment. However risk analysts often develop their competencies from their specific profession, for which the requirements can vary across industries, government bodies and geographical borders. There is therefore little consensus on the competencies risk analysts require to be considered proficient. This module aims to provide an understanding of the theory and practice of effective management of all phases of environmental hazards. The module covers key topics including conceptual model development, probability, risk characterisation, and toxicology. In doing so, this module will provide a means of improving the capability and capacity of students to perform European-wide risk assessments.

Syllabus
    • Current legislation for environment (water, air and land) protection and pollution control
    • Public health and health and safety
    • Qualitative, quantitative and probabilistic risk analysis tools 
    • Problem definition and conceptual models
    • Risk screening and prioritisation; assembling strength and weight of evidence
    • Evaluating and communicating sources of uncertainty.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Understand the wide range of environmental risks within the UK (e.g. animal disease, chemical spills, high winds, flooding) and be able to identify and apply appropriate methods of assessing these risks
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the decision process behind the management of such risks and provide justification for the prioritisation of different risk management actions;
  • Recognise the relationship between risk, social, economic, political and technological trends and be able to provide appropriate suggestions for communication of assessment and management of environmental risks related to the influencing factors
  • Analyse and explain the possible consequences in a given situation where environmental risks will occur and their likely impacts on a population and the potential secondary impacts
  • Review, critique and suggest improvements for other risk assessment and management methodologies within the given scenarios.

Circular Waste Management: Recycle, Recover and Dispose

Module Leader
  • Dr Raffaella Villa
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide specialist understanding of the major processes used for municipal waste management and their role within an integrated – circular - waste management system. In particular the module will focus on the bottom three points of the waste hierarchy: recycle, recover and dispose.

Syllabus
    • Integrated waste management: appraisal of national and international legislation and policy
    • Waste properties and characterisation: Mechanical biological treatment, pre-treatment, biodegradable wastes, coupled technologies, technology performance and managing environmental impacts
    • Landfill: biochemistry, leachate and gas production
    • Biowaste technologies: composting and AD
    • Thermal treatment: incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, combined heat and power, waste to energy, solid recovered fuel.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Appraise the role of waste treatment technologies under the circular management agenda - drivers, selection, pre-requisites requirements, waste types treated
  • Understand the properties (physical, chemical, and biological) commonly associated with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and integrate them into waste management calculations
  • Critically understand how to assess the performance of treatment processes including how wastes are analysed and data interpreted
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the biological processes treating organic waste. Apply the concepts and principles to the waste degradation context and evaluate and calculate energy potential
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of why and how to control, collect and treat landfill gas (LFG). Appraise the parameters contributing to LFG production and composition, the risks and production controls and calculate their potential impact
  • Evaluate specific process parameters critical to the design of non-landfill treatment processes (e.g. thermal destruction efficiencies; flue gas desulphurisation requirements)
  • Apply process science and engineering (PSE) knowledge in describing key issues regarding emissions, treatment and performance of non-landfill technologies.

Energy from Biomass and Waste: Thermochemical Processes

Module Leader
  • Fidalgo Fernandez, Dr Beatriz
Aim

    The module focuses on the opportunities and potential for biomass to contribute to the production of renewable heat, electricity and transport fuel together with the potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The aim of the module is to provide students with an advanced knowledge of the sources of biomass and the range of technologies available for conversion into energy.

Syllabus
    Biomass Resources and Energy Crops:
    • Definition of chemical and physical properties and characteristics of biomass as a fuel
    • Comparison to conventional fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)
    • Resource characterisation and assessment
    • Energy crops for bioenergy production
    Principles of thermochemical conversion processes:
    • Pyrolysis
    • Gasification
    • Combustion
    Combustion Technology:
    • Description of main combustion technology
    • Design of combustion
    • Co-firing
    • Energy conversion systems and CHP
    Gasification Technology:
    • Description of main gasification technology
    • Design of gasification
    • Definition of synthesis gas (producer gas)
    • Co-gasification and IGCC
    Pyrolysis Technology:
    • Description of main pyrolysis technology
    • Slow pyrolysis for char production
    • Fast pyrolysis for bio-oil production
    • Bio-oil upgrading
    Fundamentals of hydrogen production and fuel cells.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Evaluate and select the most appropriate residual biomass materials for energy conversion application;
  • Critically review the principles and techniques for biomass conversion into bioenergy and compare to fossil fuel technologies;
  • Recognize and appraise the key analytical parameters to analyse biomass and thermochemical processes;
  • Review the principles issues of energy supply technologies based on biomass.

Energy Production Emissions Control, Carbon Capture and Transport

Module Leader
  • Patchigolla, Dr Kumar K.
Aim

    Energy supply involves the integration of electricity and heat generation technologies (along with nuclear and renewable options) combined with the transmission and distribution to customers. This module provides a basic understanding of current and future systems, the technologies required for compliance with current environmental legislation and the developments to meet future restrictions on the emission of greenhouse gases, primarily CO2. CO2 capture and storage represent a viable near-term option to reduce CO2 emissions from current and future electricity and other industrial plants to avoid locking in CO2 emissions from these plants as countries strive to meet ever tighter greenhouse gas emissions regulations. Over 90% of the industrial infrastructure in the world relies on the burning of fossil fuels in air with the resulting flue gas typically containing low concentrations of CO2. This module focuses on approaches currently used or being developed to separate CO2 (and other pollutants from these flue gases), its transportation and long-term 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.

Energy from Waste Operations

Module Leader
  • Wagland, Dr Stuart S.T.
Aim

    This industry-focused module provides students with a critical understanding of the key challenges in operating energy from waste facilities.  The module consists of visits to modern waste management facilities which include talks from the managers at each site to cover the day-to-day management of such technologies.  Students also participate in a laboratory exercise to assess the composition and characteristics of waste materials resulting in a report which critically evaluates the fuel properties of the samples analysed.

Syllabus
    • The policies driving and regulating thermal conversion (gasification and pyrolysis) and incineration technologies
    • Managing anaerobic digestion residues and complying with environmental regulations
    • Understanding how and why waste composition changes and the effects of these changes on the energy potential.  Explored further as part of a practical session covering waste and waste-derived fuel characterisation
    • Facility management challenges including process and emissions monitoring, health and safety compliance, and maintenance routines
    • Management of post-energy recovery residues (bottom ash, fly ash, digestate etc).
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Develop a deep understanding of the key processes involved in recovering energy from wastes
  • Systematically evaluate the main operational challenges in operating thermal and biochemical energy from waste facilities
  • Critically assess the properties of waste materials and outline the most suitable means of recovering value from the waste stream, in terms of recycling and energy recovery processes.

Renewable Energy Technologies: Design Case Studies

Module Leader
  • Wagland, Dr Stuart S.T.
Aim

    To provide an overview of the key aspects of the renewable energy industry: technology, finance, risk and certification, and basic legislation, to gain an understanding of the principles of operation, configuration, characteristics and key implementation issues of renewable-energy utilisation systems. 

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 module a 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 Leader
  • Mr Stephen Carver
Aim

    To provide a knowledge of those aspects of management which will enable an engineer to fulfil a wider role in a business organisation more effectively.

Syllabus
    • Engineers and Technologists in organisations: The role of organisations and the challenges facing engineers and technologies.
    • People management: Understanding you. Understanding other people. Working in teams. Dealing with conflicts.
    • The Business Environment: Understanding the business environment; identifying key trends and their implications for the organisation.
    • Strategy and Marketing: Developing effective strategies; Focusing on the customer; building competitive advantage; The role of strategic assets.
    • Finance: Profit and loss accounts. Balance sheets. Cash flow forecasting. Project appraisal.
    • New product development: Commercialising technology. Market drivers. Time to market. Focusing technology. Concerns.
    • 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.
    • Negotiation: Preparation for Negotiations. Negotiation process. Win-Win solutions.
    • Presentation skills: Understanding your audience. Focusing your message. Successful presentations. Getting your message across.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • To understand the importance of teamwork in the performance and success of organisations
  • Recognise the contribution which they can make to the performance of a team, and to be able to help others to improve the overall performance of a team
  • Understand the basic operation of a business and recognise the commercial aspects relevant to the manufacture of a product or provision of a technical services
  • Understand the role of key functional areas in the performance of an organisation, with particular focus on understanding the business environment, strategy and marketing and finance
  • Improve their skills in making effective presentations
  • Improve their negotiating skills.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year and the 2018 to 2019 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (21 April 2017).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £7,800
MSc Part-time £1,500 *
PgDip Full-time £6,000
PgDip Part-time £1,500 *
PgCert Full-time £3,000
PgCert Part-time £1,500 *
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,230 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • 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.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

MSc Full-time £17,500
MSc Part-time £17,500 **
PgDip Full-time £14,500
PgDip Part-time £14,500 **
PgCert Full-time £10,380
PgCert Part-time £7,000 **
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,230 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • 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.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

Funding Opportunities

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.

Future Finance Scholarship

All students starting a full-time Masters course in 2017/18 can apply for the Future Finance Scholarship worth £5,000 toward course tuition fees.

The Cranfield Scholarship

We have a limited number of scholarships available for candidates from around the world applying for the 2017 intake. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show both aptitude and ability for the subject they are applying. Find out more about the Cranfield Scholarship

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England

A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans

Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Erasmus+ Student Loans

This new loan scheme for EU students is offered by Future Finance and European Investment Fund and provides smart, flexible loans of up to £9,300.

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.

Delta Foundation Chevening Scholarships Taiwan

The Chevening/Delta Environmental Scholarship Scheme is designed to promote environmental awareness and increase future activity to tackle environmental issues, in particular climate change, by offering two joint scholarships.

Entry requirements

Suitable for graduate scientists and engineers with an interest in developing specialist knowledge in the waste sector, with a specific interest on recovering sustainable energy from waste materials. Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a first or second class UK Honours degree in a relevant engineering or science-based discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications together with industrial experience may be considered. Please contact us if you do not meet our formal entry requirements.

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. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

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.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

A recent study commissioned by Sita UK highlights the concern that the UK has a capacity gap in the management of residual waste, with an estimated £25 billion investment in waste infrastructure (anaerobic digestion and thermal treatment) required by 2025. In 2015 almost 18 million tonnes of waste produced in the UK will either be disposed of in landfill or exported as refuse-derived fuel (RDF), highlighting the current lack of waste treatment capacity and the lost opportunity to extract value from our wastes.  

This course aims to meet a clear industry need for high-skilled graduates in this specific field. Students completing this course will be employed by waste management companies, energy companies and the engineering sector dealing with waste, in both technical and engineering consultancy along with management roles across the sector.

Applying

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

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