Production from conventional oil resources has peaked and similar peaks will occur in the future for natural gas and coal. Use of renewable resources and application of renewable energy technologies is likely to play a major role in future energy supply.  

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?

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.

This course develops professional engineers and scientists with the multidisciplinary skills and ability to analyse current and future energy engineering problems. In addition you will be equipped to design and implement appropriate solutions for these issues, taking into account the social, environmental, technical, regulatory and commercial issues and constraints.

Why this course?

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. 

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.

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.

Course details

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.

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

Principles of Sustainability

Module Leader
  • Dr Paul Burgess
Aim

    Human population growth and increased resource use per capita is placing unsustainable demands on the global ecosystem. This module explores sustainability using three approaches.  The “Ecosystem Service” approach provides a framework for society to address key environmental issues such as food production, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and water use.  The “Circular Economy” approach refers to the development of “restorative” industrial systems that are grounded on the lessons of non-linear, feedback-rich ecosystems.  The third approach is to explore the nexus between renewable energy, food, and other ecosystem services using per capita energy and food consumption. This module introduces and critiques the three approaches and examines their application to resolve real-world problems and create commercial opportunities.  

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 a student should 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 Leader
  • Dr Nazmiye Ozkan
Aim

    In the search for methods that combine economic analysis and environmental assessments to achieve the goal of sustainable development, the measurement of environmental costs and benefits is an increasingly important element of the appraisal of policies and projects.  This module explores economic concepts and techniques that can be used for the valuation of the environment, how these support decisions regarding the optimal allocation of resources and the design of policy interventions.

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 module a student should be able to:
  • Explain how economics can help determining environmental value
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses of different environmental valuation methods and techniques
  • Explain how environmental valuation methods can be incorporated 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
  • Explain the purpose and methods of environmental accounting at sector and national level.

Fuels and Energy Conversion

Module Leader
  • Fidalgo Fernandez, Dr Beatriz
Aim

    A complete knowledge of the main conventional fuels and the principles of the energy conversion systems are fundamental for a better understanding of concepts related to energy. The course provides the fundamentals of thermodynamics and their application to major energy conversion systems, including hydrogen production and utilization. The purpose of this module is to introduce the basis for assessment of performance and consumption of fossil fuel and related fuels (biomass, biogas, waste, etc) involved in the generation of electricity and heat, usually through changes in thermodynamic conditions of fuels, interacting with thermo-mechanical devices.

Syllabus
    • 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 biofuel systems, including: combustion, gasification and pyrolysis
    • Fundamentals of hydrogen production and fuel cells
    • Combined heat and power (CHP) systems.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Evaluate critically the advantages and limitations major energy conversion systems based on their operational principles
  • Discuss key issues related to energy conversion systems using appropriate terminology
  • Evaluate implications of CO2 emission for energy conversion systems switching from using conventional fossil fuel to renewable fuels
  • Develop conceptual and analytical skills to carry out mass balance calculation and thermodynamic analysis for energy conversion systems.

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.

Renewable Energy Technologies: Systems

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


    Building on the fundamental understanding of the available renewable energy technologies, it is important to understand the in-depth operating principles, development and small/large scale systems of the main renewable energy generation technologies.  The purpose of this module is to cover the state-of-the-art knowledge on the whole technological systems that make up the renewable energy mix.  This module will recap solar energy, waste and biomass and wind and explore energy storage technologies.  Additionally the management of demand and smart grids will be covered in this module, allowing students to understand the concepts of a dynamic low carbon energy system.

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 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.

Renewable Energy Technologies: Fundamentals

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

    An understanding of the principles of onshore renewable energy technologies is key to understanding the technological basis of the systems and applications, particularly with regards to the overall energy mix of a specific country. The module provides the fundamentals of the renewable energy technologies and their impact on global and national energy system. The purpose of this module is to introduce the basis for assessment of the performances of solar technologies (thermal and PV), onshore wind, biomass and waste technologies, geothermal and hydroelectric technologies.

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.

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 for students from Taiwan.

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. 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

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.

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.

Apply Now