Efficient Fossil Energy Technologies MSc


Fact file

Qualification name:Efficient Fossil Energy Technologies
Duration:1 year full-time
Entry requirements:at least 2.1 (Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
Including:Engineering and Physical Sciences or closely related degrees (Chemical, Mechanical, Environmental or Materials Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Geology)
Excluding:All Arts & Social Sciences
Other requirements:Applicants with qualifications below the minimum may be considered if they have relevant industrial or project experience, subject to approval by the Quality and Standards Committee. International students will need to satisfy our English language requirements as listed below. These requirements may be waived for applicants from certain countries. For details, please see the University of Nottingham Policy for Waiving English Language Entry Requirements. For international students who do not reach the minimum IELTS or equivalent standards prescribed below, the English language requirement will be deemed to have been met upon successful completion of a full-time intensive English language and academic preparation course of appropriate length in the University Centre for English Language Education (CELE).
IELTS:6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
Part time details:2 years part-time
Start date:September
Campus:University Park, University of Birmingham, Loughborough University

Course Overview

This MSc course is part of the Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS), a partnership between Nottingham, Birmingham and Loughborough universities. Students have the unique opportunity to take modules at each of the partner universities, studying alongside other MEGS students registered at all three universities, thus benefiting from the best research, resources and support across all of the universities.

Modules studied represent the academic specialism offered by each university and the research project, taken at the university where you register, will focus on specific aspects of fossil energy technologies: Birmingham specialises in managing chemical reactions, plant design and carbon capture technologies; Loughborough in materials technologies for power generation and high-temperature applications; and Nottingham will focus on combustion technologies, power generation, environmental control and carbon capture. It is therefore important to select your choice of university carefully. Full details of these options and specialisms are in the Modules section of this website and all enquiries are welcome.

Fossil fuels continue to dominate global energy consumption and, since that status quo is unlikely to end in our lifetime, the demand for engineers to research and implement cleaner, efficient, responsible fossil energy solutions will increase for many decades into the future. This multi-disciplinary course will provide you with a solid grounding in efficient fossil energy technologies. It will prepare you with the knowledge and skills to tackle the major national and international challenges of implementing new fossil-based power plants and processes more efficiently, with near zero emissions and CO2 capture.

You will gain skills in advanced engineering practice, including design, operation, problem-solving and practical elements. The advanced practice is centred on themes in fossil energy and environmental applications, so you also gain significant experience in areas such as energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, petroleum production engineering, system modelling and environmental management.

Students can also register for this course via the University of Birmingham

and Loughborough University.

Make an enquiry

Back to Chemical and Environmental Engineering taught courses

Course Details

The course follows a modular structure, with students completing 180 credits over a 12 month period.

Students take 60 credits of core modules, 60 credits of optional modules and a 60-credit research project.

The curriculum covers the core themes of power generation, carbon capture, innovation and the wider, societal aspect of energy generation and use.

A wide range of optional modules allows students to tailor their studies to meet the needs of their chosen career path. Students may be able to take these optional modules via state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities on-campus at Nottingham, or in person at Birmingham and Loughborough. Students may also choose some optional modules from a range of technical choices and some from a range of contextual and managerial choices, which provides a well-rounded range of study.

Uniquely, students can choose to register for the programme either at the University of Nottingham, or one of the other two universities that comprise the MEGS (Midlands Energy Graduate School) consortium – the University of Birmingham and Loughborough University.

Your choice will depend on the type of research project you are most interested in - you will apply to the university where you wish to undertake your research project.

Each partner university offers a pathway which draws on the particular research strengths and topic specialisms at that institution, making it as easy as possible to benefit from the chosen study location. Further details about each university’s expertise are available under the module information.

Please note that the masters degree awarded is the same regardless at which university students are registered.

Before you apply

You must be sure at which university within the MEGS consortium you wish to register before making your application.

We will help you asses which university is the most appropriate based on your research preferences. You can discuss this with the course director Dr Cheng-gong Sun, providing your degree subject and university and an outline of the fossil energy topics that interest you. We will then get back to you to advise where your application should be submitted. Or you can refer to the course outline in the next section to give you a list of typical project topics and themes.


Core modules

All students take the following core modules:

Optional modules

Students then choose from these optional modules, which are delivered at the lead university or may be available via video-conference lecture.

Optional modules led by the University of Nottingham

Optional modules led by the University of Birmingham

  • Advanced Reaction Systems
  • Systems Modelling
  • Conventional Energy Technology
  • Measurement Techniques
  • Process Engineering Fundamentals
  • Project Management

Optional Modules available at Loughborough University

  • Surface Engineering
  • Ceramics: Properties and Processes
  • Metals: Properties and Processes
  • Materials Modelling
  • Sustainable Use of Materials
  • Teamwork and Leadership

Further options from across the Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS) may be chosen, subject to timetabling and delivery methods.

Research Project Topics

Each collaborating university offers expertise in particular topics. Please bear these specialisms in mind when choosing at which of the three participating universities you wish to register.

Research project topics led by The University of Nottingham

  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Advanced gas clean-up technologies for cleaner energy and power generation
  • Gasification technologies (syngas production)
  • Fossil fuel processing (oil, gas, coal and biomass)

Research project topics led by the University of Birmingham

  • Modelling systems
  •  Plant design
  •  Supercritical reactions
  •  Catalysts
  •  Carbon capture technologies

Research project topics led by Loughborough University

  • Materials for conventional power generation
  • Steels for ultra-supercritical steam powerplant applications
  • Coatings for superalloys for high temperature service
  • Degradation of materials at high temperatures

The taught element takes place between September and May and consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. The individual project takes place between May and August, based on one of the themes outlined above.

Taken over the summer term, based either at the University or in industry, the project brings together many of the core taught elements of the course, allowing students to explore current technologies and systems, plan and manage the project, work in a laboratory or industrial process environment, and evaluate the benefits and impact of their development. The project provides the advanced training necessary for students to be eligible for PhD study, and the advanced skills for process development roles in industry. All projects are supervised by an academic member of staff. The research project must be taken at the university at which the student is registered.

For details on our modules, please see the module catalogue.


The fees for this course can be found on our tuition fees webpage.

Faculty of Engineering Postgraduate Scholarships

UK/EU Students

The Graduate School website at The University of Nottingham provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2016 entry scholarships will open in late 2015. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.


Graduates of this programme will be in demand by power generation companies and partner organisations working on technologies for a near-zero-emission power plant. 

There is a world-wide demand for engineers and scientists with high-level education and skills in energy technologies, focusing on fossil fuels, as coal-fired power stations continue to be commissioned, built and operated. This programme also provides an entry route to progress to PhD study, upon successful completion (minimum grades apply).

Average starting salary and career progression

Availability for employment and salary data for the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering is not attainable due to a small sample size.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14. 

Career Prospects and Employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from  careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

Make an enquiry


Dr Cheng-gong Sun
Faculty of Engineering
University Park
t:    +44 (0)115 951 3919
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The University of Nottingham
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