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Course overview

Our Sustainable Energy Engineering programme will enable you to assess different energy supply options. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of modern sustainable, renewable and conventional technologies for a wide range of applications.

Due to a growing skills shortage in the energy sector, especially in emerging energy technologies, industry requires graduates with specialist knowledge and multidisciplinary ability. A broad understanding of energy technologies and more practical engineering skills are provided throughout this course.

Why choose this course?

3rd

in the UK for research power

REF 2014

2nd

highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation.

2nd

highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, 5 years after graduation

Modules

Sustainable Energy Futures (autumn) 20 credits

This module covers:

  • Current trends and future prospects for fossil fuel and renewable energy supplies 
  • Analysis of energy contributions from different sources: Energy vectors, conversion efficiency and distribution systems, especially for electricity generation.
  • Engineering components and analysis of renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar PV and hydropower - generator types, electrical performance.
  • Economic and environmental assessment of energy conversion technologies 
  • Energy Policy: carbon reduction initiatives and life-cycle assessment 
  • Sustainable transport options and infrastructure.
  • Comparison of low carbon energy options including biofuels and nuclear 

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 2 weeks 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 25.00 50 hours of student work
Exam 75.00

Part 1: weight 12.5%, 12.5 hours of student effort; assessment of student ability to demonstrate fundamental acquisition of the module's learning outcomes.

Part 2: weight 12.5%, 12.5 hours of student effort; assessment of student ability to demonstrate application of the module's learning outcomes to realistic engineering design and implement tasks.

Advanced Engineering Research Project Organisation and Design (spring) 10 credits

A project-oriented module involving a review of publications and views on a topic allied to the chosen specialist subject. The module will also involve organisation and design of the main project. Skills will be acquired through workshops and seminars that will include:

  • Further programming in MATLAB and /or MSExcel Macros
  • Project planning and use of Microsoft Project
  • Measurement and error analysis
  • Development of laboratory skills including safety and risk assessment

Students will select a further set of specialist seminars from, e.g.:

  • Meshing for computational engineering applications
  • Modelling using CAE packages
  • Use of CES Selector software
  • Specific laboratory familiarisation
  • Use of MSVisio software for process flow
  • Use of HYSYS process modelling software
  • Use of PSpice to simulate analogue and digital circuits

The specialist seminars will be organised within the individual MSc courses.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Seminar 12 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 40.00 Project planning
Coursework 2 20.00 Literature review
Coursework 3 20.00 Experimental Design
In-Class Test 20.00 Stats test
Health and Safety test   Pass required.
Individual Postgraduate Project (summer) 60 credits

This project involves students undertaking an original, independent, research study into an engineering or industrial topic appropriate to their specific MSc programme. The project should be carried out in a professional manner and may be undertaken on any topic which is relevant to the MSc programme, as agreed by the relevant Course Director and module convenor.

The project has several aims, beyond reinforcing information and methodology presented in the taught modules; the student is expected to develop skills in research, investigation, planning, evaluation and oral and written communication.

Final reporting will take the form of a written account including a literature review and an account of the student's contribution. A presentation will be made to academic staff towards the end of the project.

Method and Frequency of Class:

There will be a one hour introductory session/session via Moodle . All other activities are arranged on an individual basis between the student and the project supervisor.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 10.00 Interim Report (Marked by project supervisor)
Coursework 2 15.00 Supervisor assessment of student input and professionalism (marked by project supervisor)
Coursework 3 10.00 15 minute oral presentation (peer marked and with 1 staff)
Coursework 4 65.00 Dissertation (10,000 word limit)

The project area is flexible and will be supervised by an academic member of staff

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 10 November 2020.
Principles of Renewable and Energy Efficient Systems (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in renewable energy sources and allied conversion systems with the focus on their application within the built environment.

Specifically the module will cover:

  1. energy principles
  2. solar energy resources
  3. solar thermal collectors
  4. solar photovoltaics
  5. wind energy
  6. district heating and heat pumps
  7. biomass energy
  8. CHP
  9. efficient boilers
  10. heat recovery

For each of the renewable and energy efficient systems, the student will learn and develop an understanding of principle of operation, basic components, merit and limitations, and investigate the contribution they can make to a building's energy requirement with reference to their environmental impact.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Laboratory 5 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight
Exam 70.00
Laboratory report 30.00
Power Generation and Carbon Capture (autumn) 10 credits

The following topics are covered:

  • fossil fuels, occurrence, use and world-wide availability
  • fossil power generation, conventional and advanced technologies
  • current environmental/climate change issues in power generation using fossil fuels
  • emission problems and reduction technologies
  • climate-forcing carbon emissions and fossil energy de-carbonisation
  • co-firing of fossil fuels and biomass
  • carbon (CO2) capture and storage (CCS)

The challenges in tackling climate change call for a sustainable re-structuring of our energy infrastructure, particularly the fossil fuel fired power generation sector. The primary aim of this module is to address the major issues and challenges facing the power generation sector using fossil fuels. This will be related to emissions problems and their abatement technologies and will address both conventional and advanced power generation technologies.

There will be a particular focus on various aspects of CCS technologies and their application in a range of fossil energy sectors, from the technical and deployment status of CCS to related financial and environmental challenges and opportunities. You’ll have two hours of lectures a week for this module.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Dissertation 30.00 Technology Assessment Report and Presentation
Exam 70.00 2 hour exam
Dynamics and Wind Engineering (autumn) 20 credits

For efficiency and clarity, the module will have complementary themes running in parallel at times, as shown below:

Wind Engineering Theme

Dynamics Theme

Basic meteorology

Global circulation; subtropical cyclones; gradient winds

Single degree of freedom (SDOF) systems

Equation of motion; damping cases; free and forced vibration

Wind characteristics

Wind spectra; parent winds; turbulence; atmospheric boundary layer

Multiple degrees of freedom (MDOF) systems

 

Bluff body aerodynamics

Flow around cylinders and buildings; pressure coefficients

Continuous systems

 

Wind Engineering Tools

Eurocode; wind tunnel modelling; computational wind engineering

Wind-structure interaction

Buffeting; vortex-induced vibration; galloping; flutter

The module will involve two pieces of individual courseworks in wind loading and buffeting.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 3 week 2 hours

 Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 15.00 Individual project using Eurocde to predict forces on a low-rise structure.
Coursework 2 15.00 Individual project using Matlab coding to model the dynamic response of a building to wind excitation.
Exam 70.00 Three hour examination.
Advanced Technology Review

This module exposes you to topics relevant to engineers today that are new and/or developing rapidly and which may be associated with important segments of the UK economy. The aim of the Case Study is to develop your skills in acquiring, assimilating, synthesising and presenting technical and business information in an appropriate form based on sound research.

Renewable Energy Technology Design and Appraisal (spring) 20 credits

This module will examine aspects of performance analysis and system design/sizing of renewable energy systems for building integration. The course provides opportunities to gain experience in issues of technology selection, system design, installation and performance analysis of a range of renewable energy systems. The module will emphasize solar energy technologies (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems) and small-scale wind turbines, and their integration into buildings.

This includes aspects of weather data resource/collection, system performance analysis, system design parameters, design/simulation tools, field evaluation of these technologies and cost appraisal.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Laboratory 1 week 1 per week 6 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 per week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00  
Process Risk and Benefit (spring) 10 credits

The module will explore decision making in the presence of uncertainty Risks of particular interest are those associated with large engineering projects such as the development of innovative new products and processes.

The module will presents and interpret some of the frameworks helpful for balancing risks and benefits in situations that typically involve human safety, potential environmental effects, and large financial and technological uncertainties.

Case studies will be used to illustrate key points and these will centre around the use and recovery of plastics, metals, industrial minerals and energy.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Tutorial 12 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 20.00 8 page report
Coursework 2 20.00 10 minute presentation with Q and A
Coursework 3 30.00 25 page business plan
Coursework 4 15.00 10 minute presentation with Q and A
Coursework 5 15.00 3 page report
Energy Storage

This module aims to provide you with the fundamental knowledge of energy storage science and the practical skills related to this area. It covers the following topics:

  • fuels storage (coal, oil, natural gas, biomass, hydrogen etc)
  • mechanical energy storage (springs, compressed air, fly wheels etc)
  • heat or thermal energy storage (phase transformation, endothermic and exothermic reactions etc)
  • electricity storage (electrochemical means, such as batteries, fuel cells, redox flow batteries, supercapacitors)
  • integration of storage with supplier and users (power electronics for interfacing energy stores with power grid, renewable sources and users)

You’ll spend two hours in lectures and three hours in practicals per week.

 

Technologies for Hydrogen Transport Economy (spring) 10 credits

This module considers:

  • Hydrogen use in the transport and energy sectors
  • Sustainable sources of Hydrogen
  • Hydrogen storage and distribution
  • Fuel cell technologies
  • Hydrogen Vehicles
  • Grid stability and decarbonisation of heat applications
  • Economic and environmental feasibility assessment

Method and Frequency of Class: 2-hour lectures in 10 weeks

Method of Assessment: 1 Examination (100%) -  2 hours

Engineering Sustainability – Energy, Materials and Manufacture (autumn) 20 credits

The module aims to provide students with knowledge of key environmental and sustainability issues of relevance to energy supply and use, materials consumption, and product design/manufacture.

Topics include:

  1. Drivers for sustainability, including patterns of energy use, material consumption, waste generation, and associated environmental impacts in UK and globally.
  2. Factors influencing the availability of non-renewable and renewable energy and material resources.
  3. Principles for the efficient use of energy resources including energy use in buildings, heat and power generation, and heat recovery systems.
  4. Life cycle assessment of engineering activities, with focus on greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, their impacts, and mitigation measures.
  5. Economic analysis of investments in energy savings, material substitution, product design, and value recovery from end-of-life products; Cost-benefit analysis incorporating environmental externalities; and the role of government regulations in influencing business decisions.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 2 weeks 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 10.00 Technical report including calculation (approx. 4 pages in length)
Exam 90.00 2 hour exam
Thermofluids 3
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars

The course structure consists of 120 credits of taught modules plus a major individual research-based project completed during the summer term. Tutor-led modules in each semester provide a continuous thread of research development leading into the summer project.

How you will be assessed

  • Exams
  • Coursework

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 BEng/BSc in any relevant subject

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc
Home / UK £10,500
International £25,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. Project equipment and components are normally covered by the department, though some students opt to buy some of their own components up to £100.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £300. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and provides you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UKSPEC).

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Tuesday 10 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.