Postgraduate study
This course is designed to enable science and engineering graduates to assess different energy supply options and to analyse sustainable energy technologies.
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
A 2.1 in an Engineering or Science degree which covers the fundamentals of energy engineering
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element), if these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£7,785 - Terms apply
International fees
£22,815 - Terms apply
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
University Park Campus



This 12 month course is designed to enable science and engineering graduates 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.

Key facts

  • It provides project management as part of the Project Organisation and Design module, and financial evaluation as part of the Energy Systems Performance and Appraisal module.
  • This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.



Full course details

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. 

Entry requirements: 2:1 (or international equivalent) BEng/BSc in any relevant subject which covers the basic principles of energy engineering.

You will develop:

  • a solid understanding of existing energy technology and its application, and an appreciation of the economic, legal, social and ethical aspects of sustainable energy
  • the technical knowledge and skills to prepare them for a leading career in the field of sustainable energy systems
  • the understanding required to design and critically analyse sustainable systems for energy efficiency, energy storage and energy conversion
  • decision making powers in applying sustainable energy engineering to buildings, electricity generation, industrial processes and transport infrastructure
  • the ability to exercise original thought
  • the ability to communicate ideas effectively in written reports, verbally and by means of presentations to groups

Watch Sustainable Energy Engineering MSc graduate Diana Guzman's video

Individual project

Following the successful completion of the taught modules, an individual research project is undertaken during the summer term. There is a wide choice of project areas to choose from and all projects are supervised by an academic member of staff.

Project areas span the Faculty of Engineering and cover areas such as:

  • assessment of energy crops for combined heat and power systems
  • bio-diesel process optimisation
  • renewable energy at point of consumption
  • structural and material aspects of wind turbine design
  • evaluation of electric and hybrid vehicles for carbon reduction
  • improving environmental performance of power stations

Academic English preparation and support

If you need additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

A specialist engineering course is available and you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.




Core modules

Advanced Engineering Research Project Organisation and Design (10 credits)

Summary Of Content

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 & 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.

Taught Semesters: Spring UK 

Delivery: 3-hour seminars in 12 weeks 

Method of Assessment:

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Coursework 1 40.00 2000 word literature review on a topic relevant to MSc programme.
Coursework 2   Formative health & safety risk assessment
Coursework 3 60.00 2000 word max planning report; topics to be specific to individual MSc courses and specialist training

Individual Postgraduate Project (60 credits)

Summary Of Content: 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.

For the Manufacturing Technology Engineering Doctorate the research project will form part of the research portfolio for the candidate.

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 TypeWeightRequirements
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)

Sustainable Energy Futures (20 credits)

Summary Of Content: This module considers:
  • Current trends and future prospects for fossil fuel supplies
  • Analysis of energy contributions from different sources
  • Energy vectors, conversion efficiency and distribution systems
  • Energy storage systems
  • Policies affecting future energy options: carbon reduction initiatives and life-cycle assessment
  • Sustainable transport options and infrastructure
  • Comparison of low carbon energy options including biofuels and nuclear

Taught Semesters: Autumn UK 

Method and Frequency of Class: 2-hour lectures in 11 weeks. 

Method of Assessment:

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Coursework 1 20.00 10 hours of student time
Exam 1 80.00  

Optional Modules

Principles of Renewable and Energy Efficient Systems (20 credits)


Power Generation and Carbon Capture (10 credits)

Summary Of Content: 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).

Taught Semesters: Autumn UK 

Method and Frequency of Class: 

ActivityNumber of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Dissertation 30.00 Technology Assessment Report and Presentation
Exam 1 70.00 2 hour exam

Dynamics & Wind Engineering (20 credits)

Summary of Content: 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:

ActivityNumber of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 3 week 2 hours

 Method of Assessment:

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
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. 
3hr Exam 70.00  

Engineering Sustainability - Energy Materials and Manufacturing (20 credits)


Thermofluids 3 (20 credits)


Renewable Energy Design and Appraisal (20 credits)


Process Risk Benefit and Analysis (10 credits)

Summary Of Content: 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:

ActivityNumber of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Tutorial 12 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Method of Assessment:

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
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 (10 credits)

Summary Of Content: This module aims to provide Level 4 students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills in relation with energy storage science, engineering and technology. 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.
The module will be delivered in relation with the relevant materials and devices, together with optional laboratory observations and/or practices.

Taught Semesters: Spring UK 

Method and Frequency of Class: 

ActivityNumber of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Practicum 12 weeks 1 week 3 hours

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


Technologies for the Hydrogen Transport Economy (10 credits)

Summary Of Content: 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

Taught Semesters: Spring UK 

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

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


Please note that the modules listed above are all subject to change.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.



See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.

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

Faculty of Engineering Postgraduate Scholarships

UK/EU Students

Funding information can be found on the Graduate School website.

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

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

Career destinations for our graduates include scientific researchers, secondary teachers, university lectures and university researchers.

Career Prospects and Employability

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.  

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

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

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 94.9% of postgraduates in engineering faculty courses who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £35,550 with the highest being £100,000.

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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