Sustainable Energy and Environment (MSc) Part-time

Amidst the introduction of new energy and environmental technologies, this course aims to train graduates that are capable of working across the interface of traditional disciplines and be effective in an ever increasing multidisciplinary environment.

Climate change, the global consumption of energy and the use of fossil fuels to provide us with heat, power and transportation are all engineering challenges which need addressing now and in the future. It is clear that solutions to these long-term problems ­– ensuring the best use of resources, and developing new more sustainable ways to produce and use energy – will require graduates who can work in an increasingly multidisciplinary environment.

This course will offer you the knowledge and expertise you will need in relation to sustainable energy and the environmental impact of energy systems.

The course aims to:

  • Produce postgraduate specialists who can demonstrate mastery of a broad spectrum of advanced engineering principles to real-life technological, financial, regulatory, managerial and ethical problems encountered in the Sustainable Energy and Environmental profession, and who are equipped to be key professional players in the wider industry, the professions, and public service.
  • Produce postgraduates with a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights which are at the forefront of Sustainable Energy Systems and the Environment.
  • Help students develop a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship.
  • Produce individuals who can show originality in application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the area of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the programme include:

  • The opportunity for students to learn in a research-led teaching institution serviced by staff rated in the highest possible category by independent Government assessment.
  • The opportunity to work in facilities commensurate with a top-class research unit.
  • The opportunity for students to undertake project work in a successful, research-based environment.
  • The programme has been designed to provide technical and managerial skills needed by industry, academia and the public sector.
  • The substantial industrial input to the programme through invited lecturers and where appropriate offer industrially-based projects.
  • A variety of specialist modules on offer.
  • An open and engaging culture between students and staff, with student representatives as full members on School committees.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration2 years
QualificationMSc
ModePart-time
Other ways to study this course
AccreditationsInstitution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Energy Institute (EI)
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

An upper 2nd class honours degree from a good UK university or an equivalent international degree qualification. If you have a good 2:2 or equivalent, or relevant industrial experience, we will give your application individual consideration.

Suitable for graduates in engineering, environmental engineering, earth sciences, pure sciences or a related discipline.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to pass IELTS exams. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5. Please see our English language requirements for more information.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

The programme is presented as a two-year part-time Master's level programme, and is also available in full-time mode over one year.

The programme is presented in two stages: In Stage 1 students follow taught modules to the value of 120 credits, with a limited amount of choice between optional modules. Stage 2 consists of a Dissertation module worth 60 credits.     

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Energy ManagementENT74710 credits
Energy StudiesENT76310 credits
Fuels and Energy SystemsENT76520 credits

Year two

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

A wide range of teaching styles are used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. You will be required to attend lecture, lab and tutorial based study during the semesters, and later undertake an individual research project.

While a 10-credit module represents 100 hours of study in total, typically this will involve 24–36 hours of contact time with teaching staff. The remaining hours are intended to be for private study, coursework, revision and assessment. Therefore, all students are expected to spend a significant amount of time (typically 20 hours each week) studying independently.

At the beginning of Stage 2, you will be allocated a project supervisor. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff in consultation with industrial partners, usually in areas of current research or industrial interest. You are also encouraged to put forward your own project ideas.

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and give feedback.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor to assist you with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. The personal tutor will meet with you early on in the programme, and as required thereafter. For the dissertation stage, students will be allocated a supervisor in the relevant field of research whom they should expect to meet with regularly.

In addition to the broad range of support services provided centrally by Cardiff University, students with specific needs will be supported as required.

Feedback

You will get written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations. 

How will I be assessed?

Achievement of learning outcomes in the majority of modules is assessed by a combination of coursework assignments, plus University examinations set in January or May. Examinations count for a third to a half of assessment in Stage 1 of the programme, depending on the options chosen, the remainder being largely project work and pieces of coursework.

Award of an MSc requires successful completion of Stage 2, the Dissertation, with a mark of 50% or higher. Candidates achieving 60% may be awarded a Merit and for those achieving a 70% average a Distinction may be awarded. Candidates failing to qualify for an MSc may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma of Higher Education for 120 credits in Stage 1. Candidates failing to complete the 120 credits required for Stage 1 may still be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education for the achievement of at least 60 credits.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a student on this MSc programme you will practise and develop the following skills:

     Knowledge and Understanding

  • Understand the multidisciplinary nature of sustainable energy and environment studies, and the need for integration of knowledge from a range of engineering disciplines in the management of sustainable energy challenges.
  • Use in an appropriate manner the fundamental scientific laws underlying the operation of a wide range of important renewable and non-renewable energy systems.
  • Recognise and be capable of utilising basic relationships and techniques of energy management for a range of given situations.
  • Explain and present information associated with appraisal and assessment of energy projects.
  • Explain the role of the agencies who police the various sectors of the environment.
  • Compare and contrast the different challenges presented by local and global pollution.
  • Outline the structure of the UK regulatory framework for management of risk and hazards pertinent to sustainable energy systems, and be capable of explaining its evolution, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Explain methods utilised in industry for identifying, quantifying  and mitigating risks and hazards.
  • Demonstrate knowledge which is at the forefront of a range of sustainable energy and environment disciplines, selected from: thermodynamics, heat transfer, hydro-environmental modelling, sustainability, alternative energy systems, Low carbon footprint, condition monitoring, modelling and forecasting.

     Intellectual Skills

  • Use knowledge and scientific evidence-based, methods in the assessment and solution of sustainable energy and environment challenges, often on the basis of limited and possibly contradictory information.
  • Deal with complex sustainable energy and environment issues both systematically and creatively.
  • Show originality in tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Critically review the background to a sustainable energy systems problem and to formulate a programme of works to address the issue.
  • Systematically undertake a significant research project in sustainable energy and environment which includes originality in the application of knowledge and the exercise of critical engineering judgement.
  • Collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of ways, and identify means to gain new data where needed.
  • Conceive, plan, execute and communicate the results of an extended in-depth piece of individual project work.
  • Sustain a critical argument, both in writing and through presentations.

     Practical Skills

  • Use appropriate mathematical and experimental methods for the modelling and analysis of sustainable energy and environmental problems.

     Transferable Skills

  • Manipulate, present and report data in a variety of ways.
  • Manage resources and time.
  • Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written, and physical or practical means.
  • Generate a concise literature review.
  • Make effective use of information technology and communications (ITC) tools, including spreadsheets, word processors, database systems, and the Internet.
  • Work effectively in a group context towards achieving specific goals and targets.

Graduates typically gain employment in large energy-focussed companies, the public sector, consultancies, research and development, or set up their own companies. A number also go on to undertake PhD study.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is needed.