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Engineering Net Zero (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Dr Aled Davies provides an overview of MSc Engineering Net Zero and how it can help students gain the skills to combat one of the world’s greatest challenges.

The MSc Engineering Net Zero will provide you with key engineering and science-based knowledge and skills to deliver impactful decarbonisation solutions to tackle climate change in the wider society.


Join the global effort

Develop engineering and science-based knowledge to help combat one of the world’s greatest challenges – Net Zero.


Engage with industry

Work with leading engineering organisations and help solve real industry relevant problems to create a greener society.


Research-led teaching

Experience research-led teaching addressing the latest key areas and problems within climate change.


Graduate prospects

Achieve leading skills towards a future in sustainability and the renewable energy sector for job opportunities across the globe.

The climate change emergency is happening now and we all have a duty to act immediately to mitigate against irreversible damage to our planet and way of life. Reaching net zero by 2050 means that we need innovative knowledge and skills across the engineering and scientific community to transform our high-carbon society to meet this challenge.

This course brings together engineering and science graduates to collaborate on providing the cumulative change and transformation to our current practices which will lay the foundation for a net zero society.

You will benefit from the outcomes of our latest research in decarbonisation, sustainability and net-zero carbon which are all key areas in addressing climate change. You will also learn from our collaborations with our external partners who are working with us to provide solutions to these challenges.

The course will provide you with a range of topics as well as creative and innovative approach to engineering challenges and will help you to seek achievable sustainable solutions by employing a variety of skills, critical knowledge and understanding in a flexible manner as an independent thinker. You will lead the change in transforming society around a shared vision of decarbonisation.

Core studies provide the opportunity to develop your problem-solving and critical evaluation skills by studying fundamental engineering and societal principles of decarbonisation whilst applying the knowledge and skills obtained to design and research-led problems. Optional research-led modules will allow you freedom to build your own portfolio of skills and knowledge, either by broadening your horizons or deepening your specialist area.

To achieve change, we must do things differently and urgently – hence reducing carbon requires innovation in every part of the infrastructure value chain. In the past few years innovations in procurement and design have championed working within integrated teams with agreed objectives and commercial incentives to drive behaviour.

Where you'll study

School of Engineering

Study in one of the UK's leading engineering Schools for the quality of research and teaching.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 0050
  • Marker5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant degree subject such as engineering, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The programme is a one-year full time Masters.

The programme is presented in two stages:

In Stage 1, you will follow taught modules to the value of 120 credits, with 80 credits being core modules, and the remaining optional modules being chosen from an extensive list covering various specialisms. You will be guided in choosing these optional modules based on your experience, discipline and preferences.

Stage 2 consists of a Dissertation module worth 60 credits, undertaken over the summer.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

You will study the core modules necessary for attaining the knowledge and skills needed to address the change needed across the profession to provide solutions to the challenges of climate change.

You will also be able to choose from a range of optional modules allowing you to specialize or follow your own interests.

You will be able to develop a research project focussing on your own interests or future aspirations. This may involve a placement with one of our external partners or working with one of our internationally recognised research groups.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The School of Engineering has been internationally recognised for its research excellence, which translates into a strong and active research-led teaching culture. Your learning experience is at the heart of the programme, where we have created an inspirational approach to achieve a dynamic and challenging environment based on high-quality face-to-face teaching around problem-based learning, authentic design-led group work and cutting-edge research.

Modules are delivered through a series of face-to-face lectures, tutorials, workshops or seminars, as well as design and research-led group activities. Supplementary learning resources are also provided to both aid student learning and provide stretching activities.

Individual modules provide further information on how to study and guidance on learning resources and further support.

As well as having individual activities, learning together is an important aspect of this programme, especially when collaborating in multi-disciplinary groups. Directed support is provided concerning effective team participation, developing group dynamics and reviewing peer contribution.

How will I be assessed?

Modules will be assessed either by coursework, presentation, examination or combinations therein. You will be assessed by a range of methods designed to enhance your learning experience and to test your skills and knowledge. These typically include open and closed book examinations, written assignments, in-class tests and linked formative activities including peer review, reflection and presentations.

Assessments are designed to best reflect practical relevance and to be authentic, whilst evidencing achievement of the learning outcomes.

Feedback is an essential element of your learning experience and will be provided during the duration of your studies. Each module will have feedback mechanisms to aid in your learning and development. Formative assessments will have feedback that assists in developing your knowledge, understanding and skills. Feedback following summative assessments will outline the evidence used to mark your submission against set criteria and give constructive comments towards developing your knowledge, understanding and skills for the future.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor to assist with both your academic progress and pastoral support in an informal and confidential manner. We take pride in providing a warm and welcoming environment for all.

Your personal tutor will see you regularly during the programme. For the dissertation stage, you will be allocated a supervisor and an industrial mentor if needed in your specialist field, whom you will be expected to meet with regularly.

In addition to the broad range of support services provided centrally by Cardiff University, our Senior Personal Tutor will be available to help and advise on any personal matters that arise.

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate and support you, providing course content and delivery and general programme resources. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and return feedback.

To support the diversity of student backgrounds, directed resources will be provided to scaffold your learning as needed. This may include pre-requisite content prior to programme commencement, tailored content for individuals and staff/student mentoring.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will achieve by the end of your programme at Cardiff University and identify the knowledge and skills that you will develop. They will also help you to understand what is expected of you.

On successful completion of your Programme you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

KU 1 Appraise the application of new and existing knowledge of advanced engineering principles concerning decarbonisation in relevant engineering disciplines and apply to authentic problems encountered in research and industry by drawing on key theories.

KU 2 Construct engineering solutions through a comprehensive understanding of fundamental principles and theories to real engineering challenges.

KU 3 Identify the role of net zero engineering within the climate change emergency and formulate responses to engineering challenges within a wider societal context.

KU 4 Formulate approaches to decarbonisation within specific disciplines and wider society and propose pathways for implementation.

KU 5 Act autonomously in critical decision making.

Intellectual Skills:

IS 1 Develop innovative engineering solutions to address and implement change towards creating a decarbonised society.

IS 2 Solve engineering challenges that require a thorough and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of underpinning engineering principles and practices.

IS 3 Collaborate with other engineering and science-based disciplines and related areas to create a holistic approach to tackling climate change challenges.

IS 4 Critique and defend your engineering solutions within a research and industrial context, as well as across wider societal impact.

IS 5 Appreciate preconceived bias within engineering practices and society towards climate change and critically assess data and approaches to decarbonisation based on thorough research and undertaking validation and verification processes.

Professional Practical Skills:

PS 1 Instigate engineering projects with regards to addressing sustainability and decarbonisation.

PS 2 Develop and implement solutions using a range of engineering skills, fundamental principles and processes.

PS 3 Critically review the framework of relevant government and legal requirements to hasten implementation of net zero solutions.

PS 4 Contribute positively and effectively when working in a team and be able to communicate complex ideas effectively to diverse audiences.

PS 5 Identify, define and analyse complex issues and ideas, exercising critical judgment in evaluating sources of information.

PS 6 Independently report, present and critically evaluate findings resulting from the dissertation against stated objectives.

Transferable/Key Skills:

KS 1 Deploy a range of skills including problem-solving, communication, teamwork, information retrieval, IT skills, self-learning, reflection and career development.

KS 2 Collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of ways, identifying means to gain new data where needed.

KS 3 Conceive, plan, execute and communicate outcomes of significant project or research work that includes originality on the application of knowledge and critical engineering judgement.

KS 4 Appreciate key aspects of the Climate Emergency and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, identifying their relevance in formulating an engineering response.

KS 5 Actively reflect on own studies, achievements and self-identity.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £11,700 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £28,200 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

No additional costs are required for this programme.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

You will be well prepared for leadership roles in implementing decarbonisation strategies in engineering and science-based research and industrial, commercial or government organisations. Career destinations include senior and principal engineering leads, environmental and sustainability officers, legislative and management roles and university research.

Graduates will attain the essential attributes required by today’s employers which include collaboration, communication, societal responsibilities, self-learning, self-determination, critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation and reflective practices.

Strong links with our research groups and industrial partners will enhance your employability skills and opportunities to network. Visiting lecturers from industry and professional advice from engineering institutions together with support from our Careers Team will provide relevant help and advice in relation to future employment opportunities.


Short-term placement activities can occur within the research project and dissertation modules, especially when industrial partners are involved. During the research project, you will work closely with research groups, effectively embedding yourself within the team under the supervision of a staff member, with co-supervision from an industrial partner as required. Industrially led dissertations will also provide you with further opportunities to work closely with external partners.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.