Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Renewable Energy Engineering
Providing students with a detailed knowledge of the technology required to ensure energy provision in the renewables industry.

Key Facts

Study Mode
Full-time (12 months)
Entry Date
Learning Mode
On-campus Learning

Programme Details

The programme has been designed to provide students with a detailed knowledge of all the major renewable energy sources and the engineering skills associated with them. Essential subject areas are also covered to ensure that students develop the skills and understanding required to develop and implement renewable energy projects. The fundamentals of electrical engineering are covered in the revised course on Electrical Systems for Renewable Energy, while the importance of safety is covered in an existing safety and reliability course. 

Students get both a theoretical and practical grounding.Teaching is by specialist staff drawn from our engineering school and the energy industry, each of whom are highly regarded in their field of expertise.

The programme is constantly updated to reflect the current and future needs of the renewable energy industry. One of the main features of the MSc Programme is its interdisciplinary nature, being suitable for students with mechanical, civil, electrical, chemical and other suitable engineering backgrounds. In special cases, the programme is also made available to those with relevant science backgrounds, including Physics, Chemistry and Applied Maths.

A Talented Tomorrow Today

Tomorrow depends on talented, enterprising people - like those who make up our community of innovators. The University of Aberdeen has a proven track record of preparing graduates for the Energy sector. Students benefit from research active staff, and from close proximity and good working relationships with industry. Aberdeen is at the heart of the energy industry in Europe, a factor that makes it possible to offer a curriculum that is highly relevant to the needs of employers, within a cutting-edge research environment. 



Why Study this Programme?

  • This programme gives a much broader learning experience than other MSc programmes and provides you with an overview of the engineering and technological requirements of a range of renewable energy sources and opens up more career opportunities.
  • Vital, broader engineering skills are taught in areas such as safety.
  • The legal and economical side of renewable projects is also covered.
  • To ensure that the degree programmes remain current and connected to industry, the programme is developed and reviewed by an Industry Advisory Board, made up of experienced professionals from a range of backgrounds.
  • Our close links with industry ensure that you experience lectures taught by industry professionals, get the chance to visit relevant organisations, attend industry events, and undertake MSc projects with leading firms.
  • This programme attracts students from around the world, all sharing a common interest and passion for renewable energy. This close knit global community works together across major projects, enhancing your learning experience and ensuring that completing this MSc programme is not just a one year experience, it’s life-long.
  • The University of Aberdeen is a partner of the Offshore Renewables Institute and students can access the expertise that sits within this Institute.
  • Engage with research active staff - learn more about the renewable energy projects currently being worked on by a range of our research experts.


This programme is fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Energy Institute (EI) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Our Experts

Dr Davide Dionisi - Programme Co-ordinator 


The programme consists of the following modules:

First Semester 

Electrical Systems for Renewable Energy 

This course begins with basic concepts in electrical engineering such as voltage, current, circuit elements, waveforms, frequency, complex notation and phasor diagrams. This is followed by study of vital equipment such as transformers, generators, and power converters. As a case study, application of this knowledge to wind farms, from turbines to grid connection will be considered.

Renewable Energy 1 (Solar and Geothermal)

This course examines the solar and geothermal energy industries including resources, technologies, practical implementation, development, barriers, environmental and sustainable issues. Some case studies are investigated for solar and geothermal energy projects. Students will carry out a design project to enhance their intellectual ability and transferable skills.

Renewable Energy 2 (Biomass)

This course examines the full life cycle of biomass and bioenergy industries including resources, technologies, environmental and sustainable issues, and challenges facing the use and application of these forms of energy in the energy mix.

Fundamental Concepts in Safety Engineering

The course serves as the entrance to the field of safety and reliability engineering with the introduction of the basic concept and tool of reliability and risk. Legal frames related to engineering safety are also introduced.


Second Semester

Renewable Energy 3 (Wind, Hydro & Marine Energy)

This course examines the renewable energy industries involving wind, hydro and marine (tidal and wave) including resources, physical principles, technologies, environmental considerations and impact, integration into the grid, commercial development, and future challenges facing the industries.

Energy Conversion and storage

This course examines the interconnection between different forms of energy, the fundamental thermodynamics which limits the efficiency of energy conversion, device design limitations and the different ways in which energy might be stored.

Integration of Renewable Energy to grid

Advanced methods of connecting renewable energy to the grid are presented in this course. Two approaches are considered: direct connection to the grid and integration to the grid through power electronic converters.  Fundamental engineering principles necessary for the design of both approaches are discussed.  Case studies are used to enhance student knowledge and understanding.

Legislation, Planning and Economics

This course examines global energy supply and demand relation in the context of legislations involving climate change, energy transmission and sustainability issues. The course will inform students on how planning and economics may impact on the operation of the renewable energy industry. 


Dissertation (MSc Candidates Only)

For full-time students taking the MSc Programme over 12 months, a dissertation is to be prepared on work undertaken during the final individual project, which will normally be specified in collaboration with industrial partners, supervised either in the School of Engineering or in the companies, and carried out from June to September. Please note that an industry placement is not compulsory and cannot be guaranteed

Example Project 

Feasibility of an offshore OTEC facility, providing a sustainable base load to subsea well installations and therefore eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

The Student - Daniel Gosch

"I got the opportunity to interact with professionals that have decades of experience in their own relevant fields, ranging from subsea to offshore to mechanical engineers and marine geoscientists. This experience allowed me to gain insight into what it takes to become an expert in my own relevant fields and it helped me learn how to discuss technical issues among experts."

The Company - Cornelia Noel - Principal Research Engineer, Shell

"This was an opportunity to help the next generation of leaders to get some appreciation of the real work world. We received a comprehensive report on OTEC covering the industry as well as the Business Case for action for several oil and gas regions (Australia, Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia, West Africa). The report clearly articulated the key business levers and the technology "gaps" to be addressed to make this solution a commercial success in the oil and gas industry."

Learning Methods

Group Projects, Individual Projects, Lectures, Research


The principal method of student assessment is through written examinations. Examinations for the first half-session courses are in December and those for the second half-session are in May. Candidates are normally expected to pass all examinations and all projects submissions. MSc candidates must submit a dissertation on their project, and may be required to undergo an oral examination.


This Programme is currently offered as a full-time, on-campus, course. The duration of the Programme is 12 months, starting in mid-September.

The taught part of the Programme consists of two half-sessions: the first running from September to December, and the second from January to May. The two half-sessions comprise courses that are taught by staff from the School of Engineering.

The courses are assessed both by written examination and coursework.

After the second half-session written examinations in May, students registered for the MSc degree start an industry or school based project, where this can be arranged, and at the end of this period, an individual project report, in the form of a dissertation, has to be handed in and examined by our External Examiners, who will may also make an oral examination of some students on all aspects of the Programme. The final assessment takes account of performance in all parts of the Programme and examinations.


Each year, there is an increase in the number of renewable energy projects being developed around the world. This steady increase in activity will continue to create jobs and it will also emphasise the need for skilled leaders, with strong engineering backgrounds.

By exposing you to the various renewable energy sources of power, and the technologies required to operate and develop them, you will graduate with extensive knowledge and skills. As well as strong technological skills, you will also develop an understanding of the commercial and project management skills required to run renewable energy projects, safely, on time and to budget.

Previous examples of jobs held by our graduates include:

  • Risk, Safety and Environmental Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Corrosion Engineer
  • Assistant Structural Engineer
  • Energy & Sustainability Advisor
  • Environmental Consultant

Jo Yates


"The University has excellent links to the industry which help ensure that the courses are relevant and improves employability of the graduates." [More]
Félix García-Primi Fernández "The postgraduate programme helped me to specialize in Renewable Energy as I am a Civil Engineer. Therefore, I am a versatile engineer." [More]
Cara Amabel Heller "The MSc Renewable Energy degree is fully interdisciplinary including subjects such as renewable technology, spatial planning, electrical engineering and project management taught by high calibre lecturers from a range of disciplines. It stood out in comparison with similar degree programmes, which failed to incorporate such a range of important topics." [More]

Academic Requirements

Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) in any branch of Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Chemistry. Students with a 2:2 degree AND at least 2-3 years of relevant experience may also be considered.

Key subjects you must have covered: Mathematics. 

It is important to note that the programmes of postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen are very competitive and the entry requirements stated are a guide to the minimum requirements, but do not guarantee entry. 

Document requirements

For this application we need at least: 

  • a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) so far (original & official English translation)
  • detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • ideally - current CV/resume
  • optional - academic reference letter OR employer if you have 2+ years of experience

It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible.  


We have one intake of students each September. Late applications may be asked to wait until the next intake should the programme coordinator feel there is insufficient time to consider the application. Prospective students who require a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early in the year as possible to secure a place. Applications received after 30th June from students who need to apply for a visa to study in the UK will not be processed for entry but will be considered for entry into the following intake as appropriate. 

English Requirements


Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements. These are located at This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen . Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations.  


2016/17 Fees

UK/EU Students - £4,500

International - £17,200

Information on tuition fees, can be found on the University Registry website.



University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated (or about to graduate) with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More Information

Funding opportunities can be found in our searchable Funding Database. You are advised to search the database as a broad range of funding exists much of which you may be eligible for.


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