Chemistry for Sustainable Energy, MSc

Chemistry for Sustainable Energy, MSc


This MSc offers a comprehensive overview of current and emerging technologies that are guiding the just energy transition.

A future energy scenario will involve the collaboration of a range of technologies. This Masters course will give students a high level of understanding in the areas of electrochemical conversion devices (such as battery and fuel cell technology), carbon capture technologies and the hydrogen economy. Circular economy approaches and current sustainable innovations will also be covered.

  • Ranked 7th in the UK for Chemistry, Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
  • Ranked 1st in Scotland for Overall Student Satisfaction, National Student Survey 2021.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
Location of Study

This programme (formerly named MSc Advanced Energy Materials) provides a detailed overview of the current and emerging technologies which will enable us to transition our energy landscape and live sustainably.

You will learn about the chemistry that underpins big picture topics such as batteries, fuel cells, gas separation storage and utilisation (i.e., carbon capture), renewables and the hydrogen economy.

We do not focus just on chemistry, however – we also consider the role of policy, technological innovation while providing opportunities for students to develop their practical and professional skills (i.e., communication, data analysis, evaluating literature, ethics, intellectual property etc) throughout the programme to enhance employability.

Lecture content ties in with the practical laboratory exercises. The practical labs and modelling workshops are unique to the University of Aberdeen, ranging from building operational photovoltaic devices to experimental electrochemical techniques, as well as advanced computer-based workshops on the modelling of battery systems and solid-state electrolyte materials.

The group project is framed within a business setting to help develop your professional skills. For this project, the project team is set the task of meeting with a client to obtain a project brief, which they must then develop into a workplan, execute the plan and present results to their client.

The programme includes an individual research project requiring literature reviewing, project design, experimental activities, data processing & interpretation and reporting of results. This programme is aimed at students with some Chemistry knowledge, however, applications are also welcome from people with industry experience, for example, in oil and gas, who are looking to retrain or upskill to work in the renewable energy sector.

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

  • CM5058 Professional Skills
  • CM5057 Battery Technology


Hydrogen and the Circular Economy (CM5051)

15 Credit Points

Hydrogen is considered to be one of the key chemicals in our future energy landscape. It can be produced from water but then also yield water as the by-product when used as a fuel. It therefore lends itself to a circular economy which does not generate waste (i.e., H2O - H2 - H2O).

Renewables (CM5052)

15 Credit Points

Renewables is a key theme in the development of a sustainable future. This topic will be split into two themes – renewables for harnessing energy and renewables for chemical production.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

  • CM5560 Group Project


Fuel Cell Technology & Thermodynamics (CM5553)

15 Credit Points

Fuel cell technology is an important consideration for an advancing hydrogen economy. These devices convert chemical energy into electrical energy by utilising a wide range of fuels, with efficiencies of > 80% and limited harmful emissions.

Gas Separation, Storage and Usage (CM5556)

15 Credit Points

Gas separation, storage and utilisation represents one of the key challenges within a sustainable energy transition. For too long, energy production/consumption has been accompanied by greenhouse gas emission.

Lab Skills (CM5559)

15 Credit Points

This module is entirely laboratory based and will aim to introduce students to fundamental experimental techniques and practises which are widespread across the energy sector.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Individual Project (CM5907)

45 Credit Points

To gain experience in research applicable to Sustainable Energy Transitions, students undertake a clearly defined individual project requiring literature reviewing, project design and definition, experimental activities, data processing and interpretation and reporting.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £27,000
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Home / RUK £11,077
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

Shell U.K. Limited is offering up to 5 scholarships for students commencing a Master's programme aligned to the Centre for Energy Transition commencing in the 2023/24 academic year. Find out more.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Why Study Chemistry for Sustainable Energy?

  • Ranked 7th in the UK for Chemistry, Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
  • Ranked 1st in Scotland for Overall Student Satisfaction, National Student Survey 2021.

This programme focuses on the key technological challenges involved in the transition to net-zero including batteries, fuel cells, renewables, nuclear, hydrogen, gas separation storage and utilisation (i.e., carbon capture).

You will learn practical lab skills with a focus on experimental lab skills, experimental design and experiences specific to energy transition. In particular, the skills you will develop in systems modelling are highly sought-after in the battery and fuel cell industry.

The programme also includes a course dedicated to transferrable/professional skills covering scientific communication, scientific literature, data analysis & statistics, research ethics, intellectual property and employability. These skills are then deliberately used throughout other modules to reinforce skills.

The programme is designed and delivered by leading experts in energy transition, including:

  • Dr Alan McCue, researcher in key topics such as gas separation, heterogeneous catalysis and renewable chemical production.
  • Prof Angel Cuesta Ciscar, researcher in electrochemical methods for energy storage and chemical production.
  • Prof Abbie McLaughlin – researcher in solid state chemistry, proton conductors, magnetism, low temperature magnetic phenomena.
  • Prof Jan Skakle – researcher in biomaterials, crystallography, superconductivity and carbon storage materials.
  • Prof Donald MacPhee – researcher in cements, photocatalytic materials and fuel cells.

Our location at the heart of the energy industry means that our programmes benefit from direct involvement from UK energy companies, as well as from overseas. This includes industry advisory panels, guest lectures, field trips, site visits, networking and careers events, and industry supported student projects.

Our Chemistry programmes are delivered in the new Science Teaching Hub, which offers state-of-the-art facilities for teaching all areas of chemistry.

This MSc also draws on much of the ground-breaking research being conducted within the Centre for Energy Transition (CET) at the University of Aberdeen.

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from students with a background in chemistry, however the programme is designed deliberately to be accessible to those with only a moderate amount of experience in chemistry.

We therefore strongly encourage applications from students wishing to change subject area (to something with more of a focus on chemistry/energy transitions) or people working in industry who wish to retrain or upskill to work in the expanding renewable energy sector.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Students on this programme who need a visa to live or study in the UK must apply for ATAS clearance. The ATAS clearance certificate must be valid when you apply for a visa to enter the UK. To find out if you need to apply for ATAS clearance, please visit or email


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

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 Chemistry or a related field such as the natural sciences or physical sciences.


2:2 (lower second class) UK Honours degree in Chemistry or a related field, or equivalent with 5+ years relevant industry experience.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme


The very deliberate emphasis on professional skills within the programme ensures that graduates have an ability to evidence the fantastic skillset that they will acquire from the programme.

The programme also includes a course dedicated to transferrable/professional skills covering scientific communication, scientific literature, data analysis & statistics, research ethics, intellectual property and employability. These skills are then deliberately used throughout other modules to reinforce skills.

Our Experts

Programme Directors

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


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Science Teaching Hub

Science Teaching Hub

Our brand-new Science Teaching Hub provides the latest laboratory, instruments and digital technology skills to support your learning and ensure you gain industry-standard experience to launch your chemistry career.

Find out more
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Industry Partners

Industry Partners

Our programmes benefit from industry support, including, guest lectures, site visits, networking and careers events, and industry supported student projects.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX