Chemistry for Sustainable Energy, MSc

Chemistry for Sustainable Energy, MSc

Introduction

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 programme gives you 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.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship
Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
Location of Study
Aberdeen

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.

These concepts will also be explored experimentally in a dedicated laboratory module which will take place within our newly constructed Science Teaching Hub. In addition, we also consider the role of policy and 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

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.

Professional Skills (CM5058)

15 Credit Points

This module is designed to help students gain experience and confidence in using a variety of skills that are of importance for a professional chemist.

Battery Technology (CM5057)

15 Credit Points

This lecture course will cover a range of existing battery technologies from lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles, to redox flow batteries utilised in large scale stationary storage.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

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.

Group Project (CM5560)

15 Credit Points

In the first term, students were able to develop both their research skills and lab skills. However, it is often the application of these skills within a team environment that is of greatest importance for many business sectors. Therefore, in this module students will need to work as part of a small team in order to study a research problem.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Course title: Individual Project

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 2024/25 Academic Year
Home / RUK £12,200
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 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.

Scholarships

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?

  • 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 MSc programme also involves two projects – a short group project and an intensive 3-month individual research project. The group project will look to explore the all-important interface between scientific endeavour and business. The individual research project will give you an opportunity to work alongside one of our research experts on a cutting-edge topic.
  • 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, Dr Sunita Dey, researcher in materials with emphasis on battery technology , Dr Quinn Gibson,researcher in inorganic materials for renewable energy conversion, Dr Ieuan Seymour, researcher in materials with emphasis on battery technology and Dr Sacha Fop, researcher exploring oxide materials for fuel-cell applications. 
  • 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

This programme is designed for both chemistry undergraduates and those with other backgrounds. We welcome applications from chemistry graduates, those with related industrial experience and those whose first degree is in a related field.

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 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme or email study@abdn.ac.uk

Qualifications

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

2:2 (lower 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 Physical Sciences, the Natural Sciences or Chemical Engineering.

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

TOEFL iBT:

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

Careers

Chemistry plays a hugely important role in most technologies aimed at reducing carbon emissions and supporting the transition to low-carbon energy sources. In particular, chemists are needed to bring about the technological innovation required to deliver on the UK’s net zero commitments in research and development in batteries and storage, fuel cells, renewables, nuclear, hydrogen, as well as carbon capture separation and usage (CCUS).

The demand for sustainable chemistry is also growing around the world. According to the US Department of Labour, chemists specialising in green chemistry are in especially high demand.

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.

Some of our graduates have pursued careers in the development of battery technology while others have embarked upon further research (i.e., a PhD) after enjoying the research aspect of the programme.

Our Experts

Programme Directors

Other Experts
Prof Angel Cuesta Ciscar
Prof Abbie McLaughlin
Sunita Dey
Dr Quinn Gibson
Dr Ieuan Seymour
Dr Sacha Fop
Programme Leader
Dr Alan McCue

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.

Features

Image for Science Teaching Hub
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

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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