Sustainable Energy Systems MSc

(Full time) 2017 start

Course information for 2016 start


Supplying and using energy in a sustainable fashion is essential. Countries across the world face the “trilemma” of combining energy sustainability with supply security and ensuring energy is accessible to everyone. We need to move to more sustainable forms of energy, managing the transition to maintain prosperity in the face of technical, political, economic and environmental challenges.

This programme has interdisciplinary energy science and technology at its core, but gives you an insight into key aspects of business, economics and policy so you can help to meet these challenges. You’ll explore technical, regulatory and financial issues surrounding the transition to an alternative energy supply system, as well as the sustainable use of energy.

You’ll gain an understanding of renewable energy technologies as well as entrepreneurship and global policy issues and will be able to specialise in areas that suit your interests and career ambitions.

You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of energy engineering and related disciplines. In our Energy Building, you’ll find a state-of-the art sustainable energy teaching laboratory, including solar, wind and wave/tidal power and a fuel cell system.

For project work, MSc students use a wide range of our energy research facilities. These could include our preparative facilities for processing and characterising materials used in energy applications, as well as facilities for advanced fuel characterisation, environmental monitoring and pollution control, stationary engines, test vehicles and combustion laboratories.


Course content

Core modules will give you a good grounding in a range of topics to understand both the technical aspects and broader contexts of sustainable energy. You’ll learn how to analyse energy systems and explore renewable energy technologies such as wind, wave, bio-fuels and geothermal energy, within and outside of the lab.

At the same time, you’ll consider the economic and political landscape as it relates to technology development, and how non-technical issues influence the design, operation and development of energy supply systems. A module taught by Leeds University Business School will also introduce you to key issues in business and the concept of entrepreneurship, and guest speakers from our research community will share their research with you.

These modules will provide the foundation for more specialised studies later in the year. You’ll be able to choose from a range of optional modules focusing on major topics in sustainable energy such as transport, nuclear energy, electrical power systems and energy within built environments.

Towards the end of the programme you’ll undertake an individual research project related to a contemporary energy issue or technology. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, this will typically take a holistic approach and may consider technical, policy, environmental and financial aspects.

Want to find out more information about your modules?
Take a look at the SustainableEnergy Systems module descriptions.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.


Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (MSc) 60 credits
  • Introduction to Energy Systems 15 credits
  • Renewable Technologies 30 credits
  • Policy and Economics for Sustainable Energy Systems 15 credits
  • Energy Futures 15 credits
  • Project Management 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Nuclear Operations 15 credits
  • Nuclear Futures 15 credits
  • Energy Management and Conservation 15 credits
  • Advanced Engines and Turbines 15 credits
  • Bioenergy from Wastes 15 credits
  • Grid-Connected Microgeneration Systems 15 credits
  • Micro-grid Laboratory 15 credits
  • Vehicle and Product Systems Design 15 credits
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis 15 credits
  • Standards and Tools for Business, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility 15 credits
  • Delivering Sustainability Through Projects 15 credits
  • Climate Change Mitigation 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Sustainable Energy Systems MSc in programme catalogue

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.


You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in engineering or a physical science subject. Relevant professional qualifications and experience may also be considered.

All applicants will need to have GCSE English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science and Engineering B (6 weeks) and Language for Science and Engineering A (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines:
International: 31 July 2017UK/EU: 10 September 2017
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Any applications submitted after this deadline may be considered on a case by case basis.


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

If you are an International (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant who has applied for, or intends to apply for, this course within the Faculty of Engineering and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will require an ATAS certificate.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Engineering Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £10,000 (total)

International: £20,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The Faculty of Engineering and the School of Chemical and Process Engineering offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. For some programmes, there may also be external sources of funding available to some students. Find out more about our Scholarships.

Career opportunities

Upon graduation you’ll be ideally qualified to take up and pursue leading roles in the energy sector. With your business, policy and entrepreneurial skills and a high level of technical/scientific knowledge, you’ll be equipped for senior positions with traditional blue-chip engineering companies or power utilities.

Equally, you’ll be well placed to pursue careers in the financial sector and positions within the legislature and trade organisations. For those with a creative mind and entrepreneurial spirit, you’ll be well prepared for roles in new start-up businesses and will have many of the skills and attributes required to start one of your own.

Careers Support

You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.

The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.