Renewable Energy Engineering MSc

Why choose this course?

Climate change is a major challenge for the 21st century, requiring an alternative supply of cleaner energy from renewable sources. This course is designed with an engineering focus that deals with applications, combined with the business element; applicable whether you work for a large organisation or a small-to-medium-size enterprise.

You will gain skills and expert knowledge in solar power, wind power, biofuel and fuel cell technologies, renewable energy business and management. You will use computer-aided simulation technologies such as Polysun for solar-energy applications, WindPRO for wind farm applications and Gabi for life cycle assessment in biomass applications. Through option modules, you will be able to specialise in project engineering and management, risk management or engineering design and development. Advanced topics include 3D solid modelling and simulation, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and simulation.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Delivered in one-week blocks January 2023 and September 2023
Full time 2 years including professional placement Delivered in one-week blocks plus placement year January 2023 and September 2023
Part time 2 years Delivered in one-week blocks January 2023 and September 2023

Important: if you are an international student requiring a Student Route visa to study in the UK you will also need an ATAS certificate for this course.

Location Roehampton Vale

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will prepare for a career in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, petroleum, power and manufacturing.
  • The course meets the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) if you already have an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons).
  • Kingston has excellent industrial links which have developed throughout many countries. Examples include work with: Matra-Marconi Space, Ericsson, Balfour Beatty, the National Health Service, and British Gas.

Why renewable engineering?

Find out about the importance of this field of study.

Global warming and the consequences of climate change will increasingly affect both developing and developed countries, especially if the greenhouse gases currently increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are not brought to an acceptable level.

A global priority for the 21st century must be to tackle CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, replacing them with sources of energy that are cleaner, sustainable and renewable. According to the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the world's current use of renewable energy is only 13% of overall energy consumption.

In response to this, European Commission directives set a 20% reduction in the use of fossil fuel in Europe by 2020 and a 15% increase in the use of renewable energy in the UK. This means there are business incentives for developing alternative energy resources and technologies as a substitute for fossil fuel technology.

With the expected global growth in the renewable energy sector, there will be a crucial need for qualified and skilled engineers with specialist knowledge of the relevant technology. This MSc course focuses on viable sustainable and renewable sources of energy conversion based on systems using solar, wind and bio technologies.

Accreditation

The MSc will meet, in part, the academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Accredited MSc graduates who also have a BEng(Hons) accredited for CEng, will be able to show that they have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.

It should be noted that graduates from an accredited MSc programme, who do not also have an appropriately accredited honours degree, will not be regarded as having the exemplifying qualifications for professional registration as a chartered engineer with the Engineering Council; and will need to have their first qualification individually assessed through the individual case procedure if they wish to progress to CEng.

Find out more about Further Learning by visiting the Institution of Mechanical Engineers website.

Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Please check the Engineering Council website for more information about accredited degrees.

Further learning details are available on the Institution of Mechanical Engineers website.

What you will study

The course provides an in-depth knowledge of renewable energy systems design and development, commercial and technical consultancy and project management within the sustainable engineering environment.

You will gain technical skills in and knowledge of solar power, wind power, biofuel and fuel cell technologies, as well as renewable energy business and management. In addition, you will gain practical skills in up-to-date computer-aided simulation technologies such as Polysun for solar energy applications, WindPRO for wind farm applications and ECLIPSE for biomass applications.

Option modules enable you to specialise in project engineering and management, as well as risk management or engineering design and development. Advanced topics, such as 3D solid modelling, computer-aided product development and simulation, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and simulation allow you to gain further practical and theoretical knowledge of analytical software tools used in product design.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

If you start this course in January, you will complete the same modules as students who started in September but in a different format – please contact us at SECAdmissions@kingston.ac.uk for more information.

Teaching on this course usually takes place in two separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). For further details please contact secpgstudentoffice@kingston.ac.uk.

For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments. It is the responsibility of individual students to find a suitable paid placement. Students will be supported by our dedicated placement team in securing this opportunity.

Core modules

Option modules (choose one)

Core modules

Biomass and Fuel Cell Renewable Technology

30 credits

This broad-based module comprehensively examines:

  • biomass and fuel cell technology;
  • the principle engineering methodologies for producing biomass ;
  • fuel cell energy as a prime source of power; 
  • the relevant applications for renewable energy generation;
  • how the design and manufacturing processes involved may be applied in the development and optimisation of new and innovative renewable energy systems; and
  • some of the key issues relating to environmental concern as well as biomass and fuel cell policy.

The module is primarily delivered through formal lectures and practical laboratory sessions, supported by case studies and tutorials, with comprehensive course material available via StudySpace.

 

Solar Power Engineering

30 credits

This core module provides a detailed examination of the solar energy conversion process, system design and application. The comprehensive content considers:

  • how the principles of solar energy, as a prime source of power, can be utilised in the design, development and manufacture of relevant energy systems and technologies;
  • current and future technological requirements; and
  • the key issues and influences surrounding solar energy deployment.

Core factual material is primarily delivered through lectures and supported by tutorials, with comprehensive course material available via StudySpace.

Wind Power Engineering

30 credits

The comprehensive content of this module examines:

  • the measurement and assessment of wind resources; together with
  • the principles and technology of machines used in the generation of power from the wind, including:
    • their aerodynamics;
    • the aero-elastic;
    • fatigue characteristics of their materials; and
    • the operation of ancillary equipment, including gear boxes and electrical machines.

The module also considers the latest developments and technical progress of wind-powered installations and covers all aspects of life-time project management, including:

  • planning and public acceptance;
  • costing and financial incentives;
  • technologies; and
  • plant operation, including maintenance and power system integration.

The module is primarily delivered through lectures and practical laboratory sessions, supported by tutorials, with comprehensive course material available via StudySpace.

Project Dissertation

60 credits

This project module allows you to choose an area to research relating to a specific industrial problem and recommend a solution; utilising relevant hardware and software technology in order to produce a conference paper, an oral presentation and a substantial dissertation.  

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Formulate a research problem, clearly stating the objectives of the proposed research and by developing and expounding a valid hypothesis.
  • Carry out a thorough literature search in order to develop a comprehensive and sufficiently deep appreciation of the selected research field.
  • Demonstrate the ability to devise a sound methodology to proceed the project in a systematic manner.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the research results to relevant industries and problems.
  • Demonstrate powers of critical analysis consistent with work at a masters level and express hypotheses, analyses and deductions in a clear, concise and objective manner.

Option modules

Engineering Research Techniques, Entrepreneurship and Quality Management

30 credits

Engineering Research Techniques, Entrepreneurship and Quality Management is a core module for engineering students on various taught MSc programmes. The module is designed to provide the student with the research skills and techniques necessary to select and justify a research topic, plan project execution, use various resources to carry out a literature search and successfully complete the project and other module assignments on the course. It also addresses issues related to presentation of technical reports at MSc. level and for the purpose of wider publication in learned media.

The module further develops the students' knowledge and skills in business and management, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. It supports students in producing proposals for enterprise ideas such as new products or services, or innovations in existing processes or organisations. Concepts of total quality management to enhance quality of products and processes in an industrial setting are presented and application of supporting quality tools and techniques are discussed.

The module content is designed to enhance the students' employability potential in a variety of national and international industrial organisations, or career opportunities in research and development arena. It also equips students with a set of skills to set up their own business in an engineering innovation area should they wish to do so.

Computational Fluid Dynamics for Engineering Applications

30 credits

This option module is designed for students in mechanical engineering and allied subject areas to be able to extend existing knowledge and skills of relevant computational techniques and advanced mathematics developed at undergraduate level. Emphasis is placed on the solution to fluids problems in a realistic mechanical engineering context.

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Define and analyse simple engineering fluid flow problems using the Navier Stokes equations. Simplify flow problems and solve them.
  • Construct appropriate solid models for CFD analysis, set up the solution domain and generate suitable surface and volume grids via meshing tools.
  • Understand both flow physics and mathematical properties of governing of Navier Stokes equations and define appropriate boundary conditions.
  • Use CFD software to model flow problems of relevance to mechanical engineers. Analyse the results and compare with available data.
Computer Integrated Product Development

30 credits

This option module is structured to develop an in-depth understanding of some of the fundamental CAD/CAM/CAE computing technologies that support the engineering product development process. The module also develops both an understanding of the role of these technologies within product data management (PDM) systems and its role as a key enabler for product lifecycle management (PLM).

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Generate complex 3D solid models including a variety of component parts and assemblies.
  • Develop a good understanding of different assembly techniques and the use of assembly geometry constrained.
  • Understand and apply the concepts of FEM/FEA methods to solve engineering design problems.
  • Understand and apply appropriate mechanism design techniques to validate product functionality.
Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity. This should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. You may find securing a professional placement difficult as they are highly competitive and challenging, but they are also incredibly rewarding. It is very important to prepare and apply yourself if this is the route you wish to take. Employers look for great written and oral communication skills and an excellent CV/portfolio. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Student Route visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A 2:2 or above honours degree in engineering or a related science, or an equivalent professional qualification; or
  • equivalent overseas qualification.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course you must pass IELTS academic test in English with an overall score of 6.5, with no element below 6.0, or meet the scores listed on the alternative online tests. Please note that we do not accept Standard XII as proof of Academic English.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 200 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1300 hours

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 1
  • Coursework: 59%
  • Exams: 38%
  • Practical: 4%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes; you may therefore be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.

What this course offers you

  • This course is part of the newly-established Alternative Energy Group for Renewable Energy Engineering at Kingston University.
  • You'll gain hands-on virtual design experience using industry-recommended software technology in CAD, CFD and FEA analysis.
  • The programme incorporates specialist field trips for group projects. You also have the opportunity to undertake research and industry-relevant dissertation projects, including the chance to work on research areas within wind power, solar power and biofuel.
  • IThe programme will develop your professional, analytical and management skills, as well as improving your technical skills and knowledge. For example, you will gain communication, teamwork, IT and problem-solving skills.
  • You can choose to study the course full time or part time to fit in with work commitments. September and January start dates give you extra flexibility. The programme is modular, with most of the modules delivered over one week.
  • We regularly review all our postgraduate courses to make sure that they are up to date, reflect industry needs and are comparable to other university courses.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practise and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry-informed, meaning you get the most relevant and up-to-date education possible.

The Department has strong links with industry leaders, including Delphi, Lotus Engineering, MAN and Thales. Many of our innovative, hands-on projects involve students as well as academics and receive national and global coverage.

Our applied approach to teaching is supported by dedicated laboratories for mechanical, automotive and motorsport engineering. These include wind tunnels, state-of-the-art rapid prototyping and manufacturing machinery, a fully-equipped materials lab, engine test cells, an automotive diagnostics lab featuring the latest industrial software packages, and a modern electronics/robotics lab with a robot and electronic equipment from National Instruments.

Our courses encompass applications from all areas of engineering, giving our students the knowledge and flexibility they need to work across many industries, both in the UK and overseas.

Postgraduate students may run, or assist in, lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Fees for this course

2023/24 fees for this course

Home 2023/24

  • MSc full time £9,860
  • MSc part time £5,423

International 2023/24

  • MSc full time £15,800
  • MSc part time £8,690

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23

  • MSc full time £9,620
  • MSc part time £5,291

International 2022/23

  • MSc full time £15,400
  • MSc part time £8,470

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Placements

If the placement year option is chosen, during this year travel costs will vary according to the location of the placement, and could be from £0 to £2,000.

Field trips

All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.

3D printing

It is not compulsory as part of your degree to print projects using the 3D printer. However if you wish to, you will need to pay for the material. Printing costs are estimated by weight (cheapest material is 3p per gram and most expensive material is 40p per gram).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Kingston University will supply you with a lab coat and safety goggles at the start of the year. A £10 voucher will be supplied to help cover the cost of the safety boots when purchasing with our supplier Activity Work Wear. Safety boots can range in cost between £25 and £100.

Our modern teaching environment

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Roehampton Vale campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest technology and industry-standard equipment, including:

  • rolling roads;
  • automotive testing facilities;
  • a Lotus Exige; and
  • cars and motorcycles built by engineering students.

We also have a dedicated postgraduate workroom with high spec PCs and a range of software.

The £4 million Hawker Wing provides three floors of extra space for students and staff at Roehampton Vale, including improved learning and teaching facilities.

Field trip gallery

How the engineering staff work with industry partners

Our excellent industrial links have developed over many years and throughout many countries. Some examples include work with:

  • Matra-Marconi Space Ltd;
  • Ericsson;
  • Balfour Beatty;
  • The National Health Service; and
  • British Gas.

Our Industrial Advisory Committee reviews and advises industrial activities. The Committee acts as a forum for discussing teaching, research and consultancy to industry.

After you graduate

Graduates have gone on to work in organisations such as Atkins, Alstom Power, Inditex, Vattenfall, Shell, and SGS UK Ltd. The course is also an ideal foundation for a PhD and an academic or research career in renewable energy.

Engineering research

Many academic staff are engaged in a range of research and consultancy activities funded by the Research Councils, the European Union, the government, trade unions and industry. These activities ensure our staff are in touch with the latest industry thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Research centres

Many of our staff in the Faculty are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Current research projects at the Applied Engineering Research Centre cover the following areas:

  • CFD and fire modelling
  • applied engineering
  • manufacturing
  • material processing and surface engineering.

Changes from 1 August 2022

Up until 31 July 2022, this course was taught in the Faculty of Science Engineering and Computing. For students enrolling from September 2022, the course will be delivered by the Faculty of Engineering, Computing, and the Environment. There will be no impact on the teaching or the award of the degree.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.