MSc Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology

The MSc Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology course will develop the cutting-edge multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills to enable you to develop a rewarding career in this fast moving growth industry.

Accredited by The Energy Institute, this renewable energy masters is based in USW’s Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC) a leading and internationally recognised centre for more than 30 years. SERC is also home to The Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion and the University of South Wales Centre for Renewable Hydrogen Research and Demonstration.

You will be taught by SERC’s team of academics and researchers who are engaged in industrially linked projects such as FLEXIS, RICE and SMART circle working with companies such as Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Tata Steel, and ITM Power. This ensures that your modules are informed by the latest up-to-date and industrially relevant research, preparing you for employment.

Follow @USW_SERC on Twitter

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year February Glyntaff A
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

The subjects taught within the MSc Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology are underpinned by high quality research which was rated as being mainly internationally excellent or world leading in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

This included research in Anaerobic Digestion, Analytical Technology, Bioelectrochemical Systems, Biohydrogen and Biomethane Production, Hydrogen Energy, Hydrogen Vehicles and Refuelling, Biopolymer Production, Modelling and Control, Nano Materials and Wastewater Treatment.

You will study the following taught modules (20 credits each):

Hydro, Tidal, Wave and Wind.

This module covers the mechanical renewable energy technologies. This follows the operating principles of these technologies to demonstrate how methods used for analysis of one renewable energy technology can be transferred to others effectively.

Solar, Heat, and the Grid

This module dscusses the challenges facing our energy systems, the interrelation between power demand, heat demand, and transport. This is a critical issue for the future where increasingly these demand networks will be interlinked through the use of renewable electricity.

Bioprocesses for a Circular Economy

This module covers the evolution of the concept of biorefineries. It moves from disposal of biodegradable waste in landfill, via anaerobic digestion, to bioplastic production, bioH2 and biomethanation as a route for carbon utilisation and resource recovery.

Industrial Resource Recovery

This module investigates thermo/chemical routes for resource recovery and production. It includes content on production of potable water, as well as pyrolysis, industrial waste gas recovery and upgrading, and incineration.

Hydrogen Energy

This module investigates the potential of hydrogen as a key solution to the energy problems of the 21st century, providing clean and efficient heat and power from a range of indigenous sources

Energy and Environmental Legislation and Policy

The module reviews the legislative frameworks aiming at security of energy supply, overcoming energy dependency and improving global sustainable development by tackling issues such as: clean energy supply, nature conservation, integrated pollution control, transboundary pollution, climate change, waste resources management and planning and land use.


You will also complete a substantial dissertation project (60 credits) within the Sustainable Environment Research Centre where you will be supervised by our team of academics and researchers with access to our state of the art laboratories. Your project may also be embedded into one of our externally funded projects such as FLEXIS, or SMART circle, bringing you into contact with industry and ensuring that your work is of industrial relevance. As part of the dissertation process you will attend tutorials on research methods, including practical laboratory based sessions with our research team.


There are two entry points for the course. We have an intake of students in September and another in February. Students from both intakes sit in the same classes.

From September to February you will sit four 20 credit modules and from February to May two 20 credit modules.

Each taught module consists of 36 hours contact time (lectures, tutorials, and computing based practical sessions), plus our program of site visits to put the theory into context.

Full time students will typically attend two days a week, with part time students attending one day a week. You will also be expected to carry out research, background reading, and coursework during the remainder of the week individually to support your studies.

The programme of site visits includes tours of Radyr Hydro Power Station; Mynydd Portref Wind Farm; Cardiff WWTP; Court Farm Water Treatment Plant; and the Hydrogen Demonstration Centre at Baglan.

You will have opportunity throughout your time on the masters course to visit the SERC labs and learn key analytical techniques from our research team. You can find out more about current work on our Twitter channel.


The taught modules are assessed by a variety of coursework modes.

Hydro, Tidal, Wave and Wind.

  • 30% Poster Presentation
  • 70% Project

Solar, Heat, and the Grid

  • 50% Practical Assignment
  • 50% Portfolio

Bioprocesses for a Circular Economy

  • 70% Case Study
  • 30% Group Report

Industrial Resource Recovery

  • 30% Oral Presentation
  • 30% Classroom Test
  • 40% Written Assignment

Hydrogen Energy

  • 70% Portfolio
  • 30% Online Test


  • 10% Dissertation Proposal
  • 80% Dissertation Thesis
  • 10% Oral Presentation


This masters course is accredited by The Energy Institute.


You will make use of our state of the art biosystems laboratories including our Hydrogen Research and Demonstration Centre at Baglan.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in a science or engineering-related subject.

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14500 

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


There is substantial global demand for graduates with expertise in renewable energy and sustainable technology. The argument for the need to produce knowledgeable and highly skilled graduates in this area has never been stronger, and will keep getting stronger. The need to meet emissions targets and a net-zero carbon economy will create a need for highly skilled individuals to implement the changes.

Graduates with a renewable energy qualification can find work in multiple sectors from the renewable energy industry; local authorities; government regulatory agencies; manufacturing industries; energy and environmental consultancy companies; water companies; research and academia and national and international non-governmental organisations.

Typical roles include:

  • Energy Analyst
  • Operations Manager
  • Project Development Manager
  • Process Engineer
  • Development Consultant
  • Environmental Manager
  • Biological Process Manager
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Consultant

Graduates may also progress on to a PhD or research degree.