Postgraduate study
Life & Physical Sciences

This course is available for January 2019 entry

MSc Energy and Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice)

This course is ideal if are seeking to develop your skills and confidence to address the critical global challenges of energy and diminishing natural resources. Clean energy, optimal use of resources and the economics of climate change are the key issues facing society, and form the fundamental themes of this programme.

Course information


  • 2 years; January start

More full-time details

2018 entry


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

  • On video

    National Horizon Centre fly-through

    Take a virtual tour of our new £22m National Horizons Centre to open in March 2019. The University’s research, teaching and training facility at our Darlington campus complements our existing facilities and supports the emerging bio-based industries. You will have access to a wider range of labs and equipment in biologics, biotechnology, bio-pharmaceutical science, biomedical science, bioinformatics and related technologies.


You explore the world’s dependency on hydrocarbon-based resources, together with strategies and technologies to decarbonise national economies. This course examines global best practice, government policies, industrial symbiosis and emerging risk management techniques. You also address the environmental, economic and sociological (risk and acceptability) impacts of renewable energy provision and waste exploitation as central elements.There are three routes you can select from to gain a postgraduate Master’s award:

  • MSc Energy and Environmental Management – one year full time
  • MSc Energy and Environmental Management – two years part time
  • MSc Energy and Environmental Management – two years full time

The one-year programme is a great option if you want to gain a traditional MSc qualification – you can find out more here. This two-year master’s degree with advanced practice enhances your qualification by adding to the one-year master’s programme an internship, research or study abroad experience.The MSc Energy and Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice) offers you the chance to enhance your qualification by completing an internship, research or study abroad experience in addition to the content of the one-year MSc. This two-year programme is an opportunity to enhance your qualification by spending one semester completing a vocational internship, research internship or by studying abroad. Although we can’t guarantee an internship, we can provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge. Alternatively, a research internship develops your research and academic skills as you work as part of a research team in an academic setting – ideal if you are interested in a career in research or academia. A third option is to study abroad in an academic exchange with one of our partner universities. This option does incur additional costs such as travel and accommodation. You must also take responsibility for ensuring you have the appropriate visa to study outside the UK, where relevant.

For the MSc with advanced practice, you complete 120 credits of taught modules, a 60-credit master’s research project and 60 credits of advanced practice.

Energy, environment, risk managing projects, sustainability and integrated waste management are emphasised on the programme, but you also explore the financial aspects of energy and environmental management. Economics is integral to developing policies and is often a key influencing factor.

You develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the role and place of energy in the 21st century, and how the environment impinges on the types of energy used and the way they are produced. You investigate the environment as it is perceived, and contextualise its actual importance to mankind. Specific objectives for this course are to establish the financial validity of pursing alternative energy forms and managing the environment.

Examples of past MSc research projects

  • The taxonomy of facilitated industrial symbioses
  • Assessment of the climate change impacts of the Tees Valley
  • Exploring the links between carbon disclosure and carbon performance
  • Hydrothermal carbonisation of waste biomass
  • Quantifying the impact of biochar on soil microbial ecology
  • Potential for biochar utilisation in developing rural economies
  • Carbon trading opportunities for renewable energy projects in developing countries
  • Exploring the potential for wind energy in Libya
  • Demand and supply potential of solar panel installations
  • A feasibility study of the application of zero-carbon retrofit technologies in building communal areas
  • Energy recovery from abandoned oil wells through geothermal processes

Course structure

Core modules

Concepts of Sustainability

This module explores different approaches to sustainability and sustainable development, giving you an understanding of the characteristics of sustainable natural systems. We introduce and discuss the major sustainability challenges of the 21st century, focusing on ecosystem services and resource depletion.

Economic and science/engineering solutions are outlined throughout the module, with particular emphasis on approaches that focus on system-level and/or design considerations. You gain experience with a number of analytical methods and sustainability metrics, such as mass flow analysis, life cycle assessment and footprinting. You also study approaches to modelling the impact of techno-economic systems on the environment.

Data Acquisition and Signal Processing Techniques

You are introduced to the theory, principles and techniques of data acquisition and digital processing including sampling, and digital signal analysis in time and frequency domains. You also consider the impact of digital technologies on the design of modern industrial measurement systems. The industrial software for measurement systems is introduced with series of real measurement applications.

Energy and Global Climate Change

Examining the science of climate change in detail, this module gives you an understanding of the natural greenhouse effect, and anthropogenic and natural perturbations of the climate-regulation system.

You gain knowledge of the likely future outcomes of anthropogenic climate change. You develop your understanding of the technologies involved in energy production and their importance to climate change in relation to energy policies. You also explore and critically analyse the roles of renewable energy systems such as wind, wave, tidal, solar and biofuels.

Throughout this module, we examine the potentially important roles that hydrogen economy and nuclear fusion could play in delivering future energy requirements. We also explore the vital issues of carbon dioxide sequestration and storage.

Global Energy Policy

Energy is of central importance to national and international economic activity. This means that the supply and demand of energy is an important focus for national governments and international debate.

Energy supply is dependent on technological possibilities and environmental constraints. Subsequently, the development of energy policy for any given country is a complex area.

Throughout this module, you question what shapes energy policy? Why do national policies differ? How are policies developed alongside technological and environmental uncertainty? How does energy policy relate to a country's wider political standpoint?

Integrated Waste Management and Exploitation

This module introduces you to modern thinking on integrated waste management technologies and techniques, and its role in sustainable development. And we introduce essential knowledge of physical and biological waste management technologies, and the terminology associated with these technologies.

Research Methods and Proposal

You develop a proposal for your research project, which contains an explanation targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. You consider the impacts of the proposed work both in the form of academic beneficiaries, economic, environmental and societal impacts. Your project costs are estimated on a full economic costing model. You also include a targeted CV.

You attend a short lecture series at the start of the academic year that will provide an introduction and advice. You are allocated a project area and supervisor and you produce a research proposal for the project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor and receive feedback on your progress. You acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee.

You are assessed by the successful acquisition of ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submission of a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

Research Project

Investigate an area of engineering or science for an extended period through a research project or design project, working independently at a level recognised as at the forefront of the discipline. You develop key research skills, applying and creating your knowledge through keynote lectures and self-managed independent study. You will demonstrate your capacity for comprehensive and objective analysis, and for developing innovative and constructive proposals as a solution to the project topic. We support you through tutorials and/or one-to-one guidance but you require a high degree of autonomy.

The Economics of Climate Change

Gain an understanding of the basis of the economic argument within energy and environmental management and how this relates to the energy and environmental challenges of the 21st century with emphasis on climate change. You address the political and economic attempts made to deal with the problem of climate change and consider some of the possible future outcomes from both social and technological standpoints. These include industrial ecology and industrial symbiosis. The module also provides the linking theme that connects all the other modules that comprise this MSc course.


Advanced Practice options

Research Internship

Develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting – ideal if you are interested in a career in research or academia.

Study Abroad

Take part in an academic exchange with one of our partner universities and experience study, student life and culture in a different environment. This option offers a valuable life experience and enhances your ability to adapt to working and living internationally. This option does incur additional costs such as travel and accommodation. You must also take responsibility for ensuring you have the appropriate visa to study outside the UK, where relevant.

Vocational Internship

Spend one semester working full-time in industry. We have close links with a variety of local companies who can offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we can’t guarantee you an internship, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You learn through a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, projects and assignments. You are also expected to participate in self-directed study, to review lecture notes, prepare assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time.

You usually spend around 60 hours in lectures, tutorials and in practical exercises over the duration of the course. The remaining learning time is for you to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 180 credits. During one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,800 hours of learning and assessment.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including exams and in-course assessment with some using other approaches such as group work, or verbal or poster presentations.

Your Advanced Practice module is assessed by an individual written reflective report (3,000 words) together with a study or workplace log, where appropriate, and through a poster presentation.

Career opportunities

Successful graduates from this course are well-placed to find employment. As an energy and environmental manager, you might find yourself responsible for overseeing the energy and environmental performance of a private, public or voluntary sector organisation, or in one of a wide range of engineering industries.

Energy and environmental managers examine corporate activities to establish where improvements can be made and ensure compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation. You might be responsible for reviewing the whole operation, carrying out energy and environmental audits and assessments, identifying and resolving energy and environmental problems and acting as an agent of change. Your role could include training the workforce to develop the ability to recognise their own contributions to improved energy and environmental performance.

Your role may also include developing, implementing and monitoring energy and environmental strategies, policies and programmes that promote sustainable development at corporate, national, or global level.

Work placement

There may be short-term placement opportunities for some students, particularly during the project phase of the course. This University is also in the process of seeking accreditation for the Waste Management module from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

Entry requirements

You should have at least a lower second class (2.2) UK honours degree (or equivalent) in a subject related to science, technology, engineering, or business and management.

If you are an international student, you also need at least 6.0 with no component below 5.5 in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information


  • 2 years; January start

More full-time details

2018 entry


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information