Sustainable Energy Systems

MSc ( 1 year Full-time )


As the world moves into a global recession and the costs of sourcing and delivering fossil fuels soar – finding sustainable, alternative forms of energy is increasingly important. This means there is an increasing demand for specialists in Sustainable Energy Systems. This new programme addresses the scientific, engineering and technical aspects of our global concerns about energy sustainability. It specializes in the fundamentals of energy and the environment, and applications for the benefit of humankind. All other disciplines in engineering are mature in terms of growth potential for business around the world – the sustainable systems projects have good growth potential.

The course structure is designed to appeal to students with engineering, sciences or mathematics backgrounds, and is modular in format.

This programme will:

  • Prepare you as a specialist with unique expertise in the fundamentals of energy and the environment, their applications, and the ability to stay abreast of the field.
  • Allow you to have a good knowledge and understanding of existing technologies as well as the ability to contribute to the design and development of new technologies and devices in this field.
  • Teach you how to develop new technologies to extract energy from diverse energy sources, and to use existing and design new energy conversion devices.

Why study your MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems at Queen Mary?

The School of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS) undertakes high quality research in a wide range of areas. This research feeds into our teaching at all levels, helping us to develop very well qualified graduates with opportunities for employment both in many leading industries as well as in research. Both Engineering and Materials are very well established at Queen Mary, with the Materials Department being the first established in the UK.

All our teaching areas are ranked very highly in the National Student Survey indicating that we are providing a high level of support for all our students.

  • The programme benefits from an interdisciplinary combination of engineering research, materials research, and economics and management to give input on Energy Policy developments.
  • The lead professor on this programme has a management background, so the programme is structured to include important input from management experts, and how to use management effectively during engineering projects.
  • This programme analyzes the existing technologies and equips students with the basic principles behind sustainable energy systems, which rely on the sun, wind or waves.


Our postgraduate students enjoy a range of excellent resources, including:

  • Comprehensive computing facilities: several high-performance PC clusters and parallel SGI computer clusters, and an extensive network of Linux and UNIX workstations.
  • Extensive wind tunnel facilities: eight low speed wind tunnels, a very low turbulence wind tunnel, three high-speed wind tunnels, computer-based flow control system with high-speed, real-time data acquisition and processing system, colour and high-focused Schlieren systems, interactive aerodynamic simulator, and a PIV system.
  • Experimental thermofluids engineering facilities: heat transfer and condensation rigs, six IC-engine test beds and three combustion rigs, laser Doppler anemometry, electron microscopy gas/particulate-sampling and analysis facilities, several exhaust gas sampling and testing kits for engine and combustion emissions and thermal instrumentation.
  • Two new electrospray technology laboratories that were created with the support of the UK Joint Research Councils. The facilities include a wide range of instrumentation including a mass spectrometer capable of resolving high m/z particles up to 40,000, Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectrometer, a wide-range, high-voltage power supply and a high speed camera.
  • A cell and tissue engineering suite: this houses cell culture labs, a molecular biology unit with quantitative RT-PCR capability, and a radio-isotope labelling facility. A general purpose laboratory incorporates advanced mechanical test machines and standard biochemical/cell biology analysis equipment. The microscopy unit incorporates two confocal microscopes.
  • The latest electron microscopes and a range of modern materials characterisation facilities including: FTIR and FT-Raman spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence (XRF), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, x-ray diffractometer (XRD), calorimetric (DTA, DSC) and thermomechanical (DMA, rheometer) techniques, analytical and computational facilities and image analysis, materials processing and fabrication, heat treatment equipment and dielectric and electrical characterisation.
  • Thanks to a Royal Society Wolfson Grant we recently opened new laboratories to support functional materials research. The laboratories will hold the latest processing and characterisation equipment for organic solar cells.
  • A new NanoVision Centre enhances the experimental nanomechanics and high resolution imaging capabilities of the School. The centre houses two high-resolution environmental scanning electron microscopes (SEM) one with an additional focused ion beam, a custom-built atomic force microscope and a cryo-sample preparation stage. Both SEMs incorporate the latest STEM technology and are supported by transmission electron microscopy. Our scanning probe laboratory contains two low-drift, high-stability closed loop Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM).


The MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems includes 1 compulsory, and 7 optional taught modules (15 credits each), as shown on the structure below. You can follow the links for details for each module, and also visit the SEMS website for information on projects and facilities.

Starting in Semester A the programme also includes a research project (60 credits), which is completed under close supervision throughout the year, and submitted in September.

Please note the modules are correct at the time of reading; however we constantly review and update our modules, meaning that they may be subject to change in the future.

Core modules

  • Research Methods and Experimental Techniques in Engineering
  • Research Project

Optional modules

  • Mechanics of Continua
  • Renewable Energy Sources
  • Advanced Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer
  • Computational Engineering
  • Advanced Environmental Engineering
  • Energy Economics and Management of Sustainable Energy
  • Renewable Energy Materials
  • Advanced Combustion in Reciprocating Engines
  • Advanced Gas Turbines
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Advanced High Speed Aerodynamics

More information

Visit the School of Engineering and Materials Science website.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree (minimum good second class honours or equivalent) in a mechanically-based engineering subject or equivalent. Each application is individually assessed; you are recommended to contact us for guidance in specific cases. IELTS 6.5 is required.

International applicants: Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. You can find details on our English language entry requirements page.

If you do not meet the language requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

If you are unable to find the information you require, please contact the School of Engineering and Materials Science for assistance.

Learning and teaching

As a student in the School of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS) you will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals, and a variety of coursework.
The methods of assessment are coursework and formal examinations, which take place in May. Many courses will include continuous assessment so that some or all of the work you do during the course counts towards the final mark.
Research Project
A major part of the MSc is your research project: an individual research project based around the in the current internationally-recognised research taking place in SEMS. This project will be based in the labs and gives you the opportunity to apply the theory you will have learnt in the taught modules while taking advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities within SEMS.

Students are currently researching a range of topics for their projects including:

  • Aerodynamics of wind turbines: Flame characteristics and emissions properties in combustion of H2 and alternative fuels
  • Performance characteristics of surrogate biofuels for aviation
  • Combustion, performance and emissions characteristics of compression ignition engines fuelled by sustainable fuels
  • Design of high efficiency turbomachinery blade.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £10,000
Part-time study is not available for this course

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £21,250
Part-time study is not available for this course


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Graduate employment

Queen Mary’s Engineering postgraduates go on to work in a wide variety of careers.  The majority go on to apply their degree knowledge directly, working as engineers and scientists in various environments, or undertaking a PhD.

The national 2011 destination survey confirmed that 78% of the Engineering postgraduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation, with 68% already in graduate level employment. Queen Mary Engineering postgraduates have an average earning power of £29,900 six months after graduation.

The broad range of skills gained through programmes in this School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:

  • Civil Engineer – Norconsult
  • Project Engineer – As Sway Renewables Consultant
  • OST Energy Assistant Technical Officer – Whipps Cross Hospital
  • Space Systems Engineering Intern – Clyde Space Limited
  • Head Data Manager – Richmond Pharmocology
  • Assistant Engineer – Marshall Aerospace

Throughout the programme, postgraduates have access to careers events to prepare them for applying for work after graduation. Annual career events open to the School’s postgraduates include the IT and Technology Fair, with thirty organisations including Accenture Technology Solutions and EADS Astrium, two Engineering Industrial Liaison Forums featuring small and medium sized employers and a weekly careers programme covering job search and selection training.

Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village redevelopment means that there are substantial opportunities for on campus and local part time work and work experience. On campus there are 1200 job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Website Administrator and from Society President to Student Mentor. QTemps job agency offers work suitable for current students and recent graduates, QMSU Volunteering facilitates volunteering and QM JobOnline hosts over 800 part time and full time job vacancies.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages.



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