The MSc has been designed to offer flexibility, with attended or distance learning study available and a range of possible awards from a full MSc to a single module.
You complete the MSc by undertaking a research project on a topic of your choice, supervised by an experienced member of research staff.
Energy in Buildings
This module introduces students to how energy is used in buildings, ranging from traditional, climatically adapted architecture to modern low energy buildings. It explains the basic physical processes and systems, and calculation methods for heat flows, overall heat losses, lighting and radiation, and conditioning of air.
The architecture of passive design adapted to local climate, both ancient and modern, is explained. Use of natural and mechanical systems for ventilation and cooling are described. Modern daylighting and artificial lighting equipment and systems are explained, with an emphasis on low energy design.
Legislation related to energy use in buildings is described and put into context, covering building regulations and codes both in the UK and internationally. This includes not just energy in-use, but embodied energy and other aspects of sustainability such as sourcing building materials, siting etc.
This module is concerned with the key concepts of sustainable development, sustainability and their application to the energy sector issues. It presents relevant definitions, indicators and various dimensions (social, ecological and economic) and related sustainability concepts. Sustainability challenges of the energy sector (particularly in the electricity industry and transportation) and the implications of climate change on sustainable development are also examined. Students are encouraged to develop a critical appreciation of the sustainable development debate, and to challenge widely held views.
This module covers the fundamental principles of the world energy system, and how it could evolve towards a more sustainable, low carbon energy future. It describes the main sources of energy today, and explains the meanings of primary energy, energy conversion and delivered energy, and the associated technologies and resultant carbon emissions. Established renewable technologies (wind, hydro, solar) are described in detail with some basic methods for calculation of energy output, together with issues around output profiles, storage options and impact on the electricity grid.
Integrated Environmental Strategies
This module provides an overview of the need for an integrated environmental strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve quality of life. Students will develop an understanding of the links between policies related to climate change and other policy areas.
The module examines the development of strategies for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as well as carbon management.
The ICLEI Local Goverments for Sustainability approach and the EU Covenant of Mayors Sustainable Energy Action Plan are used as the basis of the strategic framework.
People Society and Climate Change
This module is concerned with the social and human dimensions of climate change –both at the individual and societal scale. An understanding of behaviour change for example is society is ever going to adapt to climate and achieve sustainable development. These dimensions are explored in relation to three key issues: human causes of climate change; human consequences of climate change and finally, an exploration of behaviour change strategies to both adapt to, and help mitigate the effects of climate change. The module will consider each of these issues in turn, summarising theory and research in a number of fields, including energy,, transport and waste.
An important emphasis in this module will be the development of an inter-disciplinary approach that links technical and social-psychological perspectives, recognising the validity and complementarity of each in the analysis of climate change. To this end, there is a focus at the outset upon critical thinking and the development of a holistic view of climate change and its causes and effects. Students are encouraged to develop a critical appreciation of the climate change debate and to challenge widely held views about human nature.
Resource Efficient Design
The aim of this module is to provide students with a grounded understanding of resource efficient design in both industrial and non-industrial contexts. Design will be seen to relate to both product and to process and resource efficiency will be intrpreted as the ability to design out waste and design in the efficient use of natural resources.
The module will adopt a 'whole systems' perspective to the introduction of students to the design process and will encourage them to analyse each stage of development in terms of its impact on resource use and overall energy consumption. Discussions will consider the role of the designer and the user when addressing the challenge of moving towards more sustainable consumption.
A number of different approaches to designing more energy efficient products, processes, services and systems will be explored and students will have the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches across various design contexts. Through practical activities, and the use of case studies, students will develop the skills and expertise necessary, at each stage of the design process, to effectively facilitate and manage resource efficient design.
Energy Analysis Techniques
The module is designed to enable students to analyse data from buildings and industry to identify energy and greenhouse gas saving opportunities. The underlying science and mathematics is presented. Spreadsheets are used to analyse time series data and identify potential energy saving opportunities. The main opportunities are discussed potential energy efficiency measures described.
The techniques will enable students to carryout the analysis techniques of energy audit, energy survey, energy balance and to be able to establish an ongoing energy monitoring and target setting regime for a building or industry.
The module will provide the skills necessary to successfully complete a research project of a high standard.
The module will cover research methods, data interpretation, report writing as well as basic computing skills. Additional information will be provided for people needing to acquire particular skills in specific areas.
The module will also cover basic statistical analysis and the design and analysis of questionnaires.
It will introduce students to a range of research methodologies and practices relevant to the successful completion of the MSc.