Taught course

Renewable Energy Engineering

Heriot-Watt University · School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in a suitable subject with a numerate background. Equivalent overseas qualifications will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

MSc Renewable Energy Engineering provides you with the opportunity to study a specialist engineering-focused course in the rapidly expanding sector. By studying this programme, you’ll develop critical understanding of the significant changes afoot in the energy system due to the development and integration of wind, marine, biomass, and solar technologies. Upon graduation, you’ll have the necessary knowledge and skills to develop and implement creative solutions to the problems encountered in renewable energy capture, conversion, storage, and management.

You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to assess renewable energy resources, design appropriate renewable energy systems, evaluate the performance of these systems and assess the wider impacts of renewable energy development. You’ll be introduced to fundamental energy science and current energy issues, and complete project-led courses in which you’ll design renewable energy systems in response to such energy issues. By doing so, you’ll be exposed to Renewable Energy resources, how the resources are exploited, and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of Renewable Energy-related activities.

During the master’s programme, you’ll develop detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the core skills, techniques and practices in renewable energy resources, converters and systems and apply this knowledge to complex applications to deliver original and creative solutions to current and emerging problems. On top of practical knowledge and skills, you’ll develop your communication, independent work, and teamwork skills by working effectively with peers, academics, and staff in a variety of tasks.

The flexible degree structure allows you to focus in on your specific Renewable Energy Engineering interests. On top of the mandatory fundamental teachings, you’ll have the opportunity to choose several optional courses from an extensive list, including modules on electrical power systems, heat exchangers and heat transfers, distributed generation, demand management and energy storage, and climate change, sustainability, and adaptation.

Our Expertise

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active mechanical and energy engineers and academics.

96% of Heriot-Watt University’s engineering research was classed as world-leading in the REF 2021 review, which ranked us 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for engineering research through a joint submission with the University of Edinburgh.

Our MSc Renewable Energy Engineering is directly informed by the world class research carried out by Heriot-Watt’s Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE) research institute which focuses on promoting excellence across four main research themes:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Digital Engineering
  • Energy Harvesting and Conversion
  • Multiphase Flow

You’ll benefit from our innovative approach when it comes to the promotion and communication of energy research activities. Our Energy Academy, a virtual learning centre used to connect all energy related research across the university, gives you direct access to the latest research carried out across the university. Heriot-Watt has three dedicated energy research centres which study: 

  • Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage
  • Intermittency of Supply, Storage and Control
  • Energy Policy and Strategy  

You’ll learn from academics engaged in renewable energy research in five principal areas:

  • Photovoltaics and solar energy
  • Wind and marine energy
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Minimising CO2 emissions
  • Biofuels

The research relevance of this postgraduate programme ensures your studies remain innovative and industry focused.

Your learning environment

The MSc Renewable Energy Engineering programme is taught though a combination of lectures, tutorials, and laboratory practicals, allowing you to get to know and build relationships with your teaching staff, academics, and peers. You will be assessed by coursework, exams, and your dissertation, and will receive support and feedback throughout the programme.

During your studies, you’ll benefit from and have access to our specialist equipment, software and laboratories used by professional mechanical engineering, including machining and manufacturing facilities, an air conditioning unit, Marcet Boiler, high speed wind tunnel rig, wind tunnel for fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, 3D printer, and a uniaxial testing machine. You will have the opportunity to work on real-world problems, and work across disciplines to deliver practical solutions with global impact in our state-of-the-art GRID (Global Research Innovation and Discovery) facility.

Outside of the classroom, you can join several Energy and Mechanical Engineering societies including:

Societies provide a fantastic opportunity to meet likeminded people, get involved in regular social events and networking events, and gain insights into career prospects in Energy, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and other relevant industries.

Customise your learning

You’ll have the opportunity to focus on the areas of renewable energy engineering that interest you the most. You can customise your degree to match your specific interests or desired career pathway by studying five mandatory courses and choosing three further options from a range of energy, and mechanical engineering specialist courses, including electrical power systems, heat exchangers and heat transfer, climate change, sustainability and adaptation, and demand management and energy storage.

In semester three, you’ll undertake an extensive and specialised investigation into your chosen area of renewable energy engineering through your dissertation. You’ll be required to demonstrate your mastery of the subject area by applying design and evaluation techniques to develop new insights and responses to current issues in energy and mechanical engineering industries.

You can choose whether to study the programme full-time, part-time, or by course. This flexibility allows you to fit your postgraduate studies around your lifestyle. You can begin the programme in September, and the full-time course will last 12 months full time or 24 months part time. If you decided to study part-time, you register for two courses per semester and progress to the dissertation at the end of your second year.  

You may have the opportunity to Go Global on our Inter-Campus Transfer. Opportunities for postgraduate study abroad are assessed on a case-by-case basis and if you are interested in studying at our Dubai campus or Malaysia campus for a semester or longer, you should contact the Go Global Team.


We work closely with industry to ensure our course content is up-to-date and reflects the current and emerging needs of industry and employers. You’ll gain the right blend of knowledge, practical skills, and soft skills to set you up for life after graduation.  


This programme is accredited by Energy Institute (EI).

Students completing an EI accredited degree are deemed to have met part or all the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered or Incorporated Engineer and are in a strong position to move on to achieve professional engineering status after a period of initial professional development in industry.

Information for international students

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Our Postgraduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence in MSc Renewable Energy Engineering offers a £1,000 tuition fee reduction.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    part time
    21 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Enquiries Team