School of Biological and Marine Sciences

MRes Marine Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is a cornerstone of the green economy and marine wind, wave and tidal energy are key elements of the UK, European and global renewable energy roadmaps. Begin your voyage to being a part of this vital transformation by studying on the UK’s first MRes Marine Renewable Energy programme. Building on our international reputation for marine research and teaching along with regional and national initiatives, this distinctive degree focuses on the growing marine renewable energy sector.

Postgraduate open evening: Wednesday 9 October 2019

Discover how this masters-level degree can help your future career by talking with us at our postgraduate open evening.


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Key features

  • Be at the forefront of the emerging field of marine renewable energy at a time when such expertise is increasingly sought after.
  • Develop knowledge and confidence in the critical areas that help you play an integral part in the development and promotion of marine renewable energy.
  • Benefit from our research team’s expertise – our staff achieved ratings of ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ in the UK Government’s most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
  • Take advantage of the University of Plymouth’s active role in the Southwest Marine Energy Park and the Offshore Renewables Development Programme to stay abreast of the latest developments and make contacts with key players in the field.
  • Gain experience in the use of world leading facilities such as the COAST Lab test tanks and the Falcon Spirit research vessel as part of your taught programme and your research.
  • Learn in an environment which benefits from PRIMaRE investment in new staff expertise and facilities.
  • Benefit from our close ties to the £42 million wave hub project, the world's largest energy test site in Cornwall.
  • Live and study in ‘Britain’s Ocean City’, with easy access to businesses and the marine environment, this is an ideal location to study marine renewables.
  • Take the opportunity to accomplish the research project phase abroad or with an industrial partner.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • The taught modules in the first period are compulsory and are designed to provide you with a broad background on marine renewable as well as a solid basis for the option modules in period two. 
    You’ll undertake four modules in period one that provide a background in marine renewable energy: 
    • introduction to marine renewable energy, 
    • economics, law and policy for marine renewable energy, 
    • research skills and 
    • research methods. 
    In periods two and three you’ll demonstrate your ability to implement a research project and produce an independent dissertation or paper of your own research. Many projects are carried out in association with active PRIMaRE research projects that staff are engaged in, including: resource characterisation, marine renewable energy systems, environmental and biodiversity impacts, coastal impacts, safe operations and navigational risk, underwater and surface electrical systems, socio-economic factors. Projects always have two supervisors.
    Core modules
    • MAR513 Research Skills and Methods

      This module aims to equip students with the practical skills and contextual framework for conducting high quality research. Emphasis is placed on workshop opportunities to acquire and practice research planning, analysis, communication, writing and oral presentation skills.

    • MAR525 MRes Dissertation

      The student will complete a research project that they have designed in the semester 1 research skills module. The project can be submitted in the format of a journal paper or dissertation. The write-up will communicate the project aims, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, synthesis and conclusions. The student will defend his/her work in a viva voce with the Subject External Examiner.

    • MAR526 Introduction to Marine Renewable Energy

      This module provides an introduction to the engineering, technological, environmental, socioeconomic and legal issues relevant to the development and exploitation of marine renewable energy. The relative influence of the various factors in determining the success of specific sites is assessed and the current barriers to future development identified.

    • MAR527 Economics, Law and Policy for Marine Renewable Energy

      This module provides an overview of key economic concepts and issues relevant to the development and exploitation of marine renewable energy (MRE). The module also provides an overview of the relevant legal regimes relevant to MRE, including property rights, climate change and energy, marine environmental protection and maritime safety and security.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MResMarineRenewableEnergy ProgrammeSpecification September2016 4149

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

You’ll have a 2:1 honours degree in a science or engineering subject, or equivalent. If you have no recent formal qualifications, a lesser qualification with additional experience may be considered. 

If you have overseas qualifications you can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service. 

English language requirements 

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,500 £9,800
International £14,400 £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) £550 £550
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Marine renewable energy

The marine renewables this programme focuses on are key emergent marine sectors: offshore wind, wave power and tidal power (both tidal barrages and tidal stream).

The University of Plymouth offers the first UK masters degree in marine renewable energy.

Find out more about our programme

Facilities and resources

From a state of the art wave and current test basin the COAST Laboratory and our teaching facility at the Marine Station, to a dedicated ocean going research vessel and a wealth of computer laboratories and software, you’ll benefit from a range of facilities and resources that will help your learning and development.

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