School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

MSc Offshore Renewable Energy

Marine wind, wave and tidal energy are key elements of UK, European and global renewable energy roadmaps. Begin your voyage to being a part of this vital transformative development by studying in a vibrant programme derived from the world's first multidisciplinary offshore renewable energy degree. Building on our international reputation for marine research and teaching, along with regional and national initiatives, this distinctive degree focuses on the growing offshore renewable energy sector.

Mutriku wave power plant. Courtesy of Ente Vasco de la Energía

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  • 21 May 2024

The University of Plymouth offers two MSc programmes focused on offshore renewable energy.

Key features

  • Be at the forefront of the emerging field of offshore renewable energy at a time when such expertise is increasingly sought after.
  • Benefit from University and government aspirations to develop the southwest as a centre for ORE and as embodied by PRIMaRE and the Universities leading role in Supergen.
  • Develop a whole systems vision through this cross-disciplinary MSc programme comprising expertise from engineering, marine science, economics, law and policy.
  • Gain through access to existing ORE relevant facilities in the University: e.g. the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory, the Marine Station, the High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster.
  • Capitalise on ongoing and proposed University of Plymouth research as funded by RCUK, Interreg, Horizon2020 and other funding streams.
  • 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).
  • Live and study in ‘Britain’s Ocean City’, with easy access to businesses and the marine environment, this is an ideal location to study offshore renewables.
  • This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Permanent Way Institution on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.* See jbm.org.uk for further information.
*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Research Skills and Methods (MAR513Z)

      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.

    • Introduction to Offshore Renewable Energy (MAR534)

      This module provides an introduction to the engineering, technological, environmental, socioeconomic and legal issues relevant to the development and exploitation of offshore 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.

    • Economics, Law and Policy for Offshore Renewable Energy (MAR535)

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

    • MSc Dissertation (PROJ517)

      You will demonstrate practical skills and knowledge of research methods to plan and implement high quality research. You will carry out a substantial research investigation on a topic of your choice and report upon the aims, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and conclusions through a high quality, scholarly and professional write-up of the project, either as a formal dissertation or journal paper.

    Optional modules

    • Economics of the Marine Environment (MAR507)

      This module will provide students with a clear overview of the problems associated with economic activity in marine environment and the potential solutions to these problems.

    • Remote Sensing and GIS (MAR518)

      This module introduces the principles of geographical information systems and remote sensing of marine, polar and coastal environments. Field data will be acquired using GPS and radiometric instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on the critical evaluation of remote sensing data and analysis tools in varied scenarios and on developing practical computing skills.

    • Mechanics of ORE Structures (MAR536)

      This module will cover engineering aspects of offshore renewable energy conversion. The module comprises lectures and tutorials, invited industry lectures, a field trip visit to a marine engineering company and a wave energy converter performance experiment in the COAST lab.

    • Managing Marine Ecosystems (MAR530)

      The module will provide students with an understanding of marine ecosystems and their vulnerability to anthropogenic threats. Anticipatory and responsive management measures will be discussed, including relevant marine conservation agreements, legislation and policy.

    • Applied Marine Autonomy (MAR537Z)

      This module introduces students to marine autonomous platforms for marine environmental data collection. It focuses on the appropriate use of platforms, covering theory of operation and developing practical skills in autonomous marine data collection through workshops and fieldwork. The module also allows direct interaction with scientific researchers and industry practitioners through seminars.

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:

MSc Offshore Renewable Energy programme specification_7040

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 Ecctis, which provides an advisory service. 
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.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £10,200 £10,700
International £18,000 £19,800
Part time (Home) £570 £590
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. More information about fees and funding.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £11,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 10% or 20% discount on tuition fees for home students 
  • £2,000 discount on tuition fees for international students 
.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

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

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 Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email 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 weeksof 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 in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Offshore renewable energy

The offshore 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 provided the first UK masters degree fully dedicated to offshore renewable energy.
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Coast laboratory

Facilities and resources – offshore renewable energy

From a state of the art wave and current test basin to a dedicated ocean going research vessel to a wealth of computer laboratories and software, you’ll benefit from a range of facilities and resources that will help your learning and development.
Our facilities include the £19 million Marine Building and the associated Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory.
Renewable energy careers
University of Plymouth's MSc Marine Renewable Energy: Graduate profile - Toby Naylor

People

Meet our school technical staff 

Our technical staff are integral to the delivery of all our programmes and bring a diverse range of expertise and skills to support students in laboratories and workshops.