School of Biological and Marine Sciences

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 masters 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.

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.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

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

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

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 COAST laboratories, 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.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • MAR513Z 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.

    • MAR524 MSc 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.

    • MAR534 Introduction to Offshore Renewable Energy

      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.

    • MAR535 Economics, Law and Policy for Offshore Renewable Energy

      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.

    Optional modules
    • MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment

      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.

    • MAR512 Assessment of Coastal Resources and Impacts

      This module reviews the dynamics of the coastal ocean and explores methods to assess MRE resource availability and potential environmental impacts. Observational methods for understanding coastal morphology, ecosystems and forcing mechanisms such as waves, tidal currents and tidal elevation are examined. Methods for impact mitigation and management are discussed. Case studies from around the world are utilized.

    • MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS

      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.

    • MAR519 Modelling Marine Processes

      This module introduces the fundamental concepts of modelling marine processes. Emphasis will be placed on the mechanisms that drive marine environment and principles of their numerical implementation. The methods of modelling and the-state-of-the-art oceanic models are also introduced. The key element is development of practical skills in operation with numerical models and critical analysis of the model output.

    • MAR536 Mechanics of ORE Structures

      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.

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 ProgrammeSpecification 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

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,100 To be confirmed
International £16,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • A 20 per cent discount on home tuition fees.
  • Or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
  • A 10 per cent alumni discount is available on the following programmes: MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy.

For further details, programme exclusions and contact information, please see our alumnus discount policy.

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 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.

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.

Find out more about our programme

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 COAST Laboratory.

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