School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

MSc Offshore Renewable Energy Engineering

This MSc equips graduates of engineering and science degrees with the skills they need to join the rapidly growing offshore renewable energy industry, incorporating offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. You’ll learn how the disciplines of meteorology, aerodynamics, mechanical, control, electrical, structural and offshore engineering are utilised in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver a cost-effective offshore power station.

Supervised and supported by members of the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, you will also have the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project focused on an aspect of offshore renewable energy.

Postgraduate open evening: Wednesday 3 March 2021

If you would like to find out more about this programme, please attend the next virtual postgraduate open evening.

Register for the postgraduate open evening

Careers with this subject

The offshore renewable energy (ORE) industry has experienced rapid growth over the last decade, both within the UK and internationally. However the full potential of ORE resources still remains to be fully exploited and as such the industry is expected to continue to grow. New technological developments within ORE are essential to meet UK and global climate change objectives, and to make major contributions towards innovation, jobs and growth. The UK has the ambition to lead the world in developing these technologies and the Government has put ‘clean growth’ at the centre of its modern Industrial Strategy. The Foresight Future of the Sea report (March 2018) highlighted significant global trends in the marine sector. In particular, it identified offshore wind as an area of significant opportunity.

The UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind (29% of global capacity at the end of 2019). Globally, £2.5 trillion investment is predicted for the wind energy sector between 2017 and 2040 (Offshore Wind Industry Prospectus). In a review of the Skills and Labour Requirements of the UK Offshore Wind Industry 2018 to 2032, employment in the offshore wind sector is predicted to increase from 10,000 jobs in 2017 to 36,000.

Mainland UK waters are also among the best in the world for wave and tidal energy resource, holding 50% of Europe’s tidal resource, and with the potential to meet up to 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand. The ORE Catapult estimates that the tidal stream industry could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £1,400m, including considerable exports, and support 4,000 jobs by 2030 and that wave energy could add a net positive contribution to the UK economy of £4,000m and support 8,100 jobs by 2040.  

Graduates of the programme will be ready to hit the ground running with project developers, engineering and design consultancies, certification agencies and marine contractors.

Key features

  • Be at the forefront of the rapidly growing field of offshore renewable energy at a time when such expertise is increasingly sought after.
  • Develop knowledge and confidence in the processes involved in the design, development, installation, operation and decommissioning of a cost-effective offshore power station.
  • Develop an understanding of the factors that affect the Levelized Cost of Energy delivered by an offshore power station
  • Develop familiarity with industry standard software used in design.
  • Study at the University named eighth in the world – and best in the UK for the quality and impact of its research in Marine and Ocean Engineering in the Shanghai Ranking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019.
  • 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 leadership role in the Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub.
  • Gain experience in the use of world leading facilities such as the COAST Lab test tanks as part of your taught programme and your research.
  • 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
  • Study how the disciplines of meteorology, aerodynamics, mechanical, control, electrical, structural and offshore engineering are utilised in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver a cost-effective offshore power station. You will also gain research skills and obtain hands-on experience of using state-of-the-art software tools.

    Towards the end of the programme, you have the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project focused on an aspect of offshore renewable engineering, supervised by academic staff actively researching this field.

    Core modules 

    • 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. 
    • ENGR502: The Offshore Power Station
      This module will familiarise students with the processes involved in the design, development, installation, operation and decommissioning of a cost-effective offshore power station. Students will get hands-on experience of industry standard design software. Factors affecting the Levelized Cost of Energy will be explored. External lecturers will provide context through presentation of up to date case studies.
    • COUE510: Coastal and Offshore Engineering
      This module covers essential theoretical concepts for coastal and offshore engineers. Topics include: water wave theory, wave transformation processes, shallow water waves, coastal environments, climate change, introduction to flood defence, introduction to data analysis & software tools for coastal and offshore engineers, introduction to coastal and offshore structure design.
    • 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. 


    Optional modules

    • MARN501: Advanced Naval Architecture
      On completing this module, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of mathematical models associated with marine hydrodynamics and marine structures. The students will be able to understand their limitations, and to interpret data from them. Topics covered will include Vessel Manoeuvring, Marine structural response and analysis of irregular seaways

    • MATH501: Modelling and Analytics for Data Science
      This module gives students an understanding of modelling and analytics techniques for Data Science. It supplies modern data modelling tool boxes for making strategic decisions in a broad range of Business related practical situations. It offers a hands-on introduction to Bayesian inference and machine learning. It provides additional practice in making professional presentations. 
    • MAR537 Applied Marine Autonomy
      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. 

Entry requirements

This programme primarily aims to recruit graduates with a degree to honours level at 2:2 or above in engineering, mathematics, robotics, marine, computing and physical science related subjects. Entry may also be possible with other qualifications provided there is evidence of relevant industrial experience and of the capacity for postgraduate study.

All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English at Grade C or above. If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5 and not less than 5.5 in all components.

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 2020 2021
Home N/A £9,100
International N/A £16,200
Part time (Home) N/A 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.

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.

Applying for postgraduate study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Information team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. The Doctoral College is also available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.

Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by the University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office.

If you would like to speak to one of our course information advisors, please contact us:

Telephone: +44 1752 585858

Email: prospectus@plymouth.ac.uk

Documents for downloading

COAST Laboratory

The COAST (Coastal, Ocean And Sediment Transport) laboratory provides physical model testing with combined waves, currents and wind, offered at scales appropriate for device testing, array testing, environmental modelling and coastal engineering.

Find out about the facilities our COAST laboratory has to offer

COAST Engineering Research Group

The COAST Engineering Research Group is a leading team of coastal and ocean engineering researchers carrying out both fundamental and applied research. The group contains recognised specialists in laboratory modelling, numerical modelling, field experimen

Find out more about our research

Our staff