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.

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.

Important information for international students

This degree offers flexibility in on-campus start dates for international students who have (or will need) a Student visa. We hope you will be able to join us for face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow.

Closer to the enrolment period, you will be asked to confirm if you will be studying on campus in Plymouth or as a temporary remote learner outside the UK.

More information about the 2021/22 academic year

Careers with this subject

Engineers are involved in all stages of the offshore renewable energy industry; from proof of concept of new energy converter concepts through to the operation, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of offshore power stations supplying clean renewable energy around the world. This programme aims to give you a step-up into this industry. Graduates will be ready to hit the ground running with project developers, engineering and design consultancies, certification agencies and marine contractors.

Find out more about careers in the Offshore Renewable Energy industry.

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

  • The MSc Offshore Renewable Energy Engineering programme provides an employability focused curriculum primarily designed to enable engineers to specialise in the skills and topics needed to work within the offshore renewable energy industry. 

    During the first two semesters of this one-year programme, you will study a range of core taught modules – covering 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. Students obtain hands-on experience of using state-of-the-art software tools as well as developing physical modelling skills within the COAST Laboratory. 

    In the final semester you will complete an independent dissertation project focused on an aspect of offshore renewable engineering, supervised by academic staff actively researching this field. Throughout your studies, we will support you in gaining the research and professional skills to help you get the most from the programme – and launch a successful career. 

    Core modules

    • Coastal and Offshore Engineering (COUE510)

      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.

    • Integrated Power Systems (ELEC517)

      This module will focus on current power systems pertinent to renewable energy. The design and performance of converters will be main focus of this module.

    • The Offshore Power Station (ENGR502)

      This module will familiarise students with 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • MSc Dissertation and Research Skills (PROJ518)

      You will develop a methodical approach to research that helps propose research projects that are practically realistic and academically worthwhile. A substantial project will be planned and carried out using ethically suitable quantitative and qualitative research methods. The project will be reported through a high quality, scholarly and professional write-up, either as a formal dissertation or journal paper.

    Optional modules

    • 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.

    • Advanced Naval Architecture (MARN501)

      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.

    • Modelling and Analytics for Data Science (MATH501)

      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.

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 Engineering ProgrammeSpecification 6999

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

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.

For an informal enquiry, please contact Dr Martyn Hann by email: martyn.hann@plymouth.ac.uk.

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 2022-2023
Home £9,100 £9,400
International £16,200 £16,700
Part time (Home) £500 £500
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. 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.

Growth of the offshore renewable energy industry

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.

COAST Laboratory

The COAST Laboratory is used to study how offshore renewable energy devices response to combined waves, currents and wind during operational and storm conditions. It is used by students, researchers and industry; often collaborating together.

Find out more about COAST and its importance to the ORE sector.

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 has an international reputation for its research into offshore renewable energy.

Find out more about our research

Our staff