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Renewable Energy Systems Technology (Distance Learning) MSc

Programme information

This distance-learning programme is aimed at people who care about the environment, who have an engineering and physical sciences background and who have a desire to learn about the technical attributes of renewable energy generation. Delivered by experts in the field, you will gain the skills you need to upgrade your degree or retrain and specialise in this exciting and rapidly expanding energy sector.

Loughborough is home to the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST); the UK’s largest and leading sustainable energy research centre.  For over 20 years we have overseen the research and development of some of the world’s most progressive renewable energy technologies. 

Developed by the team in CREST this programme aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the resource, technology and economics of renewable energy.  Each bespoke module has been continually developed in line with the team’s latest cutting edge research and industry developments.  This ensures the programme is kept up-to-date and maintains relevance in a fast-changing sector.   

The programme is designed to prepare you for a career in the renewable energy sector in fields as diverse as manufacturing, development, consultancy and government. Equally, the programme can be a stepping stone to future research in the renewable energy sector.

This distance learning programme has been designed to be as flexible as possible to meet the training needs and requirements of both you, as an individual, and the organisation that you represent. 

Click the link to find out more about Distance learning at Crest.

Virtual Learning Environment – Remote Laboratories

We won the 2015 e-Learning Excellence Award for our work on the Photovoltaic Remote Laboratory.  The laboratory is identical to a physical laboratory that is designed to teach the energy conversion properties of a photovoltaic (PV) cell.  The unique experimenter-student interface means that it can be controlled from anywhere in the world.  

Key facts

  • Professionally accredited.  As testament to the quality of this course, it is fully accredited by major UK engineering institutions; the IET, IMechE and Energy Institute.  It also fulfils the educational requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer when presented with a CEng accredited Bachelor’s Degree. 
  • Research led teaching. The content of the course is underpinned by world leading renewable energy research including: wind energy, solar energy (photovoltaics and solar thermal), water power, bioenergy, energy storage, integration of renewable energy into networks, multi-scale energy systems and renewable energy applications in the developing world.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent overseas qualification in any engineering or physical science subject.

Overseas qualification equivalencies can be found here.


How you will be taught

All of our renewable energy modules consist of a series of Study Units, each covering a specific subject area.  Instead of face-to-face lectures and tutorials, the main learning routes for distance learning students are via the University’s virtual learning environment (LEARN). The learning resources for each Study Unit include:

  • Online study materials
  • Live streamed and recorded lectures
  • Virtual and remote laboratories
  • Tutorials, assignments and computer aided assessments
  • Access to past exam papers

In addition there are several important communication features built into LEARN which include:

  • Discussion forums (for communicating with tutors and fellow learners)
  • Specialist tutor groups
  • Assignment and tutorial upload facility (to allow tutors to check your progress and provide you with feedback)
  • Online tutorial sessions with module lectures

Distance learning students also have the option to attend on campus modules.

To make full use of distance learning resources, the following are minimum requirements:

  • Good specification PC or laptop running the latest operating system
  • A printer if you wish to print out materials
  • Good computer skills (see below)
  • Fast and reliable access to the Internet via Broadband

You will require the following skills: 

  • Open, copy, and move files and directories on your hard drive
  • Move around the desktop with several applications (programmes) opened at the same time
  • Create documents using a software package such as MS Word or similar.
  • Be able to zip files and make pdf files
  • Manipulate and analyse data using spread sheet software such as MS Excel


Assessment is via examination, coursework, group work and research project. 

Examinations are held in January and May/June with coursework and group work throughout the programme.  The individual MSc research project is assessed by written report and viva voce. Students receive regular feedback on their progress from on-line support officers, tutors and academic staff.

It is also possible for distance learning students to take exams at a suitable local venue either a local British Council or a recognised university. For further information about this process please contact the course administrator.

English Language Requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not. Find out more here.

Future Career Prospects

Many companies in the renewable energy sector expect employees with engineering degrees but you can stand out from the crowd with the specific knowledge and expertise that is gained through postgraduate study.

We know from working with our industrial contacts that they highly value our graduates. Indeed, in CREST, we have continued to work with many companies who have hired alumni from the REST MSc. Some have even come back to give industrial lectures on the course seeing the course as a fertile recruiting ground.

Students have gone to work in range of renewable energy sectors including: manufacturing, development of generation schemes, utilities, engineering consultancies, local, regional and national government. Companies that our alumni have gone to work for include:

EdF, E.ON, SSE, RWE, RES, DNV GL, Mott MacDonald, Nordex, Vestas, Arup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens AG, EDF France, M-Solv, OST Energy, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Petrocon Brunei, Statnett SF.

A number of companies give industrial lectures to our students during the modules and provide projects for students. This gives the students a flavour of what is involved in working in the sector and potential opportunities for future employment.

Read our latest graduate profiles here.

The information published here reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

Fees and funding