The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date

This course combines engineering and business studies and is offered by the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences but includes contributions from all Engineering disciplines represented at Heriot-Watt and from the Edinburgh Business School (EBS).


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


September 2024 entry

The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.


MSc Energy

Energy is an essential component of our existence. The cost, availability and efficient utilisation of energy are increasingly strong focal points in the strategies of governments world-wide, as they realise that the 'raw material' for most of the energy used today has a finite life.

Large industries and small households alike depend on a reliable provision of energy. Energy includes not only electricity, but also heat and transportation. This degree will make you aware of the relationship between demand and supply of energy, a relationship that consists of much more than its technical component. It includes political, economic and social issues and has to be viewed on a global and local scale with respect to energy provision, consumption and costs – both in the monetary and environmental terms.

The concept of sustainable energy increasingly moves into focus as the finite nature of our main element in our current energy chain of supply – fossil fuel – becomes more obvious. 

We try to reflect the broad range of disciplines covering energy in this multi-disciplinary degree, which offers courses relevant to energy resources, power generation, process engineering, environmental legislation and environmental impact assessment, energy in buildings, as well as business courses in collaboration with the Edinburgh Business School.

It is the aim of the Energy MSc/Diploma to provide a balanced, integrated course which will equip the participant with the tools needed to positively influence his/her organisation in to developing new business strategies relevant to 'energy', or in reacting to the growing portfolio of environmental legislation. The course is also supported by industrial suppliers and users of energy, who are committed to an ethical environmental policy.

An optional project and dissertation in an engineering subject, which might be a company-specified topic or one selected by the participant, is also available.

MSc Energy with Entrepreneurship

Heriot-Watt also offers the MSc Energy with Entrepreneurship. This programme includes a mandatory entrepreneurship element which aims to foster an interest in generating ideas, to develop your understanding of the commercial world and to help you learn to apply the necessary skills to undertake enterprising activities, whether in the context of independent entrepreneurship or within existing organisations.

Programme duration

Both the MSc Energy and MSc Energy with Entrepreneurship are 1 year in length. The MSc Energy is also available part time by online learning, typically over 2 or 3 years.

The MSc Energy by Online Learning has both a January and September intake . 

Watch video of academic Gudrun Kocher discussing the MSc in Energy.

Course content

The course contains three compulsory modules:

Foundations of Energy

This module is designed to give students an overview over all aspects of energy, from the resources and their extraction to energy use, as well as energy within the environmental, social and economic context.

Technology Futures and Business Strategy

This module is designed to give all students an understanding of the inter-relationships between energy, technology and business. It includes methodologies of technological forecasting, relevant technological developments, technology transfer and integration into business plans. It covers theoretical and practical aspects of the industrial and business drivers, strategic competitive implications for companies, and issues of strategic and cultural change, as well as ethics and environmental issues.

Technology Courses

A range of courses is available which allows students to specialise in a particular area or to gain an insight into a range of technologies. Students will choose up to eight courses which are available in the following subject areas.

Energy Resources

This includes modules on Oil & Gas Field Appraisal and Oil & Gas Field Development and Renewable Energy Technologies.

Power Generation and Transmission

The modules High Voltage and Electrical Power Systems cover the efficient transmission, distribution and utilisation of electricity.

Process Development

Modules include Fluid Dynamics with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Heat Exchanger Technology and Process Intensification. Process Intensification (PI) covers concepts such as compact heat exchangers and 'the laboratory on a chip', together with implications of PI for whole plant design.

Energy in Buildings

A substantial amount of energy is used in the provision of building services, including heating, ventilating and air-conditioning. Modules on Energy Management, Advanced Energy Management, and Air Conditioning cover: energy management systems, energy auditing, heat transfer and ventilation, and the environmental impact of building energy use.

Environmental Issues and Reliability

Modules include Systems Reliability, Fire Safety Engineering, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Environmental Policy, Legislation & Administration.

Business courses

Up to three business courses can be chosen from the School of Social Sciences course options below.

For Independent Distance Learning (IDL), the business modules are offered by the Edinburgh Business School. For more details, please send an email to

Project options

A wide range of project options is available, ranging from a short (two-module) individual Energy Analysis through an individual or group project (both four modules), to a substantial dissertation (eight modules). Full-time students are required to take a project option to a minimum of four modules. Students are encouraged to carry out projects within industry.

The course is of relevance to those in a variety of industrial sectors (e.g. chemicals, energy, and offshore), major players in the built environment, SMEs keen to exploit opportunities for new products/processes, and organisations active in advising others on energy and environmental strategies.

Flexibility has been designed into the course to accommodate the needs of companies and employees in terms of course content, method of delivery and the overall course duration. These include full-time attendance for one year, part-time attendance or distance learning.

Core courses

  • Foundation of Energy
  • Technology Futures and Business Strategy
  • Critical Analysis and Research Preparation

Optional courses

  • Renewable Energy Technologies
  • Economics of Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Demand Management and Energy Storage (watch virtual lecture from this course)
  • Energy Technology
  • Ventilation & Air Conditioning
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics with Heat Transfer
  • Heat Transfer and Heat Exchangers
  • Process Intensification
  • Sustainable Processing
  • Oil & Gas Field Appraisal
  • Oil & Gas Field Development
  • Electrical Power Systems
  • High Voltage

From the School of Social Sciences Courses(maximum 3)

  • Environmental and Energy Economics
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Strategic Project Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • Project Economics and Evaluation
  • Business Economics

Entry requirements

A First or Second Class Honours Degree in an engineering discipline or in the physical or chemical sciences. The degree can be from a British or overseas university. Different degrees, together with relevant industrial experience, will be considered.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £10736 £5368 £1342
Overseas £26976 £13488 £3372


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional fees information

Financial support

Tuition fee loans of £5,500 are available to Scottish distance learning students on taught postgraduate courses. Full-time distance learning postgraduate students can also access a £4,500 living cost loan. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.