Do you like solving problems and getting hands-on with new and exciting technology? Are you interested in finding solutions that deal with society's reliance on fossil fuels? Do you want to follow in the footsteps of the engineers who worked on advancements such as solar-powered drones and the hydrogen fuel used to heat and power green homes?
If so, this Electrical and Renewable Energy Engineering degree with optional sandwich year is your ideal next move. You can study it as a Bachelor's degree over 3 years (BEng) or integrated Master's degree over 4 years (MEng).
This branch of engineering focuses on powering the world, and the infrastructure around this. From energy conversion and storage technology, to low carbon heating systems, electrical circuit analysis and large network grids, you'll study a variety of topics in this constantly evolving area.
You'll learn more about the energy industry, better preparing you for a career in the field, and develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to deliver products and services that benefit the climate and society.
When you graduate, you'll be ready for a career working at the forefront of the technology responsible for electrical and renewable energy. You'll have a skillset that's always in demand, and get to be part of the solution to one of the most pressing issues facing society.
MEng and BEng differences
The 3-year Bachelor's degree (BEng) and 4-year integrated Master's degree (MEng) share the same modules in years 1–3. The MEng allows you to achieve a postgraduate-level degree with an extra year of study.
You can apply for the MEng or BEng. If you study the BEng, you'll also have the option of applying for the MEng at the end of year 3.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Develop the engineering skills and technical knowledge you need to design, assess and improve electrical, renewable and alternative energy systems
- Learn about many aspects of electrical engineering, including grid management automation and the flow of high-voltage electricity
- Get a better understanding of energy-efficient buildings, via energy conservation and undertaking energy audits
- Study energy storage using electrolysers, batteries and fuel cells, for applications such as electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles
- Use cost analysis to compare renewable energy technologies with traditional fuel systems from the points of view of business, industry and maintenance
- Develop your skills in Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
- Learn how to write computer code to programme a system or device
- Get the opportunity to work in industry in some modules, giving you the chance to network with, and work alongside, established experts and prospective employers
- Develop transferable skills you can use in all areas of your life and career, such as project planning, communication, teamwork, numeracy and computer skills
- Work alongside students from other disciplines, improving your communication skills and learning how to use your knowledge and skills to complement the expertise of others
- Get a greater understanding of the needs and demands of a career in the electrical and renewable energy industry, on field trips to employers
Work experience and career planning
The Group Design Project module you take in year 2, the Individual Project module you take in year 3, and the Multidisciplinary Group Project you take in year 4 (MEng only), give you the opportunity to get work experience as part of your study.
Your project work will be on an industry-related or industry-sponsored subject related to renewable energy, or its application. You'll plan your project with consultation from your tutors and, where necessary, external industrial supervisors. Your project will contain elements that boost your future employability, such as a financial analysis of different energy options for a particular business.
We'll also help you to identify additional internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will further complement your studies, throughout the course.
Teaching on this course includes:
- Laboratory work
- Computer-aided engineering system activity
There's an emphasis on problem solving and project work to reflect the challenges experience in your career. Tasks will often begin with you researching a problem or project brief, before moving on to lab sessions to identify, then implement, practical solutions.
Teaching staff are all members of the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology), and many are Chartered Engineers. The teaching staff on this course also have a range of professional experience, including working as a team leaders, and in higher management, in industry.
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- Written examinations
- Practical tests
- Project work
You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. For example, you can take online quizzes on theory-related skills, such as electrical circuit network parameters, to get automatic feedback. You also get feedback on lab-related skills through the submission of the logbook you've recorded the details of practical sessions in.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments, so you can improve in the future.
Every Tuesday in term time you'll also attend a 1-hour feedback and support session.
Careers and opportunities
When you finish this course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.
You'll get work at the forefront of electrical and renewable energy technology, reinforcing and improving infrastructure. Not only is the work rewarding, but you'll be working in a highly skilled area, which is always in-demand.
You'll graduate with the skills and understanding to work in many related areas, including:
- Energy generation, such as in solar or wind power
- Energy conversion and storage in areas such as batteries and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
- Sustainable transport systems, in fields such as electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, as well as hydrogen and biomethane vehicles
- Low carbon heating systems, such as in solar, thermal, hydrogen energy, as well as biomethane and heat pumps
- Energy efficient buildings, in areas such as energy conservation, new materials, smart energy management and energy audits
- Working to improve national security by working on new technologies and infrastructure
You'll be able to take roles such as:
- Electrical design engineer
- Renewable and alternative energy installation engineer
- Security systems engineer
- System analyst
- Machine learning engineer
- Computer engineer
- Automation engineer
When you graduate you'll also be able to pursue further studies at postgraduate level, or set up your own businesses with help and support from the University.
After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
Placement year (optional)
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
Possible placement destinations include:
- Solar energy project developers
- Fuel cell and battery manufacturers
- Smart grid service providers
- Energy storage and energy management businesses
- Local councils
- Sustainable transportation businesses
- Energy research and development companies
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.