MSc Energy Policy


Program Description

Key information

  • Duration: 1-year full time, 2 years part-time
  • Start date: September 2021
  • Apply by: 1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Take on the challenge of creating sustainable energy systems.

This MSc offers a broad-based, social sciences training in energy policy, focusing in particular on the role of technological innovation. You'll be taught by internationally recognised faculty from SPRU – the Science Policy Research Unit and the Sussex Energy Group, one of the largest energy policy research groups in the world.

You’ll explore the opportunities, challenges and constraints in creating sustainable and low-carbon energy systems throughout the world. Our approach is interdisciplinary, practical and applied, providing you with the skills to analyse policy problems and to propose and evaluate viable policy solutions.

The course gives you an essential foundation for careers in government, international organisations, the private sector and NGOs.

Why choose this course?

  • Top 50 in the world for Business and Economics (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018).
  • 3rd in the UK for annual research income (Chartered Association of Business Schools 2016/17).
  • You’ll be based in the University of Sussex Business School, ranked among the top institutions in the UK for research in energy economics (Research Papers in Economics – RePEc 2017). And students in SPRU - the Science Policy Research Unit, can apply for one of nine exclusive £10,000 scholarships.

Pathway to doctoral study

This Masters is recognised by the ESRC-funded South East Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership as a pathway to doctoral study.

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life.

For details about the part-time course, contact us at

How will I study?

Teaching is via small, highly interactive lectures and seminars that foster a culture of knowledge sharing, ideas generation, critical thinking and enthusiastic debate.

You’ll study a combination of core modules and options, assessed through:

  • coursework
  • group projects
  • examinations
  • extended essays
  • presentations
  • policy briefs.

In the summer, you work on a research-based dissertation. We encourage interaction, collaboration, and creativity. You’re invited to participate in our programme of research seminars as well as conferences and workshops.

Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Challenge

Develop novel science, technology, and innovation policy ideas. Compete for a prize for the idea with the most transformative potential. Our Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Challenge helps you develop skills in:

  • presenting
  • communication
  • critical thinking.

You can work on your own or in a small team. At the end of the year, you'll pitch your idea to a panel of industry experts and a live audience.

The Challenge is optional. It's designed to enrich your academic studies and give you the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from the course. It'll also allow you to explore essay and dissertation topics.


These modules are running in the academic year 2018/19. We also plan to offer them in future academic years. They may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

  • Introduction to Energy Policy
  • Policy Making and Policy Analysis
  • Science, Technology, and Innovations: Markets, Firms, and Policies
  • Perspectives, Methods, and Skills for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies
  • Dissertation (Energy Policy for Sustainability)


Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

  • Energy and Development
  • Energy Policy and Sustainability
  • Governing and Using Technology for Development
  • Governing Energy Transitions
  • Infrastructure, Innovation, and Sustainability
  • Innovation for Sustainability
  • Innovation in the Creative Economy
  • Introduction to Statistical Research Methods
  • Management of Risk
  • Network Analysis and Infographics
  • Quantitative Methods for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

How much does it cost?


  • UK/EU students: £11,450 per year
  • Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: £11,450 per year
  • International students: £20,750 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,609 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2018. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.


With the growing importance of energy on political, corporate and even social agendas around the world, there is increasing demand for energy policy professionals.

All our graduates have successfully obtained employment in a variety of sectors. For example, recent MSc graduates have gained employment in:

  • international organisations (such as the OECD, UNDP, UNEP, IEA, and IREAN)
  • government departments (such as the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Government of British Columbia, Canada)
  • local authorities (such as the Brighton & Hove Council sustainability team)
  • businesses (such as RWE npower, Ecofys, EDF, Unilever, Southern Solar, Renaissance Re, Centro de Apoio a Inovação Social-CAIS)
  • NGOs (such as the International Social Science Council, Green Jobs Alliance, People and Planet).

Other graduates have gone on to work for independent consultancies, or to study for PhDs in this area.

Graduate destinations

92% of students from Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent University of Sussex Business School graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • project research officer, Government Office for Science
  • catalyst team member, Sussex Innovation Centre
  • graduate transport planner, TFL.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers of Higher Education 2017 survey)

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

At the University of Sussex Business School we seek to address some of the key challenges facing the modern world, from climate change to the evolving world of work. We are Top 10 in the UK for Busin ... Read More

At the University of Sussex Business School we seek to address some of the key challenges facing the modern world, from climate change to the evolving world of work. We are Top 10 in the UK for Business and Economics (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020) Read less