MSc Energy Process Systems Engineering


Program Description

This MSc course is part of the Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS), a partnership between Nottingham, Birmingham and Loughborough universities. Students have the unique opportunity to take modules at each of the partner universities, studying alongside other MEGS students registered at all three universities, thus benefiting from the best research, resources and support across all of the universities.

Modules studied represent the academic specialism offered by each university and the research project, taken at the university where you register, will focus on specific aspects of fossil energy technologies.

Course details

Each university specialises in a different area:

  • Birmingham specialises in managing chemical reactions, plant design and carbon capture technologies.
  • Loughborough specialises in materials technologies for power generation and high-temperature applications.
  • Nottingham focuses on combustion technologies, power generation, environmental control and carbon capture.

It is therefore important to select your choice of university carefully. Full details of these options and specialisms are in the Modules section of this website and all enquiries are welcome.

Students can also register for this course via theUniversity of Birmingham and Loughborough University.

Course structure

The course follows a modular structure, with students completing 180 credits over a 12 month period.

Students take 60 credits of core modules, 60 credits of optional modules and a 60-credit research project.

The curriculum covers the core themes of power generation, carbon capture, innovation and the wider, societal aspect of energy generation and use.

A wide range of optional modules allows students to tailor their studies to meet the needs of their chosen career path. Students may be able to take these optional modules via state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities on-campus at Nottingham, or in person at Birmingham and Loughborough. Students may also choose some optional modules from a range of technical choices and some from a range of contextual and managerial choices, which provides a well-rounded range of study.

Uniquely, students can choose to register for the programme either at the University of Nottingham or one of the other two universities that comprise the MEGS (Midlands Energy Graduate School) consortium – theUniversity of Birmingham and Loughborough University.

Your choice will depend on the type of research project you are most interested in - you will apply to the university where you wish to undertake your research project.Each partner university offers a pathway which draws on the particular research strengths and topic specialisms at that institution, making it as easy as possible to benefit from the chosen study location. Further details about each university’s expertise are available under the module information.

Please note that the master's degree awarded is the same regardless at which university students are registered.

Learning outcomes

Fossil fuels continue to dominate global energy consumption and, since that status quo is unlikely to end in our lifetime, the demand for engineers to research and implement cleaner, efficient, responsible fossil energy solutions will increase for many decades into the future. This multi-disciplinary course will provide you with a solid grounding in efficient fossil energy technologies. It will prepare you with the knowledge and skills to tackle the major national and international challenges of implementing new fossil-based power plants and processes more efficiently, with near zero emissions and CO2 capture.

You will gain skills in advanced engineering practice, including design, operation, problem-solving and practical elements. The advanced practice is centred on themes in fossil energy and environmental applications, so you also gain significant experience in areas such as energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, petroleum production engineering, system modelling and environmental management.

Before you apply

You must be sure at which university within the MEGS consortium you wish to register before making your application.

We will help you assess which university is the most appropriate based on your research preferences. You can discuss this with the course director Dr Cheng-gong Sun, providing your degree subject and university and an outline of the fossil energy topics that interest you. We will then get back to you to advise where your application should be submitted. Or you can refer to the course outline in the next section to give you a list of typical project topics and themes.


Core modules

All students take the following core modules:

  • Power Generation and Carbon Capture
  • Innovation and Technology Transfer
  • Communication and Public Engagement Skills
  • Energy Systems and Policy
  • Research Project
  • Industrial Case Studies (Loughborough University)

Optional modules

Students then choose from these optional modules, which are delivered at the lead university or may be available via video-conference lecture.

Optional modules led by the University of Nottingham

  • Combined Heat and Power
  • Advanced Thermal Power Systems
  • Petroleum Production Engineering
  • Energy Storage

Optional modules led by the University of Birmingham

  • Advanced Reaction Systems
  • Systems Modelling
  • Conventional Energy Technology
  • Measurement Techniques
  • Process Engineering Fundamentals
  • Project Management

Optional Modules available at Loughborough University

  • Surface Engineering
  • Ceramics: Properties and Processes
  • Metals: Properties and Processes
  • Materials Modelling
  • Sustainable Use of Materials
  • Teamwork and Leadership

Further options from across the Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS) may be chosen, subject to timetabling and delivery methods.

Research Project Topics

Each collaborating university offers expertise in particular topics. Please bear these specialisms in mind when choosing at which of the three participating universities you wish to register.

Research project topics led by the University of Nottingham

  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Advanced gas clean-up technologies for cleaner energy and power generation
  • Gasification technologies (syngas production)
  • Fossil fuel processing (oil, gas, coal and biomass)

Research project topics led by the University of Birmingham

  • Modelling systems
  • Plant design
  • Supercritical reactions
  • Catalysts
  • Carbon capture technologies

Research project topics led by Loughborough University

  • Materials for conventional power generation
  • Steels for ultra-supercritical steam powerplant applications
  • Coatings for superalloys for high-temperature service
  • Degradation of materials at high temperatures

The taught element takes place between September and May and consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. The individual project takes place between May and August, based on one of the themes outlined above.

Taken over the summer term, based either at the University or in industry, the project brings together many of the core taught elements of the course, allowing students to explore current technologies and systems, plan and manage the project, work in a laboratory or industrial process environment, and evaluate the benefits and impact of their development. The project provides the advanced training necessary for students to be eligible for PhD study, and the advanced skills for process development roles in industry. All projects are supervised by an academic member of staff. The research project must be taken at the university at which the student is registered.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


Graduates of this programme will be in demand by power generation companies and partner organisations working on technologies for a near-zero-emissions power plant.

There is a worldwide demand for engineers and scientists with high-level education and skills in energy technologies, focusing on fossil fuels, as coal-fired power stations continue to be commissioned, built and operated. This programme also provides an entry route to progress to PhD study, upon successful completion (minimum grades apply).

The University of Nottingham has been recognised as delivering a Gold standard in the Teaching Excellence Framework(TEF), which aims to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 94.2% of postgraduates in the faculty who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,959 with the highest being £100,000.

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career destinations for our graduates in the faculty include civil engineers, environmental professionals, health and safety officers, production and process engineers, research and development chemists, university researchers and other engineering professionals.

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham has been named as the best university in the UK for graduate employment, by 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Entry Requirements

  • Entry requirements: at least 2.1 (Upper 2nd class Hons degree or international equivalent)
  • Other requirements: Applicants with a high 2:2 (or international equivalent) with substantial work experience may also be considered
  • IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
Last updated Nov 2018

About the School

TheFaculty of Engineering at Nottinghamis known for its world-class research, inspirational teaching, and diverse academic community.

TheFaculty of Engineering at Nottinghamis known for its world-class research, inspirational teaching, and diverse academic community. Read less
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