MSc in Advanced Digital Energy Systems


Program Description


Lead the way for your career with Advanced Digital Energy Systems MSc

Energy supply is fundamentally important to our homes and workplaces. Future energy supply has to be stable, secure, not only affordable but also sustainable, which makes energy systems a complex problem. Digital Energy Systems is an emerging discipline using powerful digital tools and various digital models to solve and manage the increasingly complex modern energy systems. Within this discipline, digital tools and models (such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain technology) are used to analyse data from different energy systems and sources and drive new control and operational strategies and business models.

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Information Technology and Energy graduates and practising IT or Energy engineers wishing to pursue a technical management career in the strongly growing digital energy sector. It develops professional engineers and scientists with multidisciplinary skills and ability to analyse current and future energy engineering problems.

Data and data skills are really important to the energy sector is as its developing and transitioning. There are the 3Ds I like to think of: de-centralisation, de-carbonisation and digitalisation and all of those are clearly going to need a lot of data and automation in order to be successful. So AI and blockchain technologies are really important to that transition but it's really important that we do have the right skills and the technologies to process that data and use it accordingly and innovation and skill development in that area is really important.

Nina Klein

Energy Engineer, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

AI blockchain in the energy sector. It's about that user experience. It's about taking that user-centric design, place for place and understanding how we can shift that mass market and then how we can guarantee the experience that is commercially viable for that organisation and doesn't degrade the experience that they currently have with a centralised generation system.

Adam Jones

Lead, Distributed Energy and Distribution Networks, IBM

I think energy is one of the key challenges we face as a society. If we don't address the energy challenge, if we don't decarbonise our energy systems which make up a big chunk of our CO2 production, at the moment all else probably won't matter. Why AI and blockchain? Because I think they are two of the key technologies which are going to help us address those now there are lots of other technologies as well there are things like the Internet of Things and I think there's still a lot of work to be done on other social sciences and psychology of how to change people's behaviour because ultimately all of these technologies only make a difference if people decide to use them if people act on the advice for the example given by an AI system if people trust to hand over the controls to an automated system.

Erwin Frank Schultz

Chief Technical Officer for Energy, Environment and Utilities UK and Ireland, IBM

Your career

The international nature of this growing field allows Cranfield graduates to develop diverse and rewarding careers all over the world in industry, government or research.

Example careers:

  • Energy Analyst – data science,
  • Offshore Energy Analyst,
  • Energy and Sustainability Analyst,
  • Research Analyst - Energy.

Cranfield Careers Service

Cranfield’s Career Service is dedicated to helping you meet your career aspirations. You will have access to career coaching and advice, CV development, interview practice, access to hundreds of available jobs via our Symplicity platform and opportunities to meet recruiting employers at our careers fairs. We will also work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.

Why this course?

Developed economies now face a number of challenges in procuring energy security and responding to energy pricing and affordability issues, as well as dealing with contributions to carbon emissions such as the UK Government’s ambitious targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to close to zero in the power sector by 2050.

You will benefit from dedicated state-of-the-art facilities including unique engineering-scale facilities for the development of efficient technologies with low CO2 emissions. In addition to management, communication, teamwork and research skills, each student will attain at least the following learning outcomes from this degree course:

  • Design an appropriate data acquisition system for energy-related processes,
  • Critically analyse industrial data collected from different energy systems,
  • Develop systematic strategies using a range of software for energy systems modelling, optimisation and control to resolve the technical issues involved in the design and operation of industrial energy systems.

This MSc is supported by our team of professorial thought leaders, including Professor Phil Hart, who is influential in the field of digital energy, and an integral part of this MSc

Informed by Industry

We have a world-class reputation for our industrial-scale research and pilot-scale demonstration programmes in the energy sector. Close engagement with the energy and transport sectors over the last 20 years has produced long-standing strategic partnerships with the sectors’ most prominent players. The strategic links with industry ensure that all of the material taught on the course is relevant, timely and meets the needs of organisations operating within the energy sector. This industry-led education makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for energy companies to recruit.

Course details

The taught programme for the Advanced Digital Energy Systems masters is generally delivered from October to February and is comprised of eight modules. Each of the first five modules is delivered over one week of intensive delivery with a second week being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. The final three modules are delivered over two weeks.

Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the course director.

Course delivery

Taught modules 40%, group project 20% (or dissertation for part-time students), and individual project 40%.

Group project

The group project is an applied, multidisciplinary, team-based activity. Often solving real-world, industry-based problems, you are provided with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project while working under academic supervision. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Transferable skills such as teamwork, self-reflection and clear communication are also developed.

Individual project

The individual project is the chance for you to focus on an area of particular interest to you and your future career. You will select the individual project in consultation with the Thesis Co-ordinator, your allocated supervisor and your Course Director. These projects provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems in the energy industry. Many of the projects are supported by external organisations.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Compulsory modules

  • Sustainable and Conventional Energy Technologies
  • Power Systems Analysis
  • Cybersecurity for Energy Systems
  • Data Analytics and Blockchain
  • Artificial Intelligence for Energy Systems
  • Applications of Blockchain Technology
  • Energy Entrepreneurship
  • Energy Systems Case Studies

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related science or engineering discipline. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-master's course, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for the second year of study.

English language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS Academic - 6.5 overall
  • TOEFL - 92
  • Pearson PTE Academic - 65
  • Cambridge English Scale - 180
  • Cambridge English: Advanced - C
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency - C
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English III - minimum overall score of pass

In addition to these minimum scores, you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking an IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Cranfield's distinctive expertise is in our deep understanding of technology and management and how these work together to benefit the world.

Cranfield's distinctive expertise is in our deep understanding of technology and management and how these work together to benefit the world. Read less
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