Graduate School of the Environment at Centre for Alternative Technology

Graduate School at the Centre for Alternative Technology
New Skills for a New Future


Apply now for September 2015

MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment

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A postgraduate degree from the University of East London, based at the Graduate School of the Environment at the Centre for Alternative Technology

The MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment (REBE) course is taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in mid Wales. The course offers a unique combination of academic study with practical experience and is based in the award-winning Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE), creating a unique learning environment.

The course is delivered by staff from CAT and specialist visitors from the industry. This brings the advantage of combining an academic programme with the practical application of research and development that has established CAT as Europe’s leading eco–centre.

Students completing a Masters in Renewable Energy and the Built Environment have a great amount of flexibility on the course. There are four 30 credit modules to complete in total over a period of one year for full time students, and two years for part-time. Each module is taught over two months, one week per month, allowing students to continue working or undertaking other projects whilst completing their masters.

CAT has a number of new scholarships and bursaries available for entry in September 2014.  Click here for more details.


The course aims to explore the theory and practice of renewable energy technologies with special reference to the built environment.

The course would benefit those who wish to increase their knowledge in the major renewable energy technologies and further their careers in this sector.

The theory and practice of renewable energies are examined through both practical work and academic study. The lecture programme enables students to critically analyse the benefits and drawbacks of renewable energy systems.

Students are equipped with the relevant experience, training and vocational skills that are becoming increasingly important in the renewables sector.

Programme content

Students choose from a range of modules covering the major renewable energy technologies:

  • Biomass.
  • Solar photovoltaics.
  • Wind power.
  • Solar thermal.
  • Hydro electricity.

The programme also covers building physics and design, energy conservation and basic electrical theory.

A five-day residential module is run at CAT each month, September to May. Students choose a maximum of four 30 credit modules (120 credits) from the range offered.

Each module consists of lectures, practical sessions, site visits, seminar groups and individual tutorials. Students will then complete coursework in the form of an essay or report, and a presentation.

You can download more details of the programme content in the programme handbook from the link at the end of this page. Also see the list of module dates.

Method of assessment

Coursework for each module usually consists of an essay, report, and a presentation. Students also complete a thesis at the end of the course.

After acquiring 120 credits from the available teaching modules and associated coursework, students are eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma. Those who wish to obtain an MSc then complete a thesis module, which is the culmination of the work done on the programme.

Further information regarding assessment can be found in the student handbook and on the University of East London website.

Entry requirements

  • An undergraduate degree with an appropriate technical background or equivalent experience.
  • Evidence of English language ability e.g. TOEFL at 550 or an IELTS score of 6.0.
  • Applications from potential students under the age of 21 will not normally be considered.
  • Although we do not necessarily require you to have a degree to apply for the programme, you will need to be prepared to produce essays, reports and presentations at this level.


Resident in UK/EEA:

  • Course fee: The fee for September 2014 is £7500. £5500 course fee and £2000 food and accommodation.
  • Full-time students: The fee must be paid in full, as per the Fees Policy.
  • Part-time students: half the total fee is payable each year. The fee for the second year will be the fee current for that academic year.
  • There is also the option of setting up an instalment plan.

Resident outside EEA:

  • Course fee: The fee for September 2014 is £15,000.
  • Half the fee is due on application; the balance is due on registration.

Please download our fees policy for more information.

International students should note that we do not have a Tier 4 Sponsor licence, therefore we are not able to accept International students who require student visas to study on this course.

Please take a look at our MSc Sustainability and Adaptation (S&A) courses which are available to International students via distance learning.  A mixture of residential and distance learning is possible on all S&A courses if you are eligible for a 6-month student visa - for more information on eligibility, please visit

How to apply

Applications for September 2014 are now being accepted. Please complete the online application form for September 2014 entries.

Contact us about this course

Programme Leaders:

Initial enquiries: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: 01654 704954

Student Support Officer:

Is this the course for you?

If you would like to visit for a free overnight stay during a module, attend lectures and workshops and meet staff and students, please contact the Student Support Officer. email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please remember that this is a technical course and that you will need to demonstrate by either a first degree or relevant work experience, that you can study engineering at postgraduate level with a good understanding of maths and physics at at least 'A' level standard.

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Apply Now link

Apply now

Use this quick and easy online application form.

Programme Specification link

Programme specification

A summary of the course on the University of East London website.

Programme Handbook

Programme Handbook for 2014-15 academic year only

A detailed description of the course

REBE Student blog

Tom´s pictureTom

Tom is a Mechanical Engineering graduate, a lover of the outdoors and part-time ultra-marathon runner. Before starting the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment (REBE) course at CAT he worked for the National Trust and EcoVert Solutions, an eco-building company set up by a former CAT graduate. Speaking about his decision to study for a Masters Tom says "for some time I have been looking for a new direction with my career, and to make more of my engineering acumen. I have a strong desire to contribute to protecting and conserving our beautiful natural environment and wish to apply my engineering skills in this context. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of renewable technologies and gaining valuable new skills."

Read more about REBE

Blog from the Centre for Alternative Technology » Tom’s Blogs

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