Engineering - Net Zero Engineering with Year in Industry

Governments around the world have set legally binding targets in support of achieving ambitious low-carbon objectives and are investing heavily in the development of technology that will deliver decarbonisation of the energy sector.

Achieving these objectives is, however, a substantial challenge and requires input and engagement across a broad range of sectors. The rapid development of these sectors also emphasises the need for advanced skills and training portfolios to be delivered to not only address these challenges but also create future opportunities.
Therefore, the aim of this programme is to provide students with a strong foundation of the engineering and associated skills that are needed to underpin and contribute towards achieving sustainability and greener societies. In doing so, they will have an excellent platform to support existing and new industries in their transition towards achieving net-zero targets.

Students completing this course will possess skills which are increasingly sought after by local and international employers, particularly those in manufacturing and energy sectors. The course will also introduce students to a suite of emerging technologies which are being considered and will provide them with the skills to be able to assess them, providing opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth in a variety of sectors.

Subjects taught

Course Structure
All modules below will be assessed by 100 % coursework, which will comprise of written, oral and calculation-based assignments
• Sustainability and Net-Zero-Carbon Criteria (20 CATS)
• Tools for Quantifying Energy and Carbon (20 CATS)
• Applied renewable energy and low carbon technologies (20 CATS)
• Fundamental Principles of Hydrogen Generation and Use (20 CATS)
• Hydrogen System Integration (20 CATS)
• Hydrogen System Design and Practice (20 CATS)

The research project is summarised below:
• Research Project in Net Zero Engineering (60 CATS) – written dissertation (50 %), laboratory performance, methodology and design records (40 %) and oral presentation (10 %)

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (3 years) basis. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester.

The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points), a 15,000 - 20,000 word research dissertation (60 CATS points) and the requirements of the Industrial Placement module including at least 9 month's placement in industry.

Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from the six core taught modules or a Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from either of two defined sets of three taught modules.

There is a straightforward option to build towards a Master's with a Year in Industry degree though short courses. For example, you can choose to complete the taught sections as two individual PGCerts (60 CATS each) and then complete a research or design project and industrial placement and be awarded the full MSc in Net Zero Engineering with a Year in Industry.

Achieving the Net Zero Emissions targets set by governments around the globe will not be simple. It requires engagement across a range of disciplines that are underpinned by a strong understanding of the fundamental science and engineering behind sustainability and renewable energy. This course will target that challenge by equipping students with an enhanced skill set which will provide them with the tools to not only evaluate and assess sustainability but deliver low-carbon engineering solutions to a range of international industries. As a result, our graduates will be well placed to contribute and play a crucial role across multiple sectors as we transition towards a Net Zero society.

Semester One teaching
• CHE7201 Sustainability and Net-Zero-Carbon Criteria
• CHE7202 Tools for Quantifying Energy and Carbon
• CHE7203 Applied renewable energy and low carbon technologies

Semester Two teaching
• CHE7204 Fundamental Principles of Hydrogen Generation and Use
• CHE7205 Hydrogen System Integration
• CHE7206 Hydrogen System Design and Practice
* CHE7207 Research Project in Net Zero Engineering

Year Two
In Year Two the Year in Industry students will engage with Zero-Carbon technologies in an appropriate industry-based work environment and will have the opportunity to analyse and critically self-reflect on the experience of working in industry, communicating their conclusions in writing.

They will develop an awareness and understanding of the structures, practices and ethos of Zero Carbon-orientated applications in an industrial workplace as well as developing a range of highly transferable skills which will maximize their future career prospects.

Nine months is the expected minimum for the duration of a placement. Work may be split over multiple placements within the maximum 15-month period normally available.

Staff on the course can advise on placement selections but it is the responsibility of the student to source their own placement. These can be undertaken anywhere, subject to visa requirements.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Engineering (e.g. Chemical, Environmental, Mechanical, Civil), Physical Science (e.g. Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics) or a closely allied subject. Applicants with degrees in other disciplines or relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2024. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note: a deposit will be required to secure a place.


2 years full-time, 3 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2024/25

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
This MSc will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in sustainability and the renewable energy sector as well as relevant industrial experience. We have good links and regularly consult with a large number of global employers from a variety of sectors including energy (including Shell, BP and Petronas), transport (WrightBus) and other chemical industries (Seren Technologies and Johnson Matthey). Furthermore, we work with a range of local companies and start-up/spin-out companies including Green Lizard Technologies and MOF Technologies. Graduates have also progressed into research at various universities.

Employment after the Course
Where would you like to be in five year's time?
Graduating from this course could lead to you becoming a project engineer in the design and development of components for low-carbon energy systems. You could also conduct environmental and sustainable impact assessments as a renewable energy coordinator for windfarms, solar installations and biorefineries. Alternatively, you might want to contribute towards the development of emerging technologies such as artificial photosynthesis through a research post or PhD. You may play a key role as a sustainable consultant for government in policy development to ensure the safety of new infrastructure for distributing green-hydrogen.

Achieving net zero emission is a global objective and therefore after your MSc you might want to travel and gain further experience in places like Asia, South America or Africa. This could also be valuable for understanding the role you can play in achieving global Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).

Employment Links
Employers who are interested in people like you include manufacturers (energy systems), construction companies, sustainability consultancies (local, national and international), government (e.g. Department for Energy and Climate Change), businesses that are transitioning to net zero, transport sector (public transport), the oil and gas sector, the pharmaceutical sector, academia and education and renewable energy suppliers.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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