Engineering - Zero Carbon Engineering

This course supports individuals who wish to undertake sustainability-focused roles in a wide range of engineering and manufacturing sectors in relation to our zero-carbon transition and achieving our 2050 Net Zero Emission targets. Specifically, it will provide detailed understanding and training in renewable energy production and assessing and monitoring sustainable processes. In association with the Postgraduate Certificate in Hydrogen Energy Systems, this certificate course will help provide training and support for regional, national and international transition towards a net-zero economy.

On completion of the course the student will be able to:
• Demonstrate awareness of the various low-carbon technology options and evaluate how these can be deployed in different scenarios.

• Exercise investigation and critical analysis of the published literature to produce technical and economical evaluations of low-carbon technologies.

• Build skills in the modelling of systems and understand the complexity of achieving net-zero carbon.

• Effectively communicate net zero carbon options to a wide range of stakeholders ranging from the general public though industry and policy.

You are someone who is interested in the energy transition towards achieving our Net Zero Emissions targets. That could be in relation to understanding more about the fundamental process and how we can achieve it or developing the skills to directly contribute within your current sector or industry. You could be someone already working within the renewable energy sector or someone thinking about reskilling and beginning a career in a more sustainability-focused role.

You will gain a strong foundation in the engineering and associated skills that are needed to underpin growth in the renewable energy sector. This includes exploring current low-carbon energy manufacturing routes, advancements in emerging technologies, and assessing and modelling sustainability. You will therefore be well placed to support existing and new industries in their energy system transition. Students completing this course will possess skills in each of these areas which are increasingly sought by local and international employers for positions such as a low-carbon technology engineers, carbon consultants and low-carbon solutions managers. You will therefore be well placed to support existing and new industries in their energy system transition which will play a key role in the growing local and global economy.

Course Structure
This course will start in September 2023 and run until mid-May 2024. Assessment activities will be carried out throughout the course and may extend beyond individual module teaching blocks. Students on the course will need to have access to a computer with internet access.

The course will be divided across three 20 CATS modules (60 CATS total) and will utilize online delivery and blended-learning activities to enable students to access learning materials in a highly flexible manner, compatible with a part-time mode of study. Delivery will take the form of pre-recorded lectures and reading material being made available to students on a weekly basis, followed by regular synchronous online workshops, seminars and Q&A sessions to ensure continuous engagement with the students.

Blended teaching and assessments will be delivered via a mixture of pre-recorded lectures, live online workshop and seminar classes and self-directed study and practice materials. In addition, a short guest lecture series will be delivered with lecturers from industry.

Options for Further Study
This programme (60 CATS), along with the one in Hydrogen Energy Systems (60 CATS), can also contribute towards the MSc in Net Zero Engineering (180 CATS). Students who are interested in using this certificate to build towards the MSc in Net Zero Engineering are encouraged to contact the MSc Programme Director (Dr Nathan Skillen – to discuss this process.

Subjects taught

List of Indicative Programme modules:
Applied Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technologies
Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon Criteria
Tools for Assessing Energy and Carbon

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) in any STEM subject. Applicants who can demonstrate appropriate work experience in a process, manufacturing or related role will be considered on a case by case basis and may be required to successfully complete a brief skills assessment and/or interview.

Places available on this programme are limited. Where there are more eligible applicants than places available the academic selectors will make offers in rank order based on academic merit and potential as evidenced in the totality of the information provided within each application. We will operate a waiting list as required to allow us to fill all available places.

We may be able to consider self-funded or employer-funded applicants on a case by case basis, as capacity on the individual PG Cert programmes allow. Please indicate in your application if you wish to be considered as a self-funded or employer-funded applicant.

International Students
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region.

English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not their first language must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. Please see the following link for further information:

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Application dates

The closing date for applications is Friday 25th August 2023 at 12 noon.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.

New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen’s student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.

If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.

Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.


1 year (Part Time).

Teaching Times
Blended teaching and assessments will be delivered via a mixture of pre-recorded lectures, live online workshop and seminar classes and self-directed study and practice materials.

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2023

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
Those graduating with a PGCert in Zero Carbon will have significantly enhanced their skills portfolio in renewable energy and will be able to effectively communicate low-carbon energy options to a wide range of stakeholders ranging from the general public though to industry and policy developers. As a result, they will be well placed for securing a job in one of the growing number of sustainability-focused careers, including positions such as a low-carbon technology engineer, carbon consultants, low-carbon solutions managers

Employment Links
The School has excellent links with a range of established and emerging companies for whom Sustainability and the Green Economy are key platforms.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

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    Course provider