MSc Energy and Society
About the Programme
The MSc in Energy and Society, in association with the Durham Energy Institute, is an innovative postgraduate programme designed to appeal across the disciplines. The programme draws on leading experts in energy studies at Durham from Anthropology, Engineering, Geography, Physics, Economics, Humanities and other departments. It is taught through intensive block-teaching, group field-study, original dissertation research and a range of optional modules designed to complement the core teaching.
The full-time course consists of two terms of teaching, during which students are introduced to the range of research questions and methods, and a dissertation, involving the design, development and implementation of an independent research project. Students work closely with academic staff and have the opportunity to become involved in active research projects.
Who Should Apply?
It will be of interest to engineers seeking to understand how and why innovations succeed or fail, to social scientists who want to improve their understanding of energy developments as well as to graduates of any discipline with an interest in today’s energy issues.
Programme Aims and Transferrable Skills
The course aims to produce highly-skilled graduates with the ability to communicate across disciplines for the sake of global environmental progress.
Graduates of the MSc will be in demand from industry, community organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and governments around the world.
"I feel equipped to go to the job market or to continue with further research as the skills acquired are highly sought after by employers, energy agencies and governments. The interdisciplinary nature of the course makes us graduates highly employable."
L6K807 Energy and Society MSc Postgraduate Taught 2020
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
The MSc in Energy and Society is an innovative postgraduate course looking at uses of energy in socio-technical perspectives. The course gives you a holistic understanding of energy issues, approaches to transition, technologies in practice, and the politics of energy developments. Graduates have pursued careers in the energy industry, in consultancy, in government and in community energy organisations. Using ideas from practice theory, notions of integrated energy systems, energy development and social science approach to energy, it draws together diverse disciplinary approaches and ensures that you can speak and read across disciplinary boundaries. It will be of interest to engineers seeking to understand how and why technologies succeed or fail, to social scientists who want to improve their understanding of energy developments and to a broad range of graduates with an interest in today’s energy issues.
for a student's perspective on the course please see here.
The full-time course consists of two terms of taught courses, including teaching from experts across the University and invited guest speakers, during which you are introduced to a broad range of energy issues, disciplinary approaches and analytic strategies. You will engage in ‘live projects’, and explore a range of research questions and methods in preparation for a dissertation involving the design, development and implementation of an independent research project. You will also work closely with academic staff and have the opportunity to become involved in active research projects.
The course draws on leading experts in energy studies at Durham from Anthropology, Engineering, Geography, Earth Sciences and other departments. The two core taught modules are delivered via intensive block-teaching, and there is also a field study module for applied team-research.
For further information on current modules, please see here.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Full-time students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with further assessment in April and May (Easter Term), you will then work under the supervision of a specialist supervisor to complete your dissertation by September.
The course is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, practical sessions and workshops, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lectures deliver key information on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in lectures and gathered from independent study outside the course's formal contact hours. They will give you an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues. You will also participate in a guided ‘field study’, which consists of an applied, ‘real world’ group project, where you combine experiential and theoretical learning. In 2019-20 you will have the opportunity to apply for a special European ‘Erasmus+’ module, which integrates a short European co-creation camp at the culmination of the module.
Full-time students have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, and you are also expected to attend weekly departmental seminars and Durham Energy Institute research seminars and lectures, often given by prominent visiting speakers. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.
Throughout the course, you will meet regularly with your degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival, we have induction sessions, including a field trip and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Degree Tutor for Energy and Society. You will also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A minimum 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution (or the overseas equivalent) in any subject, or equivalent.
References play an important part in the admissions process.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£10,000.00 per year|
|Home Student||£10,000.00 per year|
|Island Student||£10,000.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,000.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£4,400.00 per year|
|Home Student||£4,400.00 per year|
|Island Student||£4,400.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£4,400.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Access to secure and sustainable energy is becoming one of the defining issues of our time. It is crucial that all dimensions of the issue from both the technical and societal perspective are well understood and this Masters Programme seeks to provide a truly interdisciplinary perspective. A very welcome development.
Nafees Meah, Director of Research Councils UK (RCUK) India (former head of science at the Department of Energy and Climate Change)
"The MSc is one of a kind in the UK. It is focused around debating energy issues through different disciplines, which truly reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the energy studies.
We are taught by leading academics in the field and benefit from the cutting edge research developed in the anthropology department and in the Durham Energy Institute. The way the course is organized gives students the opportunity to research and read about topics that are relevant to their interest.
Besides that, I feel equipped to go to the job market or to continue with further research as the skills acquired are highly sought after by employers, energy agencies and governments. The interdisciplinary nature of the course makes us graduates highly employable."
MSc Energy and Society