Frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions about the MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures
When can I apply?
We are open for applications between the end of October and the end of March each year.
How long has the course been offered?
The first cohort of students was in the academic year 2007/08.
What is the typical number of students accepted each year?
We typically have between 45 and 50 students on the course each year.
What is competition for places like?
Each year we typically receive about 350-400 applications.
What are the entry requirements?
We require a 1st class classification in your undergraduate degree (or the equivalent).
If you previously studied at an overseas university you can refer to the College guide to minimum entry requirements by country of study.
Do you accept only those with engineering degrees?
Typically our students do have a first degree in engineering. However, we have had students on the course who have completed a first degree in geoscience, natural sciences or business where there was a significant mathematical component to the course.
If I have an engineering degree will I be covering work I have already done in my first degree?
While we are not able to explicitly say yes or no, those who have taken the course with an engineering backgrounds have found it both different and challenging.
How does the course work in terms of its modules and terms?
The year is made up of three terms, Autumn, Spring and Summer.
The autumn term consists of three modules running in parallel to each other enabling students from varying backgrounds to build a common knowledge base. There is also an Debating / Non-technical & Soft Skills module and an Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy module. During this time you will be asked to choose a research project and initiate your literature review. Exams for these modules are in January.
The spring term is made up of six intensive modules. Each module is taught in one or two week blocks. These are taught by the leaders in their field. You will submit your literature review during the Spring break. Exams for these modules are in April/May.
The summer term, following exams and the field trip, is spent solely on your research project.
Details about each term can be found on the page about the course modules.
How is the course assessed?
All modules are assessed by coursework or exam and, in some cases, both. Coursework is completed during the relevant module period and exams are at the start of the following term.
Your research project assessment is made up of your literature review, a research poster, conference presentation and your final thesis.
What are the fees for the course?
The fees are available on the tuition fees section of the website.
Do you offer the course part-time?
At present we are unable to offer the course part-time.
How do I apply?
Applications are made online through Imperial College London's registry system. The Course Code is H9A1 and the course is registered under the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
How much engineering or mathematics is involved with the course?
This course is a quantitative course, which means you will be expected to be able to justify your decisions numerically. In order to get the most out of the course and to not feel overwhelmed by it, you would need to have covered a substantial amount of maths in your undergraduate degree or during employment.
What are the English Language requirements?
Unless you have completed an undergraduate degree or master’s degree in the UK or another English-speaking county, as defined by the College, you are required to submit an English language test as part of your application.
Information on which tests are accepted and their grades can be found on the registry's website.
Please note that you are able to submit your application before you have taken or passed your English Language test. If you are offered a place, one of the conditions will be that you pass a recognised course at the higher level prior to starting the course.
If I am accepted onto the course is there a reading list I should work through before I start?
Cengel and Boles, Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach, McGraw Hill, ISBN: 007352932X. Chapters 1-3 are required pre-course reading. For general background reading, we also recommend David MacKay’s book Without the Hot Air.
Where do your students come from?
Our students come from many different countries and professional backgrounds. As an indication, there were 25 different nationalities representatives within our 2020-21 cohort.
I have a question about my application and the admissions process, can you help me?
All applications and admissions are administered through the Engineering Admissions team firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 7594 7243. Any course specific queries can be sent to email@example.com.
What do your students go on to do after the course?
Our students have usually gone on to jobs within the energy sector for a variety of companies including small consultancies, multinational energy companies, academia and the public sector.
Some of our students take time out from their careers to study and return to their company following completion of the course.
Learn more about alumni and our extensive alumni network.
What is the course code?
When applying for the course through Registry the MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures is course H9A1.
What department is the course a part of?
For administration purposes the course is in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. However the course is overseen and administered by Energy Futures Lab, a cross-departmental institute dedicated to facilitating and supporting energy research at Imperial College London.
Where do graduates of the course work?
Alumni of the MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures programme have gained employment with a diverse range of companies in a variety of roles, 90% being in the energy sector. There are more details on our alumni page.
Is there any funding to assist with costs?
We have collected together advice on funding and eligible scholarships on this page.
If during your studies you suddenly find yourself in financial difficulties or experience an unexpected change in circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for emergency financial help through the Student Support fund.
Do I need a visa?
International students will require a visa to study at Imperial. You can find more information on the college's pages for international students.