Sustainable Energy Futures students

Gain the skills needed to join the next generation of leaders in the energy sector.

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

This course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of term, we want to reassure you that your academic Department has made plans which make it possible to offer  you a  high-quality remote educational experience during the Autumn term.

Your  teaching  will be a combination of on-campus (in-person)  and remote learning (online). We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery. Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the ‘multi-mode’ balance may be subject to change. We hope to be able to offer you increased on-campus teaching and learning activities throughout the year.

For more information about multi-mode delivery, your learning experience and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits

Student blogs

Get an insight into what life at Imperial is really like, written by the people who know it best, our students.

Read about the experience of Francis Shaw, who studies MSc Sustainable Energy Futures.

Applications are now closed


This course provides a grounding in the major features of global energy issues, sustainable energy technologies, and their interactions with economics, the environment and policy.

Taking a quantitative approach to the study of technology and systems, the MSc attracts students with engineering and physical science backgrounds, although not exclusively.

It will also appeal to those with post-degree experience who wish to gain a broader, more strategic perspective on energy issues.

The MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures is an internationally unique course. Throughout the year our students have lectures and guidance from experts across all research areas at Imperial College London, as well as leaders from the energy industry.

Combining the academic and industrial experience of the Faculty of Engineering with the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Imperial College Business School, this course offers a unique multidisciplinary teaching programme.

Study programme

You begin your studies in October with the Autumn and Spring terms dedicated to taught modules.

In the summer term you turn your focus to an extensive research project. The research project is an opportunity to make use of the interdisciplinary nature of the MSc. Projects are available from across all Imperial College London departments engaged in energy research and also in partnership with industry.


The curriculum's focus on a multidisciplinary view of the energy sector means graduates are well placed to work in a diverse range of energy-related areas and are in high demand from employers.

As a graduate of the Sustainable Energy Future course, you will join a network of over 400  fellow Energy Futures Lab alumni who live and work in every corner of the world.

Over 90% of our MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures graduates currently work in the energy sector.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.


Taught modules

All students take mandatory foundation modules in the autumn term to provide a common basis, language and analytical tools. This is particularly important due to the interdisciplinary nature of the course.

In the spring term, you take specialised modules that are taught as a sequence of intensive, one or two-week units. Each module is taught by experts in that field, from academia, industry and government.

  • Energy Systems Technology
  • Methods for the Analysis of Energy Systems
  • Energy Economics and Policy
  • Debating and Non-technical / soft skills development
  • Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy
  • Urban Energy Systems
  • Bioenergy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Data Science and Digitalisation in the Energy Sector
  • Energy Transmission and Storage
  • Sustainable Transport

Research project

Following the last of these specialised taught modules you will undertake a research project.

Due to the broad range of interest areas and expertise contributing to the field, you will receive guidance and support from two supervisors from different departments during the project.

The project will involve completing an assessed critical literature review early in the spring term. You submit your thesis at the beginning of September, and will present your research findings in late September at our student conference.

Teaching and assessment


  • Case studies
  • Independent project work
  • Lectures
  • Research project
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops


  • Coursework
  • Examinations
  • Literature review
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Thesis

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in engineering or physical sciences.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry

£14,000 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

£32,500 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Centre for Environmental Policy

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