Smart Energy Management
- Mode of study
- Full time
- Start date
- October 2020
- Duration of Study
- 1 Year
- Subject Area
- Computer Science, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Science
- FEES (2020/21 academic year)
- UK/EU - £8,500
- International - £15,500
The MSc in Smart Energy Management is a truly interdisciplinary course that combines cutting-edge data science and energy system technologies with knowledge of sustainability and strategy management. It will ensure the students graduate with the skills that employers demand for a career in the smart energy sector or computing/IT sector with an emphasis on sustainability.
About the course
The MSc in Smart Energy Management is aimed at developing an advanced knowledge of the underlying principles and concepts of smart grids, enabling technologies of smart energy such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as cross-disciplinary issues such as sustainability.
The course will also develop and extend the practical skills that are necessary for the designing, building, and evaluation of smart energy systems such as strategy management and consultancy skills.
Graduates from this programme should be able to undertake both development and management roles. The course recognises the wide variety of potential destinations for students after completion of their course and as such uses compulsory modules to deliver key skills and enable students to obtain the required knowledge.
The course also teaches you the skills needed to become a consultant through dedicated modules where you are taught and assessed through applying your learning to real-world problems. The programme will be delivered in conjunction with the £15M SEND (Smart Energy Network Demonstrator) at Keele University. SEND centres on strong collaborations between Keele, Siemens and local SMEs with the aim to create Europe’s first ‘at scale’ Smart Energy Network Demonstrator on Keele campus – a living laboratory where new smart energy, data analytics, and IoT technologies can be researched, developed and tested.
Students on the course will also have access to information and links to the other sustainability projects taking place on the Keele campus, such as HyDeploy. HyDeploy is a pioneering hydrogen energy project, delivered in conjunction with Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, ITM Power, HSE, and Progressive Energy, designed to help reduce UK CO2 emissions and reach the Government’s net zero target for 2050. As the first ever live demonstration of hydrogen in homes, HyDeploy aims to prove that blending up to 20% volume of hydrogen with natural gas is a safe and greener alternative to the gas we use now.
In the first part of the programme you will study 8 taught modules over two semesters. In the second part you will have the choice to undertake a formal academic project supervised by academic staff in the School or to take an industry placement. As a result of the link to the SEND programme, there may be a number of paid industrial placement opportunities available to the students on this MSc programme. In both options you will apply the skills you have learned during the taught modules.
You will be taught in dedicated teaching and laboratory space equipped with cutting edge computer systems. We also have a MakerSpace, a multi-purpose research lab equipped with a variety of robots and a Vicon motion-tracking system, a Gaming Lab and a perception lab with state-of-the-art virtual reality equipment. You will have the opportunity to access data and systems from the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) and to visit the Horwood Energy Centre on the Keele campus, the control room for SEND.
How the course is taught
You will have formal lectures delivered by academic staff as well as small group tutorial and practical sessions. The course uses a variety of innovative learning tools and methods working with real clients, such as the industrial partners working on the SEND programme.
Small group teaching is central to deliver the course and our staff and students are able to very quickly create supportive working relationships.
Each module in the first semester is taught intensively over a six-week period. This means that you will be able to learn the key competencies and skills very quickly. In the second semester each module is taught every week. This is a truly interdisciplinary course, with modules in the first semester concentrating on the technological aspects of the course while the second semester modules expand this knowledge into sustainability and strategy management by covering topics including environmental sustainability, research skills, and information management.
You will have sixteen hours of lectures and tutorials each week. Alongside this you will expected to work independently on exercises and coursework projects, as well as researching course topics online and in Keele’s University library.
The taught modules are mainly assessed by coursework. For example, in Data Analytics & Databases: students analyse a large dataset (using, for example, R and/or SQL) and create a report of their findings which is then assessed. Some modules are assessed by examinations. Examinations are normally 2 hours in length where students can not use books and notes are not allowed.
The list of modules below are offered in the 2020/21 academic year. If the modules change, we will inform you during the admissions process.
Core Taught Modules
You will study the following 7 core modules;
System Design and Programming (15 credits – Semester 1): This module provides a comprehensive introduction to system design and programming for students who did not graduate from a computer science or related programme. The module covers the principles and practice of system design in the context of an available set of requirements, introduction to programming (algorithms, data structures, data storage and manipulation, and user interfaces), introduction to object oriented programming, the development of computer programs using appropriate technology and including the accessing of data over the Internet and the use of user interfaces to manipulate and display data.
Internet of Things (15 credits – Semester 1): This module equips you with the knowledge of a variety of IoT technologies applied to different industries. You will understand advanced communications, data analytics and security issues involved in IoT systems and evaluate their applicability for different types of problems.
Smart Grid and the Energy Transition (15 credits – Semester 1): This research-led module equips you with the knowledge of electric power systems and smart energy. You will have the opportunity to learn from the real-world, cutting-edge live project - Smart Energy Demonstrator Project (SEND) at Keele University.
Research and Consultancy Skills for Consultants (15 credits – Semester 2): This module aims to enhance your skills and knowledge in preparation for their MSc Project or Industrial Placement and for a successful career as a computing professional.
Climate Change Science (15 credits – Semester 2): This module covers factors affecting the climate and the impacts that this change is having on our planet and its inhabitants. Topics include how climate change comes about, its effects and how to prevent it, including the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). You will gain skills and confidence in interpreting and communicating complex information, basic modelling and data analysis related to climate change. This module will also equip you with skills and knowledge to decipher, relate and use complex information related to climate change, risk and socioeconomic factors.
Case Studies in Sustainability (15 credits – Semester 2): This highly interactive module allows you to specialise in aspects of topics you find interesting. Subjects covered include topical and often controversial issues of technology development and sustainable living. Important employability skills are developed as the abilities to assimilate data, work as a team and solve problems are practised. In this module you will work as a member of a team to consider complex scientific, political, management and ethical issues relating to problems in the environmental sustainability and green technology sectors. This will involve you improving your professional negotiation and presentation skills as you review case studies and consult widely and engage in student-led debates in controversial and topical issues around sustainability and energy supply and demand.
Strategy and Information Management (15 credits – Semester 2): Strategy is nothing without the data/information/knowledge to formulate and implement it. This module explores this relationship, delivering the theoretical foundations of each discipline in a practical and applied way. Teaching is delivered through an informal workshop format which encourages active engagement and discussion with lecturers and other students.
Data Analytics & Databases (15 credits – Semester 1): This module provides the knowledge and skills required for you to be able to develop applications to store, process, distribute, visualise and analyse large volumes of big data using distributed databases, statistical techniques and machine intelligence methods.
Distributed Intelligent Systems (15 credits – Semester 1): This module provides the knowledge and skills required for you to be able to develop applications to control intelligent systems in a distributed and collaborative context, including the programming of robots or intelligent home appliances (e.g. TV, fridge, etc. equipped with embedded computers).
Project or Industrial Placement (60 credits)
After you have completed the taught modules you have the choice to undertake a formal academic project supervised by academic staff in the School or to take an industry placement. In both options you will apply the skills you have learned during the taught modules.
The decision about the type of project or placement you will do will be made together with the academic supervisors and will be based on your performance during the taught modules.
The Academic Project assessment is based largely on a substantial final written report of 10,000 - 15,000 words.
You will be able to select your project from a list of projects offered by the academic supervisors. We also encourage you to develop your own projects. Your supervisor will guide and support you through the project.
The aim of the Industrial Placement is to give you an opportunity to apply the theoretical and practical content taught during the course in the workplace; solving a problem that relates to the needs of a local business or organisation. You will not only gain valuable computing related work experience but also further develop professionalism and communication skills that employers are looking for.
We find projects through our existing links with business or you can develop your own project. You will get personal supervision from an academic member of staff in the School and also direction from the industry partner. Our excellent central location is ideal for industrial projects with over 40 companies situated next to the campus in the Keele Science Park. MSc students will also have the opportunity to work with businesses as part of advanced projects related to Keele’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator, including the option to apply for a number of paid placement opportunities as they arise.
Academic entry requirements
Undergraduate degree in any subject with second class lower (2:2) or an international equivalent.
We will also consider students with equivalent industrial work experience.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional english language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Pre-Master's Programme for International Students
International students who do not meet all direct entry requirements for this course have the opportunity to study a Pre-Master's programme at the Keele University International Study Centre. Upon successful completion of the course, students are able to progress onto this postgraduate course at Keele University.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2020/21 academic year)
UK/EU students £8,500 per year
International students £15,500 per year
Scholarships and Funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding
International students - more information on scholarships and funding
There will also be the potential of a number of paid placements with businesses linked to the SEND project for which students on the MSc will be able to apply.
As an interdisciplinary MSc the Smart Energy Management course is taught in the School of Computing and Mathematics, along with the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment and Keele Business School.
The School of Computing and Mathematics has highly rated research in cutting-edge areas including smart energy, software and systems engineering, machine learning & computational intelligence, computational neuroscience and biomedical engineering, evolutionary systems, and regularly wins funding from the leading UK research funding agencies, ESPRC, Innovate UK and BBSRC as well as prestigious funding bodies such as the Leverhulme Trust. Professor Zhong Fan, the course director, is the Academic Director of the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project on the Keele campus – a living laboratory where new energy-efficient smart technologies can be researched, developed and tested in a real world environment. In collaboration with both multinationals and local SMEs, we are conducting leading-edge research in smart energy, encompassing the Internet of Things, multi-vector energy systems, data analytics and behavioural science.
Academic staff on the MSc include:
- Professor Zhong Fan, MSc Smart Energy Management Course Director and Academic Director of the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (Computing)
- Dr Jun Cao, Research Fellow in Energy (GGE)
- Professor Peter Andras, Professor (Computing)
- Professor Chris Fogwill, Professor of Glaciology and Paleoclimatology (GGE)
- Dr Sharon George, Lecturer (GGE)
- Dr Thomas Neligwa, Lecturer (Computing)
Through our close collaboration with industrial partners we continually seek to ensure that the MSc Smart Energy Management gives you cutting edge technical skills and knowledge - as well as the consultancy, sustainability and project management skills that are required for success in careers where smart energy systems are developed or used.
Through the multidisciplinary nature of the MSc, and the close links to companies and placements through Keele’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator, you will gain the knowledge and experience to work in a range of roles within the energy and sustainability sectors, including smart energy systems, artificial intelligence, and sustainability consultancy.
Some of our students who have worked on advanced projects in Keele’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator have progressed to study their PhD at Keele after successfully completing MSc degrees at Keele.
The University has a Careers and Employability team who can provide you with advice and guidance about your future career. The team offer specialist workshops, for example 'Options with Postgraduate Study' and Moving on with your PhD', and can also meet you individually to give guidance and support to help you develop your career. We also hold regular careers fairs on campus and informal events where you can meet employers. You will also have access to our database of job opportunities and digital resources such as online psychometric testing.