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Solar Energy Systems

PgCert | PgDip | MSc

This is the first and only postgraduate course of its kind in the UK focusing on solar as a renewable energy. The MSc Solar Energy Systems course will help you to develop an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice, along with professional and research skills necessary to characterise, design and manage solar energy systems.

A unique element of this course is the collaboration with industry and its relevance to the current issues in the modern-day solar energy sector. We are actively working with Scottish companies on the development of solar energy systems for new applications, and this provides you with opportunities to work on industrial projects which will enhance your employability.

This course has multiple study options
View study options

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

12 months

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date


Course Length

Minimum 3 years, 9 months

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date


Course Length

Minimum 3 years, 9 months

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date


Course Length

Minimum 3 years, 9 months

Term 1

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the essential theoretical background needed for the design, operation and maintenance of solar energy systems. In this stage you will be also introduced to all types of renewable energy resources and the global solar energy policy.

Term 2

You will work on the design of complex solar energy systems, starting with given specifications and its integration into the grid with other energy resources. You will also acquire an understanding of the principles of project management and quantitative and qualitative approaches to environmental resources and environmental impacts.

Term 3

You will work on an individual project to demonstrate your understanding and expertise of implementing the knowledge gained from Stage 1 and Stage 2 teachings.

As a full-time student you will have access to guest lecturers who specialise in different fields of solar energy, bringing you closer yet to the issues of solar energy in practice.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

The curriculum is designed to develop your subject knowledge and understanding, intellectual and thinking ability and practical and key transferable skills at Master’s level.

You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework which are usually equally weighted. However, there are some cases where other weightings are used; determined by the nature of the module content which lends itself to a particular type of assessment; for example, some open-ended design work is best suited to coursework rather than a time-limited examination.

Activity Summary

  • Lectures - 30 students per group, 8 hours per week
  • Seminars - 60 students per group, 6 hours per term
  • Webinar - 15 students per group, 8 hours per term
  • Tutorial - 15 students per group, 3 hours per week
  • Project Supervision - 1 students per group, 20 hours per term
  • Demonstration - 15 students per group, 6 hours per term
  • Practical class or workshop - 15 students per group, 6 hours per term
  • Supervised time in studio / workshop - 15 students per group, 15 hours per term
  • Independent Study - 250 hours per term
  • Field Work - 15 students per group, 10 hours per term

How long is a Solar Energy Systems course?

The duration of the MSc Solar Energy Systems course is between 1 year (on campus, full time) to 3 years, 9 months (online, part time).

Independent Study

You’ll work autonomously and take responsibility for your own learning and professional and academic development. The suggested hours-of-study-per-week and other information is detailed in each Module Descriptor. For ODL students, each topic is web-based and open-learning materials are available via CampusMoodle which forms a key platform for the student/tutor relationship.

Staff Delivering on This Course

We’ve been delivering industry-relevant courses for the energy industry for many years, and our teaching staff members bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the curriculum. They are research-active and work on live industry projects. This includes input to patented technology and the design of products and systems to positively impact society and improve the lives of communities in developing countries. 

Lecturers are involved in an ongoing development project with a Scottish business in relation to innovative solar powered systems funded by the Scottish Institute for Remanufacture. We’re also in collaboration with Scottish companies working on the development of solar energy systems for new applications. This has created great potential for students to work on industrial projects.


Typically students are assessed each year:

  • 6 written exams, typically for 3 hours
  • 6 written assignments, including essay
  • 2 reports
  • 1 dissertation
  • 3 set exercises
  • 3 oral assessments


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of submission of coursework.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.



There may be an opportunity for a placement, but this is not guaranteed. You may have the opportunity to engage with a specific company as part of your Individual Project.

Job Prospects

Is studying Solar Energy Systems a good career choice?

By successfully completing the MSc course in Solar Energy systems, you will have an advantage over graduates from other renewable energy courses to apply for the following types of jobs and companies:

  • Solar Energy Project Manager
  • Solar PV Design Engineer
  • Solar Research Analyst
  • Project Engineer in Solar Energy
  • Solar equipment manufacturers
  • Engineering and consulting companies specialising in solar energy projects

What is needed for MSc Solar Energy Systems?

  • Applicants normally hold a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree, or its equivalent in Engineering, Physics, or Mathematics.
  • Applicants with a lower degree classification and / or relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

International Students 

International students who do not meet our direct entry requirements for this course can gain additional entry points through our International College at Robert Gordon University.

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Tuition fees for this MSc Solar Energy Systems course are as follows:

For Academic Year 2021/2022

Per entire course (full-time)

  • Scottish students - £5,500
  • EU students - £5,640
  • Rest of UK students - £5,640
  • International students - £17,700

For Academic Year 2020/2021

Per entire course (full-time)

  • Scottish and EU students - £5,500
  • Rest of UK students - £5,640
  • International students - £17,700

For further enquiries please contact

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses. There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

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