MSc/Diploma Marine Renewable Energy (MRE)

General information

Marine renewable energy encompasses offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. Internationally, marine energy is set to play an important part in addressing future energy security problems and global warming.

A recent UK assessment concluded that modest use of the available resource could generate 145,000 jobs and over £900bn of investment. Offshore wind energy is a commercial reality with thousands of professionals delivering some of the largest renewable energy projects in the world. Wave and tidal power represent the next frontier in marine energy.  Scotland is at the forefront of this development.  Heriot-Watt’s Orkney campus is situated alongside the highest concentration of wave and tidal energy deployment activity in the world. 

This is a 12 month full-time MSc degree course taught at our Orkney Campus. It involves studying 8 taught courses. If you can demonstrate that you have already mastered the subject, you may apply for an exemption from one of the taught courses and undertake a Development Project instead. The MSc programme is completed with a research dissertation equivalent to 4 taught courses. The Marine Renewable Energy MSc/Diploma ia also available as a distance learning course.

If you study at the Orkney Campus, you will benefit from a number of activities including field trips, guest lectures and practical sessions which help to develop your skills and knowledge in your field of study, and offer opportunities to meet developers and other involved in the renewable energy industry.

Programme content

  • Energy in the 21st Century
  • Economics of renewable energy 
  • Environmental Policy & Risk
  • Oceanography & Marine Biology
  • Marine Renewable Technologies
  • Renewable Technology: Integration
  • Development Appraisal
  • Development Project
  • Dissertation

Delivered at our Orkney Campus, this MSc is designed as a multidisciplinary transition programme relevant to students from a wide variety of backgrounds. The taught part of the programme addresses the technical, environmental and economic drivers that are shaping the marine renewable energy industry. An individual research project then allows students to specialise in a topic of their choice.

The programme team has strong links with stakeholders in marine renewables and has unique experience and expertise gained at the geographical heart of marine renewables in the UK. A strong emphasis is placed on project work that simulates real working situations.

Distance Learning. The Marine Renewable Energy MSc/Diploma is also available for independent distance learning. For distance learners, the main difference is that you will undertake the Development Project alone rather than as part of a group. You can still obtain the full MSc in Marine Renewable Energy, or you can opt to study fewer courses, depending on your needs.

Contact Person: ICIT residential enquiries (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0312 - Policy and governance", "0413 - Logistics and shipping operational management", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0713 - Offshore and renewable energy


Venue: Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Status Full-time Part-time Distance learning Per course
Scotland / Non-UK EU £5,100 £2,250 £900 / £900*** £637.50
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £5,100 £2,250 £900 / £900*** £637.50
Overseas £13,800 £6,900 £900 / £900*** £1,725

** Fee per course
Additional fees information

*** Distance learning fee is £900 per course, £900 dissertation/project.
All course costs are covered by the tuition fee. For students studying at the Orkney Campus this includes electronic versions of the course notes.

Students should budget additional funds sufficient to cover living expenses such as accommodation, travel to and from the university, food, clothing and leisure pursuits.


Degree Requirements
For MSc level entry, students must hold a good degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. life sciences, engineering, environmental studies, business studies, surveying) from a UK or Overseas University. In addition to the academic qualifications, motivation, work experience and personality are taken into consideration.

Language requirements
If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, you need to provide evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Distance learning students
Please note that independent distance learning students who access their studies online will be expected to have access to a PC/laptop and internet.

Application Procedure:

You can apply for this programme using the online application form and start by creating an account. You will need to attach the following documents to your online application: 

  • a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts
  • proof of your ability in the English language
  • references from two academic sources
  • a copy of the photo page from your passport (International students requiring a visa to enter the UK)
  • a financial guarantee to prove how your tuition fees and personal maintenance costs will be met (International students requiring a visa to enter the UK or are being sponsored by their government or a commercial organisation)

Application Deadline: there is no official deadline for postgraduate applications; they are accepted right up until the beginning of term. However, if you are applying for a popular programme, it is in your best interest to submit your application as soon as you can so that you have the best chance of getting a place.

Grant Opportunities:

This programme has been selected to support the skills demand in Scotland's key economic growth areas. A number of full fee bursaries are available to applicants permanently resident in Scotland. Download an application form and submit

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarship sand postgraduate research scholarships.

Additional scholarship information: Scottish Funding Council (SFC) funding available for Scottish students for MSc Marine Renewable Energy. This funding is available for on-campus study only.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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