Energy Policy MSc

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2018
Apply by:
1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Take on a defining challenge for humanity in the 21st century – creating a global low-carbon economy while providing modern energy services to the world’s population.

This MSc offers a broad-based, social sciences training in energy policy, focusing in particular on the role of technological innovation.

You'll explore the opportunities, challenges and constraints in creating sustainable and low-carbon energy systems throughout the world. Our approach is interdisciplinary, practical and applied, providing you with the skills to analyse policy problems and to propose and evaluate viable policy solutions.

The course gives you an essential foundation for careers in government, international organisations, the private sector and NGOs.

Why choose this course?

  • You're taught by internationally recognised faculty from SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit and the Sussex Energy Group, one of the largest energy policy research groups in the world.
  • The course is unique in combining ideas from economics, innovation studies and policy studies (among other approaches) while requiring no prior training in these fields.
  • You're based in the School of Business, Management and Economics, ranked among the top institutions in the UK for research in energy economics (Research Papers in Economics – RePEc 2017).

Pathway to doctoral study

This Masters is recognised by the ESRC-funded South East Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership as a pathway to doctoral study.

With this MSc I am better equipped to influence, inspire, educate and negotiate more effectively in order to address the need to transition to sustainable energy systems.”Cameron Jones
Sustainable Electricity Analyst
Department of Energy, Alberta, Canada

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

You should have a lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of 6.0-7.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class lower division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 2.5/4.0 (Grade C+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with GPA 3.5/5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 4.5-5.0/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with overall mark of 65%-80% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad’ and a GPA of 3.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 6.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 15/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of 70%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention assez bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 12.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.7 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class lower division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 6.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class lower division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading institution with overall mark of 50-65% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 14.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 101.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 3.75 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 2,67.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class lower division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8/4.0 or B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 or 13/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 70%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class lower division or CGPA of at least 3.0/5.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of C.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 55%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 12/20 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 'very good' overall, or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 2.8 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.0/5.0 or 2.8/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class lower division or CAP 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 2.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with lower second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 4.5/6 or 7/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of 70%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 7.0/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class lower division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us at pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social or natural sciences. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Standard level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade C (Honours) or above in English.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system

Personal statementYes

A personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your application. It should show us that you are the right person for Sussex by telling us why you want to study your course. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Application deadlines

1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. 

For details about the part-time course, contact us at pgbmec@sussex.ac.uk

How will I study?

Teaching is via small, highly interactive lectures and seminars that foster a culture of knowledge sharing, ideas generation, critical thinking and enthusiastic debate.

You’ll study a combination of core modules and options, assessed through:

  • coursework
  • group projects
  • examinations
  • extended essays
  • presentations
  • policy briefs.

In the summer, you work on a research-based dissertation. We encourage interaction, collaboration and creativity. You’re invited to participate in our programme of research seminars as well as conferences and workshops.

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Challenge

Develop novel science, technology and innovation policy ideas. Compete for a prize for the idea with the most transformative potential. Our Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Challenge helps you develop skills in:

  • presenting
  • communication
  • critical thinking.

You can work on your own or in a small team. At the end of the year, you'll pitch your idea to a panel of industry experts and a live audience.

The Challenge is optional. It's designed to enrich your academic studies and give you the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from the course. It'll also allow you to explore essay and dissertation topics.

Modules

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) Masters courses at the University of Sussex

Our experts

Energy sustainability is one of the most pressing challenges facing society. Addressing it requires interdisciplinary yet critical thinking, and passionate researchers.”Benjamin Sovacool
Professor in Energy Policy (SPRU)
Dr Robert Byrne

Dr Robert Byrne

Lecturer

Research interests

climate policy, Developing Countries, Development studies, energy policy, Innovation for sustainability, Low carbon development, Renewables, Socio-technical transitions, Strategic niche management

View Robert Byrne's profile

Dr Florian Kern

Dr Florian Kern

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

Climate change, Energy, Innovation policy issues, Political economy, Politics, Science and technology policy, Sustainability transitions

View Florian Kern's profile

Dr Karoline Rogge

Dr Karoline Rogge

Senior Lecturer in Sustainability Innova

Research interests

climate policy, consistency, credibility, decarbonization, eco-innovation, ecological economics, energy transition, Environmental economics, eu emission trading system, Innovation studies, policy mix, Renewables, sustainability, Sustainability transitions

View Karoline Rogge's profile

Prof Steven Sorrell

Prof Steven Sorrell

Professor of Energy Policy

Research interests

Energy and climate policy, Energy Efficiency, rebound effects, resource depletion

View Steven Sorrell's profile

Prof Benjamin Sovacool

Prof Benjamin Sovacool

Professor of Energy Policy

Research interests

Climate change adaptation, Climate change mitigation, energy justice, energy policy, energy security, Energy Supply, Sustainability: Environmental

View Benjamin Sovacool's profile

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 872717
pgbmec@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

UK/EU students:
£10,600 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£10,600 per year
International students:
£17,900 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,280 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2017. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

With the growing importance of energy on political, corporate and even social agendas around the world, there is increasing demand for energy policy professionals.

All our graduates have successfully obtained employment in a variety of sectors. For example, recent MSc graduates have gained employment in:

  • international organisations (such as the OECD, UNDP, UNEP, IEA, and IREAN)
  • government departments (such as the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Government of British Columbia, Canada)
  • local authorities (such as the Brighton & Hove Council sustainability team)
  • businesses (such as RWE npower, Ecofys, EDF, Unilever, Southern Solar, Renaissance Re, Centro de Apoio a Inovação Social-CAIS)
  • NGOs (such as the International Social Science Council, Green Jobs Alliance, People and Planet).

Other graduates have gone on to work for independent consultancies, or to study for PhDs in this area.

Graduate destinations

95% of students from the Science Policy Research Unit were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our students have gone on to jobs including:

  • coordinator, SERC (Solar Energy Research Centre) Chile
  • research policy advisor, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  • policy consultant, Technopolis Ltd.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)

I strongly recommend this MSc to anyone passionate about understanding our energy systems, making energy services more accessible and efficient, and keeping our world safe from climate change impacts.”Akachukwu Okafor
Founder
Floreo Energy, Nigeria

Introduction to Energy Policy

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

We introduce you to the context and history of energy and sustainability policy, the core issues and challenges within it, the trade-offs and synergies between different objectives and the concepts and methods through which the policy process may be understood and individual policy options appraised.

First, we cover the:

  • physical basis of energy systems
  • scale, nature, source and destination of energy flows within the global economy
  • relationship between energy consumption, economic growth and human welfare
  • nature and characteristics of energy transitions
  • challenge of climate change and sustainability.

Second, you:

  • gain an overview of key concepts, theories and tools from orthodox economics (e.g. market failures, externalities)
  • identify the limits and drawbacks of policy intervention
  • highlight the relevance of these ideas to contemporary challenges within energy and sustainability policy (e.g. carbon pricing, regulation of natural monopolies).

Third, we will provide critiques of this perspective from within and outside the economics tradition and introduce students to complementary perspectives on the policy process drawn from political science. You will explore these ideas with the help of both case studies from developed and developing countries and a global simulation model of the energy system.

Policy Making and Policy Analysis

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you are introduced to the nature and operation of the policy process in contemporary economies. And you develop a systematic approach to policy analysis.

As part of the module, you are introduced to the major concepts and theories relevant to understanding the policy process, together with a systematic method of thinking about the formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of public policies.

You develop the skills required to define and critically analyse policy issues and problems, articulate decision-making criteria and propose and evaluate alternative policy solutions.

You apply these ideas to specific topics in:

  • science
  • innovation
  • energy
  • development
  • security policy.

Science, Technology and Innovations: Markets, Firms and Policies

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce you to an ongoing tradition of research on innovation and the various analytical concepts and theories that are used in current academic, management and policy debates. It will explore the processes underlying knowledge accumulation and innovative activity within the global economy and review the historical and contemporary emergence of current innovation systems in both developed and developing country contexts. This includes analysis of the science system, technology, the management of innovation, the theory of the firm, the basis for public policy, environmental analysis, and innovation systems approaches.

The module has a key focus on developing understanding that contributes towards practical analysis of innovation policy and management problems, and therefore provides a range of analytical frameworks for understanding and exploring the nature of public policy and its influence on the operations of business firms and other organisations. These frameworks include orthodox economics, evolutionary economics, science and technology studies and history.

The module aims to develop you understanding of the economic perspective on issues of science and technology management and policy and helps you develop skills in using economic measures and indicators that inform business and public policy. 

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • distinguish several different schools of thought in economics by identifying their underlying assumptions and methods of reasoning 
  • explain the role of innovation from the perspectives of firm and individual choice and relate innovation to productivity, long-term economic growth, and competitiveness. 
  • identify sources of market dysfunction or failure including monopoly power, co-ordination failure, and principal-agent problems and understand the interventions or rule-setting that may prove useful in remedying these problems 
  • explain the consequences of globalisation for the international division of labour and the possible effects that this might have on localisation of economic activities 
  • demonstrate knowledge of technology and innovation system concepts and an understanding of their application in different technological, spatial, national and international contexts. 
  • demonstrate the analytical skills required to identify the interactions among key actors in technology and innovation systems, and to identify the main interactions running through these systems to link public policy and the innovative activities of business firms and other organisations. 
  • demonstrate the practical skills to clearly and concisely write an account of selected aspects of the innovation systems described above. 

Perspectives, Methods and Skills for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module provides a systematic guide to how to plan and successfully complete a research project within the constraints of time available for either writing a research paper or writing a dissertation. The module covers the key processes that a researcher must develop – the cultivation and understanding of different perspectives on the subject matters of study, a knowledge of the methods which may be used to inform and validate (or invalidate) these perspectives, and the acquisition of the skills needed to execute these methods and to present the results in a coherent and persuasive manner.

On completing the module you should have clear ideas about (and be able to execute) the full research process, including: identifying those features of topics which make them interesting for research; identifying relevant theory and frameworks for examining a topic; framing answerable research questions; designing research that is capable of providing robust and defensible answers to those questions; selecting relevant methods for implementing a research design; combining the elements of a research plan in a research proposal; and writing a forceful and persuasive research paper or dissertation 

This module will enable you to:

  • understand the basic principles of research design and strategy, including an understanding of how to formulate researchable problems and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research. 
  • apply a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods and tools including mixed methods approaches. 
  • manage, conduct and disseminate research in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and principles of research ethics. 

Dissertation (Energy Policy for Sustainability)

  • 60 credits
  • Summer Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module enables you to undertake a piece of research under the supervision of a member of SPRU faculty. You will be involved in the design and execution of a substantial piece of research on a topic that is relevant to the course. The dissertation runs from April to August and will consist of 20,000 words. Previous dissertations have been written on a very range of subjects such as the role of unconventional gas in the energy transition, overcoming obstacles to improving energy efficiency, the design of capacity markets to ensure electricity security and the prospects for community energy.

Energy and Development

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The module will examine the substantive energy policy challenges faced by developing countries, including increasing energy access, reducing energy poverty and improving energy security. Integrating orthodox perspectives on energy policy with insights from innovation studies and socio-technical approaches, the course will explore the implications for development of notions such as lock-in, path dependency and leapfrogging. Building on this conceptual framework, the course will critically engage with academic and policy debates on topics such as low carbon development, technology transfer and carbon markets; all of which are intended to play roles in helping developing countries achieve development objectives while establishing sustainable energy systems. 

This module will enable you to:

  • critically engage with contemporary academic and policy debates on energy policy and development 
  • demonstrate a systematic understanding of the tensions and complementarities between energy policy and sustainable development in a developing-country context 
  • analyse the roles of technology and innovation in energy for development 
  • demonstrate a critical awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of orthodox and alternative approaches to energy policy in developing countries. 

Energy Policy and Sustainability

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module is intended to introduce you to the main concepts, theories, issues, challenges and debates within energy and climate policy, together with some of the analytical techniques used to explore this multifaceted subject. Primary emphasis will be given to economic concepts and techniques, but the module will take a critical approach to orthodox economic theory and will incorporate ideas from behavioural economics, ecological economics and innovation studies. The primary focus of the module is the opportunities, challenges and constraints associated with making the transition to a low carbon energy system. But this challenge cannot be understood without exploring the other dimensions of energy policy, such as energy security and market structure and regulation, together with the synergies and tensions between different policy objectives. 

Key themes of the module include the physical characteristics of fossil and renewable energy resources, the process of transition and change in energy systems and the rationales for and limits to public policy intervention. Substantive issues to be covered include: the relationship between; energy and economic growth; market and government failures in the energy sector; energy market liberalisation and the regulation of network industries; carbon pricing; the innovation and diffusion of energy technologies; resource depletion; the transition to renewable technologies and competing perspectives on energy security. Much of the discussion and examples will relate to OECD countries, but issues relevant to developing countries will be introduced where appropriate and explored in more detail in the seminars. Relevant analytical techniques such as energy-economic modelling will be introduced but not examined in any detail. 

This module will enable you to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the key concepts, theories, issues, challenges and debates within climate change and energy policy, together with the dominant analytical approaches to this topic. 
  • apply a range of economic concepts to analyse and explain specific energy or climate policy problems, to identify and evaluate relevant policy options and to critique proposed solutions. 
  • be able to communicate ideas, analyses and results clearly and succinctly in a manner that is appropriate to a range of audiences (e.g. academic, policy and business 
  • demonstrate the understanding and intellectual skills identified above through presentations, participation in group activities and clear and concise written work. 

Governing and Using Technology for Development

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module you gain critical theoretical tools and empirical insights into the processes of governance and use of controversial technologies in the global south.

Many technologies are controversial – they mean different things to different people, and can distribute their benefits and costs unevenly. An automobile may be a reliable mean of transport for some, but a polluting and dangerous device for others. Expensive, genetically modified seeds may increase yields and profits for some farmers but produce indebtedness for many others and considered as agri-biodiversity and health hazards by activists. Biofuels may be viewed as an effective way to reduce emissions by some – but as a serious threat to food security by others.

This module considers the questions raised by these disagreements and disputes. You cover significant questions about two central aims of much contemporary international development – environmental sustainability and poverty reduction. We ask can the (re)development and use of controversial technologies be governed by state/non-state actors towards greater environmental sustainability and inclusiveness? And if yes, how?

Governing Energy Transitions

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This modul will introduce you to a systems perspective on long-term, socio-technical change in the field of energy in order to explore the co-evolution of technologies with political, institutional, economic and social factors. The module will illustrate this conceptual perspective with historical case studies from the energy sector and explore the implications for governing transitions to a low carbon energy system in the developed world. You will analyse and reflect on current policy approaches to governing low carbon transitions. Substantive issues to be covered include: the historic transition from horse-drawn carriages to auto-mobility, low carbon innovation policy in the UK, the Energy Transition approach in the Netherlands, the politics of governing transitions and the role interests play, bottom-up approaches to changing energy systems such as the Transition Towns movement, the role of household practices as well as strategies of incumbent energy companies to respond to pressures for change towards a low carbon energy system. 

This module will enable you to:

  • demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the definition and applicability of key innovation studies concepts to studying socio-technical change in energy systems, such as carbon lock-in, path dependency, co-evolution of technology with political, institutional, economic and social factors 
  • apply the conceptual understanding and empirical knowledge gained from the course to the analysis of a variety of energy systems in developed countries (including electricity generation, heat production and mobility) 
  • critically discuss and evaluate different policy approaches to governing low carbon transitions. 

Information and Communication Technology Policy and Strategy

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The module provides you with an overview of the strategic management and policy issues raised by the production and use of advanced information and communication technologies and services. Perspectives are drawn from economics, management and organisation theory, as well as political science and sociology. The focus is on the evolution of a complex technical system in the wider contexts of emerging user requirements in the public and private sectors. Much of the course is centred around the implications of the internet, particularly in terms of media conversion, regulation, productivity and employment, intellectual property rights and electronic commerce.

Infrastructure, Innovation and Sustainability

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Infrastructure-systems provide the foundation for a large proportion of modern economic activity. Such systems enable people, resources, energy and information to move around the world. But the production and operation of infrastructure presents significant policy and managerial challenges – it is typically organisationally complex and requires a variety of public and private organisations to work together to plan, design, build and operate it.

We explore innovation in infrastructure from a variety of public, private and civil society perspectives to produce an integrated understanding of how innovation takes place and which tools and techniques can be used to understand and improve modern infrastructure.

The module is focused on providing you with the skills and knowledge required for careers in strategically important infrastructure industries and projects involving clients, architects, engineers, contractors, government agencies, users and other stakeholders. The skills, knowledge and business-model focus of the course, together with the emphasis on learning across sectors, will generate transferable skills that will be valuable to students interested in the management and regulation of large complex organisations in a wide range of settings.

Innovation for Sustainability

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module will explore the role innovation can play in sustainable development in industrialised and developing countries, including (but not limited to) its importance in mitigating and adapting to climate change. A number of key ideas will be used to provide a framework for learning. These include past and current theory on sustainability, growth and competitiveness (with specific reference to the role of technology), understanding and influencing directions of innovation, and the governance of socio-technical transitions. Specific topics will be explored within each key idea. Examples include: social and technical innovations in energy and resource use efficiency; economic and other policy instruments to promote such innovations; barriers to the diffusion of sustainable innovations; the role of innovative green niches in systems transformations; and the challenges of international co-ordination. These will be illustrated with reference to real world cases in the manufacturing, housing, agriculture and energy sectors. 

This module will enable you to:

  • articulate and utilise a working knowledge of issues concerning innovations and sustainability and to evaluate critically the main theoretical perspectives on innovation and the environment; 
  • apply concepts from innovation theory in analysing a range of contemporary environmental policy problems; 
  • research the innovation dimensions of a contemporary environmental problem using a mix of academic and policy literature, and 
  • demonstrate the understanding and intellectual skills identified above by means of clear and concise written work. 

Innovation in the Creative Economy

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

You will learn the key aspects underpinning the creative economy—a significant driver of growth in recent years— and develop an understanding of how innovation takes place in the creative industries. You will also learn how these innovations are commercialised. By linking theory with real-world practices, you'll discover how firms and other organisations leverage creativity, innovation and technology in order to create value, and how this value is captured and marketed.

Introduction to Statistical Research Methods

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The module aims to provide you with a basic understanding of descriptive statistics and statistical inference as they are used in the social sciences and to develop an adequate level of skill in the use of a leading statistical software package (SPSS) so that the you will be able to perform statistical analysis relevant for reaching social science research conclusions. This is done through extensive `hands-on practice. The coverage of descriptive statistics includes methods that can also be used for exploratory qualitative analysis.

The module is organised in lectures and tutorials. The lectures provide an introduction to the theoretical and practical elements of each topic and offer an opportunity for discussion of, extensions to, and clarification of each topic. The tutorials in the computer room will introduce you to the use of the statistical software package SPSS. 

This module will enable you to:

  • gain a critical awareness of the definition and proper use of descriptive statistical analysis. 
  • understand the definition and appropriate use of basic statistical inference. 
  • define and evaluate the use of descriptive and inferential statistical analysis to social sciences theories 
  • propose hypotheses and test them using the tools of descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. 

Management of Risk

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Risk surrounds us, and risk management is crucial to organisations. This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the nature of risk and the role of risk management in modern organisations. From this, you develop an understanding of key processes involved in developing a risk management plan and techniques used to identify, assess and manage risk.

We address the various aspects involved in the management of risk in project and operational business environments. Broader issues of technological risk are also addressed. Topics covered include the:

  • external and internal factors that contribute to the emergence and escalation of risks
  • processes required to manage those risk
  • involvement of stakeholder
  • tools and methods applied to identify assess and control risks
  • management of project risks associated with innovation and technology
  • interface between technological risks and their management within society.

Managing Knowledge

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module outlines the key institutional and organisational forms underpinning the emerging knowledge economy, looking closely at the pivotal role that knowledge workers play in the creation, application and diffusion of knowledge within and between firms.

You will consider new approaches to managing learning processes in the firm, including recent developments such as knowledge management and novel organisational structures. You will explore the role of labour mobility through different types of knowledge worker communities and networks. You will also consider the role of open-source innovation and knowledge transfer within and across epistemic communities, the role of new human resource management approaches, and network mapping techniques. You will go on to consider how certain skills are coming to play a critical role in the knowledge economy, such as knowledge brokering and gate-keeping. Finally, you will explore how labour market institutions that impact on careers shape different approaches to knowledge generation, and be introduced to key concepts associated with knowledge transfer, including social capital, knowledge exploration and exploitation, and the role of key actors in knowledge transfer.

Network Analysis and Infographics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

We are surrounded by networks, from online social networks to ecosystems and inter-organisational collborations. Analysing these networks is crucial to understanding their role in the socio-economic-technical environment, and to explaining physical and social phenomena. 

We introduce you to qualitative and quantitative techniques for collection of network data and analysis of networks. You'll also learn the basic principles of generating network data-based infographics, which are capable of conveying rich and complex information with relatively simple images. Dedicated seminars will introduce you to the main software packages used to perform network analysis and to generate infographics. These include R-statistics (and the “igraph” package), Pajek, and Gephi.

For the module, you will be asked to form groups of 3-4 people to collect data on a given phenomenon of interest. You will analyse these using network analysis, and generate an ‘infographic poster’.

Quantitative Methods for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This course provides training and guidance in applied statistics for postgraduate students of various backgrounds who already have some acquaintance with elementary statistics.

The course has two main components. The first provides you with basic training in the use and application of methods in your own research. This will cover multivariate analysis, including analysis of variance, factor analysis, discriminant analysis, principal components, and cluster analysis. The second is designed to strengthen your ability to interpret and assess statistical work undertaken by others in applications reported in the academic publications likely to be encountered while undertaking a SPRU course.

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