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Study information

Electrical Power and Smart Grids (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Electrical Power and Smart Grids

NQF Level:


2. Description of the Programme (as in the Business Approval Form)

MSc in Electrical Power and Smart Grids is a unique programme that focuses on the operation, control and maintenance of future Smart Grids with particular emphasis on the challenges associated with Net-Zero and low carbon futures. A key objective of this programme is to prepare engineers for the demand of future power systems. Our graduates will not only have knowledge of the latest trends and technologies within the Smart Grid but also be equipped with the data analytic skills required to operate the grid and have the capability to address challenges in the future power network through a whole system approach considering the environment, economic, societal and sustainability aspects.
Compulsory modules will cover areas such as power system analysis; digital twinning and data analytics for power networks; and design, implementation and resilience of smart grids and sustainable energy systems. You will not only learn the theory of Smart Grid but also will obtain hands-on experience in the planning, operation and maintenance of future networks. The dissertation component in the programme will allow you to complete a more detailed research project in an area of personal interest.
When you graduate, you will have the knowledge to understand the latest trends and technologies within Smart Grids. You will also be familiar with the application of data analytic techniques and the need for addressing environmental, economic, societal and sustainability aspects in the electrical energy sector.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

This programme aims to produce engineers who have the necessary skill set to operate and maintain the future power network and can take leading roles in the utilisation of electricity to achieve societies’ Net-Zero targets. Hence, the programme will, 
  • provide an education of high quality through a mixture of lectures, seminars, simulation and experimental laboratory exercises, project work and a dissertation
  • utilise state-of-the-art equipment and simulation software to provide hands-on experience related to planning, operation and maintenance of a power system
  • focus on the applicability of data science and sustainability within the engineering field
In doing so, we aim to encourage you to develop into individuals who, on graduation, will
  • will recognise the important role of electricity in achieving society’s Net-Zero targets
  • have the necessary knowledge and skills to manage the future power network 
  • have developed transferable skills such as communication skills, data handling and analysis, problem-solving, decision making and research methodology skills
  • recognise the need for addressing sustainability within the electrical energy system

4. Programme Structure

The MSc Electrical Power and Smart Grids is a 1-year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 1 stage. Each stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.
Exit Awards
If you do not complete the programme, you may be able to exit with a lower qualification.
  • Postgraduate Diploma: At least 120 credits of which 90 or more must be at NQF level 7.
  • Postgraduate Certificate: At least 60 credits of which 45 or more must be at NQF level 7

5. Programme Modules

180 credits of compulsory modules

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
MTHM501Working with Data15YesNo
MTHM502Introduction to Data Science and Statistical Modelling15YesNo
ENGM009Electric Machines and Power Electronics15YesNo
ECMM163Sustainable Engineering15YesNo
ENGM029Power Systems Analysis15YesNo
ENGM030Digital Twinning for Power System Plant15YesNo
ENGM031Smart Grids and Sustainable Energy Systems15YesNo
ENGM032Resilience of Electrical Energy Systems15YesNo
ECMM164MSc Dissertation60YesYes

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning & Assessment Methods

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to: Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

A Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge

  1. Display core knowledge and understanding of the design, operation and control of the electrical power system 
  2. Critically evaluate the challenges associated with the future Smart Grid and understand solutions to effectively manage the transition from a conventional grid 
  3. Use a range of modelling and simulation software to conduct electrical power simulations
  4. Apply appropriate mathematical models and data analytic techniques to analyse data from various resources and utilise them to support the operation and maintenance of the power system

Learning & Teaching Activities

Theories and key concepts related to subjects will be taught during lectures and seminars. These will be enhanced by tutorials, example classes and laboratory sessions during which students will understand how the theories they have been taught are used to solve engineering problems. In addition, lab reports and coursework are arranged to support their studies and guided private study will help students expand and enhance their knowledge. 
Modules and their link to different skills are illustrated below. 
  • Fundamentals related to skill 1 will be introduced in ENGM029 – “Power System Analysis” and ENGM009 – “Electrical Machines and Power Electronics” 
  • ENGM029 will also include laboratory sessions to develop skill 3.
  • Two mathematics modules MTHM501 – “Working with Data” and MTHM502 – “Introduction to Data Science” in will also provide the foundation in maths and data science required to develop skill 4. 
Modules and their link to different skills are illustrated below.
  • ECMM163 – “Sustainable Engineering” will lay the foundation to skill 2. 
  • ENGM031 – “Smart Grids, Sustainable Energy Systems” and ENGM032 – “Resilience of Electrical Energy Systems” and ENGM030 – “Digital Twinning for Power System Plant” will build on the knowledge from earlier modules and focus on further strengthening skills 1-3
  • ENGM030 – “Digital Twinning for Power System Plant”, ENGM031 – “Smart Grids, Sustainable Energy Systems” and ECMM164 – “MSc Dissertation” will focus on enhancing skill 4 through the application of data analytic tools in electrical power and smart grid 
  • ECMM164 – “MSc Dissertation” will further support the development of skills 1-4 outside the classes.

Assessment Methods

Assessment methods include a combination of exams (1, 2), course works (3, 4), lab reports (3, 4), online quizzes (1) integrated into all the modules and a dissertation (1-4) submitted for ECMM164. Oral or written feedback will be provided for all the assessments.

B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

  1. Demonstrate a systematic approach to problem-solving
  2. Apply relevant ICT technologies to enhance professional communication via the preparation and delivery of reports and presentations
  3. Demonstrate the importance of economics and sustainability when developing engineering solutions

Learning & Teaching Activities

Academic skills and other core Intellectual skills (5-7) will be practised and integrated into all the modules, including the individual research project (ECMM164)  

Assessment Methods

Skills 5-7 will be assessed through one or more reports, coursework, and presentations in all the modules. Oral or written feedback will be provided for the assessments.

C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

  1. Effectively communicate with different audiences through both reports and presentations.
  2. Work as part of a team to solve engineering problems
  3. Plan and deliver a project within a given time scale

Learning & Teaching Activities

Effective communication and planning skills (8 and10) will be developed through, discussions conducted during the classes (all modules), coursework (all modules) and presentations (ENGM030). Working as part of a team (skill 9) will be practised through group activities such as coursework in ENGM031 and group tutorials in ECMM163.
In general, teamwork will be encouraged during other individual coursework activities to allow students to exercise mentoring and peer learning.

Assessment Methods

Communication and planning skills will be assessed through presentations in ENGM030, (skills 8 and10) reports/coursework (skills 8 and10) in all modules and peer assessments (skill 9) in ENGM031. Oral or written feedback will be provided for the assessments.

7. Programme Regulations

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.

Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

In accordance with the university policy, a system of personal tutors is in place for all students on this programme.  A University-wide statement on such provision is included in the University's TQA Manual. As a student enrolled on this programme you will receive the personal and academic support of the Programme Coordinator and will have regularly scheduled meetings with your Personal Tutor; you may request additional meetings as and when required. The role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information Technology (IT) Services provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Help may be obtained through the Helpdesk, and most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Additionally, the College has its own dedicated IT support staff, helpdesk and computer facilities which are linked to the wider network, and provide access to some specialised software packages. Email is an important channel of communication between staff and students in the College and an extensive range of web-based information (see is maintained for the use of students, including a comprehensive and annually revised student handbook.

The Harrison Learning Resource Centre is generally open during building open hours. The Centre is available for quiet study, with four separate rooms that can be booked for meetings and group work. Amongst its facilities, the Learning Resource Centre has a number of desks, four meeting rooms with large LCD screens, and free use of a photocopier. Also available are core set texts from your module reading lists, and undergraduate and MSc projects from the past two years.

Online Module study resources provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to some useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, library and research skills, past exam papers, and the 'Academic Honesty and Plagiarism' module are also available through the student portal (

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

10. Admission Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the Postgraduate Study Site webpage.


11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures. 
The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs). This programme is not subjected to any such requirements.

14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
16 Partner College / Institution
17 Programme accredited/validated by
18 Final Award(s) MSc
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) ElecPower
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 7
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 180 credits (90 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) Engineering
23 Origin Date February 8th 2023 Last Date of Revision: February 8th 2023