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Study information

Sustainable Energy Futures with Industrial Placement (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Sustainable Energy Futures with Industrial Placement

NQF Level:


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

The BSc Sustainable Energy Futures with Industrial Placement programme is designed for those wishing to pursue a non-engineering career, such as consultancy or project management, within the rapidly expanding clean energy sector. You will gain a grounding in the concepts and technology that underpin the Renewable Energy sector, as well as the societal and political considerations that impact its implementation. You will learn from experts in energy policy, renewable technologies, electrical power and networks, environmental law and regulation, sustainable business practice, and environmental science. The programme allows you to tailor your degree to your interests and career ambitions with a variety of options covering the legal, political and business aspects of the sustainable energy transition. The Industrial Placement year will give you the chance to put what you have learnt to practical advantage in a commercial or industrial environment, thereby gaining a valuable insight into the interplay between theoretical skills and understanding acquired at university, and the practicalities of deployment in a “real-world” setting. Cornwall is where the UK’s renewable energy revolution began and offers state of the art facilities and exciting opportunities to engage with and contribute to solutions for environmental challenges.


3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The BSc Sustainable Energy Futures with Industrial Placement degree programme aims to produce graduates with the knowledge and skillset to work in the clean energy sector in non-engineering roles. This is dependent upon an appropriate training in: renewable technologies, applied and environmental sciences, legal and regulatory processes, project management and energy policy; and exposure to the renewable energy industry. The programme aims to provide core knowledge and understanding across all these areas, but also, through their selections in options, to allow candidates the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding in specific areas of the discipline. Whilst many students enrolling upon the programme regard it as a vocational degree, the scientific and socio-economic training received facilitate careers in many fields outside the energy sector. In addition, the programme aims to develop the transferable skills frequently sought by potential employers, such as those associated with verbal and written communication and teamwork.

In its students and in its graduates, the programme aims to develop

• a thorough understanding of the energy challenges facing society and the policy and regulatory tools to address these,

• the use of creativity and innovation, properly founded on industry and sector needs and understanding,

• levels of numeracy and computer literacy commensurate with industry standard design & analysis tools,

• cost, value and quality consciousness and understanding of business,

• full commitment to social, cultural and environmental issues and a responsibility to deal with these both ethically and professionally,

• an in-depth awareness and understanding of the workplace skills needed for a successful career in the industry, and an awareness of different approaches and expectations when working in industry compared with academic study.

Through this programme, the Department will provide students with: learning opportunities to match their abilities and aspirations, personal academic support and pastoral support through their university career, appropriate methods of teaching and assessment and a programme of study that they find demanding, interesting and intellectually stimulating, while allowing them to enjoy other aspects of university life.

Through this, the programme aims to enable students to become:

a) flexible and autonomous renewable energy specialist graduates equipped to adopt key roles within multi-disciplinary industrial teams, research and development groups, legislating and financing organisations.

b) sought after for their leadership contributions, their capacity for analytical and original thought and discipline specific expertise; their holistic understanding of the context within which they work, their ability and innate desire to support the work of others and take full responsibility and demonstrate self-motivation for their own personal and professional development.

c) reflective, socially and personally responsible and accurate decision makers and problem solvers, whether working individually or as part of a group.

d) aware of the environmental, economic, social and sustainability issues that are an integral part of the energy professional’s role in society.

The programme also aims, through the Industrial Placement year, to encourage awareness of an individual’s skills set and development areas as well as enabling students to establish links and network contacts with industry.

4. Programme Structure

This programme comprises four stages of 120 credits per stage. Each stage is made up of modules, and each module studied successfully contributes 10, 15 or 30 credits towards the degree.

With the requisite number of credits a student may qualify for a Certificate of Higher Education or a Diploma of Higher Education if they exit the programme early.

Modules and other study components can be taken only with the approval of the College (normally given by the Programme Lead). Modules are not all available every year; options are offered each year at the discretion of the Department. A module may be taken only if the necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, if the timetable allows, and if the module or an equivalent module has not been taken previously. The first and second stages of this programme are modular and are taught over two semesters with examinations at the end of each semester.

Field trips are associated with all stages of the programme - with a compulsory assessed field trip in Stage 4. These have been designed as an essential component of the programme to provide exposure to practical case studies. The compulsory Stage 4 field trip typically runs in May but may be run over the Easter vacation.

The Industrial Placement will take place following Stage 2. The College will help students to prepare for their work placement from early in their studies. A special module 'Employability and Placement Preparation for Engineers' takes place at the start of Stage 2. Students will also be invited to attend workshops offering guidance and support. If you do not pass the Year in Industry or are not able to secure a placement you will be required to transfer to the BSc Sustainable Energy Futures programme.

Some of the modules listed in this section are designated non-condonable modules. These modules must be passed in order to progress through the stages and failure in these cannot be condoned under the Undergraduate Assessment Procedures that came into force in 2005/06. (see

The following tables describe the programme as planned for delivery at the time of this specification. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of normal programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the Department web site (see

The relative weighting of the programme stages in the determination of the final award classification can be found at 

5. Programme Modules

Stage 1

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ENE1010Mathematics 1A15YesYes
ENE1001Renewable Energy Systems 115YesYes
ENE1004Applied Computing for Energy Studies15YesYes
ENE1005Energy Policy, Markets and Law 15YesYes
BEP1150Environment, Society and Business30YesNo
LAW1016CA Legal Foundation for Environmental Protection15YesNo
Select 15 credits
GEO1408BGlobal Issues in Environmental Science15NoNo
GEP1419Introduction to Data Science15NoNo

Stage 2

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ENE2001Energy Management15YesYes
ENE2004Renewable Energy Systems 215YesYes
ENE2008Project Management and Accounting15YesYes
LAW2016CEnvironmental Regulation and Redress15YesNo
BEP2210Circular Enterprise Economy15YesNo
BEP2070Social Enterprise Management15YesNo
Select 30 credits
GEO2449Green Consultants15NoNo
POC2114Green Politics15NoNo
LAW2112CLegal Foundations of Business15NoNo
GEO2463Hazards and Human Society15NoNo

Stage 3

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ENE3014Year in Industry120YesYes

Stage 4

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ENE3001Third Year Field Course (Group Project)15YesYes
ENE3011Renewable Energy Dissertation 30YesYes
Select 75 credits
ENE3003Marine Renewable Energy 15NoNo
ENE3004Life Cycle Analysis15NoNo
ENE3005Wind Energy15NoNo
ENE3008Work Placement Report15NoNo
ENE3010Sustainable Architecture15NoNo
GEO3437BClimate Change & Society15NoNo
BEP3010Social and Technological Innovation15NoNo
LAW3016CLegal Response to Environmental Destruction15NoNo
POC3117The Politics of Climate Change15NoNo

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

Demonstrate subject knowledge and understanding of:

1. Technical, environmental and regulatory matters with an application to general renewable energy issues, but in particular to the autonomous design and development of renewable energy projects.

2. Energy policy frameworks and their evolution or development as a result of socio-economic, environmental and legislative drivers.

3. Prior developments and research in renewable energy technologies.

4. Renewable energy resources, and the issues leading to limitations on these resources for natural, technical, practical, accessible, financial and socially acceptable reasons.

5. Management and business practices including project appraisal, financing, law, marketing and personnel.

6. Ethical, environmental and social issues related to the energy sector, climate change, sustainability and professional responsibilities

Learning & Teaching Activities

Material is introduced by lectures and directed reading/research and students are given very clear guidance in how to manage their learning. Understanding is developed and consolidated in tutorials and by in-class and private study exercises, carried out individually and in groups, both self-assessed and tutor marked to provide rapid feedback. Project work is used extensively to integrate material and make knowledge functional.

Skill 1 is supported explicitly by dedicated modules in the first two stages for all candidates and then developed by use in other modules in later stages of the programme. Skill 2 is supported explicitly by specialist energy policy and legal foundations modules in stage 1 for all candidates which introduce concepts that are then developed and applied in later modules. Skill 3 is explicitly supported by the Renewable Energy Systems modules in stages 1 and 2, and developed through use in specialist stage 3 modules of the programme. Skill 4 is explicitly supported by specialist technology modules in stage 3, and skill 5 by the legal and business focused modules in all three stages. Skill 5 is also supported by the industrial placement year. Different elements of skill 6 are supported by the wider humanities, politics and environmental modules offered across all three stages

Assessment Methods

Direct assessment is through a range of formal written examinations, and marked coursework in the form of problem sheets, laboratory reports, computer exercises, group or individual feasibility study reports, other reports or essays based on directed reading, research or field activities, posters and oral presentations including the preparation and use of visual aids. Project work is assessed through a combination of supervisor’s report, self and peer assessment and formal assessment of final reports and presentations.

B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

1 Demonstrate a systematic and creative approach to problem solving.

2. Apply appropriate mathematical methods, scientific principles and computer-based methods to the modelling, analysis and solution of practical energy engineering or energy management or development problems.

3. Create a complete design, product or service to meet a customer need, starting from negotiation of specifications, showing creativity and justifying all decisions.

4. Assess and manage risks (e.g. commercial, safety, environmental, etc.).

5. Take personal responsibility for acting in a professional and ethical manner.

Learning & Teaching Activities

Skill 1 is integrated into most modules and developed steadily throughout the 3 stages. Methods focusing on instruction feature more strongly in the early stages of the programme, with candidates being afforded greater autonomy in selection of their approaches and methods as they progress through the programme. Skill 2 is introduced in the stage 1 Applied Computing module, and developed further in the specialist stage 3 modules. Concepts of skill 3 are introduced in several modules during stage 1 and is achieved in several modules in stage 2 including CSM2045, CSM2187 and BEP2210. Skills 4 and 5 are introduced through industrial visits during stage 1, discussed further in the stage 2 module CSM2187, and developed during the industrial work placement and in dissertation projects. Peer-review and reflective self-assessment across all three stages extend skill 5.

Assessment Methods

Problem solving skills are assessed within many modules through a range of assessment modes, reinforced by formal written examinations to assess underpinning knowledge. Attainment in all the intellectual skills listed, but particularly 1-4, is more readily identified in project work and assignments of a more open-ended nature, which feature strongly in stage 3 assessment. Reflective essays supporting work placements identified explicitly permit assessment of attainment against skill 5, and guided self-assessment opportunities exist elsewhere within stage 3, for example the field trip ENE3001. The work placement report and stage 3 dissertation are assessed on the basis of research/analysis/practical work results and final report by a supervisor and second examiner against clearly set out assessment criteria.

C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

1. Select and use appropriate ICT based tools for analysis, design and communication of designs.

2. Work effectively as part of a team.

3. Communicate your outcomes of your work effectively utilising a range of techniques.

4. Work safely in laboratory, workshop and other workplace environments, and promote safe practice.

Learning & Teaching Activities

Skill 1 is central to many modules. It is specifically introduced in CSM1038 and developed in several modules at stages 1 and 2 with general, multi-purpose software tools (e.g. Office, Matlab, QGIS). In stage 3, technology-specific packages to support specific development tasks are introduced (e.g. PVSyst, SWAN, GaBi). Skill 2 is introduced in term 1 of stage 1 and supported and developed throughout all three stages through a wide range of group-based projects and assessments. Skill 3 is developed from the start of stage 1 in collaboration with the Academic Skills team through in-class activities and a range of formative and summative assessments. All students are inducted in the use of laboratory and workshop spaces and equipment, and skill 4 is reinforced through hands-on activity such as the CSM2181 group practical challenge.


Assessment Methods

Computing skills are typically assessed as components of wider projects across all three stages. An assessment of proficiency of use of IT products is primarily outcome based (e.g. quality of map produced in CSM1038), rather than classroom observation; this time is used to provide tutorial style support in use of software packages. Group coursework projects are set in all three stages with peer assessment methods employed to encourage reflection on group work practices. Presentation skills are assessed through a range of oral, poster, video and written 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

Academic and personal tutors. It is University policy that all Faculties should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with academic 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.

Computing and library facilities. Students have access to good computing and library facilities on the Penryn campus. Computer-based exercises and web-based learning materials are a feature of the programme, which can be accessed via the internet. IT Services provide a range of central services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis) within the Centre. Wireless network access is available from all rooms in the hall of residence on site. On the Penryn campus in Cornwall, the Learning Resource Centre contains a library of 70,000 volumes and some specialist collections. In addition, students have full access to the central University of Exeter library, including the electronic library resources.

Online study resources available through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, information on library and research skills, past exam papers, and the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism module are also available through ELE (

Engineering Teaching Laboratory (ETL). The ETL supports teaching in renewable energy-focused modules and is located on the top floor of the Du Maurier building at the Penryn campus. In addition to providing experimental rigs and demonstration space to support Renewable Energy Engineering modules, it also provides a suite of computers with specialist software for clean energy technologies, space for group and project work, and a dedicated digital maker space shared with other STEM disciplines. Access to these facilities will be available to Sustainable Energy Futures undergraduates, including out of hours on request.

Renewable Energy Engineering Facility (REEF). In 2018, the department opened a new-build specialist energy engineering workshop, REEF. This new facility provides an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience studying the performance of renewable energy equipment in the real environment as well as energy efficiency analysis of the building itself. All students are fully inducted in the use of the workshop equipment, and a dedicated technician is available to support individual and group design and build project work.

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.

Specific requirements to enrol on this programme are available at the Undergraduate Study Site webpages.


11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed Faculty 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

No specific accreditations are associated with this programme.

14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy
16 Partner College / Institution N/A
17 Programme accredited/validated by Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs)
18 Final Award(s) BSc (Hons)
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) H224
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 6
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 480 (240 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) TBC
23 Origin Date May 30th 2022 Last Date of Revision: November 14th 2023