2019 start

Solar Cell Technology

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science

The move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is one of the biggest changes in society since the Industrial Revolution. This shift means there's a growing demand for scientists with specialist expertise in solar, a key energy technology of the 21st century.
Solar panels

Course description

This course is designed to train physical science and engineering graduates to develop new photovoltaic devices and test their effectiveness as a global energy resource. It is based on more than 20 years of solar research at the University of Sheffield, and spans fundamental materials science through to PV system deployment.

Laboratory training in materials science will teach you how to characterise and test solar cell materials, leading to the fabrication and measurement of photovoltaic devices. You'll learn how to analyse and assess the performance of photovoltaic systems by working with the team behind Sheffield Solar – they run the UK's largest PV database and our rooftop solar testbed facility

An expert from one of these areas will work with you on a major research project, and with our dedicated enterprise training and links with industry, you'll become equipped for a range of roles in solar energy.

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Core modules

  • Introduction to Photovoltaics
  • Photovoltaic Systems
  • Solar Cell Laboratory
  • Innovation in Solar Energy
  • Low Carbon Energy, Science and Technology
  • Research Skills in Physics
  • Dissertation Project


  • Lectures
  • Laboratory classes
  • Computing and data analysis
  • Seminars
  • Enterprise training
  • Research project


  • Project assignments
  • Presentations
  • Examinations
  • Lab work
  • Exams
  • Dissertation and viva


1 year full-time

MPhys Physics student

My physics degree from the University of Sheffield provided me with a solid technical understanding of the physics involved in solar cell operation, as well as the manufacturing processes employed along the value chain.

Alex Barrows
MPhys Physics

Entry requirements

We usually ask for a 2:1 honours degree in physics, materials science, physical chemistry, electrical engineering or a related subject. Applicants with relevant work experience and good academic potential are also encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

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+44 114 222 3789

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.