MSc
2021 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 spans fundamental materials science through to PV system deployment. This means you can learn how to fabricate and assemble solar technologies, and how to measure their effectiveness, in a range of operating conditions and at various scales.

Lecture modules are designed to teach you the concepts behind photovoltaic materials and solar energy generation. In practical sessions, you will learn how to characterise materials used in solar cells and build them into devices. You will also have access to our rooftop solar testbed, where solar cells can be assessed in real-world conditions. Computer programming classes will teach you how to analyse solar energy systems, drawing on expertise from the scientists at Sheffield Solar, who run the largest database of photovoltaic systems in the UK. 

Our dedicated enterprise module will show you how the solar technology business works in practice, and how companies get devices out of the lab and plugged into the energy network. The biggest part of your degree will be your research project. You'll be able to choose from a range of topics, from solar device fabrication to photovoltaic system analysis.

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Modules

Explore modules

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

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

Assessment

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

Duration

1 year full-time

Your career

We have close links with organisations in the solar industry who we’ve collaborated with on projects and who have employed our graduates. The course is also great preparation for a PhD.

Our industry partners include:

Solar cell materials

Photovoltaic technology

Energy systems

National and regional networks

Market intelligence and consultancy

Solar testing and measurement

Materials laboratory

Facilities

The University of Sheffield is home to one of the UK's best equipped laboratories for developing and testing solar materials and devices: Electronic and Photonic Molecular Materials laboratory

The Sheffield Solar team run the solar testbed facility on the roof of our building and operate the UK's largest database of energy captured by rooftop solar panels: Sheffield Solar

Entry requirements

We usually ask for a 2:1 degree, or equivalent, in physics, materials science, physical chemistry, electrical engineering or a related subject.

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

International pathway programmes

If you're an international student and don’t meet our entry requirements, we offer a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering programme through the University of Sheffield International College. The programme develops your knowledge of your chosen subject, introduces you to vital study skills and provides additional support to reach the English language level for the course, should you need it.

Once you complete your Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering and achieve the required grades, you can enter your chosen postgraduate degree at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

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

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Contact

postgradphysics-enquiry@shef.ac.uk
+44 114 222 3789

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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