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    Environmental and Energy Engineering

    Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

    This course blends theory and practice to equip you with the skills you need to work in the environment and energy sectors. You’ll be taught by experts and can tailor the course to suit your needs.
    Chemical and Biological Engineering postgraduate in lab wearing goggles

    Course description

    Going green is more than just a fashionable phase. In a world of finite resources going through a population explosion, much effort is being made to change the way in which developed societies consume energy and materials and dispose of waste.

    This MSc was born from the necessity for the next generation of engineers and scientists to be aware of the issues surrounding this sensitive and often controversial field.

    You’ll be taught by staff that are actively involved with and working in this field. You’ll become a member of a leading, research active department and part of one of the largest and most successful engineering facilities in the UK.

    You’ll earn a degree that commands respect nationally and internationally from industry and academia alike.


    We are accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules:

    Introduction to Fuels and Energy

    The module covers the following topics:- Introduction to energy: sources, history, classifications, units

    - Primary energy - Introduction to coal

    - Primary energy - Introduction to oil and natural gas

    - Primary energy conversion - heat to power

    - Introduction to electrical systems and energy carriers

    - Primary electricity - nuclear

    - Energy end use - transport

    - Introduction to combustion processes I

    - Introduction to combustion processes II

    - Energy futures

    15 credits
    Applied Energy Engineering

    Applied Energy Engineering comprises three experiments: coal characterisation, gas boiler efficiency and renewable energy. The main objectives of this module are (a) experimental studies of some of the energy principles that chemical engineering is relying on and (b) development of skills for collecting and interpreting data and draw conclusions. In addition, collecting and reviewing literature concerning a particular experiment is also essential for this module. After each experiment you will write a laboratory report, which is guided by these principles and finally apply the data and knowledge to suggest an open-ended design for an energy system for an urban scenario.

    15 credits
    Environmental Engineering

    The module will have three main focus areas: air pollution, water pollution and soil pollution. The module will prepare you for tackling pollution problems, both in terms of methods for preventing the pollution from occurring in the first place and with methods for remediation of polluted sites in the environment.

    15 credits
    Energy Systems and Management

    The module provides a broad study of conventional and renewable Energy Systems and an advanced knowledge of selected emerging energy technologies. It develops practical skills and confidence in carrying out energy management tasks such as conducting an energy audit.

    15 credits
    Systems for Sustainability

    This module introduces sustainability relevant to the environmental impact of chemical processes and industry. The module covers the concepts of systems analysis by introducing systems-level thinking. Tools to examine process sustainability will be included such as life cycle analysis and circular economy.

    15 credits
    Research Project

    The application of scientific and engineering principles to a solution for practical problems of engineering systems and processes is developed throughout the course and demonstrated in particular by the research project. Each student registered for the Masters degree in 'Energy and Environmental Engineering' and in 'Energy Engineering with Industrial Management' is required to complete a research-based portfolio. The project is worth 60 credits. This is the most important individual module in the course. The topic for study is selected in consultation with appropriate members of the teaching staff. You will choose a research project that best fits your own interests and undertakes a unique and original project on that area. Projects vary from industrially-based problem solving to laboratory-based research and development of new processes or ideas. The research portfolio is a major part of the degree and you will be allocated an academic supervisor who provides advice and guidance throughout the period of study. Opportunities exist for research studies to be carried out in collaboration with other university research centres, as well as industrial organisations. You will present your project as portfolio consisting of a Technical Review (5,000 words) and a Dissertation (10,000 to 15,000 words) and are also required to present the work as a poster and oral presentation during the academic year. A marking scheme is provided at the start of the project and each research project report is marked using a mark sheet that gives weightings to different parts.

    60 credits

    Optional modules - examples include:

    Petroleum Engineering

    This module gives an overview of current and future technology for the oil and gas industry. It includes the origins of petroleum and its refining, as well as introduction to biofuels.
    This module covers:
    - the origins, types and quality of refinery feedstock and products
    - detailed analysis of various sections of petroleum processing in refineries
    - introduction to advanced topics in petrochemical engineering such as catalyst development, desulphurisation, pollution control and hydrogen production
    - details on key biofuels and their strategic importance and the technological challenges of viable large scale production

    15 credits
    Low Carbon Energy Science and Technology

    Low carbon technologies are an essential requirement if the world's energy needs are to be met without causing irreversible changes to the planet's climate. This module will cover why there is a need for various different technologies that can help to meet the world's energy needs without releasing large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Various different technologies that aim to meet this need will be introduced and then a select number will be studied in more detail. The aim of the module is to enable the student to make critical assessments of the different low carbon technologies backed by sound scientific understanding of their limitations and advantages.

    15 credits
    Nuclear Reactor Engineering

    The module provides a broad base introduction to the theory and practice of nuclear reactors for power production. This includes those aspects of physics which represent the source of nuclear energy and the factors governing its release, as well as the key issues involved in the critical operation of nuclear cores. The relation of the science underlying successful operation with the needs for fuel preparation and engineering designs is emphasised. The module aims to provide students with a clear grasp of those aspects relevant to the design and operation of nuclear reactors along with an understanding of the principles of reactor design. The module will cover the techniques used to prepare nuclear fuels and process spent fuel. Students will develop an understanding of the present and future roles of nuclear reactors in energy provision.

    15 credits
    Bioresources and Bioprocessing (PGT)

    This module provides an overview of bioresources and their applications in the bioeconomy. The different types of bioresources, their characteristics and how that affects their applications will be discussed. Technologies, including chemical and biochemical methods, that are used for processing bioresources will be explored. Production of bioenergy from bioresources will be discussed.

    15 credits
    Electrochemical Engineering

    This module covers three key topics:
    1.Fundamentals of electrochemical kinetics and thermodynamics
    2. Electrical and mass transport and electrochemical characterisation
    3. Energy storage and conversion – fuel cells, batteries & supercapacitors

    15 credits

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    Find out what makes us special at our next online open day on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


    We use lectures, tutorials and project work. All your tutors are actively involved in research and consultancy in their field.


    Assessment is by formal examinations, continuous assessment and a research project.


    Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Chemical engineers conceive and design processes to produce, transform and transport materials. Our courses help prepare you for a career in the oil and gas, chemical, nuclear and pharmaceutical industries.

    Our first-class facilities include cutting-edge laboratories such as the Analytics Lab, Thermodynamics Lab and the Pilot Plant.

    The Pilot Plant is the cornerstone to educate our students and it features a continuous powder processing plant – the first of its kind in any UK University.

    We also have key relationships with major international companies involved with food, fuels, medicines, plastics, energy and high-technology industries.  Some of these include: Siemens, Petronas, Pfizer, Nestle, Lonza, Astrazeneca, Syngenta and Unilever. 

    Here at Sheffield you’ll become an innovative product developer, forward looking, a risk taker and a trail blazer. You’ll be proud of the manufacturing heritage of our university and of our city.

    Our intensive teaching, combined with practical experience in most of our courses, produces the kind of graduates employers want. 

    We’ll equip you with everything you need to deliver sustainable solutions to support an ever growing, global population – study at Sheffield and you could literally change millions of lives.

    Student profiles

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:2 undergraduate honours degree in a science, technology or engineering subject.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

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

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

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


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

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 7500

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

    Our student protection plan

    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.