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Boost your skills and expertise in renewable energy production.

Study the physical principles, technologies and systems associated with geothermal and hydro energy.

Learn how these energy sources fit into the current and future global energy mix. Get to grips with the technical challenges we face in meeting future energy demand.

Study part-time, online and develop focused skills as a graduate engineer or energy industry professional.

This course is part of our MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering. You can go on to study this Masters degree online, one short course at a time.

What will I study?

You’ll examine the renewable energy industries that use geothermal and hydro energy.

Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. Sources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground, to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth’s surface, down to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock (magma).

Hydro energy involves the movement of water. The kinetic energy of flowing water can be captured and turned into electricity. This is hydroelectric power or hydropower.

For both of these renewable energy types, you’ll cover:

  • resources
  • physical principles
  • technologies
  • efficiency
  • environmental considerations and impact
  • integration into the grid
  • commercial development
  • future challenges facing these industries.

By the end of this course, you will be able to…

  • Evaluate different sources of geothermal and hydro energy.
  • Quantify the energy potential from geothermal and hydro energy resources.
  • Understand, discuss and explain the sources of geothermal and hydro energy and the technologies available to fully exploit them.
  • Assess where geothermal and hydro energy fit within future energy strategy.

Why study Renewable Energy online with the University of Aberdeen?

How will I study?

This course is delivered online, with a final exam that you must sit in person. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you. We’ll help you locate an exam centre in your area for your final exam.

The course is taught at Masters level by a team of internationally experienced engineering staff. Involved in active research, they’ve worked on major projects all over the globe. You’ll benefit directly from their remarkable level of industrial experience and academic expertise.

Your course content is also developed and reviewed by an Industry Advisory Board. This group of experienced professionals ensures your learning is always in line with the latest industry trends, technology and career opportunities.

Your training is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This gives you easy access to resources you can view when it suits you. It’s also available as an app, so you can access learning materials on computer, smartphone and mobile device 24/7.

This course features:

Course coordinator

Where will this take me?

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Masters in Renewable Energy Engineering (120 credits plus a 60-credit project), or a:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering (60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Renewable Energy Engineering (120 credits)

All are available to study part-time online or full-time on campus.

Further short courses

We have a range of online short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:


This course will prepare you for professional and managerial roles in the renewable energy sector.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level of teaching, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree in Engineering or the Physical Sciences
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of training.

Apply for this course

Start date
28 September 2020