Study Geothermal and Hydro Energy online with expert engineers.
Explore the physical principles, technologies and systems associated with geothermal and hydro energy.
- Learn how these renewable energy sources fit into the current and future global energy mix.
- Use engineering and thermodynamics principles to understand the design of geothermal and hydro energy systems.
- Get to grips with the technical challenges we face in meeting future energy demand.
Study flexibly online, on a course that fits around full-time work.
Who is this online renewable energy course for?
This distance-learning course is for graduate engineers, graduates of the Physical Sciences, and energy industry professionals.
Build credits towards a Masters degree
This online course is part of:
You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards either of these MSc qualifications.
What you’ll 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.
The course uses engineering and thermodynamics concepts to cover the principles and design of geothermal and hydro energy systems.
You’ll cover the following:
- Sources, technologies and preliminary environmental analysis of geothermal systems
- Thermodynamics of geothermal units (power and heat generation)
- Geothermal fluid dynamics (multiphase porous media flows)
- Introduction to geothermal units design and management
- Physical principles
- Energy storage
- Hydro turbine technologies
- Hydro plants
- Environmental considerations
- Future prospects
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Evaluate different sources of geothermal and hydro energy.
Quantify the energy potential from geothermal and hydro energy resources.
Explain and discuss 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?
Train with energy transition experts
Learn with a university leading the way in renewables, carbon capture, fuel cells and digitalisation.
Led by industry
Your course content is developed and reviewed by an Industry Advisory Board, so your training is always cutting edge and industry-relevant.
At energy’s core
The UK base for the world’s energy giants, Aberdeen is a world-class energy city.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning renewable energy course is delivered flexibly online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.
You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- videos of lectures
- reading materials
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
You’ll learn from 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 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.
[The lecturers] made themselves available in the run up to the exams to answer any questions. And I definitely knew where to reach out if I needed extra support.Jolanda Cameron, Geothermal and Hydro Energy student.
You’ll be assessed online. Assessment will take place throughout the teaching term.
Types of assessment for this course may include:
- online quizzes
- timed online open-book assessments.
Your assessments will have submission deadlines, either during or at the end of the course. Your course coordinator will let you know when your assessment deadlines are, so you can plan your study time accordingly.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities with deadlines
There will be some activities scheduled for fixed times, such as assessments with deadlines or meetings with your tutor. But otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via email. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that make online study easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Dr Nina Nikora
Nina is a Lecturer in our School of Engineering. She has extensive experience in hydraulic engineering and hydrological modelling. Nina is currently researching the effects of aquatic vegetation on hydraulic resistance in open-channel flows.View Nina’s profile
Where this will take you
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
Become an engineer in the renewable energy sector with our triple-accredited online MSc. Train online with internationally experienced engineers and learn direct from industry.View MSc Renewable Energy Engineering
Masters in Energy Transition Systems and Technologies
Join an online MSc that’s training the next generation of systems engineers. Help our planet transition from oil and gas to net-zero, with a degree you can study online, part-time.View MSc Energy Transition Systems and Technologies
A new career in renewables
Meet Jolanda, a chemical engineer. Jolanda used this online course to gain the technical skills she needed to move into a career in the energy transition.Learn how Jolanda moved from oil and gas to renewables
This course will prepare you for professional and managerial roles in the renewable energy sector.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
Free career support
Access our free careers service while you study.
- 1:1 appointments
- CV checks
- Interview prep
- Job opportunities
Build your learning
We have a range of online short courses you can use to build your skills in this area.
Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one from some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
Find out more about funding options.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
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