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.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This course is part of our MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering. You can use the credits you earn on the course towards this Masters qualification.

Who is this online renewable energy course for?

This online course is for graduate engineers, graduates of the Physical Sciences, and energy industry professionals.

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:

Geothermal Energy

  • 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

Hydro Energy

  • Resources
  • 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?

How you’ll study

This renewable energy course is delivered flexibly online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering, this course is taught at Masters level.

Online learning

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:

Your tutors

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.

Industry input

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.


You’ll be assessed entirely online. We use a range of assessment types with deadlines, including:

  • coursework
  • essays
  • reports
  • online tests.

This course usually combines online assessment with a written exam that you attend in person. However, due to Covid-19, in-person exams will not take place in 2021. Instead, you’ll be examined via alternative online assessment.

Assessment deadlines

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 out your study time accordingly.

Your course coordinator

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 (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.

Build your learning

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.

Entry requirements

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
27 September 2021
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