Join our online Solar Energy course and prepare for a career in renewables.

Join our team of internationally experienced engineers and academics online and develop your skills in this important area of renewables.

  • Investigate energy generation from solar sources.
  • Train in the associated technologies and software used in the solar energy sector.
  • Explore the technical challenges of this growing area of renewable energy.

You can study this online course anywhere, with no need for a visa, and flexible hours that fit around full-time work.

Who is this online renewable energy course for?

This course is ideal 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 electrical engineering aspects of solar energy in-depth, looking at:

  • resources
  • technologies used
  • practical implementation
  • development
  • barriers
  • environmental and sustainability issues.

You’ll explore various examples of solar energy calculations in different power ranges, from rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems to large PV farms.

You’ll learn to use simulation software, including MATLAB and MATLAB Simulink.

You’ll cover the following topics:

  • Sun solar spectrum, effects of Earth’s atmosphere, orbit and rotation on insolation
  • Solar cell and solar panel equivalent circuit and electrical model
  • DC/DC and DC/AC converters with application in PV systems
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
  • Solar thermal power generation
  • Solar energy storage systems
  • Stand-alone and grid-tied PV systems design

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

  • Explain the sources of solar energy, their nature and availability.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of different sources of energy.
  • Quantify the energy potential (heat, power and transport) from different sources of energy.
  • Assess the technologies available for the conversion of solar to different forms of energy.
  • Discuss the technical challenges facing solar-based energy industries.
  • Carry out the design and analysis of a solar-based plant system.
  • Describe the market dynamics and economics of solar energy.
  • Use MATLAB and MATLAB Simulink to simulate electrical systems relevant to renewable energy installations.

Why study renewable energy online with the University of Aberdeen?

How you’ll study

Online learning

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

Your teaching

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
  • simulation software, including MATLAB and MATLAB Simulink
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

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.

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:

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.

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

See how our careers service can help you.

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
18 September 2023
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