Join a sustainable engineering Masters you can study flexibly, 100% online.

Most fuels and chemicals today are produced using finite fossil resources. In this online degree, you’ll develop the advanced engineering skills needed to change that.

With expert guidance, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the engineering side of the manufacturing process, and how we can make it more sustainable.

In-demand skills in sustainability engineering

You’ll develop the engineering skills that businesses around the world need in order to meet their environmental obligations.

You’ll learn to use renewable resources, in particular biomass and carbon dioxide, to produce energy, chemicals, materials, and other products in a sustainable way.

You’ll focus on:

  • the transition to sustainable energy in manufacturing processes, including the use of biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydro, and solar energy
  • the use of sustainable products and raw materials in manufacturing, including recycling
  • biorefinery – producing energy and chemicals from biomass and carbon dioxide
  • biotechnology for industrial applications
  • sustainable production processes and technologies, including sustainable chemical processes, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

You can also tailor your learning, with optional courses in solar, geothermal, and hydro energy.

This degree is also available to study full-time on campus.

Who can join this online sustainable engineering MSc?

This distance-learning degree is for graduates or professionals with a background in engineering (any discipline) or science. Its flexible study hours fit around full-time work.

This qualification is ideal for those working in energy, pharmaceuticals or manufacturing, particularly those who work with plastics, fertilisers, detergents, etc.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for online sustainable engineering courses

Fits around full-time work

This degree fits around full-time work, with flexible hours and 24/7 study access.

Earn a recognised Masters degree

You’ll earn exactly the same globally recognised Masters degree online as you would on campus.

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been training world-class engineers for decades and delivering online learning for over 20 years.

By the end of this degree, you’ll be able to...

  • Apply engineering principles for the optimisation of manufacturing processes, including minimisation of energy consumption and of process waste.
  • Apply renewable energy technologies and design principles used in chemical processes to contribute to sustainable development.
  • Apply carbon capture principles and technologies, understanding their contribution to net-zero strategies and sustainability.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of biomass-based feedstocks for the manufacture of sustainable chemicals and fuels.
  • Describe the main differences between the use of biomass vs. fossil resources in the chemical industry.
  • Discuss the role of biotechnology processes for sustainable products and processes.
  • Explain the use of mineral resources, including mineral processing and recycling, for the manufacturing of sustainable products and energy.
  • Analyse and evaluate current and future processes and products, identifying the challenges and opportunities for sustainability.
  • Evaluate the sustainability of different products and processes, making use of appropriate tools, including: mass and energy balances, and life-cycle assessments.
  • Develop and advance new and existing processes to maximise sustainability, including the use of feedstocks, energy, and the generation of sustainable products.

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for a:

  • Masters (180 credits)
  • exit early with a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
  • exit early with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), or
  • start with one of the short courses that make up this degree (15 credits).

You can build your way to a qualification one short course at a time.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning sustainable engineering Masters is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn with us anywhere, no student visa required, and set your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

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 online resources available, including:

  • video lectures and tutorials
  • slideshows
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with your tutors and peers
  • online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Your tutors

This online degree is delivered by the School of Engineering and the Department of Chemistry in our School of Natural and Computing Sciences.

You’ll learn from an international team of research-active chemistry and engineering staff.

The Leverhulme Centre

This degree has been informed by research carried out at the prestigious Leverhulme Centre for Doctoral Training in the Sustainable Production of Chemicals and Materials.

The research undertaken at the Centre will shape what you study, and through it you’ll gain valuable insights into the latest tools, systems, and techniques used to promote sustainable manufacturing processes.

This degree is assessed online.

You’ll be assessed throughout your studies via a range of online methods, including:

  • online tests and problems
  • short-answer tests
  • essays, and
  • presentations.

Hours for taught courses

If you plan to study part-time, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term. Students typically take one or two 15-credit short courses per term.

15 credits

  • Around 150 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 8 – 10 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

30 credits

  • Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 15 – 20 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.

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 at fixed times

There will be some activities scheduled at a fixed time, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.

Hours for 60-credit projects and dissertations

A 60-credit project or dissertation is around 600 hours of study time.

This is around one term of full-time study.

You can dedicate a full term to your project or dissertation and work on it full-time. Or you can complete it part-time, spreading the hours you dedicate to it over two terms.

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 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 studies 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.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and 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:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Professor Davide Dionisi

Davide is the degree coordinator. He’ll be on hand to answer any questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

Lyn Magee

Lyn is part of the School’s administration team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Ask us a question

Where this will take you

Your sustainability engineering Masters degree

You’ll graduate with a respected MSc in Sustainable Product, Process and Energy Engineering from the University of Aberdeen, one of the UK’s six ancient universities.

You’ll receive exactly the same degree qualification online as you would on campus. Your degree title will not mention online or distance learning.

Your MSc qualification will be recognised by industry and educational institutions around the world, opening up international opportunities.

Sustainable engineering careers

This MSc will prepare you for sustainable engineering jobs across many different sectors.

There is a growing demand for engineers who can design and manufacture products that are both energy-efficient and eco-friendly, as companies increasingly look to change and adapt their processes in line with sustainability targets.

Industry requires engineers who have the skills and knowledge in areas including raw materials, manufacturing processes, waste management, and energy usage to create meaningful change.

You’ll develop those in-demand skills in this degree, which will prepare you for roles including:

  • Biomass Engineer
  • Carbon Capture Consultant
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Renewable Energy Engineer
  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Sustainability Engineer.

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

Fees and funding

The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative cost includes a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

This is a pay-as-you-go degree.

You do not have to pay the full tuition fee upfront.

You can spread the cost and pay as you go, term by term.

How it works

  • You decide how many credits to study for each term.
  • At the start of term, you pay only for the credits you’re taking that term.
  • This gives you control over your costs and workload for each term of your degree.

Learning resources

Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

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.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details.

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.

Benefits of our online sustainability engineering Masters degree

Over 525 years of excellence

You’ll graduate from the fifth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1495.

Learn anywhere

On smartphone, desktop and laptop, with no need for a student visa.

20% alumni discount

University of Aberdeen alumni receive 20% off fees for this online degree.

Entry requirements

MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • A 2:1 BEng or BSc UK honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or Chemistry.

You can also apply if you have:

  • a 2:2 BEng or BSc UK honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or Chemistry and at least five years of relevant industry experience.

These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a student visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.

English language tests and scores

If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept for this course or degree.

These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI 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 Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 65 for writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 6.0 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 apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement

Apply now

Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

You can apply to start in either September or January.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2024 intake

For our September 2024 intake, the application deadline is 8 September 2024.

You will need to accept your offer and provide any outstanding documents to meet the conditions of your offer by 15 September 2024.

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024.

January 2025 intake

Teaching starts on 27 January 2025.

Application deadlines will be announced in due course.

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

We recommend:

  • 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 for 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.

Master of Science

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over three years, starting in September 2024.

Apply for this programme

Start month
September or January

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over three years, starting in September 2024.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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