Master's degree on Energy for Sustainability
The Master's in Energy for Sustainability at the University of Coimbra (MESUC) aims at developing its students' abilities to contribute to interdisciplinary interventions in areas such as the efficient use of energy, centralized or decentralized energy production, or the distribution of energy, always under a sustainable development perspective. Students that earn an MSc through this program have developed competences in the technological domains associated to these areas, as well as the domains of economics and the environment; they acquired capacities to analyze systems and their interrelations; they are able to develop projects and tackle complex problems concerning the energy-environment binomial, addressing topics such as the evaluation of systems' sustainability, using life-cycle models, materials flow analysis, geographical information systems, market economics analyzes, or market regulation mechanisms.
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Admission and Program's Operation
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in areas of economics, management, engineering, architecture or in a degree that has at least 30ECTS together in the areas of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry;
Tuition fee: (Please confirm for the current year in the Academic Services)
1st year (1st and 2nd semester) 1600 EUR (7000EUR*)
2nd year (3rd semester): 800 EUR (3500EUR*)
- (*Tuition fee for students from outside the European Union)
Vacancies: 25 (Please confirm for the current year in the Academic Services)
Language: Classes are taught in English given that non Portuguese speaking students are regularly attending (*). Study materials are also available in English.
Schedule: The most nuclear courses of the program have classes scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday
(*) the Portuguese language is used only when there are no non-Portuguese speaking students in class
The MESUC is organized in three semesters, corresponding to 90 ECTS, mandatory and elective courses totaling 60 ECTS, plus a master's dissertation corresponding to 30 ECTS. Successful completion of the courses provided on the first two semesters confers a post-graduation specialized course, Diploma of Specialization in Energy for Sustainability, in case the student does not wish to submit an MSc Dissertation.
The MESUC program offers three specialization areas plus a common kernel of general courses. The three areas of specialization address energy sustainability at different levels:
Macro-scale | Energy Systems and Policy
In this area, courses are offered to allow students to master topics related with energy and environmental economics, energy markets in various forms of organization and regulation, efficient use of energy and overcoming market barriers, organization of transportation systems for sustainability, among other topics.
Medium-scale | Buildings and Urban Environment
This area builds competences for designing and analyzing urban-scale systems, both under a perspective of space organization, at the crossroads of criteria related to the sustainable use of natural resources, functionality, and fruition, and the under a perspective of buildings as complex systems, addressing conception and operation in a context of efficiency, as well as human comfort and health.
Small-scale | Indoor Climate and Comfort
Besides studying the design and operation of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, this area soughs to improve competences in topics such as analysis of comfort, simulation of energy in buildings, computational analysis of fluid dynamics, or the influence of the buildings' opaque envelope on comfort.The publication of the EU Directive EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) has induced national laws and regulations concerning the certification of buildings and the monitoring of their consumptions. This new reality demands for an increase of the number of professionals with specialized technical education in the areas of HVAC in European countries.
Program Structure and Courses
Introduction to Energy Systems is a compulsory extra-curricular unit of prior attendance, aimed at levelling the new students’ knowledge, taking into account the diversity of their basic training. It is subject to evaluation, corresponding to 6 ECTS, which will not countable for the degree of Master in EfS, but will be included in the Diploma Supplement. It works as an isolated course unit without, however, additional costs for students.
More specifically, Introduction to Energy Systems is structured in five modules whose compulsory attendance is adapted to each student's background. The five modules are: Economics, Electricity, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Fluid Mechanics. Candidates may apply for module equivalence if they have previous curricular training of at least 3ECTS in the subject of the corresponding module.
The mandatory and elective courses, totaling 60 ECTS, depend on the chosen area of specialization within the following criteria:
- 24 ECTS credits of compulsory courses (Table I)
- 12 ECTS credits of compulsory courses in the chosen area of specialization (Table II or Table III or Table IV)
- 12 ECTS credits of elective courses in the chosen area of specialization (Table II or Table III or Table IV)
- 12 ECTS credits chosen freely among courses in Tables II, III, IV e V. One of the courses freely chosen, up to 6 ECTS, can be a course offered by the University of Coimbra not listed in the tables below, but he student should first ask for an authorization by the coordinatiors of the course.
This list of courses should not be regarded as permanent, the Scientific and Management Coordination Committee can add new options in the future, to reflect the evolution of this area.
- Research areas of the lecturers and researchers involved in the Energy for Sustainability Initiative
Table I - Courses
|Dissertation project||12||Compulsory (year)|
|Fundamentals of Operational Research||6||Elective (1º Sem)|
|Energy Production, Conversion, and Storage||6||Compulsory (1º sem)|
|Energy Planning and Sustainable Development||6||Compulsory (2º Sem)|
|Decision Analysis||6||Elective (2º Sem)|
|Innovation and Entrepreneurship||6||Elective (2º Sem)|
Table II - Courses in the area of Buildings and Urban Environment
|Energy Management in Buildings*||6||Compulsory (1º sem)|
|Buildings and Environment||6||Compulsory (2º sem)|
|HVAC in Buildings||6||Elective (2º sem)|
|Technology and Rehabilitation of Facades||6||Elective (2º sem)|
|Dissertation in Buildings and Urban Environment||30||Compulsory (3º sem)|
Table III - Courses in the area of Energy Systems and Policy
|Energy Economics and Energy Markets||6||Compulsory (1º sem)|
|Energy Management in Industry(*)||6||Elective (1º sem)|
|Sustainable mobility||6||Elective (1º sem)|
|Environmental Economics||6||Elective (2º sem)|
|Policies for Energy Market Transformation||6||Elective (2º sem)|
|Renewable Energy Systems||6||Compulsory (2º sem)|
|Dissertation in Energy Systems and Energy Policies||30||Compulsory (3º Sem)|
Table IV - Courses in the area of Indoor Climate and Comfort
|Indoor Environmental Quality||6||Compulsory (1º sem)|
|Computational Fluid Mechanics||6||Elective (1º sem)|
|Energy simulation of buildings||6||Elective (1º sem)|
|Energy and Indoor Environmental Quality audits||6||Elective (2º sem)|
|HVAC systems||6||Compulsory (2º Sem)|
|Dissertation in Climate and Comfort||30||Compulsory (3º Sem)|
(*) The courses “Energy Management in Buildings” and “Energy Management in Industry” are lectured in the same time slots. It is therefore not possible to attend both courses simultaneously.