This MSc develops the knowledge and analytical skills needed to equip students for a successful career in the energy sector; whether this be in energy policy analysis, energy trading or energy planning. Energy security, energy prices and the environmental impacts of energy supply and use – including links to climate change problems – are key aspects of the global environment at present, and will become more pressing in the future. This course is aimed at students from a variety of backgrounds, including students with no previous training in economics or finance.
On completing the course, you should have a good knowledge of how economic analysis can help understand problems related to energy; be able to analyse alternative energy policy options in terms of benefits and costs; have a good understanding of world energy markets; and be able to analyse the risks associated with energy options. You will have acquired the skills needed to structure, analyse and evaluate energy-related problems.
A lower second class Honours degree from a UK university, or an equivalent qualification. The qualification need not be in Economics: most subjects are acceptable. Applicants with lower qualifications or special circumstances are also considered if they have relevant work experience.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23, Writing 21.
Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many Postgraduate Degree Programmes on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.
For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/
Modes of study
Full-time and part-time study available
Course start date
Structure and content
You take four taught modules in the autumn from September to December and four more taught modules in the spring from February to May. Then you write a dissertation in the summer, from June to August.
Semester 1 modules:
- Energy and Resource Economics: The main economic theories of the management of non-renewable and renewable resources; valuation of external effects of energy use; alternative ways of modelling energy and resource use; the place of energy and resource use within sustainable development strategies.
- Environmental Economics: The application of economic theory and methodologies to the better understanding of environmental problems and improving the design of environmental policy.
- Financial Economics: Financial instruments and how they are traded; the key tools used by financial economists; the major topics in financial economics including portfolio theory, diversification and mean variance analysis; asset-pricing models, efficient market hypothesis, and market anomalies; the pricing of bonds, stocks, and other financial instruments.
- Environmental Valuation and Methods: This module will cover the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings for environmental valuation, the methods for valuing non-market goods, and applications of quantitative methods and valuation techniques in the design policy.
Semester 2 modules:
- The Economics of Climate Change: The main economic arguments that help explain why human-induced climate change has arisen; estimation of damage costs from climate change; evaluation of climate change mitigation options; problems of international cooperation on climate change policy; distributional implications of climate change and climate change policy.
- Energy Markets and Policy: The function of the major markets for energy: oil, coal, natural gas, electricity, and alternative/renewable energy in a national and international context; the technological structure and parameters of energy supply and use; forecasting supply or demand for energy; the environmental issues related to energy use and consumption; the effect on energy markets of national and international environmental policy.
- Seminar on Energy Management: This will include presentations by visiting speakers from the UK energy industry, regulatory authorities and NGOs. The students will learn how to write and present policy briefs.
You will also take one of the optional modules chosen from:
- Financial Modelling and Forecasting: This provides students with the theory and practice of econometric modelling of financial decisions and markets. Students will learn most recent tools required to model non-stationary time series and compute forecasts from financial econometric models.
- Environmental Costs of Energy Production
- Dissertation: In the summer you complete a dissertation on a topic approved by the Course Director.
View full module descriptions
Delivery and assessment
Modules are taught by a combination of lectures and small group teaching, in the form of seminars or computing labs. Assessment typically includes coursework, presentations and an end-of-semester examination. Re-sit examinations are available.
Topics of student’s interest in journals such as Energy Policy, The Energy Journal, Energy Economics and others.
- Energy and Resource Economics
- Environmental Economics
- Financial Economics
- Environmental Valuation and Methods
- The Economics of Climate Change
- Energy Markets and Policy
- Seminar on Energy Management
- Financial modelling and forecasting
- Environmental Costs of Energy Production
Dr Ian Lange
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 15 percent of research in Economics at Stirling was rated as ‘World-leading’ and a further 45 percent as ‘Internationally Excellent’.
The Economics department is ranked in the top 10% of Energy Economic Institutions in the world by RePec.
As part of the MSc Energy Management students take part in an Industry Simulation Exercise with Emerson Process Management (http://www.emersonprocess.com). This Simulation Exercise provides MSc Energy Management students with a forum to listen to, and learn from senior managers from a leading energy company as they offer an insight into their own experiences in the workplace.
The Simulation Exercise is based around a ‘Performance Management’ scenario that allows students to work on a typical industry problem. It is designed to simulate a real life industry specific challenge that businesses face in their working environment. As part of the exercise students are required to undertake an individual and group task to review business performance of a power station and make recommendations to take the business forward.
The Business Simulation in conjunction with Daniel Emerson Process Management was a very important experience. It helped us both to identify with the role of an external advisor and develop recommendations for a specific business situation, but also to practice group work and presentation skills within an Assessment Centre. I particularly enjoyed perceiving the fast learning progress within our group and also seeing the different approaches and solutions from the other teams.
Jan Zacharias, MSc Energy Management, 2011
MSc Energy Management and MSc Environmental Economics students recently visited AC Gold Energy, a locally based energy renewable showroom to learn more about the micro-renewable business from their managing director, Mr Alasdair Campbell.
AC Gold Energy design and install MCS approved, renewable energy efficient heating and electric generation systems. As well as domestic installations, AC Gold Energy also work with the commercial electrical and engineering sector, with clients who require the highest levels of accreditation and safety certification.
Students learned how solar PV and biomass boilers work, what features customers are generally looking for, and how the changes in government policy alter the renewable business. Mr Campbell provided his insights into the key factors that shape the renewable business in Scotland and answered student questions.
This visit is an example of one of the many visits that students experience as part of the course and provides students with the skills and knowledge they will need to meet the challenges of this exciting sector.
The visit was extremely fascinating and informative. It was intriguing to be able to view in person, some of the different types of renewable energy technologies and innovations that we have studied in class. We learned not only about different types of renewable energy systems available to residential and commercial customers, but also the considerations that help determine which system is best for a particular application. I particularly enjoyed Mr Campbell and his team spending a generous amount of time at the end of our visit to answer the many questions we had. I feel that our program is very fortunate to have such an interesting facility located here in Stirling.”
Ryan Holmes, MSc Energy Management, 2012
The visit to AC Gold was a great opportunity to talk to people actively involved in the renewable energy business in Scotland. We had the chance to discover how solar PV systems and biomass boilers work, which renewable technologies are preferred by people and the incentives driving these preferences, the role of government policies in the renewable industry; getting in this way more information on the current trends in the market. The open discussion with the managing director of the business was really useful in providing an insight into the factors that are critical to the development of the renewable industry in the area, and in Scotland in general.
Niki Michael, MSc Energy Management, 2012
This program provides a chance to simulate the real business happening. Combining the knowledge we learn with the real business skill to train how to deal with the special problems for a firm in the first time and develop quick reaction capability. It is useful for us to get preparation for work we will do when we finish the course and also the experience will give good personal behaviour for future employment.
Xin Qi, MSc Energy Management, 2011
The MSc Energy Management opens up a range of employment opportunities in the energy sector at the national and international level. Some example placements for alumni of this course are:
- Head Economist, Zero Waste Scotland
- Director of Economic Affairs, Mining Association of Canada
- Market Analyst, Coal Marketing Company
- Head of Natural Gas Markets, Gen-I
- Funded PhD studentship, University College London Energy Institute
- Energy Analyst, International Energy Agency (OECD)
- Renewable Development Officer, Ullapool Community Trust