Energy Ethics (MSc) 2023 entry

The MSc in Energy Ethics explores how we balance our energy demands with our concerns about anthropogenic climate change. How can we make sense of the complexity of our energy systems and address challenges of energy security and equity? What can we do to create a better energy future for us all?  

The challenge of creating a better energy future for us all is both urgent and complex. The MSc in Energy Ethics has been specifically designed to match and address this complexity. It brings together academic experts from across arts, humanities, social and natural sciences to offer an in-depth, interdisciplinary understanding of global, national and local energy challenges.   

Emphasising the development of practical skills, and involving external partners from the realms of policy, industry, and finance, the MSc in Energy Ethics offers more than an academic qualification. It equips students with the knowledge and competencies that will enable them to define and pursue new and diverse career trajectories in the field of energy – both within and outside of academia. 

Start date
September 2023
End date
September 2024
One year full time; two years part time.
The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies

Application deadline

  • Priority deadline: Monday 16 January 2023
  • Final deadline: Thursday 10 August 2023

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The applications window may close before the final deadline if all the spaces have been filled, in which case two weeks’ notice will be given.

Different scholarship schemes will have their own deadlines, which are likely to be significantly earlier than the final deadline for application for admission to the course.

Entry requirements

  • We encourage applicants from a diverse range of academic and professional backgrounds to apply, creating an excellent environment for interdisciplinary shared learning.
  • A 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
  • Applicants disciplinary backgrounds may include but are not limited to:

  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Geography
  • Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Engineering
  • Economics & Finance
  • Business
  • Anthropology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Sciences
  • Humanities
  • The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

    Application requirements

    • A CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date. 
    • A personal statement of purpose. This should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than 1,000 words, addressing the following questions:
      • What key experiences (academic, professional, and/or other) have contributed to your commitment to work on energy issues?
      • What are your personal and/or professional goals?
      • And why is enrolment in the MSc in Energy Ethics critical in helping you achieve your goals?
    • Two original signed references. If you completed your last degree within the last three years, at least one of those references must be an academic reference. Professional references are also welcome.
    • Academic transcripts and degree certificates.

    For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

    English language proficiency

    If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MSc in Energy Ethics provides students with the knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking necessary to help solve the world’s most significant and urgent energy challenges. The course will be of particular value if you are looking to follow a career in the energy industries, energy policy, and energy finance, or if you are planning to go into further energy-related research. 


  • Introduces key topics in energy ethics, energy humanities and energy sciences, alongside energy and climate finance and policy, providing a broad overview of the field. 
  • A comprehensive and integrated interdisciplinary character gives this programme a remarkable richness and depth compared with conventional energy degrees. 
  • The course is specifically designed to connect academic learning with the development of personal and professional competencies and career trajectories. 
  • Teaching is delivered by leading experts from across the University of St Andrews and its Centre for Energy Ethics, with input from external partners representing the realms of industry, policy, and finance. 

The MSc in Energy Ethics is a flagship course for the  Centre for Energy Ethics. The Centre is truly interdisciplinary in its ethos, vision, and scope, bringing together researchers across the Arts, Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences to create an inspiring dynamic and inclusive research environment in which to pursue issues of energy ethics.  


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details about each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue, which is for the 2022-2023 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2023 entry. 

The MSc is structured around compulsory modules: 

  • Energy Inequalities and Climate Responsibilities: introduces energy ethics through an analytical approach that investigates how energy practices are informed by our individual and collective understandings of ethics.
  • Energy Sciences: introduces the scientific approaches to energy that share a fundamental focus on quantitative methods, observation and experimentation. 
  • Energy Finance and Policy: focuses on the key issues in energy finance and energy policy, focusing on contemporary UK within a global comparative perspective. 
  • Energy Humanities: introduces arts and humanities approaches to energy, focusing on qualitative methods, generating new insights into the social, cultural, and historical nature of the climate crisis. 

The final part of the MSc in Energy Ethics is the end-of-degree project. This takes the form of a period of supervised research where you will explore an energy topic in depth.  

Through the project, you will demonstrate your ability to undertake sustained critical analysis, develop and improve your research skills, and produce an extended piece of written work that evidences a high level of understanding of your area of study.  

You can choose to present your end-of-degree project in one of the following ways:  

  • a policy report that emphasises your ability to critically assess policy and make convincing recommendations for policy changes  
  • a written dissertation that emphasises your ability to plan and execute academically rigorous research 

If students choose not to complete the project requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.  

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


The taught modules are taken over two semesters – September to December (Semester 1) and January to May (Semester 2). The period from June to August is used to complete the end of degree project. 

Each taught module will use teaching and learning methods appropriate to its aims. These may include seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials, group work and independent study. 

Assessment methods used may include essays, presentations, posters, group assignments, practical exercises, policy briefs, blog entries, and portfolio of independent work. 




More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Find out more about the scholarships and postgraduate loans available.

All taught postgraduate scholarships

After your degree


The University of St Andrews’ global reputation makes its graduates highly valued by employers. Energy Ethics is a fast-growing area of research and students graduating from this programme will be well placed to undertake further research in the UK and overseas.  

There is a substantial demand from industry and government for graduates who have had the kind of training this programme provides and acquired the necessary skills in ethical awareness and environmental sustainability. 

In addition to broadening your subject knowledge and applying established techniques of research and enquiry, you will develop and demonstrate essential skills including: 

  • critical thinking and creativity 
  • analysis and appraisal 
  • problem solving and decision making 
  • personal leadership and project management 
  • interpersonal communication and team working.

The University also offers a programme of skills development activities for all students known as the Professional Skills Curriculum. Comprising evening lectures, workshops, and online presentations, the Professional Skills Curriculum will help you develop your personal and professional capabilities and gain skills that you need to succeed in your studies and enhance your employability. 

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Further study

St Andrews offers a vibrant and stimulating research environment. One of the great strengths of our research degrees is the collegiate atmosphere which enables access to expertise beyond your formal supervisors and the ability to conduct interdisciplinary research. 

Research students are supported by a supervisory team throughout their studies and are assessed by means of a substantial thesis of original research.

Research degrees

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate virtual days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2032
The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies
The Old Burgh School
Abbey Walk
St Andrews
KY16 9LB

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies website