Energy Policy and Finance (MSc) 2024 entry

The challenge of creating a better energy future for us all is both urgent and complex. It is much more than a technical challenge – it is also a societal, policy, and financial challenge.

The MSc in Energy Policy and Finance has been specifically designed to match and address this complexity. This one-year programme will equip students with knowledge, critical insights, and practical skills necessary for understanding and helping to shape, manage and evaluate energy policy, and interpret and operate within energy markets and finance.

Emphasising the development of practical skills, and involving external partners from the realms of policy, industry, and finance, the MSc in Energy Policy and Finance 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. 

Energy Policy & Finance MSc - University of St Andrews
Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2025
One year full time; two years part time.
The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies

Application deadline

  • Priority deadline: Monday 15 January 2024
  • Final deadline: Thursday 8 August 2024

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.
  • We welcome both recent graduates, and applicants at different stages of their professional careers.
  • 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
  • Public Policy
  • Sociology
  • Geography
  • Management
  • Engineering
  • Economics & Finance
  • Business
  • International Relations
  • Anthropology
  • Quantitative computation and analysis are some of the key components of the programme. Students are expected to have good numerical skills. Pre-sessional online training will be provided to support skills development with a focus on quantitative computational methods.
  • 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 Policy and Finance 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 Policy and Finance provides students with the knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking necessary to help shape better energy futures.

Over the course of this one-year masters programme, guided by world-class research leaders from the University of St Andrews, students will:

  • investigate energy circumstances and inequalities, particularly in the context of energy transitions climate responsibilities.
  • explore energy and climate change policy in historical and socio-political contexts, and develop skills in engaging with policy realm and conducting policy evaluation.
  • develop critical understanding of energy finance, and practical skills in financial analysis as it applies to energy markets and energy policy.
  • design and deliver an independent research project.

The course will be of particular value if you are looking to follow a career in energy policy, energy governance, energy industries and energy finance, or if you are planning to go into further energy-related research. 


  • Equips students with knowledge, understanding, but also a range of practical skills in energy policy and finance.
  • 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 Policy and Finance 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 published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

The following modular information is going to be refreshed shortly.

  • 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 Finance and Policy 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 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, reports, posters, quantitative data analysis, group assignments, practical exercises, policy briefs, and blog entries.




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.

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree


The University of St Andrews’ global reputation makes its graduates highly valued by employers. Energy Policy and Finance 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, evaluation and appraisal 
  • problem solving and decision making 
  • personal leadership and project management 
  • interpersonal communication and team working.

The University also offers two awards for all students known as the Saints Skills Awards. You can develop a range of skills through the Skills Builder Award or learn how to best articulate them through the Skills Spotlight Award. These skills are highly valued by employers and the awards are a good addition to your CV.

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 online visiting 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