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Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc

We equip graduates to become sustainability leaders and entrepreneurs in business, policy-making and research.

About the programme 

As an Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc (EPEE MSC) student, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to become a leader and innovator of business, policy-making and research.

This advanced degree programme is designed to provide a broad understanding of research concepts and methods; environmental and resource economics; modelling, methods and scenarios; environmental measurement, assessment and law; global economics and the political economy of energy and climate change.

All modules are taught by our world-class faculty who have a breadth of industrial and academic knowledge. Recent graduates have gone onto varied and challenging careers at the forefront of industry, research and academia.

Learning outcomes

As an EPEE MSc student, you will gain a firm grounding across all areas that are vital to the understanding and analysis of environment-energy-economy interactions.

Studying in an interdisciplinary, collaborative learning environment, you will learn, at both an introductory and advance level, about:

  • Environmental policy and law
  • Economics of the environment and natural resources
  • Issues and challenges of global energy use, including climate change
  • Fields of energy system and econometric modelling
  • Roles that innovation, business, people and society play in the energy system

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Why choose the UCL Energy Institute?

Expertise from both the UCL Energy Institute and the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, including:

  • Environmental, energy and resource economics
  • Energy and environmental policy and law
  • Green economy and innovation
  • Behavioural aspects of energy use
  • The chance to gain in-depth practical expertise in several specific areas of analysis related to the above topics

We also offer:

  • Leading centres for research into energy systems
  • In-depth relationships with UK government agencies, regulators and advisory bodies.
  • Close connections to industry – utilities, consultancies, start-ups and other businesses, as well as wider links to non-governmental organisations and think tanks.

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Testimonials

I’m currently working as a Sustainability Consultant for CBRE, the largest commercial real estate service company in the world. I advise companies and investors on their sustainability strategies, for compliance, voluntary reporting and risk mitigation. Through the EPEE course I learned to understand the relation between economic theory, legislation and policy, allowing me to explain implications of legislative changes more clearly to my clients. Additionally, I wrote my dissertation on corporate climate change risk in the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and I am now advising a client on their disclosure to the CDP."

 Cathy Granneman - Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc Alumni, UCL

I currently work as a Senior Analyst in the Commissioned Projects team at Aurora Energy Research Ltd. in Oxford, a role I started after completing his MSc Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment (EPEE) degree. 
I credit the EPEE programme with giving me skills I use daily in my work: modelling and scenario analysis, econometrics and statistical thinking, a broad understanding of climate and power sector policies, and environmental and energy economics which are the foundations for my work.
At Aurora Energy, I use proprietary in-house CGE and power sector dispatch models to provide analytics and consulting advice for British and European power, renewables, coal, oil and gas sector clients. Recent projects have included strategic advice to a major energy company for investing in an emerging economy power market, due diligence for sell-side plant valuations, co-authoring the annual update to the flagship commodities market forecast report, and modelling policy implications for a large UK power asset owner."

Hiren Mulchandani - Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc Alumni, UCL 

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Modules

The EPEE MSc offers a number of both compulsory and optional modules, including a dissertation. 

The MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment (EPEE) is a 180-credit programme. You will attend lectures, engage in interactive seminars and benefit from presentations from visiting speakers drawn from a range of businesses and other organisations. You will also be able to attend the wide-ranging seminar series organised by the UCL Energy Institute and other Institutes contributing to the MSc.

A broad range of assessment methods are used, including:

  • Examinations
  • Assessed coursework, including hands-on modelling projects
  • 10,000-word dissertation based on an original piece of research, to put into detailed practice the methods and techniques learnt on the programme

Compulsory modules

  • Natural science of the economy-resource-environment system
  • Conceptual foundations of economic analysis for policy
  • Externalities and public goods
  • Theory of global environmental policy
  • Regulatory instruments used in environmental policy
  • Macro-economics and the environment
  • Non-renewable resources
  • Renewable resources
  • Growth, sustainability and sustainable development
Research Concepts and Methods

This module provides students with the essential skills required to commission and critique research, and become critical consumers of secondary data and models using that data. It also prepares students to develop a clear research question and research design, select appropriate methods and samples and undertake a critical literature review – all essential skills for undertaking their dissertations.

Topics include:

  • Literature review and evidence review methods
  • Evaluating and using secondary data
  • Primary data collection
  • Methodology and measurement
  • Sampling and system boundaries
  • Research ethics, data management and protection

Assessment:        Coursework 1     750-words (25%)

                              Coursework 2     2,250-words (75%)

Examples of Programme Reading Material:

Davies, M. (2011) Study Skills for International Postgraduates, Palgrave Study Skills, Palgrave Macmillan.
Hart, C. (2004) Doing Your Masters Dissertation, SAGE Study Skills Series, Sage, London.
Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students (6th ed), Pearson, Harlow.
Environmental and Resource Economics

This introductory module covers economic theories in relation to the environment and natural resources. The aim is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of the environment and resources in the economy, from an economics perspective, and to give them familiarity with basic concepts of environmental, ecological and resource economics that are used in the investigations into environmental and natural resource issues.

The module covers the main theoretical approaches in environmental, ecological and resource economics, and it illustrates how these approaches have been used in practice through case studies.

Topics covered include:

  • Natural science of the economy-resource-environment system
  • Conceptual foundations of economic analysis for policy
  • Externalities and public goods
  • Theory of global environmental policy
  • Regulatory instruments used in environmental policy
  • Macro-economics and the environment
  • Non-renewable resources
  • Renewable resources
  • Growth, sustainability and sustainable development
Assessment:        2-hour unseen examination (100%)

Examples of Programme Reading Material:

Ekins, P. 2000 Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: the Prospects for Green Growth, Routledge, London/New York Kolstad, C. 2011 Intermediate Environmental Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford/NewYork Kahn, J. 1998 The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources, Dryden Press, Orlando Vatn, A. Institutions and the Environment, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham Barrett, S. 2010 Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods, Oxford University Press, Oxford Pearson, C. 2000 Economics and the Global Environment, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Bergstrom, J. and Randall, A. 2010 Resource Economics: an Economic Approach for Natural Resource and Environmental Policy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham Tietenberg, T. and Lewis, L. 2009 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, eighth edition. Pearson, Boston Pearce, D. and Turner, K. 1990 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment, Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead.

 

Introduction to Modelling, Methods and Scenarios

Energy-economic modelling is one of the cornerstones of both the public energy policy process and the investment process for private energy firms. This module provides a comprehensive introductory overview of the field of energy modelling that is required by modern economy-energy-environment (E3) analysts, in whatever area (government, consulting, regulatory etc.) that they may be working. Starting from an economics viewpoint, the module aims to enable students to understand the energy modelling process.

Students will develop an understanding of why energy-economic models are used, how different elements of the economy-energy-environment system can be modelled, how scenario approaches can be combined with models, and how uncertainties are considered. Students will then develop the faculty to critically analyse the applicability and outputs of energy-economic models of all types. The lectures are ordered to start with key energy sectors, and then broadened to include wider economic and physical interactions. In addition to lectures, some optional hands-on sessions in tutorials enable students to explore some simple modelling tools.

Topics covered:

  • Sectoral modelling
  • Resources and supply modelling
  • Energy systems modelling
  • Modelling energy and the environment
  • Modelling energy and the economy
  • Modelling uncertainty Scenario formulation
Overview of energy-economic modelling Modelling energy demand Electricity and heat modelling

 

Assessment:  2 x 1500-word essays (each worth half of total marks)

Examples of Reading Material: 

Bhattacharyya, S. (2011). Energy Economics: Concepts, Issues, Markets and Governance. London, Springer.

Environmental Measurement, Assessment, and Law

This module focuses on assessing whether legal and policy responses to environmental challenges are successful. In order to do this:

  • Environmental outcomes before and after policy change must be measured
  • Laws and legal systems enable and constrain the implementation of environmental policy
  • Effect of policy change has to be assessed before it is put in place and evaluated after it has had time to take effect

Topics covered:

  • Measurement of environmental benefits and impacts in policy
  • Environmental values and valuation
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Benefit-cost analysis and discounting
  • Indicators of sustainability and sustainable development
  • Environmental systems and their governance
  • International agreements concerning the environment
  • National legal and policy frameworks concerning the environment
  • Case studies concerning the design of environmental legal and policy frameworks

Assessment:        2-hour unseen examination (100%)

Planetary Economics and the Political Economy of Energy & Climate Change

This module covers international energy issues and challenges, spanning the main energy resources and systems, with emphasis on the interplay of technology, economics and political economy.  It explores:

  • Basic structure and trends of global energy use and the associated challenges of energy in development, energy access, and environment, together with the global structure of fossil fuel resources and the political economy of international oil and gas markets.
  • Heat, electricity and energy efficiency, including the role of non-fossil sources, experience with energy efficiency, and the regulatory dimensions of network-based industries
  • Policy instruments and architectures for trying to transform energy systems

The overall aim is to provide interdisciplinary understanding of these topics, including the interplay between national and international energy and climate change policies.

Topics covered:

  • The empirical context of global energy and climate change: some core facts
  • Global fossil fuels: the history and political economy of petroleum and gas markets
  • Electricity and heat: resources, systems and socioeconomics
  • Planetary economics and climate change: economic perspectives on the nature of the problem and the structure of solutions
  • Global fossil fuels and scenarios: who owns what where and how much can be burned under different atmospheric assumptions?
  • Regulation, market and subsidies
  • Political economy of pricing and carbon pricing
  • Energy efficiency: potentials and political economy
  • Energy innovation and investment
  • Coming of Age? The international response to climate change and Paris COP21

Assessment:        3,000-word essay (100%)

Examples of Programme Reading:

Michael Grubb (2014) Planetary Economics: Energy, Climate Change and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development, Routledge

Daniel Yergin (2012). The Quest: Energy, Security and the remaking of the modern world, Allen Lane

IEA (2015) World Energy Outlook, IEA

Stern (2009) A blueprint for a safer planet: How to manage climate change and create a new era of progress and prosperity, Random House

Ekins, Bradshaw and Watson (eds.) (2015) Global Energy: Issues, Potentials, and Policy Implications, OUP Oxford

Dissertation

The dissertation is a core part of the MSc EPEE. The dissertation project is an opportunity for students to put the skills and knowledge acquired during the programme into practice through a piece of original research. Each student works with a dissertation supervisor – a UCL researcher with expertise in the field – and develops a unique project.

Optional modules

A choice of three optional modules are available from the list below: 

  • Advanced Energy-Environment-Economy Modelling
  • UK Energy and Environment Policy and Law
  • Energy, Technology and Innovation
  • Energy, People and Behaviour
  • Business and Sustainability
  • Advanced Environmental Economics
  • Econometrics for Energy and the Environment

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Scholarships

The Bartlett Master's Scholarships

The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, offers 10 scholarships for MSc, MPlan, MRes, MA and MArch students, each worth £10,000, to be used either as partial fee remittance for study or as a bursary to cover living costs.

The deadline for receipt of all scholarship applications is 16.00 (UK time) on Friday 27 April 2018. All applicants will be informed of the outcome by email in late July 2018.

Please see full details on the Bartlett Faculty website.

Other funding

There are a range of other scholarshipsloans and other funding opportunities available to help prospective students with their studies.

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Staff

Programme Lead

Lorenzo Lotti
Teaching Fellow in Economics of Energy and the Environment
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Programme Administrator

Marta Polancec
Email: bseer-studentqueries@ucl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 9577

Current teaching staff

Paolo Agnolucci
Senior Lecturer in Resource and Environmental Economics
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Gabrial Anandarajah
Senior Lecturer
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Raimund Bleischwitz
Director of School
Chair in Sustainable Global Resources
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Paul Ekins OBE
Director of Institute for Sustainable Resources
Professor in Resources & Environment Policy
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Michael Grubb
Deputy Director of Institute for Sustainable Resources
Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy
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Ilkka Keppo
Senior Lecturer
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Michelle Shipworth
Lecturer
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economics energy environment