Advanced Propulsion MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

Our new MSc will train the next generation of engineers and scientists to address the challenges of Net Zero in the areas of batteries, fuel cells and electric machines. This innovative and highly interdisciplinary programme in new state-of-the art facilities has been designed and will be delivered with industry partners, giving you the edge in a fast-paced and competitive sector.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£35,000
Duration
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

UCL Chemical Engineering, situated in the heart of London, is one of the top-rated departments in the UK, being internationally renowned for its outstanding research. It has pioneered popular Masters-level modules in this field and hosts the Electrochemical Innovation Lab, a world-leading research centre for electrochemical materials and devices. The Advanced Propulsion Lab builds on existing enthusiasm and success, focusing on pack, stack and vehicle engineering and innovation.

The Advanced Propulsion MSc will enable the “Clean Economy” by training you to join the next generation of engineers and scientists specialising in batteries, fuel cells and electric machines on an industrial scale. This highly skilled workforce is critical to electrifying automotive, marine and air transport and achieving ambitious climate targets (UK’s Industrial Strategy (Clean Growth (2017) and Road to Zero (2018) initiatives).

You will test and apply your knowledge in an interdisciplinary design project and a research project, and have the option to specialise in one of three routes: materials, electrochemical power sources, or systems.

The course will be delivered at the brand new UCL East campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. This is the biggest development in our 200-year history, and our accessible, state-of-the-art facilities will have shared labs and workshop spaces open to all, to facilitate collaboration across different disciplines. The Park around the campus is a living landscape of biodiversity and a testbed for ground-breaking innovation.

At UCL East, the Advanced Propulsion Lab (APL) is significantly expanding on our existing enthusiasm and success in this area to industrially relevant levels, focusing on pack, stack and vehicle engineering and innovation. Your academic flexibility and freedom are built into the APL MSc through three distinct programme routes and blended learning options. This also serves to maximise the diversity of experiences and viewpoints needed to tackle these truly global challenges.

This innovative and highly interdisciplinary programme has been designed and is delivered in collaboration with industry partners, giving you the core technical, transferable and translational skills you will need to succeed. Further, you benefit from an industry-led steering committee to ensure that the content (both in taught modules and more open-ended design and research projects) remains relevant and at the cutting-edge of this fast-paced, competitive sector.

Importantly, the APL contains large-scale fabrication and testing equipment which will give you hands-on experience, in addition to taught content by world-leading academics and industry experts in the electric propulsion sector.

The APL MSc programme addresses the national and global skills shortages and training priorities associated with the development and deployment of advanced propulsion technologies. Thus, this MSc programme is central to establishing the UK as a leader in electric propulsion technology and ushering in a cleaner and more sustainable transport sector.

Who this course is for

Our programme is ideal for a range of academic and professional backgrounds, with optional modules and degree routes to tailor your learning experience. You may be a new or recent graduate in an engineering, chemistry, or physics field or have relevant work experience you want to build on to further your career. This MSc has been designed with strong guidance from industry and will especially appeal to those who have an entrepreneurial mindset.

What this course will give you

The programme has been developed by internationally leading lecturers with close ties to industrial research to maximise the relevance of the course to future employers. The programme will be delivered by experts in the field of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering to provide crucial expertise across all areas of Advanced Propulsion with a particular focus on batteries, fuel cells and electric machines.  

There is an increasing demand for highly skilled engineers with expertise in this increasingly critical area. In addition to electric vehicles the programme will equip students to consider the broader challenges in the electrification of propulsion technology, considering areas including aerospace and marine applications. 

Our programme aims to produce engineers with the conceptual and practical skills required to solve the grand challenges in the field of Advanced Propulsion. By linking the fundamental science delivered in lectures with practical challenges explored in laboratory settings, the Advanced Propulsion MSc will offer a unique opportunity for students to develop skills and expertise in this critical area. 

The foundation of your career

Students on the Advanced Propulsion MSc gain in-depth knowledge of the fundamental science and engineering which governs the development of advanced propulsion technologies. In addition, they will explore the wider challenges associated with the adoption of batteries, fuel cells and electric machines with a particular focus on the sustainability of these devices. 

Students learn how to apply this knowledge to solve real-world problems, considering the advantages and disadvantages of materials, devices, and approaches to solve open-ended problems.

They are trained in the ability to work on these activities both individually and in a team to interrogate the real challenges which must be overcome to continue the progress towards delivering Advanced Propulsion technologies and conduct research-based learning alongside internationally leading academics working on scientific and industrial challenges. 

Employability

The MSc will prepare graduates for careers in sustainability around batteries, fuel cells and electric machines.  

Recent university graduates will gain specific expertise in the materials, electrochemical and systems engineering involved in designing electric powertrains. 

Mid-career professionals already employed will expand their range of knowledge and expertise. Graduates will also be equipped for further postgraduate research in relevant disciplines. 

The urgent need to transition to the clean economy and electrify transport have created skills shortages in this high-value design and manufacturing sector. This programme will address this shortage by developing multidisciplinary scientists and engineers with the required level of breadth and depth to address the manufacturing, scientific, engineering, and commercial challenges in the field. Moreover, given the industrially focused nature of this programme, it is expected that graduates of this MSc will be in high demand due to their breadth of expertise, numerical ability, and problem-solving skills.  

The APL places great emphasis on its ability to assist its graduates in taking up exciting careers in the sector. UCL alumni, together with the department’s links with industrial groups, provide an excellent source of leads for graduates. 

You will also have had the opportunity to develop an extensive academic and industrial network which will aid you in your pursuit of a career in the field and will be supported by the translational skills developed throughout the course of the programme. Moreover, through the research-intensive nature of the department and close links with industry, you will have opportunities to access industrial networks and senior company representatives. 

Potential career destinations include UK-based SMEs and large companies involved in the sector, as well as international automotive and energy companies (dependent on local visa requirements).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, individual and group coursework as well as hands-on experience with relevant tools and engagement with researchers in academia and industry. 

Research projects are provided to extend knowledge and understanding of the topics studied and to encourage critical thinking. Creativity and innovation are encouraged on the demonstration of sound engineering judgement and assumptions. Assessment is mainly through written exams, case studies, reports, and mixed-media presentations (both individual and group). 

The approach to teaching and learning will focus on three types of teaching methods:  

  1. Lecture-based with content delivered by teaching staff with a focus on chemical and mechanical engineering,  
  2. Problem-based learning where students will work in smaller groups or individually on real-life case studies to solve open-ended problems,  
  3. Lab-based experimental learning which will include training of key analytical and experimental techniques. 
  4. Research-based learning through regular engagement with researchers and current scientific literature, in addition to a substantial independent research project. 

All activities are designed to enable student learning and engagement with the core topics of the programme, providing an overview of the breadth of research in the field, complemented by substantial independent study and pre-reading.  

Students will be expected to engage in critical discussions to explore the material covered in lectures and seminar sessions. In addition, students will be expected to work as teams on case studies and presentations where mentoring will be provided during the tutorial and preparation sessions. 

Formative:

  • Quizzes that conclude learning units
  • Coursework tutorials with feedback
  • Project tutorials with feedback
  • 1-to-1 sessions providing detailed feedback on project work

Summative:

  • Quizzes
  • Coursework on application of taught content (written reports, oral presentations etc)
  • Project work on case studies of industrial relevance (written reports, oral presentations etc)
  • Research project (written report, oral presentations etc)

Please note that electives may present additional forms of assessment (e.g. exams), which are dependent on the student’s choices.

All full time students are expected to study 40 hours per week during term time. This time is made up of formal learning and teaching events such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as independent study. You are expected to read around the subject matter given in lectures. Your lecturers will not prescribe exactly what you should do in your private study time.   

Some modules may have asynchronous content in Moodle (resources for you to study at your own pace) as well as weekly face-to-face sessions on campus to give you the chance to learn in real time with your lecturers and this will be a chance to ask questions. 

Normal teaching hours are Mon – Fri 9am to 6pm, and all sessions will take place during these hours. There may be additional events, e.g. careers sessions, which may take place outside of these hours. Wednesday afternoons are normally kept free to allow time for sports and other activities.

Modules

The MSc programme will start in September 2023 and last for 12 months, during which you will take taught modules and a substantial individual research project. Key topics such as sustainability, safety, and ethics as well as skills including presentations and group working are woven throughout. 

The modules in Term 1 provide you with an understanding of the requirements for electrifying automotive, marine and air transport, with a focus on the underlying material challenges and electrochemical/electrical systems engineering.  

You will also learn how market and regulatory forces affect deployment of new technologies. 

Additionally, in the first term you will be exposed to practical laboratory training and concepts of research design and research methods which will underpin the research project. You will receive hands-on training in electrochemical and electromechanical methods, in conjunction with learning the intricacies of common characterisation techniques. 

The modules in Term 2 allow for specialisation in one of the three routes: Materials, Electrochemical Power Sources or Systems. These modules involve taught lectures, interactive coursework and guest lectures delivered by leading external academics and industrialists. You will also undertake a group Design Project alongside site visits to academic and industrial facilities as you widen your network and grasp an understanding of how academic and industrial development occur in reality. 

In Term 3, you will focus exclusively on the Advanced Propulsion Research Project where you will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge in the practical, research setting of the APL, working on a project which may be laboratory- and/or computationally-based. 

Overall, you will take eight modules, including three optional modules. Three routes are available for students wishing to specialise in Materials, Electrochemical Power Sources or Systems. To invoke a given route, 2 of 3 optional modules should be taken from that route.

The route modules are as follows:

  • Electrochemical Materials (Materials route)
  • Structural Materials (Materials route)
  • Electrochemistry (Electrochemical Power Sources route)
  • Pack Engineering (Electrochemical Power Sources route)
  • Advanced Electrical Machines (Systems route)
  • Power Electronics, Drives and Hybridisation (Systems route)

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Also, not all module combinations may be possible due to timetable clashes.

Compulsory modules

Advanced Propulsion Engineering

Advanced Characterisation

Research Skills for Advanced Propulsion

Advanced Propulsion Design Project

Advanced Propulsion Research Project


Optional modules


Sustainability Analysis of Engineering Systems

Electrochemical Materials

Structural Materials

Electrochemistry

Pack Engineering





Advanced Electrical Machines

Power Electronics, Drives and Hybridisation




Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork opportunities are being considered for this programme.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

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Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £35,000

Additional costs

Students may be required to cover costs of printing of final project reports and/or posters, as well as for minor laboratory equipment such as a laboratory logbook. 
 
Moreover, any additional costs associated with, for instance, travel to exam venues within London, will be met by the student.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study advanced propulsion at graduate level
  • why you want to study these topics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic, professional, and personal background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

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