The University of Manchester is offering an MSc in Electrical Power Systems Engineering via Distance Learning. This is based upon the highly successful existing MSc course but aimed at professionals working in industry who want to gain a sound understanding of the principles, designs, techniques and applications of electrical power systems engineering and power system plant.

Backed by the University’s distinguished teaching record in the area (ranked 2nd in the UK for Electrical/Electronic Engineering*) and aligned with the IET’s own industry objectives, this course will allow you to:

  • Learn while you earn – fit studying around work, in your own time, over 3-5 years 
  • Learn from and collaborate with students worldwide
  • Gain high quality teaching without having to come on campus
  • Keep up to date with the latest developments in power systems
  • Benefit from regular, weekly contact with a tutor

To request more information please register your interest or contact

*Our courses were placed 2nd in the latest Guardian league table for Electrical/Electronic Engineering

Contact Us

For more information, please contact
Dr. James Brooks
Lecturer in Distance Learning
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

  • Electricity is playing an increasing role as we look to develop low carbon sources of energy. The design of electrical power systems is becoming increasingly complex, to manage intermittent sources of generation, and increased levels of demand from new types of load such as electric vehicles.

    The Distance Learning MSc in Electrical Power Systems Engineering allows engineers working in the sector to enhance their skills. It provides them with the tools and techniques to keep pace with the rapidly evolving electricity industry. The programme covers the latest developments in the electricity industry and delivers up-to-date training in all aspects of electrical power systems.

    The course will develop your understanding of how these future electrical networks will be designed and operated. It will provide you with a solid understanding of the characteristics of components such as generators, lines, cables, transformers and power electronics devices. It will provide you with the skills you need to carry out power flow and fault calculations, learning how these techniques are used to study the behaviour of large systems. The course also covers a range of other topics such as HVDC, how renewable generation is integrated into a power system, the increasing importance of smart grids and how to assess and remedy power quality problems.

    The course is based on the long-running MSc in Electrical Power Systems Engineering delivered by The University of Manchester. On graduation you will be a member of a network of global alumni, many in senior positions in the electricity supply industry.

    The course has been designed to support those working in industry. Multiple entry points exist and the course can be completed in a timescale that suits your needs. Your dissertation project will ideally be based on a problem you and your company need to resolve, ensuring the programme delivers value for both you and your employer.

  • The course is delivered in ten week blocks. Your studies will start with the two pre-requisite units, ‘Electrical Power Fundamentals’ and ‘Control of Power Systems’. 

    After completing your two pre-requisite units you need to study a further six technical units and complete a dissertation. The six technical units are delivered on a rotational basis. This allows you the flexibility to decide which units you take in which order and build breaks into your studies if you have work commitments.

    Each technical unit requires 150 hours of study, on average 15 hours per week when you are taking a unit. Some of this time will be specifically allocated, in the form of webinars or other such activities, while the remainder is reserved for private study using resources and reading lists provided by your tutor and available online through the University Library. For each unit you will be provided with an online workbook that contains the core learning materials and can be downloaded or printed if your wish. This will then be accompanied by a number of online activities including: video lectures, links to academic papers and other resources, self-test assessments, group discussions, simulations and software problem classes.

    The dissertation is carried out after the technical units are completed. As this course is only offered to engineers working in industry, we normally expect the dissertation to be based on a problem / challenge within your work place. The dissertation project must be completed within a 40 week period.

    There are three holiday periods per year in which no units are delivered. These periods are in December / January, April and August. There is a week break in any other gaps between the technical units.

    The minimum time in which you can complete the course is two and a half years. The maximum time is five years (this allows you to take a break between technical units to manage workplace demands).

  • Once you register for the course, you will be assigned a Course Advisor, who will stay with you throughout your studies and can be contacted by phone or email whenever you have a question or a concern.

    Your Course Advisor will be able to guide you through your choice of units and help you to schedule and register for them. They will be familiar with all aspects of your course and your own progress and timetable and will be able to provide support on a wide range of issues or refer you to University specialist support services if necessary – such as the Careers Service, Counselling Service or Disability Support.

    For each technical unit, you will be assigned an Academic Tutor with expertise in the particular subject area you will be studying. Your tutor will introduce themselves at the start of each unit to outline the material and plans for assessment. They will host regular online group discussions to review the content being presented that week and to give you the opportunity to engage with other students. They will also maintain and monitor a range of other tools including forums, blogs and live chat sessions, in case you have any questions about the course content.

    Each unit will require you to submit one or more pieces of coursework and a final assessment. Your Tutor will provide the exact details of how each activity contributes to your final marks for a given unit. The coursework will often involve using specialist software packages and these will generally be made available to you as cloud-based applications that you can access online from home or work. Alternatively, you will receive copies of installation packages that can be installed on a local PC.

    You will also be provided with regular opportunities to assess your progress through self-tests that do not count towards your final mark. Your Tutor will seek to support you if you are having difficulty with a particular subject area and your Course Advisor will be there to help if there are any other issues affecting your studies.

    You will typically need to commit around 15 hours per week during each unit taken when studying for your distance learning MSc. It is important to make sure your employer supports you by allowing suitable time to be spent on your studies.

  • The following technical units are delivered in the course:

    Electrical Power Fundamentals: This unit aims to understand “What constitute of power systems”. It describes mathematical models of basic power system components, and shows how these components can be combined to give model of complete power systems, including mathematical models of synchronous machine, machine phasor diagrams, induction machines, power transformers, overhead lines, cables, various loads, basic power electronics circuit, introduction to HVDC network and FACTS devices, wind generation, per unit system calculation, system symmetrical components calculation. The lectures are complemented by the computer-based laboratories that give students the opportunity to develop their modelling techniques and to interpret simulation results.

    Control Of Power Systems: The unit aims to impart knowledge and skills for mathematical modelling as well as the techniques for steady-state and dynamic analysis of electric power transmission networks. It introduces the techniques required to analyse the power flow and fault performance of systems ranging in size from local islanded power systems to pan-country grids. It also introduces the techniques required to analyse and understand the performance of the power electronic systems that are increasingly important in modern power systems such as HVDC.

    Power System Plant: This unit introduces the power system plant used in transmission and distribution of electrical energy. It covers each of the key components including transformers, cables, switchgear and overhead lines in terms of their function, structure and design. It covers the ageing mechanisms of plant, how they can be monitored throughout their life and the basic concepts of asset management.

    Power System Operation & Economics: The unit aims to introduce the student to the operation of power systems. The emphasis is placed on the need to balance the desire to operate (as well as plan) as economically as possible with the need to maintain the security of the system. In order to do so in a market context, the unit also gives an understanding of the economic principles underlying the introduction of competition in the supply and retail of electricity as well as the opening of the transmission and distribution systems to third party access.

    Power System Dynamics: This unit introduces students to the basics of power system dynamics and quality of electricity supply issues. It allows them to discuss the most widely used and recommended methodologies for enhancement of power system stability. It also covers the mitigation techniques used to overcome problems associated with a poor quality of electricity supply.

    Power System Protection: This unit aims to introduce the classical and advanced operating principles and main features of various types of relays and protection schemes. It also provides the knowledge and practical skills necessary to apply these relays and schemes to the protection of plant and systems including transmission, distribution and industrial networks and rotating machines. Furthermore, it introduces novel principles of wide area monitoring, protection and control, which are considered as typical Smart Grid applications. The programme provides knowledge on how to integrate modern information and communication technology in protection schemes. Finally, it describes the methods and instrumentation used for testing of protective devices and complex protective solutions involving a larger number of protective devices.

    Smart Grids: The unit aims to introduce the concepts behind smart grids and future low-carbon networks. Introduce the concepts behind sustainable electricity systems as well as the main renewable and low-carbon generation technologies. Provide tools and techniques so that distributed low carbon technologies (e.g., distributed renewable generation, electric vehicles, electro-thermal technologies, etc.) may be integrated effectively into the power system in the context of both traditional grids and future smart grids

    Techniques For Research and Industry: This unit aims to support the development of techniques that will be essential for producing a high quality dissertation project. It examines the various sources from which information can be found, the way in which projects can be planned. It also covers topics such as engineering ethics and health and safety. The unit concludes with each student reviewing a topic of increasing importance to the modern electrical power system such as energy storage – the topic covered would normally be agreed with your employer.

  • Fees for the MSc course are set at the following levels. The fees are due in two instalments, one paid on registration and the second paid a year later (irrespective of the number of units studied to date).

    Fee Type  Students from outside of the EU Home / EU Students
    Fee  £23,000 £10,000

    Full details on your eligibility for the Home / EU fee can be found here.

  • Do I have to attend the University at all?

    No, there is no requirement to attend. All teaching and learning activities and assessment will be done remotely. This will require you to have a good internet connection and a webcam.

    We are planning to run an optional residential week, where you will get to take part in lab work, attend guest lectures, as well as meet your fellow students, lecturers and tutors.

    How much will it cost?

    The course, delivering the same degree award and learning outcomes, will cost the same as the full-time MSc. The payment will be taken in two blocks, regardless of how long you take to complete. The first will be taken at the start of the course, the second will be one year later.

    • UK/EU students (per annum): £10,000
    • International students (per annum): £23,000
    How do I manage the workload?

    There are 8 taught units plus the dissertation. We have split the year up into 4 teaching blocks, where you can take a unit. The details of which are given below.

    Each unit runs for 10 weeks, with a nominal 150 hours of student activity (e.g. watching lectures, private study, revision, etc.). All material is available online for you to study in your own time but there are weekly tutorial sessions at scheduled times (these times are agreed with you at the start of each unit). In these you will video conference with your tutor and a small group of other students, giving you an opportunity to ask questions, and be provided with feedback on assessment.‌

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