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MSc Electrical Power Systems Engineering (Distance Learning)

MSc Electrical Power Systems Engineering (Distance Learning) / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

Study when it's convenient for you
Study when it's convenient for you

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 course covers the latest developments in the electricity industry and delivers up-to-date training in all aspects of electrical power systems.


HV air-insulated substation and switchgear
HV air-insulated substation and switchgear

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.

Teaching and learning

Study breakdown

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.

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.

Coursework and assessment

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 which we will make available to you.

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.

Course content for year 1

Electrical Energy Systems

  • Structure of electrical energy systems
  • Basic analytical skills for electrical energy systems
  • Components associated with electrical energy systems

Power system analysis

  • Linear modelling and numerical techniques
  • Power flow techniques and control
  • Symmetrical/asymmetrical fault calculations

Power system plant, asset management and condition monitoring

  • Function, structure and design of power system plant (transformers, cables, switchgear, lines)
  • Asset management / ageing mechanisms of plant
  • Condition monitoring / Electrical measurement techniques and condition diagnostic methods

Power system economics and operation

  • Optimisation (economic dispatch, unit commitment, nonlinear optimization, KKT)
  • Market and economics (microeconomics, restructuring, electricity marketplaces)
  • Security (ancillary service, N-x, OPF)
  • Investment (generation and transmission)

Course content for year 2

Smart grids and sustainable electricity systems

  • Distributed low carbon technologies (DG, electric vehicles, photovoltaic panels, storage)
  • Smart grids (active network management, smart appliances)
  • Sustainable energy systems (carbon capture, biomass, wind energy, emissions, CHP, heat pumps)

Power system dynamics and quality of supply

  • Dynamics (loads, excitation systems, governors)
  • Modelling and control
  • QoS (voltage flicker, transients, sags, etc.)
  • Harmonics
  • Reliability (Monte Carlo simulation)

Power system protection

  • General protection issues
  • Relay types and designs (overcurrent relays, differential relays, protecting rotating machines)
  • Advanced protection systems (intelligent electronic devices, fault location algorithms, etc.)

Techniques for Research and Industry

  • Project/team/business planning
  • Health and safety (COSHH, risk analysis)
  • Ethics & professional responsibility
  • Intellectual property
  • Report writing (information sources, literature reviews, structure and presentation)

Students will work in groups of three to four and will review the state of the art in a specific technology area each producing an individual 5-page technology brief.

Course content for year 3

Dissertation Project

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.

This is presented as a 15,000 - 20,000 word report based on the research programme selected.

Course unit details

The course unit details given are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Our teaching is informed by the research work that we are involved in.  This ensures that you have access to the most up to date information which will benefit your future career.  To find out more visit our research impact and the research group pages.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: