Wananga landing Wananga landing

Renewable energy

18 January 2024

Help us transform the world from reliance on fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Numerous researchers in our department work in related fields, including renewable energy systems, carbon capture, sustainable transportation, sustainable buildings, and more. Learn more.


Research and Study Programmes on Renewable Energy at Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

What is Renewable Energy?

Climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge of our time. And the energy sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions causing it.

Renewable technologies will play a pivotal role in transitioning the world away from its present reliance on fossil fuels toward a clean energy supply, at the same time as providing cheap electricity.

You can be part of this exciting change. Build your skills and knowledge in renewable energy resources and technologies for generation, conversion, and storage, as well as in broader energy systems, policy, energy, and society.


Renewable Energy in New Zealand

New Zealand has a primary energy mix of approximately 40 percent renewables and 60 percent fossil fuels, making it an interesting country in which to study options for a transition to a more sustainable energy system. Over 80 percent of our electricity is presently produced from renewables which provides us with a good start. Researchers at UC are actively engaged in sustainable energy projects around the world, including Pacific Island nations.


What will I learn?

Learn about the breadth of renewable energy resources and technologies, system modelling techniques, challenges surrounding energy sustainability, and practical solutions to energy issues, preparing you to transition your career into a profession and/or industry within the renewable and sustainable energy sectors.


Qualifications available

Renewable Energy is interdisciplinary with relevant courses taught by all departments within the Faculty of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha and with the option to choose electives from other faculties. There are different qualifications available ranging from single courses (called Certificate of Proficiency), to one semester full-time (four courses, called Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering), a one-year taught master (Master of Engineering Studies endorsed in Renewable Energy), a research-based master, and a doctorate. For more information follow the links below: 

The Master of Engineering Studies endorsed in Renewable Energy is a popular choice among applicants and is directed by the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering. This one-year programme (120 points) aims at graduates from a wide range of engineering and science backgrounds. With a foundation course, four core courses, and three electives to choose from a wide range of offerings, the programme is designed to be flexible to the needs of prospective students. For reference, a full-time semester at UC has four 15-point courses (60 points per semester). 

The following sections refer to the Master of Engineering Studies endorsed in Renewable Energy. The text serves as orientation only; for full details please refer to the current master's regulations. 


Entry requirements

Candidates must normally have completed one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Engineering 

  • Bachelor of Science in appropriate subjects.

The relevance, standard, and grades (first or second-class honours, that is a GPA above 5.5 after conversion to UC's grading scale) of previous studies will be the main criteria for admission.

In case of insufficient background, the Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering (which is a one-semester programme) can serve as a transition into the master, subject to achieving a GPA above 5 in this certificate.

Compulsory courses
  • ENCN627  Sustainable Energy Technologies

  • ENGR621 Energy, Policy and Society

  • ENCN623 Energy Systems Modelling and Analysis

  • ENEL667 Renewable Electricity System Design

  • ENCN625 Wind Resource Modelling


Elective courses
  • ENCI601 Risk Management (15 points)
  • ENME605 Advanced Energy Systems Engineering (15 points)
  • ENTR614 Planning and Design of Sustainable Transport (15 points)
  • ENAE605 Sustainable Building Design Practice (15 points)
  • ENAE607 Building Energy Systems Design Practice (15 points)
  • ENAE610 Building Sustainability Assessment (15 points)
  • ENCM620 Construction Procurement and Contract Administration (which can include an energy project; 15 points)
  • EMGT605 Sustainability Systems in Engineering
  • ENCN401 Engineering in Developing Communities (15 points)
  • ENCH483 Advanced Energy Processing Technologies and Systems (15 points)
  • ENME465 Heating Ventilation and Airconditioning (HVAC) Engineering (15 points)
  • ENEL480 Electrical Power Systems (15 points)
  • Further 15-point electives (subject to director approval) inside and outside of the Faculty of Engineering allow diversifying studies on energy systems, including science, policy, psychology, economics, and others. Offered courses at UC can be searched here.
  • Projects. Students can also choose to do an industry or research project, subject to confirming a supervisor and topic first: ENGR682 Project (in energy, 15 points) or ENGR683 Project (in energy, 30 points).


For more information, download our Renewable Energy postgrad study flier (or the one for Renewable Energy international students), or keep reading about our research on renewable energy below.

The following research groups from our Department work on renewable energy:

  • Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) unites over 10 postgraduate researchers and diverse staff members working on future energy systems,
  • Transport Research Hub is a cluster involving over 20 interdisciplinary staff members on transport.
  • Further groups from the University of Canterbury work on renewable energy like the EPECentre.

The following staff from Civil and Natural Resources research on Renewable Energy:

Find out more about our research

News, events and seminars
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.