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Energy and Sustainability, Short Course

  • Application Deadline
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University rank #501 (WUR) Online
In this Energy and Sustainability module offered by The Open University UK, you will look at the basic principles underlying the design and efficient use of energy and energy supply systems.


Are fossil fuels running out? Can nuclear power, carbon capture and storage or renewable energy sources provide solutions to the problem of global warming? How can we provide clean, safe, sustainable energy supplies for the UK, and the world, despite increasing population levels and affluence? Using a range of study materials and online activities, you will learn to use the appropriate scientific and mathematical techniques applied to energy related issues.

By the end of the Energy and Sustainability module offered by The Open University UK you will be able to understand and describe:

  • the forms of energy and the various definitions of ‘sustainable’ energy, and the relevance of sustainability to the design and implementation of energy systems
  • the principal sources of primary energy in use today, their development over the past century, and the general patterns of world, regional and national energy consumption
  • the basic principles underlying the design and use of energy supply systems, and the basic principles underlying the efficient use of energy
  • the pollutants produced through the combustion of fossil fuels, their environmental impacts and the amelioration of these.

You will also be able to demonstrate the following:

  • evaluate different energy technologies, in terms of their economics and environmental impacts
  • compare different techniques available for minimizing the level of pollutants generated by various energy sources and systems
  • compare the relative resource depletion impacts of different energy technologies.
Vocational relevance

You may be interested in a professional career in the energy industry; or may be concerned about the sustainability problems associated with our current energy issues. This module will help you to:

  • undertake cost related analyses of proposed or existing energy projects or technologies
  • present arguments relating to energy use and its impacts taking account of environmental, technological and social perspectives
  • use appropriate scientific and mathematical techniques applied to energy-related issues or contexts
  • analyse information about energy and its use from a variety of sources, using ICT tools
  • communicate scientific and technical information, and arguments relating to energy, clearly in a variety of ways.
Professional recognition

The Open University is a Learning Affiliate Member of the Energy Institute.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity Part-time
  • Credits
    30 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

The online study guides and book cover the following topics:

  • Primary energy 
  • What do we use energy for? 
  • Different forms of energy
  • Coal 
  • Heat to motive power 
  • Oil and gas
  • Oil and gas engines 
  • Transport and sustainability
  • Electricity
  • Energy in buildings
  • Nuclear power 
  • The future of nuclear power 
  • Renewable energy 
  • Costing energy 
  • Penalties
  • Remedies for a sustainable energy system

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

  • This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have a good scientific and mathematical background, obtained either through level 1 study, or by doing equivalent work at another university.
  • You should be familiar with mathematical concepts such as ratios, proportions, percentages, powers, scientific notation and conversion of units.

Tuition Fee


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