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MRes Energy Demand Studies


Graduates in energy related subjects are currently in high demand. The aim of the Master of Research in Energy Demand Studies (MRes EDS) is to provide a superb grounding in the required skills and knowledge to pursue a career in industry or academia. Technical work is highly topical, focusing on energy demand in the built environment, and is complemented by the development of research and transferable skills.  

Programme objectives
The programme focusses on skills and knowledge required to undertake research in energy demand reduction in the built environment and comprises three strands:

  • technical modules (topics include thermodynamics, building physics, behaviour, energy systems, modelling, policy and economics)
  • transferable skills (e.g. writing, presenting, communicating with the public)
  • and research.

Studying the MRes EDS is an exciting new experience to many students: teaching sessions are highly interactive and led by experienced researchers. Students read key texts in advance of lectures and seminars, to accelerate learning and focus sessions on research-oriented issues. Small group sizes, regular tutorials and supervision meetings combine to provide tailored support across a range of disciplines and research topics.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

  • The UCL Energy Institute is a leading centre for research into energy demand and the built environment, a sector of increasing importance due to the challenges of climate change, energy affordability and energy security. 
  • Students undertaking the MRes EDS have the opportunity to learn from experienced and respected researchers and to undertake original research in this highly topical area at a world leading institution.
  • Research into demand and the built environment provides many challenges for researchers due to the complex interplay of people, buildings and economics. The unique multidisciplinary approach of the MRes EDS helps students develop into more complete individual researchers and effectively integrate into research teams.

Your Career

  • The MRes Energy Demand Studies programme has been developed by experienced researchers to provide a superb grounding in the required skills and knowledge to pursue a research career in industry or academia. Graduates in energy related subjects are currently in high demand.
  • Having undertaken a significant original research project, students may wish to apply their skills to a research environment, or to pursue careers outside research.
  • The technical knowledge combined with transferable skills, such as communication skills, project management and problem solving, are sought after in academia, government departments, consultancies, engineering companies and NGOs.

The London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand
The MRes EDS also forms the first year of a four year PhD programme offered by UCL-Energy, via the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand.


The MRes Energy Demand Studies is a 180 credit course, focused on the needs of early career researchers. The multidisciplinary nature of research in energy demand is fundamental to the course – students learn relevant topics from science, social science and economics and participate with a vibrant mix of researchers and peers. Taught by leading researchers, the course comprises:

  • Research comprises the bulk of course credits (120) and is undertaken throughout the course, via the Guided Research Project, followed by the Dissertation Research Project. The dissertation may be on a wide range of topics within the energy demand in the built environment domain.
  • Key knowledge and context is provided by the technical modules. Students undertake two assessed modules and audit a further two modules, covering the most relevant theory, previous research, context, methods and issues with undertaking research in this field.
  • Transferable skills underpin effective research and career management. Two compulsory transferable skills modules support students in their personal development, particularly in effective research management, methodologies and communication skills. 

The programme is an intensive taught course, with most of the modules taking place during the first term and one in the second term. Research activities take place throughout the entire academic years.

Technical Modules

BENVGED1 - Energy Demand in Context (audited) - residential block week
An introduction to the many issues of energy demand in the built environment, setting them in the wider context of climate change policy and the history of energy use. Why is Energy Demand Reduction complex? How did we get to where we are? What are the options for the future, and what is your role?

BENVGEF3- Energy Theory, Measurement and Interpretation (15 credits)
This course is designed to strengthen your theoretical foundations in energy and energy technologies. The programme goes on to provide a background in the science and engineering of laboratory measurement and field studies in energy demand.

BENVGED2 - Energy Society, Economics and Policy (15 credits)
The aim of this module is to provide a broad understanding of the social, economic, and policy determinants of energy demand. The module is structured through 3 themes: 1) Economics: pricing and demand; market structure, cost-­‐benefit analysis; discounting; uncertainties; 2) Society: social environment and lifestyle; individual attitudes and behaviour; intra-­ and cross-­cultural variation in energy-­using practices and3) Policy: public­‐private goods; externalities; equity; information, regulation; the policy cycle.

Transferable Skills Modules

BENVGED3 - Research Concepts (15 credits)
Research Concepts will introduce you to undertaking research in academia, with particular focus on the skills and approaches commonly applied to the study of energy demand. The course focuses on introducing a range of interdisciplinary and transferable skills, with relevant examples and issues related to the energy sector. 

BENVGED7 - Communication Skills (15 credits)
Communication Skills will provide an introduction to academic writing, giving presentations and interpersonal communication skills. The course will review a wide range of appropriate skills for research students. Including: writing in academia, giving presentations: working with others and networking and communication with the public.


BENVGED5 - Guided Research Project (30 credits)
The guided research project provides an opportunity for students to undertake publication-level research at the earliest possible stage of their MRes. Students work with the tutors to analyse data related to a topical aspect of energy demand. Students use real research data to investigate a defined topic and methodology, and through a series of research meetings, along with self-learning, they are guided to produce an individual scientific report. (6000 words).

BENVGED6 - Dissertation Research Project (90 credits) 
A self-led study, under the guidance of the Course Director and project supervisor(s). Students are embedded in the research of the UCL Energy Institute, or wider within UCL, to undertake original research from an appropriate disciplinary focus. Assessment: 15,000 word dissertation (60 credits), 4,000 word paper (15 credits) and 45 minute viva (15 credits).


Catalina Spataru, Course Director
Lecturer in Energy Demand in the Built Environment

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Marta Polancec, Programme Administrator
Please contact Marta with queries regarding the MRes EDS programme.
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Current teaching staff

Dr Cliff Elwell
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Professor Bob Lowe
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David Shipworth
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Tristan Smith
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Neil Strachan
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2015/16 intake

The MRes EDS is designed to be a small-scale programme with limited places available. This year we have just 9 students enrolled, giving them the unique opportunity to work closely with our academics, collaborate with other students and tailor the course to their individual needs.

The course is multi-disciplinary and our students  come from a variety of backgrounds such as physics, engineering, architecture and social sciences.

The MRes EDs attracts a wide range of both international and UK/EU students with experiences in further education and the workplace


Course code: TMRBLTSEDS01

Entry requirements

Applicants for the MRes in Energy Demand Studies should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution or the overseas equivalent.

Applicants who do not already possess at least a a 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution or the overseas equivalent, may still be considered where they have a postgraduate qualification and/or significant relevant work experience in addition to a first degree.

Detailed knowledge of buildings and energy is not required to undertake the course.

The MRes in Energy Demand Studies is an interdisciplinary course
The study of energy demand in the built environment is complex and often surprising: the interplay of physics, engineering, economics and behaviour creates a challenging and exciting area of research. An appreciation of a wide range of disciplines is required to thoroughly investigate and contextualise research in energy demand. Students will develop a diverse range of skills on the MRes EDS, and these must be underpinned by an appropriate background; we expect that all prospective students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Good numeracy and literacy and an ability to present ideas clearly
  • An appreciation of the importance of behaviour and society in energy demand
  • An understanding of or ability to learn basic physics and engineering concepts
  • Strong performance in a science, engineering or social sciences discipline

Providing the best support for your studies
Original research is a primary focus of the MRes in Energy Demand Studies; the Dissertation Research Project is a key opportunity for students to investigate a topic of interest to them in detail. It is essential to ensure that our supervisory capabilities meet students’ needs – please provide a statement of the anticipated disciplinary focus of your research (e.g. physics, economics, social science, architecture) to enable us to check that we are likely to meet your supervisory needs.

How to apply

For more information regarding UCL graduate taught degrees.  

Apply online

Who can apply?

Applications are invited from graduates with a good first degree in a relevant science (physics, mathematics, natural sciences, geology and geographical science, social sciences, materials science etc.), engineering (chemical, civil, electronic and electrical, mechanical etc) or related subject (psychology, architecture, planning and surveying, other built environment disciplines etc).

For more information, visit

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn: 

  • why you want to study Energy Demand Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Energy Demand Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme 
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme 
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree 
  • a short statement of a topic you anticipate that you may like to study (this is likely to change over the course of the first term in the light of the courses you will undertake)

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. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU Full time - £7,375

Overseas Full time - £20,210

Fees for Modular/Flexible study will be calculated based on the number of modules selected each year


Full details of UCL Scholarship opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website.

We have fully funded studentships available through London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand programme. This is a four year programme that includes the MRes in Energy Demand Studies and a 3 year PhD. Visit the London-Loughborough Centre website for more information. 


We are now accepting modular/flexible and full time applications for a September 2016 start. The deadline is the 29th of July 2016

Any other questions?  Take a look at our frequently asked questions 

Funding and Scholarships

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies. 

These include:

Andrew Szmidla PG Scholarship £10,000  Deadline: 17 April 2016

UCL Alumni Scholarship  £10,000  Deadline: 17 April 2016

Malcolm Grant PG Scholarship  £25,000 Deadline: 17 April 2016

Santander Master's Scholarship £5,000 Deadline: 17 April 2016

Brown Family Bursary £15,000 Deadline: 08 May 2016

Thomas Witherden Batt Scholarship £10,000  Deadline: 08 May 2016

Greenbank Scholarship  £10,000 Deadline: 08 May 2016

These opportunities will only be available for students with full time 2016/17 offers.

Please check the UCL Scholarships and Funding website pages for further information.