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MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment

Overview

Programme objectives

The aim of the exciting new Masters in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment (MSc in EPEE) starting in September 2013 is to give its students the essential knowledge that they need to understand, analyse and manage environment-resource-economy interactions. This is now a global agenda of increasing importance to business, policy makers and civil society in all countries.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Energy Institute is a leading centre for research into a range of areas covered by the course, such as energy systems, energy economics, energy & environmental policy and law, as well as behavioural aspects of energy use. The sister institute of the Energy Institute, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR), provides additional expertise on, e.g. environmental and resource economics. These areas are rapidly increasing in importance due to numerous related challenges, such as climate change, resource exhaustion, energy affordability and energy security. On graduation the students will have in-depth expertise in a number of specific areas of analysis, which is rooted in a broad understanding of economy-environment interactions as a whole.

Your Career

  • Graduates of this course will be equipped by it to become leaders and entrepreneurs in their chosen area of specialisation, whether in terms of policy making, the business management of sustainability issues, energy system modelling or their understanding and application of the innovation system.
  • The skills that they will acquire will make them strong applicants for employment in a range of sectors in which sustainability has become an important consideration, including business, central and local government, think tanks and NGOs, and universities and research institutes.

Structure

The MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment is a 180 credit course, focussed on the needs of early career researchers. 

The course will employ a range of teaching, learning and assessment methodologies. There will be lectures, interactive seminars and presentations from visiting speakers from a range of businesses and other organisations. Students will also be able to attend the wide-ranging seminar series organised by the UCL Energy Institute and the other Schools contributing to the MSc.

Assessment methods will differ between modules, and will comprise examinations, assessed course work, including hands-on modelling projects, and a 10'000 word dissertation for students to put into detailed practice the methods and techniques about which they have learned in the taught part of the course.

Compulsory modules

BENVGEC1 - Research Concepts and Methods (15 credits)
BENVGEC2 - Environmental and Resource Economics (15 credits)
BENVGEC3 - Modelling, Methods and Scenarios (15 credits)
PUBLG012 - Political Economy of Energy Policy (15 credits)
BENVGEC5 - Evidence, Policy Assessment and Environmental Law (15 credits)
BENVGBE1 - Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules

Choose any three of the following:

BENVGEC6 - Advanced Energy-Environment-Economy Modelling
BENVGEC7- UK Energy and Environment Policy and Law
SEESGS65 - Energy, Technology and Innovation
BENVGEC9 - Energy, People and Behavior
BENVGE0A - Business and Sustainability 

*PUBLG088 -Advanced Quantitative Methods is no longer available*

New optional modules for 14/15

BENVGECC - Advanced Environmental Economics

BENVGECB - Econometrics for Energy and the Environment



                                         








                                         



                                         



                                         



                                         



                                         


            

Content

Compulsory modules

BENVGEC1 - Research Concepts and Methods

This module provides students with the essential skills required to commission and critique research, and become critical consumers of secondary data and models using that data. It also prepares students to develop a clear research question and research design, select appropriate methods and samples and undertake a critical literature review – all essential skills for undertaking their dissertations.

BENVGEC2 - Environmental and Resource Economics

This module covers economic theories in relation to the environment and natural resources. The aim is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of the environment and resources in the economy, from an economics perspective, and to give them familiarity with the analytic tools and methods, to be built on in subsequent modules, that economists use in their investigations into environmental and natural resource issues.
The module will therefore generate knowledge of:
•    The main theoretical approaches in environmental, ecological and resource economics;
•    Examples, through case studies, of how these approaches have been used in practice;
•    How students can put these approaches into practice themselves.

BENVGEC3 - Modelling, Methods and Scenarios

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the field of energy modelling that is required by modern economy-resource-environment analysts, in whatever area (government, consulting, regulatory etc) that they may be working. Starting from an economics viewpoint, it is explanatory and forensic to enable students to really understand the energy modelling process. Energy-economic modelling is one of the cornerstones of both the public energy policy process and the investment process for private energy firms.
Student will develop an understand of why energy-economic models are used, how input data is collated, how they are combined with scenarios approaches, and how uncertainties are assessed. Students will then develop the faculty to critically analyse the applicability and outputs of energy-economic models of all types. The lectures are ordered to start with key energy sectors, and then broadened to include wider economic and physical interactions.

PUBLG012  - Political Economy of Energy Policy

This course examines political economy and empirical perspectives of energy policy and its implications for energy supply and demand, and environmental policy and climate change. It discusses aspects of local, national, and global markets for oil, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear power, and renewable energy; and examines public policies affecting energy markets including taxation, price regulation and deregulation, energy efficiency, and control of emissions and environmental policy more generally. This course we will develop and utilize tools of policy analysis to understand the main contemporary issues related to energy sector. The primary focus is on global and national energy markets and institutions, and on how local energy issues are embedded in the context of a national and global political economy.

Some of the types of policy issues addressed include:

•    Is the world running out of oil thus leading to a trend of permanently escalating prices?
•    Should developed democracies (e.g. UK and US) immediately adopt a binding cap on CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels? And should developing countries adopt a similarly binding cap?
•    Did electricity deregulation cause blackouts and skyrocketing prices in California? And what does it tell us about the European Commission proposals to deregulate energy markets in EU?
•    Is investing in nuclear power an efficient strategy for producing clean energy in the long run? Or is it better to invest the same resources into energy efficiency and conservation policies?
•    How secure is the EU energy supply? How secure is the EU energy demand from the point of view of energy suppliers? How are these two questions interconnected and how do they affect EU energy security?

BENVGEC5 - Evidence, Policy Assessment and Environmental Law

The purpose of environmental policy is to improve the nature and quality of the use of the environment and its resources. In order to know whether or not this has taken place, the environmental outcomes before and after the policy have to be measured; environmental law is necessary for the environmental policy to be implemented; and the effect of the policy has to be assessed before it is put in place (ex ante) and evaluated after it has had time to take effect (ex post). 

Optional modules

(please note that students will need to take three optional modules.  Enrolment on specific modules is subject to availability)

BENVGEC6 - Advanced Energy-Environment-Economy Modelling

This is one of the advanced optional modules in the MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment. Building from the core module (BENVGEC3) on modelling methods and scenarios, this is a practical hands-on module that will enable students to develop expert skills in the critical use of energy-economic models approaches. Students will obtain pre-defined levels of knowledge and expertise in selected policy relevant energy-economic analytical tools. Students will then be expected to utilise these skills in their MSc thesis topics.

BENVGEC7- UK Energy and Environment Policy and Law

Energy and environment policy have been extensively implemented in the UK, often as a result of international agreements or EU policy, and often in fairly complex policy packages or mixes. While UK policy experience in these areas is unique, there are nevertheless interesting lessons to be drawn in respect of other countries.

SEESGS65 - Energy, Technology and Innovation 

Transition towards environmentally and energy sustainable paths of economic growth require innovation and diffusion of new technologies that are socially and economically acceptable. This complex process evolves as interaction of technological, economic and social forces operating at various levels. Technology innovations in energy and environment are funded by both public and private efforts and they range from radically new to incremental changes. Their deployment is an outcome of economic as well as social factors where policy plays very big role.  Energy and environmental constraints are major drivers for redirection of technological change away from ‘carbon lock-in’ path. Participation in these processes at either policy or business level requires understanding of the basics of economics of technical change and innovation with special reference to energy and environment.

BENVGEC9 - Energy, People and Behaviour 

This module introduces students to some of the main social science theories used to understand energy related behaviours and lifestyles and how they could be changed. Students critically evaluate and compare these theories and critically evaluate their usefulness for energy technology, modeling approaches, and energy policies and programs.

BENVGE0A - Business and Sustainability

This module is designed to help students develop an in-depth understanding of how sustainability can create value for businesses. It introduces students to the necessary principles to measure, manage, and report corporate sustainability performance in terms of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). Also, the module analyses the role played by sustainable and responsible investments in the overall performance of businesses, and establishes the link between businesses’ sustainability obligations and financial success factors.
In addition, the module explores the role of sustainability in companies’ risk management efforts, and looks at ways to hedge climate-change related risks. It also explores sustainability accounting, examines how and why sustainability should be reported, and assesses different strategies for sustainability improvement. Finally, this module addresses practical applications of TBL principles to management issues in four different sectors: extractive, energy-intensive, land/water-incentive, and consumer products/demand sectors.

New optional modules for 14/15

BENVGECC - Advanced Environmental Economics

This module presents an advanced discussion of selected topics in Environmental Economics. Topics include environmental instruments in imperfect markets, instruments choices with particular focus on climate policy, techniques used in environmental evaluation, implication of time and space for environmental instruments and environmental economic instruments in the presence of asymmetric information and related monitoring and enforcing problems.

The course will make use of relatively formal material building on the knowledge acquired by students in the Environmental and Resource Economics module. Each lecture will be complemented by a tutorial or a seminar where students will either deal with a practical application of the techniques learnt in the lectures or have the opportunity to listen to an external speaker.

BENVGECB - Econometrics for Energy and the Environment

This module presents an introduction to the main fields of Econometrics used in the Environmental and Energy Field. Starting from the general regression model and the cases where the assumptions in that model do not hold, progressing to Time Series and Panel Data and other specialist branches of this disciplines used in applied work. The course will make use of relatively formal material but will try to use an easy-to-grasp approach as far as possible. This dual approach will gather students from different backgrounds as well as helping students to understand the mathematical reasoning behind applied concepts. Each lecture will be complemented by a tutorial where students will replicate the approach taken in a number of applied papers. Five additional introductory tutorials will ensure that students are familiar with the programming language used in the course.



                                         



                                         



                                         



                                         



                                         


            

Staff

Ilkka Keppo, Course Director
Lecturer

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Kate Rice, Programme Administrator
Please contact Kate with queries regarding the MSc EPEE programme.
Send Kate an email

Staff teaching on the programme currently include

Paolo Angolucci
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Gabrial Anandarajah
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Marco Aponte-Moreno
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Paul Ekins
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Slava Mikhaylov
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Slavo Radošević
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Michelle Shipworth
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Neil Strachan
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Students

2014/15 Intake

The MSc EPEE is now running for it's second year and proving immensely popular with a large number of applications considered for 14/15. We now have more then 70 UK/EU and International students attending both full time and on a modular/flexible basis.

Our students have multidisciplinary backgrounds in a wide range of subjects such as engineering, economics, sociology, environment, history and politics, as well as a variety of different work experiences and previous careers.

2013/14 Intake

The majority of our 13/14 intake of full-time students have now finished their studies and will be receiving their certificate of award from UCL in late December or early January.

MSc Funding and Scholarships

We do not have any full funding opportunities available at present, however, The Bartlett Masters Scholarship Scheme offers 20 scholarships for MSc students, each worth £5,000, to be used as partial fee remittance for study. The deadline is 12pm, Friday 30th May 2014. 

Applying for MSc in EPEE

Course Code: TMSECOSEAE01

Entry requirements

  • Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (economics, economics-plus, a science or engineering subject) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required.
  • A non-quantitative degree may, however, be considered provided that some aptitude, e.g. at A level, has been demonstrated for quantitative analysis.
  • These requirements may be relaxed for students who can demonstrate aptitude and experience in business, government, etc.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

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.

Who can apply?

  • Economics graduates and those with a strong minor in economics or business
  • Science and engineering graduates who want to make an interdisciplinary career in this expanding field
  • Those with largely non-quantitative degrees who want to develop their quantitative skills and work in a more policy-related way

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment
  • why you want to study Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment at graduate level
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme at the UCL Energy Institute
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree and how this programme meets these needs

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate why you are suited to this programme.

Fees

Applications are now open for the 2015/16 academic year. 

UK/EU 2015/16: £11,125 (FT)

Overseas 2015/16: £20,140 (FT)

Funding

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

Deadlines

The deadlines for a September 2015 start are:

Full Time - July 31st 2015

Modular/Flexible - 5th September 2015

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