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Strathclyde Business School Strathclyde Business School

Connecting to industry in energy MSc

By Penny Leake - Posted on 25 April 2019

The practical elements of the Global Energy Management MSc help students see learned content in action. Here Penny Leake talks about this and other benefits of the GEM programme.

I was in my fourth and final year of my Economics degree at Strathclyde Business School when I learned of the MSc Global Energy Management (GEM) course. I had always considered a Masters as my next step after completing my honours degree, but it wasn’t until a fourth year honours class - Natural Resource, Energy and Environmental Economics - where I saw the link between energy and economics and that confirmed the MSc GEM course as the one for me.

GEM is a niche programme and has a relatively small cohort. I personally like that about the course as it’s more relaxed and intimate with staff, and lectures almost become class discussions. We are a really diverse cohort though – with six nationalities between nine of us – making it interesting in classes hearing different opinions and perspectives on energy-related issues.

In terms of content, the course has been pretty spot-on in giving us a well-rounded approach to the energy sector. A lot of time is spent in the beginning getting to know different technologies, and then looking at different policies, issues and markets. The teaching staff are all really passionate about their areas of research and always makes for interesting classes, particularly when discussing current/relevant energy topics.

A particular highlight – and one of the selling points for me personally – has to be the “Global Energy Forum” class. Weeks are split by alternating between a field trip and an external speaker, who is usually an industry professional, delivering a presentation to the cohort. Since the course is well thought-out and planned in advance, field trips are mostly aligned with a topic recently discussed in class. This year we visited the National Grid HQ in London, Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station, Ben Cruachan Hydro Power Station, Whitelee Windfarm and the National Mining Museum. It is a great way to see content learned in class in action. Visiting the National Grid was a particular highlight for me as we visited the control room and were able to see just how the electricity supply is balanced across different times of peak demand.

The Global Energy Forum is also great for us students as we get to network with different industry professionals. We have seen presentations from companies such as Wood Mackenzie, ARUP, OfGem, Mainstream Renewable Power, the Scottish Government and from university professors who specialise in different fields of energy. It’s been a great way to not only learn about future career prospects, but to understand the scope that working in the energy sector covers. The industry connections and exposure are also helpful when looking for an industry-based MSc summer project – one of the requirements of the course.

At the start of the programme my main area of interest was in renewable energy. It’s fair to say that I was quite naïve in the beginning, thinking if that is the way the energy sector is moving to I’d best get my foot in the door. However, through studying this course I’ve looked at different sectors from a different perspective – such as the gas sector – and am seriously considering a career in this industry in the next couple of years, in an analytical or consultant role.

The course has done really well in my opinion at linking everything to energy policy – past, present and proposed future – and particularly that of different countries. It’s been a great course to study to get a solid, well-rounded understanding of the global energy industry, policies, and markets.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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