MSc Sustainable Energy

This flexible, interdisciplinary programme emphasizes industry involvement and fieldwork experience. Upon completion, students will be able to apply their skills and knowledge to develop solutions to energy related problems from a business as well as science perspective.


ON-virkjun211115--1-of-1-Language of Instruction: English
Start Date: late July / early August

The M.Sc. in Sustainable Energy is a broad-based, highly adaptable program. Students study sustainable energy and learn about a wide range of renewable technologies that suit different regions and societies including geothermal energy, hydroelectric power, wind power, and energy policy and law. Students may choose to specialize in any of the above fields.

Taking advantage of our position in Iceland, a global leader in renewable energy development, our students are offered the unique opportunity to experience the whole sustainable energy process, from power plants to the development of sustainable energy law at a governmental level. 

Personalized Study Plan

Students can choose to focus on the business, law, or technical aspects of renewable energy by developing a personal study plan with the aid of an academic adviser.

Student Body and Faculty

Iceland School of Energy trains students to become engineers, managers, policymakers, and researchers; therefore, we draw our students from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. This interdisciplinary approach is what the ISE experience is centered around, with the student body being made up of geographically and academically diverse individuals who all collaborate and work together. The different approaches to solving problems, and the different experiences being brought to the table, are a hallmark of the students at the Iceland School of Energy.

Collaboration – Inside Access

Collaboration with leaders in the field of renewable energy, Reykjavik Energy and Iceland Geosurvey, gives students exceptional access to:

  • Renewable energy systems in Iceland
  • Professionals at the forefront of developing and operating renewable energy resources.


The MSc in Sustainable Energy requires 24 months of continuous study and the completion of 120 ECTS. A personalized study plan is developed for each student with the assistance of an academic supervisor.

Teaching and Learning

Our courses are based at the Reykjavik University campus. The curriculum is delivered through lectures, seminars, and visits. Our faculty is made up of professors and leading experts from the industry.  

Program Schedule

Summer Year 1

End of July - beginning of August. 
Duration: 3 weeks

  • Energy Field School (6 ECTS) - SE-801-ES1

Fall Year 1

August - December
Recommended ECTS: 24

Required Courses

  • Energy Economics (6 ECTS)** - SE-805-EC1
  • Energy Technology (6 ECTS)** - SE-802-ET1

Foundational Courses

  • Energy Geology (3 ECTS) - SE-803-GE1
  • Energy Storage (3 ECTS) - SE-850-EST
  • International and European Energy Law (7.5 ECTS) - L-712-IEEL
  • Coordinated Product Development, Systems, and Processes (8 ECTS) - T-814-PROD

3 Week Courses

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (6 ECTS)* - SE-806-EI1
  • Geothermal Conceptual Modeling (3 ECTS)* - SE-814-GCM

Spring Year 1

January - June
Recommended ECTS: 30

Required Course

  • Research Methods (4 ECTS) - T-801-RESM


  • Geothermal Science I (5 ECTS) - SE-829-GS1
  • Geothermal Science II (5 ECTS) - SE-829-GS2
  • Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (5 ECTS) - SE-828-GR2
  • Geothermal Drilling and Well Design (6 ECTS) - SE-830-DR2
  • Geothermal Reservoir Modeling (6 ECTS) - SE-831-GMS


  • Hydro Power Management (6 ECTS) - SE-834-HPM
  • Wind Power (6 ECTS) - T-863-WIND
  • Special Topics in Energy I - Photovoltaics (3 ECTS) - SE-817-STE
  • Internship in Engineering (6 ECTS) - T-706-INT1


  • Energy Financial Assessment (6 ECTS) - SE-833-FA2
  • Economics of Energy Markets (6 ECTS) - SE-834-EM2
  • International Environmental Law: Climate Change (7.5 ECTS) - L-770-ICCL

3 Week Course

  • Energy Policy and Innovation - 6 ECTS
  • Power Plant Design - 6 ECTS

Fall/Spring Year 2

August- June
ECTS: 60

Required Course

  • MSc Thesis Project Part 1 (30 ECTS) - T-900-MEIS
  • MSc Thesis Project Part 2 (30 ECTS) - T-901-MEIS

Core Courses and Electives

Energy Field School (6 ECTS)

A three-week, intensive course that provides students with an overview of sustainable technologies, the main issues that drive the demand for sustainable energy, and the factors that may impede or promote meeting that demand. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures and site visits, and students have an opportunity to see working systems that utilise sustainable energy. The course is taught as a summer school, also open to other participants, and offers a unique introduction to the master's programme.

Energy Economics (6 ECTS)

12-week course focusing on the specifics of energy economics, giving students a broad overview of a variety of theoretical and empirical topics related to energy economics.

Main learning objectives: Understanding these topics related to energy economics, applying methods from mathematics and economics science in order to analyze complex systems in energy systems, analyzing economics of an energy project, analyze and communicate data, and developing analytical solutions to a range of practical problems.

Energy Technology (6 ECTS)

12-week introductory course to the basics of energy technology and engineering. Designed for non-engineers to gain the necessary skills to become competent in describing energy systems.

Main learning objective: To give an introduction to and an overview of the field of energy by presenting basic concepts and laws of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer.

Environmental Impact Assessment (6 ECTS)

3-week course on environmental impact assessment (EIA), or the process by which the anticipated effects on the environment of a proposed development or project are measured. In this course, the process of an EIA will be discussed and students will get the opportunity to develop their own EIA on a topic they select.

Main learning objectives: Become familiar with the most common forms of environmental impact due to anthropogenic activities, estimate their severity, and understand possible mitigation techniques.

Energy Geology (3 ECTS)

3-week course designed to introduce geology to engineers and non-engineers alike.

Main learning objectives: Become familiar with reading geological maps and cross-sections, volcanology, sedimentary rocks and sedimentary basin structures, concepts of structural geology and stereonets, permeability and borehole imagery, reservoir rocks, and geotechnical properties of rocks and rock masses,

Research Methods (4 ECTS)

Industry and society needs people who can think critically, who can analyse complex situations and who can communicate their findings effectively. This can involve many tasks, including searching for and evaluating the worth of scientific literature and other forms of documentation. In this course, we concentrate on scientific writing and reporting, survey techniques and presentations. It will prepare students for dealing with the information gathering, analysis and reporting skills that are required for all other courses.

Key topics covered: Literature surveys, search engines and other agencies, scientific writing, academic publishing, thesis writing, reviewing papers, managing a research project.

Elective Modules

Students have access to a wide variety of elective module to tailor their curriculum to suit their focus. Elective courses include for example:

  • Geothermal Science I & II
  • Project Management and Strategic Planning
  • Applied Probability
  • Geothermal Reservoir Modeling and Simulation

  • Stability and Control in Electrical Systems

  • Derivatives and Risk Management
  • Oil and Gas Law
  • International and European Energy Law
  • Well Design and Geothermal Drilling Technology
  • Fluid Dynamics (for those intending wind specialization)


>> More information on all available courses can be obtained from the course overview page.


The Iceland School of Energy is proud to partner with many universities in Europe and around the world to offer our students exchange programs for 1 to 2 semesters. This provides a unique opportunity for students, many of whom are already international students, to further broaden their knowledge and experiences by studying abroad at one of our esteemed partner institutions.

  • Through our partnerships, students have the opportunity to study in countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Colombia, Mexico, and Indonesia.
  • These exchange programs allow students to gain an even more global perspective on the energy industry and learn from different cultures and teaching methods.
  • Students can also collaborate on thesis topics with faculty at our partner institutions, providing a unique and valuable experience.
  • By participating in an exchange program, students can specialize in their chosen field and gain a competitive edge in the job market.
  • For a complete list of our partner institutions and the programs offered, please visit

Overall, the exchange programs offered at the Iceland School of Energy provide a valuable opportunity for students to gain even more international experience and enhance their education.


Admission Requirements

The degree is open for students with a bachelor's degree in various disciplines. Our students come from backgrounds in business, engineering, social sciences, and natural sciences.

A Bachelor's degree in one of the following disciplines is beneficial:

  • Business
  • Public Policy and Social Sciences
  • Economics
  • Geology
  • Geography

A grade point average of 8 out of 10 or equivalent is recommended.

Language Requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their proficiency in English.

  • A minimum TOEFL test score of 577 (paper-based test) is required (230 in the computer-based test, 91 in the internet-based test)
  • IELTS score of at least 6.5 (academic only)
  • DAAD Language Certificate with at least B2
  • Cambridge Certificate with at least B2

English Language Requirements are Waived if:

  • The applicant's first language is English.
  • The applicant has completed a higher education degree where the language of instruction was English (minimum requirement 3 years full-time). A certificate from the university will be required for confirmation.
  • Countries exempted from English skills requirements: Due to equal national admission requirements for universities in countries like Iceland: Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark.


Find out more about the tuition and other fees here:


Interested in applying to ISE?

Things to include in your application:

  • CV / Resume
  • Official University Transcripts (hard copy and digital accepted)
  • 2 Letters of Reference (sent to directly from referee's institutional email)
  • Photocopy of Passport
  • Personal Statement (500 word max)
  • English Language Test Score Certificate (if applicable)

More info:

Contact Us

Have a question about the degree?

You can reach out to us any day by simply sending us an email at

Jacob-KaminskiJacob KaminskiProgram Administratorise@ru.isProspective students may reach out for questions regarding any of our graduate programmes.
Verity-Louise-SharpVerity L. Sharp
International Admissions Officer
admissions@ru.isContact for general questions regarding the application process, visa-related issues and inquires.

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