The Postgraduate Programme in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies focuses on the training of scientists, planners, economists, project developers and engineers to equip them to work in the field of renewable and sustainable energy (RSE). To do so, and thereby complement their individual fields of expertise such as the natural sciences, engineering, economics, or management, amongst others; they must also be trained in the various technologies associated with RSE. Beside the technical expertise that is required the economic and social issues of RSE are also be included in the Programme with a solid understanding of the concepts and principles of sustainability. To this end, the Programme builds on the expertise of existing, leading research groups across South Africa.
As part of the Programme CRSES facilitates two coursework Masters programmes with a focus on RSE:
1. MEng (Structured) degree in the Department of Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering, of the Faculty of Engineering.
2. MPhil programme in the School of Public Leadership, of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, in collaboration with the Sustainability Institute.
The latter, which is open to all undergraduate disciplines, requires the completion of a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development, with a specialisation in renewable energy, before being allowed to complete the MPhil degree.
A Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering (PDE) in Renewable Energy is also available to accommodate students with a three-year science/technical bachelors' degree, including a BTech. The PDE was introduced to facilitate the access of previously disadvantaged students to postgraduate training in RSE and could, under certain circumstances, lead to acceptance into the MEng degree.
The students from these programmes, as well as other students, some from other universities and some from industry, meet in RSE-focussed modules, as well as other course modules offered through the Postgraduate Programme in Sustainable Development of the School of Public Leadership; the Sustainable Development foundation module of this programme is compulsory for all students.
These modules are also made available as short courses to the public and private sector. The RSE-focussed modules are registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as short courses that qualify for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.
The research-based Masters degree, or MEng (Research), comprise of a 100% research thesis; however, some of the students are expected to successfully complete five supplementary modules, of which one must be a postgraduate Mathematics or Applied Mathematics module. These modules must be chosen from the existing set of modules or modules specifically compiled to suit particular needs.
For the doctoral degree (PhD), the student must normally submit a doctoral dissertation and defend it successfully during an oral examination. The maximum time allowed for the PhD programme is four years for full-time study and seven years for part-time study. Study for the PhD degree usually takes at least three years on a full-time basis. In addition to the dissertation, students must also write at least one research paper, but preferably several papers, on their research work, for publication in professional journals or for presentation at international conferences.
CRSES, with financial supported by the Department of Science and Technology, also offers bursaries to selected students that apply for any of the above options of the Postgraduate Programme in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies.