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Master of Engineering Studies (Renewable Energy Systems)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Change the world

Join the unique Master of Engineering Studies (Renewable Energy Systems) to tackle one of the most important issues our world faces today.

Find out more about the Master of Engineering Studies parent structure.

What is it like?

The Master of Engineering Studies (Renewable Energy Systems) is a unique postgraduate programme in New Zealand.

This qualification is suitable if you either have an undergraduate engineering degree and wish to specialise in renewable energy, or you have found yourself working in a renewable-energy-related role and need to upskill. Your undergraduate degree does not need to be in engineering, as long as it is in a relevant field.

Setting the global agenda

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. We bring a solid base of experience to your learning from our Centre for Energy Research, established at Massey in 1997 following over 25 years of teaching and research work undertaken in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy management.

We also bring the most relevant and recent research to your learning. You will learn the theory and practice behind energy management, renewable energy and climate change from lecturers who have been working internationally, contributing to research and policy through panels that are setting the global agenda.

Real-world learning

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the theory of renewable energy systems, but also focus on practical information that can be applied to real-world situations. This could be through using the international Long Range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) model to assess climate change mitigation options for a country, city or community.

You will also learn how to measure renewable energy resources, and understand the challenges of providing energy efficiency or renewable energy systems in developing countries as part of sustainable development.

Your study includes examining solar radiation, wind, hydro, tidal, wave and biomass systems and their design, including economics and performance. You will look at the challenges in assessing, designing, introducing and maintaining small-scale renewable energy technologies in developing countries and study the scientific theory of global warming, climate modelling and social and technological approaches to reducing greenhouse emissions including greenhouse gas accounting principles.

The programme also covers the social issues to change human behaviour regarding the deployment of renewable energy systems and related greenhouse gas emission reductions.


You can study towards the Master of Engineering Studies on campus, or study via our distance learning. This gives you the flexibility to remain in full-time employment while studying. Massey University has been offering distance education for over 50 years and you will be able to take advantage of our well-developed systems for teaching and learning.

A year full time

The Master of Engineering Studies is a 120 credit qualification able to be completed in one year full-time, or part-time between 2.5 and five years..

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Engineering Studies will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about the potential of renewable energy
  • Want to have a positive impact on the future of our environment
  • Would like a postgraduate qualification that combines taught courses and a research component
  • Have a relevant undergraduate degree or extensive directly-related work experience
Elizabeth Yeaman
Master of Applied Science in Natural Resource Engineering
(now MEngSt (Renewable Energy Systems)
General Manager Transport, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) Te Tari Tiaki Pungao

“I loved studying renewable energy at Massey - it was one of the best things I have done for my career…”

I was working in the energy area and I was very excited about the potential for renewable energy. So I was looking for a way to upskill to move into the renewable energy space.

Massey was the obvious choice because of Professor Ralph Sims who teaches much of the renewable energy course. He has a great reputation in the renewable energy field.

It was a very busy time - I was studying part-time as a mature student, working part-time as a professional engineer and I also started a family during my time at Massey. But I loved it - fascinating subjects, great lecturers, opportunities to undertake projects that had practical implications.

One of the most satisfying parts of my master’s was working on a major project to retrofit the Turitea water supply dam for electricity generation from the surplus water flow.  My project showed this was technically and economically feasible and I shared the results with the dam operator.  A couple of years later the project actually got built which was immensely satisfying.

I am now the General Manager Transport at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).  One of my main projects is helping accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand, which is very exciting.  This technology has real benefits for the country as imported petrol and diesel can be replaced with New Zealand’s 80% renewable electricity generation. I would love to see electric vehicles really start to take off in New Zealand.


Sought after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s engineering and advanced technology staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised specialists, for example:

Professor Ralph Sims

Professor Sims is an internationally respected sustainable energy and renewable systems expert. He was on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace prize. While on the panel he was a lead author on a report covering renewable energy and agriculture and led the chapters on energy supply, integration and transport chapter for various IPCC assessment reports.

He has been a senior analyst at the IEA (International Energy Agency) in Paris and worked as part of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Professor Sims is a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers (IPENZ), a Fellow of the UK Institute of Agricultural Engineers and a chartered engineer. He received the 2008 IPENZ Supreme Achievers Award for Environment and Clean Technology, and the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) for which he was a Ministerial Board Member appointee for three terms. He is published widely, is sought after as a keynote speaker for many international energy and climate change events. He has also acted as a consultant to many international organisations including Shell International, Rio Tinto, UN FAO, GEF, REN21, IEA, APERC and the OECD.

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