Global Energy Systems: Powering the Future

The University of Birmingham is based in the heart of England where the first industrial revolutions took place and is one of the UK’s top universities. This programme will look at energy issues particularly novel materials and processes for enhancing energy efficiency. A unique interdisciplinary approach will be taken; covering materials formulation and manufacturing based on molecular scale understanding; devices and systems using new materials for energy conversion, transmission, storage and applications; energy processes and systems optimisation; and energy policy aspects.  The Programme is ideal for students based overseas who would like to experience studying abroad and also gain understanding how the molecular scale phenomena affects and device and system level performance. 

Uniquely delivered by University’s internationally renowned Birmingham Centre of Cryogenic Energy Storage, a cross campus initiative involving the Schools of Chemical Engineering, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and the Business School, you will explore the role of molecule scale phenomena in materials formulation for energy applications, innovative materials manufacturing technologies, relationships between technology and money, through examination of a series of fundamentally linked case studies. Content will cover the latest knowledge in areas such as molecular modelling, materials formulation, state-of-the-art materials characterisation methods, manufacturing technologies, economics, whilst focusing on specific topics such examples of which may be:

  • Energy - exact meaning of energy, forms and grades, energy carriers, understanding from different spatial and temporal scales  
  • Energy Triangles – fossil fuels, nuclear or renewables?
  • Technology options for Energy Storage – batteries, hydrogen or liquid air?
  • Energy Conversion – how to change energy into different forms?
  • Energy transfer – is the quick the better?
  • Energy Storage – how energy can be stored in air? 

This is a three week programme and is equivalent to an accredited undergraduate course (20 UK credits, 5 US credits, or 10 ECTS). All students will receive a certificate of attendance.

(Please note that the programme plan is subject to confirmation for BISS 2018)

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto the Global Energy Systems programme you must:

  • Have relevant subject background: the Programme operates at ‘beginners’ level’ however students should have studied physics at A level or equivalent (level 12 is also acceptable), or currently studying on a science degree. Students must be able to demonstrate relevant subject background with a translated transcript.
  • Be aged 18 years or over at the start date of the BISS programme.
  • Be studying an undergraduate programme at a University outside the UK or be registered as an International student at a UK university
  • Be of good academic standing (based on a translated transcript, verified by your University or a letter of recommendation in English from your University provided during the application process).

English Language Requirements

  • Have achieved English Language proficiency  IELTS 6.0 overall with no lower than 5.5 in any band.
  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of TOEFL IBT 80 overall with no less than 19 in listening, 19 in reading, 21 in speaking and 19 in writing.
  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of PEARSON with a minimum of 53 in listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The following equivalent English Language qualifications will also be accepted:

  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of 530 at level 4 or 500 at level 6 in Chinese College English Test (CET).
  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of 60 at TEM level 4.
  • Have achieved English Language Proficiency at HKDSE Level 3.

Through a mixture of lecture, workshops, pilot plant visit, and hands on in labs you will develop your knowledge and skills from some of the World’s leading experts in their fields. The programme will take you from the theoretical world of understanding the molecular scale phenomena to the practical significance of the application of the knowledge.

On completion of the Programme in addition to obtaining 20 credits you will have been given a unique opportunity to 

1. acquire knowledge and problem-solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader contexts;

2. communicate conclusions and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, clearly and unambiguously;

3. demonstrate the ability to work professionally with a considerable degree of independence. 

Assessment methods

The Programme is equivalent to an accredited undergraduate course (20 UK credits) which comprises 44 contact hours. In addition to staff led activities you will be required to undertake independent individual and group study working towards your assessment. The Programme is formally assessed at the end of the three weeks. Please check with your home institution regarding the transfer of credits.