A male and female researcher wearing protective eyewear and a white lab coats, talking to each other
Applications are now open for our second Joint Masters programme with IIT Madras.

The University of Birmingham and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) are launching a new Joint Masters programme in Sustainable Energy Systems. The Institutions have opened applications for this new course.

Building on last year’s launch of the partners’ first Joint Masters programme in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, the new course will help its graduates become specialists in a fast-growing industry that is leading the fight against climate change.

Students will study in both Chennai and Birmingham before receiving a single degree awarded jointly by both universities. They will also carry out a substantial individual project within internationally-recognised research groups, giving them an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real world challenges.

The University of Birmingham has a long and esteemed history in energy research and education, from the development of the UKs first publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling station and boat, through the development of large-scale energy storage to the development of cold-chain technology in Africa and large-scale facilities for nuclear energy applications.

The Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) has operated for almost 15 years. It was one of the first attempts to provide greater cohesion and identity for multi-disciplinary energy research within a UK university.

The programme offers flexibility to students to conclude the programme in either Birmingham or IIT Madras. The programme will begin with students beginning their studies at IIT Madras and completing a short industrial placement. 

Students then have the option of two pathways:

  • Option 1 - Study in the UK for 12 months including a research project in Birmingham
  • Option 2 - Study in the UK for six months, then return to IIT Madras to complete the programme and carry out a research project at IIT Madras.

The applications are now open with offer letters scheduled to be sent out from 26th June 2024. Interested students can apply now

Our second Joint Masters programme opens new and exciting opportunities to study in two countries, benefitting from the expertise and industry links of both IIT Madras and the University of Birmingham.

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor & Principal - University of Birmingham

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University of Birmingham, commented: “Our second Joint Masters programme opens new and exciting opportunities to study in two countries, benefitting from the expertise and industry links of both IIT Madras and the University of Birmingham.

“Successful applicants will experience a global perspective as they learn the fundamental principles of sustainable energy systems – giving them a unique professional perspective that will help them to make a valuable career contribution to our fight against climate change.”

As well as studying in India and Birmingham at two leading institutions, successful applicants will gain a global perspective on sustainable energy, and experience hands-on industrial training.

Students will benefit from Birmingham Energy Institute’s expertise in developing industrial applications from fundamental research, as well as IIT Madras’ excellence in the development of decarbonisation technologies.

IIT Madras is thrilled to start this new program in collaboration with University of Birmingham close on the heels of the first successful joint program on data science and AI.

Professor Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement) - IIT Madras

The interdisciplinary course focusses on energy systems and technologies that can help to build a sustainable future - covering technology development and engineering, as well as societal, economic, environmental and policy aspects to help meet net zero targets. Students will learn about the fundamental principles behind the current energy systems, including fuel cells and hydrogen, energy storage, solar and nuclear energy.

Elaborating on this program, Professor Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras, said: “IIT Madras is thrilled to start this new program in collaboration with University of Birmingham close on the heels of the first successful joint program on data science and AI”

The course content will be delivered by research staff who have backgrounds in academia, industry and policy.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said: “The University of Birmingham is a Russell Group university ranked in the top 100 in the world and we are proud of our enduring bonds with India going back over a century. These innovative joint postgraduate programmes offer students the opportunity to pursue a world-class education at globally leading institutions in two countries, and to have their educational achievements recognised by both.”

British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai Mr. Oliver Ballhatchet commented: “This partnership is setting a benchmark in Transnational Education (TNE) between the UK and India, providing more choice to students. I hope too that it will provide India, the UK, and the world with more high quality solutions as we tackle the global challenge of climate change together.”

Students will also benefit from innovative curricula with IIT Madras’ award-winning pedagogy and research methodology, awarded the title of Institute of Eminence, as well as IIT Madras excellence in technical education, basic and applied research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and industrial consultancy. IIT Madras has been ranked the number one Engineering University in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

Agreement to set up the first Joint Masters’ programme was reached by Prof. Adam Tickell and Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras during a visit to Chennai, in November 2022. They signed a collaborative Statement of Intent to explore a range of study areas including data science, energy systems and biomedical engineering. The agreement built further on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February 2022 where both institutions declared their intention to further develop their partnership.

The University of Birmingham has a number of significant partnerships in India, underpinned by its India Institute which aims to increase the visibility, impact and coherence of Birmingham’s engagement in the country.