Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management MSc/PG Diploma

In the UK we currently have 17 nuclear sites at various stages of decommissioning, ranging from first generation Magnox reactors, sites at Sellafield, Springfields and Capenhurst, as well as the fast-reactor research facility at Dounreay. This programme effectively prepares you for a career in the nuclear industry, supporting you to develop the scientific understanding and practical skills to address the challenges in this area.

This programme covers a wide range of the skills required to work in the nuclear industry and is co-taught with world-leading academic staff from different Schools within the University. Learning is via lectures and practical sessions,  supported by field trips and industry seminars.

Why study this course

The University of Birmingham has a long and established track record of research and education in the nuclear sector, including reactor technology, metallurgy and materials, decommissioning and waste management, dating back to the earliest days of the nuclear industry.

The University runs one of the longest-standing Masters level courses in the nuclear sector (over 50 years), in the Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors (PTNR). The University has extensive links to the nuclear industry and regulators both within the UK and internationally, including National Nuclear Labs, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Idaho National Labs, NAGRA, British Energy, AMEC, Serco, HSE (NII), Atkins, Babcock Marine, Westinghouse, UKAEA, EDF, E.ON and RWE NPower.

Why choose Birmingham?

  • Exploit the career opportunities in a growing sector, with demand for high quality graduates increasing with the decommissioning of the current fleet of reactors
  • Develop research skills that will also provide a strong foundation for further postgraduate study
  • Build relevant skills and knowledge in nuclear sciences, geosciences and materials science to prepare graduates like you for a career in nuclear decommissioning, waste management and remediation

Modules

This course consists of 180 credits. 120 credits are assessed through the core taught modules and 60 credits are awarded following the successful completion of your research project.

Nuclear Radiation and Dosimetry – 10 credits
– Covering Nuclear Radiation and Decay, Radiation Detection, Radiation Dosimetry and Radiation Protection

Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Radiation Shielding –10 credits
– Covering Reactor Systems, Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Radiation Shielding and Introduction to Radiochemistry

Processing, Storage and Disposal of Nuclear Waste – 20 credits
– Covering Waste Forms and Classification, Waste Processing and Treatment, Encapsulation, Waste Management and
Storage, and Geological Storage

Site Decommissioning and Environmental Management – 20 credits
– Covering Environmental Impact of Nuclear Power, Site Monitoring and Assessment, Decommissioning, Environmental
Remediation and Environmental Modelling 

Policy, Regulation and Management – 20 credits
– Covering Policy, Public Perception and Accountability, Nuclear Regulation for Waste Management, Programme  Management and Contracts, and Project Appraisal and Financing

Practical and Applied Studies A – 20 credits
– Covering Radiation Detection and Measurement Lab, Materials and Analysis Lab and Computing and Numerical Analysis

Practical and Applied Studies B – 20 credits
– Covering Materials and Analysis Lab, Computing and Numerical Analysis and Case Study Exercise

Research Project 60 credits
– Covering project work and thesis

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

Related staff

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time, £4500 part-time
  • International students: £20,610

Learn more about fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Some students on this programme receive BBSRC or EPSRC funding. 
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or email  sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Entry requirements

A 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (eg, Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Geoscience or any Physical
Science subject). Lower entry requirements may be acceptable if you demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills. Learn more about entry requirements

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements. Standard English language requirements apply.

How to apply

International students requiring visas

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date; a new application should be made for September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry by 21 September 2018.

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

120 credits are assessed through taught modules and 60 credits are awarded following the successful completion of the independent project which is assessed through a written report. A variety of assessment methods are used, including laboratory exercises, written coursework, case study reports, oral presentations and standard examinations.

There is currently a significant shortage of skilled graduates in the field of nuclear decommissioning and waste management, both within the UK and globally. This degree course is a response to the skills shortage, and seeks to train high quality graduates for the Nuclear Industry. The sector will grow, and the demand for high quality graduates increase with the decommissioning of the current fleet of reactors.

The research skills acquired will also provide a strong foundation for those wishing to undertake further postgraduate study towards the award of a PhD.

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Birmingham is one of Europe's most exciting cities. If you are already based here you know what this vibrant, forward-thinking, international city has to offer. If you are moving here you are going to have great fun finding out. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Supporting you

Whoever you are, wherever you come from, we'll make sure you have all the support you need to make the most of your time at Birmingham. We have a student mentor scheme and offer other support, such as disability and dyslexia advice and support, childcare and nursery facilities and financial advice.

Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA)

If you are a mature student it's worth considering joining the Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA). This voluntary, student-led group has an active Facebook group where you can keep up with all the events and activities on offer.

Are you an International Student?

The University of Birmingham has one of the largest international student communities within the UK. The mix of nationalities and cultures on campus greatly enriches our learning and teaching environment and will help you feel at home during your time with us. Find out more at our international student website

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The City of Birmingham

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Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.