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Past Questions

  1. Hello Mr. Vasquez, I am from India, I hold an offer letter for the current year for the Masters in Electrical Power System with Advanced Research. I had applied for my state government scholarship, which I didn't get due to its cut-off. In September 2021 the National Overseas scholarship will open their portal and I will apply for that. I am hopeful that I will get selected onto that scholarship scheme. So, now I have a whole year until next autumn and I want to prepare for the course. It would really great if you could share any readings or books related to the course and any software courses which may be necessary or helpful to look at before starting this course as an international student.

    Hope you get the scholarship and come to Birmingham for your postgraduate studies.

    The MSc programme in Electrical Power System has several modules. You could read the following books: Power System Analysis by Grainger and Stevenson, and Power System Stability and Control by Kundur. Those books cover important topics taught in the MSc programme, and perhaps you already know something about them.

    If you do not know MATLAB programming, you should learn it. There are a lot of free ways to do it: Youtube videos, books, free online courses.

    Hope this message is useful.

    Wilson Vasquez

  2. Hello Mr.Vasquez. I am from India. I have applied for the MSc Electrical Power Systems with Advanced Research (2 Year) course and got selected for the intake of September 2021. I have also applied to other universities in UK with similar course outline particularly Newcastle University for MSc Electrical Power Advanced Stream (2 Year) and got selected also. I have done my bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. My key interest areas are Power System, Power Electronics and Electrical Machines. I want to focus my approach towards sustainable energy system infrastructure, specifically the Smart Grid, Photovoltaics, Green Energy and Electric vehicles (EV) and the integration of EV with Smart Grid. I have compared both the universities. While applying, the modules of this course excite me a lot, especially the Power System Economics module. The course structure of The University of Birmingham and Newcastle University is almost identical with only a few notable differences. The modules at the University of Birmingham are very precise and specific focusing on the Power System domain completely whereas the modules of Newcastle University are of wider area of specialization including Control of Electric Drives, Design and analysis of Electrical Machines and Advanced Power Electronics. Looking into the area that you were interested in while applying for this MSc Electrical Power Systems with Advanced Research at the University of Birmingham, what was your main ideology? Moreover, while doing this course will we be able to take an extra course based on Advanced Power Electronics (which I found to be very relevant to the Smart Grid and EV research areas)? Can you please share your experience while pursuing this MSc? Also, in 2nd year, is it possible to work on an industry based project or to dive in to research domain more inclined towards Smart Grid, Microgrids or EV? I got really inspired by looking into your past questions answered by you. I also want to do my PhD degree if I get a research environment. Could you please help with my queries? Thank you.

    Hi,

    1. I chose the University of Birmingham because it was the only university in 2015 that offered a two-year MSc programme. Other UK universities only offered a one-year MSc programme.

    As you said, the modules offered at University of Birmingham are focused on power systems. But I received some lectures on control of electric machines, and also the module on HVDC technologies has some lectures on electronic components. You can check this in the university web page (module information).

    2. In the second year, students work on a project that is typically within the research area of the project supervisor. Project supervisors do research in different areas, including smart grids, electric vehicles, microgrids, control of wind turbines. So you could work on your preferred topic by selecting the appropriate supervisor.

    Doing a project with a company depends on the project supervisor. I do not know if there are opportunities to do that.

    3. Funding opportunities for PhD studies in the university vary each year. I was lucky to get some funding. You can apply to several universities before completing your MSc studies. I did that.

    One of the benefits of choosing the two-year MSc programme is that you can publish a paper about your project. Publications can be useful for future PhD applications.

    Regards, Wilson

  3. Hello, I am an Electrical Engineer from Iran. I would like to apply for the MSc Electrical Engineering and I wonder if it is required to find a supervisor prior to applying? Thank you.

    Hi and thanks for the question.

    The MSc Project Coordinator (a member of the department) allocates project supervisors. So you do not need to worry about that.

    Regards,

    Wilson Vasquez

  4. Hello again Mr Vasquez. I had a few more queries and I was hoping you'd help. I am an Electronic and Communication Graduate. I was a mediocre student back in my graduation days. I wanted to ask if taking up this course will put any kind of pressure on me? I did study a few technologies in my grad school as a part of the curriculum. I just don't know if the syllabus is going to be tough and the project being 120 credits scares me. I have done a mandatory final year project in my grad school, so it's not new to me. But the syllabus scares me. Could you please help me here, I am a bit nervous? Thank you.

    I understand your concern. The MSc programme (specially its first year) is designed for students with no background in electrical power systems. If students have a basic knowledge of maths, electrical circuits, and electronics, and study consistently (during their MSc studies), students should be able to complete the MSc programme without problems.

    You could read (or scan) books on electrical power systems to have an idea of what type of mathematical tools are used. For example, you can check Power System Analysis by John Grainger. You can also watch lectures on Youtube on other topics, e.g., power distribution systems, High Voltage Direct Current Trnaksission (HVDC). You can check this website (https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-061-introduction-to-electric-power-systems-spring-2011/index.htm) for information on modelling of power systems.

    I hope this helps. Wilson

  5. Hello, I am a student of Electrical Engineering in Spain and next year I will finish my degree, I wanted to know more about the MSc in Electrical Power Engineering. 1. Are there jobs opportunities after completing the degree? 2. What is the ratio of success? 3. What is the ratio of acceptance if you fulfil all the requirements? 4. Is possible to apply before completing the bachelor degree with a conditional acceptance? 5. Do you know if there is loans from the UK government for international students? Kind regards.

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it. I will do my best to answer your questions!

    1. I'm not sure about this one, but there is a live Q&A chat on the 4th August where you can put your questions to members of staff from the department: https://www.pg.bham.ac.uk/events/event/department-of-electronic-electrical-and-systems-engineering-04-08-20/ 2. and 3. would also be best asked to members of staff from the department! 4. Yes this is possible, if you receive an offer one of the conditions will be that you graduate with a sufficient degree classification 5. Unfortunately this is not something the university offers, however there are various funding opportunities available for both home and international students. Please refer to our funding database (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/index.aspx) for possible funding opportunities. You may also find information on our international pages useful, including our page on international scholarships (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx).

    I hope this helps! PG Recruitment

  6. Hello Mr Vasquez. I have been accepted by the university for MSc in Electrical Power Systems with Advanced Research for the year 2020. I am quite sceptical about the course. It just looks very difficult. I did go through the syllabus before applying and it looked fine because I studied my bachelor's in electronic and communication engineering. I just wanted to ask you a few questions: 1. Are the subjects good enough to get a job in the energy sector? 2. I have been accepted into another university and they teach technologies (solar wind etc). Do you think studying each technology is better than studying the power system in general? 3. How different is the final year project compared to the same one year degree course offered by the University of Birmingham? It is just very difficult to decide which college to choose. It would be a great deal of help if you replied to me. Thank you.

    Hi,

    1. I would say that most MSc programmes in Electrical Power Systems in the UK offer the same modules. They give fundamental knowledge so that students can apply for a job in the electric industry. So my answer is yes. 2. Studying Electrical Power Systems gives you more flexibility in your career because power systems comprise generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. If you want to specialize in power generation, then studying renewable energies (solar, wind, etc.) is a better option. I have studied both power systems and wind turbines throughout my career. I can’t say one is better than the other. Sometimes you have to try and then decide which is the best option for you.

    The MSc programme has some modules that you may find interesting. In Power Systems Operation and Control, students learn about energy conversion systems and power electronic applications, used in PV systems, wind turbines, or other electrical machines. The module Renewable Energy Systems Integration also covers topics related with wind and solar power generation.

    3. The main difference is the depth of the analysis. One-year MSc students do their project in three months (June-August). Students of the MSc programme with advanced research have one year to work on their project; and therefore, their final dissertation of is longer (around 60 pages).

    Hope this information helps you.

    Wilson

  7. I have already accepted the offer for MSc Electrical Power Systems. Can you please guide me regarding the future job prospects? I understand that you have enrolled yourself into the PhD programme after completion of your degree. But it would be really kind of you if you can tell me after asking any of your colleagues who studied with you. Thanks in advance.

    Hi,

    I do not understand your question. Do you want to know what kind of jobs students can apply for after completing their MSc programme? Do you want to know about PhD scholarships?

    Wilson

  8. I am non EU national married to an EU national and I have been living and working in Malta for last three years, and I would like to apply for a part-time PhD in Electrical Engineering.

    As I am living in Malta, do I need to live in the UK and attend campus frequently or is it possible to live in Malta and come to campus from time to time?

    Can you please provide me some more details about the visa and fees as well?

    Hi,

    I am not sure if you must live in the UK during your PhD studies. I know more about the type of training and activities PhD students do. You should make an enquiry on that topic using the following link: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/enquiries/pgr/register-electronic-electrical-and-systems-engineering.aspx

    Regarding the tuition fees, you can check that information using following link: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/eese/eese-phd.aspx

    I hope this helps you.

    Wilson

  9. Hello, I am an offer holder for the University of Birmingham. Can you please brief me on the course MSc Electrical Power Systems with Advanced Research? What is the second year all about? Will I be working in an industry to do my research in 2nd year?

    Thanks in advance!

    Hi and thanks for asking.

    In the second year, MSc students investigate a particular topic with the supervision of an academic. Regular meetings are carried out to assess the work progress. Student can acquire different skills, such as MATLAB programming or simulations of power systems using DigSilent Power Factory. At the end of the second year, students need to prepare a project report, which can have around 60 pages.

    You can ask Prof. Zhang on collaborations with power system utilities.

    Regards,

    Wilson

  10. Hello, I have completed my Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Diploma in India. I am planning for my MSc in either Renewable Energy Engineering at Loughborough Uni or Electrical Power Systems at Birmingham uni. I will be attending open day at Birmingham uni on the 23rd of November. I have studied 6 modules on power systems in my BTEC and renewable energy also. I have a permanent residency visa in the UK. I am confused which programme to choose, in which field will I get more job opportunities in this country? Do any companies visit Birmingham Uni for placements for Power Systems or for post graduate students? I hope you can help solve my doubts. Thank you very much.

    Hi,

    I think an MSc programme in Renewable Energy is focused on energy generation. On the other hand, an MSc programme in Electrical Power Systems comprises of Generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The first programme can be seen as a component of the second programme. Job opportunities in renewable energy and power systems will probably be good in the future. Power systems engineers can work at the National Grid (UK), distribution utilities (like Western Power Distribution), engineering consulting companies, or equipment manufacturing (like ABB, Siemens). You should decide which field is more interesting. The University of Birmingham organises events each year. You can use the following link https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/employability/careers/events/index.aspx

    Regards, Wilson

  11. How have you funded your postgraduate studies?

    To fund my postgraduate studies, I applied for an Ecuadorian government scholarship, which was granted to me in 2015. The scholarship covered the costs of tuition fees, living expenses, flight tickets, and health insurance.

  12. Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?

    After completing my MSc programme, I will begin my doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham.

  13. Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

    I joined the running club known as Cool Runnings from October 2016 until May 2017. I joined that club because I wanted do exercise during my free time, and it was also an opportunity to make friends and participate in extracurricular activities. The guys responsible for organizing the running sessions were very friendly and organized. On the other hand, as part of my MSc programme, I visited a substation located in Stafford, UK. The visit lasted approximately 2 hours. Basically, I had the opportunity to see advanced equipment used for HVDC transmission and understand its operation. Furthermore, I am going to present a paper in a conference that will be hosted on September 26-29, 2017 in Torino, Italy.

  14. What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?

    It is important to investigate the research areas and recent publications of the academic staff, as well as past or current projects carried out by researchers in partnership with private companies. All this information can be used to choose a suitable postgraduate programme. I would also recommend identifying funding opportunities that universities offer for home and international students. Comparing the living costs of several cities may be useful in some cases.

  15. Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

    I chose the University of Birmingham because I found the modules and structure of my MSc programme very interesting. I liked the fact that students can perform a research project during the second year. MSc programmes with research components are not very common in UK universities. I also considered the rank and location of the university (ranked 84th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2018).

  16. I interested in studying in your department but my problem is, how can I get scholarship from your college in order to reach my goals?

    Hello,

    The University of Birmingham offers some scholarships for UK/EU and international students. This is the link that you can use to find funding opportunities.

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/funding/index.aspx

    During my MSc programme, most students pay their own tuition fees. Few students got scholarships from their government or Chevening scholarships.

    You can also look for funding in https://www.findamasters.com/funding/postgraduate-masters-scholarships/scholarships.aspx.

    I used that website for my PhD. Getting a scholarship can take some time, so try several options in advance.

    Regards, Wilson

  17. Hello, I wanted to apply for an MSc in Electrical Power Systems with Advanced Research which further leads to a PhD degree in the same field. I need a scholarship or discount in tuition fees, because I am from Pakistan, which means it is really difficult for me to pay the full tuition fees, can you help? Thanks.

    Hi,

    You can check scholarship and funding opportunities using the links

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/index.aspx

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/finance/scholarships/chevening.aspx

    Regards,

    Wilson