Nuclear Science and Engineering is an exciting area of research and industrial investment in the UK. Nuclear energy supplies around 20% of the UK's electricity, and significant investments are underway into the construction of new reactors at Hinkley Point C, with further new reactors expected in the coming decade. As the existing generation of gas-cooled reactors are decommissioned, and new, advanced fission and fusion reactors are designed, there is huge demand for graduates with the knowledge and skills to work in the nuclear industry.

Our MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering teaches you the science and engineering background to the operation of nuclear fission and fusion energy. The MSc prepares you for a career in industry or academia, combining the strengths of our science and engineering faculties with an established programme of nationally recognised industrial research.

The MSc has been developed and delivered in partnership with industry, including a focus on nuclear professionalism. After completing the programme, you will be familiar with the nuclear industry and its unique safety culture, which will prepare you to enter the industry or continue in academia. The programme offers a unique multidisciplinary experience and is a key part of the South West Nuclear Hub.

Our industrial partners, including EDF, Jacobs, NNL, UKAEA and many others, sponsor and provide guidance on some of our student research projects. In previous years, some students have even received a bursary from partners they have worked with during their placement.

The University of Bristol is ranked in the UK top five for Physics research (THE analysis of REF 2021), with an excellent reputation for teaching and learning.

More information on the MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering is available on the South West Nuclear Hub Teaching pages.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered full-time over one year. You will form a cohort attached to the South West Nuclear Hub and will benefit from working with internationally leading research teams in the School of Physics, School of Engineering and School of Earth Sciences.

There are taught and practical elements of the programme. The taught section consists of core units, which provide a solid foundation in the scientific and engineering subjects, and optional units, which offer an opportunity to explore topics of particular interest. Students are also encouraged to broaden their studies by selecting at least ten credit points from the faculty outside their individual research project.

Taught units take place during the traditional academic terms, and practical work takes place both during the academic year and over a three-month dedicated research placement in the summer. The individual research project is supervised by leading academics at the University and is often aligned with key industrial partners, offering an opportunity to experience the industry's technical challenges and professional culture first hand.

The practical programme also consists of a group project, which brings students together in interdisciplinary teams to tackle current problems facing the nuclear industry. These help develop key skills sought by employers such as innovation, communication and leadership.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in an engineering or science discipline. Applicants outside of Engineering, Physics or Chemistry must demonstrate mathematical knowledge either with a Grade C or above in A-level Mathematics (or international equivalent) or three degree-level maths modules at grade 2:1 or above.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level E.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£14,700 per year
Overseas: full-time
£33,600 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Graduates will leave equipped with a familiarity with the nuclear industry and the specialised nature of its safety culture, and they will be prepared to enter the industry or continue towards further research. The nuclear industry is expanding significantly as existing reactors are decommissioned, and new reactors are built and designed. As a result, the demand for graduates with nuclear-specific skills and knowledge is very high and our MSc graduates are very popular with industry recruitment.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in the nuclear industry for employers such as EDF Energy, UKAEA, Jacobs, Frazer Nash, Dounreay, NNL, Mott McDonald, IAEA, Sellafield and Atkins, among many others. Around a third of our MSc graduates continue in academia after the MSc through PhD study, including projects within the Interface Analysis Centre and the Solid Mechanics Research Group at the University of Bristol, as well as at the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, UCL, Coventry University, Purdue University USA and Chalmers University in Sweden.

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