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Center of Alternative Technology, Wales

  • 23-05-2012 9:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭✭ Teaandcoffee

    Would anybody have any information/experience on the MSc. environmental programme at the Center of Alternative Technology, Wales?

    Would be greatful for any thoughts please.



  • I'd be a little suspicious as the website is and not that other universities etc... are in the UK.

    I had a look at the courses, they look pretty expensive and vague. The course fees for the MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment is £7,500 according to their website (so just under €10,000) and this includes your food and accommodation costs at the centre (so you live there?). Had a look at the MSc Environmental Adaptation and Sustainability, again fairly vague:
    The MSc will contextualize the current environmental change in terms of present and potential future demands and opportunities for energy provision, land use change, resource provision (i.e. water, materials), waste management, eco-system services, sustainable economics and societal impacts.

    This sounds like a lot of buzz words thrown together and they're trying to cover a lot of material but nothing with depth. Also, they've said nothing about how this will be done (i.e. the techniques used, building models of datasets etc...).

    My impression, for the amount of money you'd have to pay (at least £5,500 for any of the masters courses) it doesn't seem worth it, especially since it's an MSc degree accredited by a second rate English university (University of East London). I wouldn't bother, there are far better courses for much cheaper in decent UK universities (Edinburgh, Leeds, UEA etc...) or even the Irish universities would be as good.

    I would also think long and hard about what exactly you want to get out of a course, what do you want to have under your belt in terms of skills, approaches, thinking etc... with regards the environment.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. :pac:

  • Thank you very much, very worthwhile comments, vague is an apt description of the course. Looks like I have avoided an under-rated scene. Thanks again.

  • I have done the AEES course, worth every penny, and a well respected course in the uk. I disagree with the comments above, it's like any MSC - you get out of it what you put in- and CAT's support is great - thats includes the tutors, lecturers, world renouned guest speakers, and oportunities to work on documents like Zero carbon Britain etc etc. These guys have been doing this stuff as long as any similar uk course, and are lengths ahead of any Irish course. You should note that the course is also very flexible allowing you to work etc at the same time, and pay by a module basis and in CAT this fees pays for your modules accommodation and food - an intensive 4-5 day 12hr days run from wed to sun monthly.
    If your unsure why not do what most prospective students do and ring them to arrange a visit - when your there you can meet and get feedback from current students.

    CAT is a non for profit crowd, with some hippie types but also a lot of industry professional and well respected academics. It in a quarry in whales where they practice what they preach- of grid and sustainable living. Don't be fooled by UEL's lack of status. It is the certifying body only- CAT msc is a course you should consider and I highly recommend it.