The MSc Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuels Energy uses the case teaching methodology developed by Harvard University.
With a strong emphasis on problem-oriented, project-based teaching, the case method makes you an active participant in the learning process. In contrast to more traditional lectures, seminars, problem sets and exams, the case method is all about putting you in the driving seat.
You are given a specific and real-world challenge to solve by one of our business partners – with plenty of information to give you context and background. You take the lead in analysing the problem, examining its causes and considering a number of potential solutions, before developing a series of recommendations.
You then present your solution back to the company that set your challenge – and then find out whether your proposals match what they actually did in real life.
To get the most out of the case method, you will need to read and reflect on the case, discuss it in small ‘learning teams’ of fellow students, and discuss your findings with other classmates.
During the class, you get to explore the underlying issues, compare different alternatives, and finally, suggest courses of action. Typically, you will be doing about 85 per cent of the talking: your course leaders will simply steer the conversation through their comments and questions. The case method also means you get to benefit from other students’ perspectives and insights.
The case method is designed to:
- Enhance your critical thinking skills, improve your ability to view an issue from several points of view, and to develop a deeper understanding of essential concepts.
- Improve your learning to give you a better grasp of the practical application of core course concepts and make the connections between different areas of content
- Enable you to take a more active part in the learning process, be more engaged during classes, and develop positive peer-to-peer relationships
- Strengthen your communication skills and your ability to work in small groups.
- Bridge the gap between theory and practice to bring a greater sense of realism to your studies and give you the essential problem-solving experience that energy engineers need.