Postgraduate Programme Renewable Energy

PPRE Goes Four Semesters

by Michael Golba, PPRE Director

Following the 2004 change from two to three semesters with the simultaneous start of the EUREC Master at Oldenburg University, this winter term will see the most significant reorganisation of PPRE structure and curriculum ever since. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will continue to support the programme and provide scholarships. The accreditation process for this change will be finalised this summer.

The current change is motivated by mainly four objectives:

i) Extent specialisation options and electives for the students, and simultaneously facili-tate a closer cooperation with research groups from Oldenburg University

Additionally to their Master Thesis, PPRE students now can select specialisation topics in the order of 12 Credit Points (equals four seminars or lectures) covering five thematic fields, namely:

  • System Integration of Renewable Energy
  • Renewable Energy in Developing Countries
  • Photovoltaics
  • Design and Simulation of Wind Turbines
  • Wind Energy Converters and Fluid Dynamics

Moreover, the new structure permits the selection of further topics out of a Complementary Topics module (see graph below). All specialization topics correspond with demands from international RE professional working areas. Within System Integration of Renewable Energy and Renewable Energy in Developing Countries particular conditions from developing and emerging economies will be addressed. Additionally to research groups from the School of Science and Mathematics, the modules are organised by the Centre for Wind Energy Research (ForWind), the EWE Research Centre for Energy Technology (NEXT ENERGY), the Institute for Information Technology (OFFIS) and the School of Computing Science, Business Administration, Economics, and Law, respectively. The modules System Integration of Renewable Energy and Renewable Energy in Developing Countries are interdisciplinary oriented.

PPRE studies will still stay strong with hands-on and individually supervised laboratory work in small groups, covering data acquisition and analysis, including lab reports, presentation and discussion of results. Nevertheless, this area will also see a shift to a more participatory approach, and an increase in selection option: There will be fewer mandatory labs in favour of a more independent approach.

ii) Enable direct access for bachelor graduates with six semester

Instead of attending an additional bridging semester, from now on six semester bachelor graduates can directly continue their studies with PPRE. In particular this applies to students from German universities. By today this target group only represents 10 % of the PPRE students. Many years of experience indicates, that students already familiar with German culture and the German university system can assist the international batch a lot, and will also gain a lot from doing so.

iii) Reduce students’ workload in favour of focussing on their own study interests

With the extension to four semesters, students will have significantly more option to profile their studies according to their own interests. Thus, frequent and repeated demands to decrease students’ workload will be accomplished. Through reducing the exam number to generally one single module exam, will additionally help to enhance more student oriented studies.

iv) Facilitate a more individual PPRE start

In redesigning the module Fundamentals for Renewable Energy, comprising several primers (short lectures covering various foundation topics, offered online) PPRE beginners will be supported to start their PPRE studies according to their individual needs and demands. The primers are developed to fill the gap between competences, gained from prior studies and professional activities, and PPRE study prerequisites. Thus, if necessary, deficits can be addressed und the PPRE start will be facilitated. Such a format and content flexibility is of particular interest for PPRE, with students coming from all major world regions (currently from more than 80 countries), still differing significantly in teaching and learning cultures, experiences and expectations.

PPRE Curriculum with Four Semesters – as of Winter Term 2017/18