Sustainable Energy

Master's Degree Programme 2 years, Trondheim

Sustainable Energy

– Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets

About sesam

The multi-disciplinary international double-degree program Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets (SESAM) gives students a broad and thorough understanding of energy systems and markets. The program’s focus is on the large-scale integration and management of renewable energy. Graduates will be able to design, analyze, and optimize energy systems and markets with large shares of renewables and provide decision support to the actors therein.Market roles

SESAM is a double degree program by NTNU and TU Berlin. The partner program at TU Berlin is Industrial Engineering and Management - Energy and Resources (IEM-ER). Students will take one year (60 ECTS) at TU Berlin and one year (60 ECTS) at NTNU. They will receive a Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy from NTNU and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management with a focus on Energy and Resources from TU Berlin.

network picture on the map of Europe

The program considers the broader societal and policy context as well as other relevant boundary conditions. This context includes the regulatory framework, climate and environmental issues, requirements and needs of stakeholders, the supply side including renewable generation, the demand side, including industrial and household demand. The program contains a mix of energy technology, management and economics courses. Students acquire knowledge from several disciplines, and learn to master complex issues related to the energy system. More about the program structure.

Who should apply

SESAM provides an excellent starting qualification for those who wish to pursue a career in renewable energy planning, management, or policy, and other fields where a holistic techno-economic analysis skills are required. SESAM aims to attract students interested in the development and management of the future energy system embedded in its societal context and considering characteristics of and challenges due to renewable energy integration. We recommend timely application because the number of places is limited.

Admission requirements

A first university degree (bachelor) degree in Industrial Engineering & Management, or (Renewable/Sustainable) Electrical/Power/Energy Systems/Technology/Engineering [1] containing enough courses in quantitative methods and engineering. Specifically, students must have prerequisite knowledge covering at least the following:

  • A relevant (industrial) engineering bachelor degree with a focus on (renewable) energy or power systems engineering.
  • 35 ECTS engineering, including electric power systems, chemistry and thermodynamics.
  • 30 ECTS in mathematics/statistics, including at least 5 ECTS in statistics
  • 5 ECTS in computer programming
  • Courses in operations research and microeconomics are highly recommended.
  • English proficiency matching the Common European Framework Of Reference For Languages (CEFR) Level B2 for EU/EEA students or a TOEFL score 600/90 for applicants from outside the EU/EEA area:

Language of instruction

The program is offered in English. Non-mandatory and elective courses may be instructed in the local language (Norwegian or German).

Learning objectives

As an MSc student specializing in Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets you will acquire advanced knowledge and analytical skills about energy systems and markets and the actors and elements therein. The SESAM/IEM-ER program takes a holistic perspective on issues concerning the development of the energy system, particularly considering the transition to a sustainable energy system and the integration of large shares of renewable energy supply. Relevant topics are energy and electricity system design, simulation and optimization, economic, environmental and climate policy, and the assessment of impacts and risks connected to the energy system in the context of the broader economy and society.

In your research projects and Master’s thesis you can select topics broadly connected to aforementioned issues depending on your own background and interests. Many students will develop or extend quantitative models which will be used for analysis and/or optimization. The SESAM program will prepare you for a wide range of positions, for instance in industry, research, education or public administration or continued education in a PhD program.

Upon completion of the two-year SESAM master program, you will have acquired a range of knowledge, skills and competences.


The MSc graduate in Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets has:

  • broad knowledge of the energy system and energy markets, and good theoretical and practical insight into methods used to obtain and apply this knowledge.
  • state of art knowledge about various methodological and analytic approaches that are used within energy systems and markets.
  • knowledge of the relationships and interactions between actors and (infrastructure) elements in energy systems, energy markets and broader society and climate, and how aspects such as market design and regulatory framework affect those relationships and interactions.
  • knowledge of how different types of renewable energy are likely to affect the energy system, and how these can be managed to the benefit the entire energy system.


The MSc graduate in Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets is able to:

  • independently carry out a complete scientific work process, including understanding the theoretical background, hypothesis generation, collection and analysis of data, and interpretation and presentation of results.
  • evaluate critically methods and results within the field of energy system and energy markets.
  • evaluate and apply relevant theory, methods, and analytic approaches within the specialized field of energy systems, including mathematical programming methods.
  • to analyze relevant issues in energy systems and markets.
  • implement knowledge from several research fields and disciplines.

General competence

The MSc graduate in Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets:

  • has multidisciplinary project experience within selected topics related to energy systems and markets and the ability to collaborate and contribute in a multidisciplinary team.
  • is able to work both independently or in groups on complex projects that require collaboration across disciplines.
  • can communicate scientific results to the general public and experts by writing well-structured reports and contributions for scientific publications and posters, and by oral presentations.

Program Structure

The Fall semester including exam period at NTNU runs from August to December and the Spring semester from January to June. The Winter semester at TU Berlin runs from October to February and the Summer semester from April to July.

A twelve-week industry or research internship is mandatory to obtain the dual degree. Due to the different semester periods at both universities, we have designed the program with the first year at NTNU, the internship in the summer between the first and second year, and the second year at TUB.

To guarantee that students acquire the desired knowledge breadth and depth and to ensure that program requirements for both TUB and NTNU will be met, we present a largely mandatory program. Minimum 120 ECTS. NTNU requires at least 80 ECTS in the specialization area. TUB requires at least 30 ECTS in engineering, 30 ECTS in economics, 18 ECTS in methodology courses, and a twelve-week internship. Additionally, there are specific mandatory courses at both institutions.

The program outline for the SESAM double master’s degree is as follows:

First year - Double degree

First year - Double degree

Year I - NTNU
Fall Semester – Aug-Dec

Code Title ECTS* Type*
TIØ 4130 Optimization Methods
with Applications
7.5 Mandatory
SØK 3524 Environmental and
Resource Economics
15 Economics
Elective 15 ECTS
TIØ 4118 Industrial Economic Analysis^ 7.5 Economics
Elective 15 ECTS
TIØ 4265 Strategic Management 7.5 Economics
Elective 15 ECTS
TFNE 3008 Energy Storage 7.5 Engineering
Elective 7.5 ECTS
TEP4300 Climate Change Mitigation 7.5 Engineering
Elective 7.5 ECTS
TET4115 Power System Analysis 7.5 Engineering
Elective 7.5 ECTS

Year I -NTNU
Spring Semester – Jan-June

Code Title ECTS Type
TET 4185 Power markets, resources & Environment 7.5 Mandatory
TET 4135 Energy Systems Planning and Operation 7.5 Mandatory
  Experts in Team work 7.5 Mandatory
TET 4155 Infrastructure for Energy Transmission and Distribution^ 7.5 NTNU TET4155 or TUB 70049
TET 4175 Design and Operation of Smart Grid Power Systems 7.5 Elective if not TET 4155


**TET4155 is in Norwegian. We have a program variant available for not Norwegian speakers.

Year I - NTNU
Summer Break - Mid June – Mid October

Code Title Type
70276 Industry/Research Internship -
Twelve weeks
TUB degree requires an internship

Second year - TU Berlin

Second year - TU Berlin

Year II - TUB
Winter Semester – Oct - Feb

Code Title ECTS Type
70240 Student Research Project - Operations Research 12 Mandatory
70195 Network and Infrastructure Regulation 6 Mandatory
40684 Renewable Energy Technology in Electric Networks 6 Mandatory
70049 Energy and Resources - Sector Coupling: Integrating Electricity, Oil and Gas Supply 6 NTNU TET4155 or TUB 70049
  Elective to meet TUB requirements 6 Elective if not 70049


Year II - TUB
Summer Semester – Apr - Jul

Code Title ECTS Tye
70021 Master's Thesis 30 Mandatory

Single degree

Single degree

Code Title Group NTNU
TIØ4130 Optimization Methods with Applications Mandatory 7.5
  Elective A - Economics - see below Elective A 15
  Elective B - Engineering - see below Elective B 7.5
Code Title Group NTNU
TET4185 Power markets, resources & environment Mandatory 7.5
TET4135 Energy Systems Planning and Operation Mandatory 7.5
  Experts in Teamwork Mandatory 7.5
  Elective C - Engineering - see below Elective C 7.5
Code Title Group NTNU
TIØ4585 Energy Market Design and Policy - Specialization course Mandatory 15
TIØ4580 Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets - Specialization project Mandatory 7.5
  Elective B - Engineering - see below Elective B 7.5
Code Title Group NTNU
TIØ4980 Thesis - Sustainable Energy Systems and Markets Mandatory 30
SØK3524 Environmental and Resource Economics 15 ECTS
TIØ4118 Industrial Economic Analysis^ 7.5 ECTS
TIØ4265 Strategic Management/td> 7.5 ECTS
^ TIØ4118 may be in Norwegian
TEP4300 Climate Change Mitigation 7.5 ECTS
TET4115 Power System Analysis 7.5 ECTS
TET4190 Electrical Power Engineering   7.5 ECTS
TFNE3008 Energy Storage   7.5 ECTS
TET4155 Infrastructure for Energy Transmission and Distribution (Norwegian) 7.5 ECTS
TET4175 Design and Operation of Smart Grid Power Systems 7.5 ECTS
^ TIØ4118 may be in Norwegian, TET4155 is in Norwegian.


Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is the name of the partner program at TUB?
  • Why is there no information on the TU Berlin website about SESAM?
    • At TUB, SESAM is integrated in the five-year master programs in Industrial Engineering and Management - Energy and Resources (IEM-ER). IEM-ER students specializing in Energy and Resources or Electrical Engineering can apply at the end of their third year to switch into SESAM.
  • Who is the contact person at TU Berlin?


  • How many diplomas do I get?
    • Two if you complete the dual degree program.
    • One if you meet the requirements for obtaining a degree at either NTNU or TUB.
  • Can I take SESAM as a single degree at NTNU?
    • Yes, but you will miss out on the international experience and the program requirements are slightly different.
  • Can I take the first year of SESAM at TU Berlin and the second at NTNU?
    • Yes, but it will be less practical for several reasons. You may need to take extra courses to meet prerequisite knowledge requirements. Due to the different semester periods in Berlin and Trondheim, the summer break between the first and the second year will be very short and not allow for completing a twelve-week internship. Any TUB resit exams will fall in teaching periods at NTNU, etc.


  • Why does SESAM have different qualification criteria than the other MSSE programs?
    • SESAM is a multi-disciplinary program with less focus on engineering and more on economics, markets, policy and large-scale energy systems. 
  • Why are there many mandatory courses in SESAM?
    • We want to make sure that SESAM graduates have a multi-disciplinary knowledge and perspective on the energy system. This requires knowledge in engineering, economics, policy and optimization.
  • Why is Experts in Team Work part of the mandatory courses in SESAM?
    • EiT is mandatory for students taking courses at NTNU in the second semester of their master. 


  • What criteria are there for the twelve week internship?
    • “energy-related” companies or research institutions (but not universities).
  • Can you help me finding an internship?
    • Both NTNU and TUB have good contact networks and can facilitate finding internship positions.
  • What do I need to document an internship?
    • A signed reference letter indicating the period and a description of activities from the supervisor and/or the HR department in the organization where the internship was taken.
  • Can I split my internship over several periods?
    • Yes, as long as each period is minimum four weeks.
  • Can I use internships that I have done in the past?
    • Yes, if they meet the criteria and you have the documentation indicated above.
  • Do I get ECTS for my internship?
    • At TUB the internship counts for 6 ECTS. Without the internship you will not get a TUB degree.
    • You don’t get ECTS for the internship at NTNU. Without internship you may still meet the requirements for a single degree.


  • I am fluent in English but have never taken an official test to document my proficiency level. Do I have to prove my proficiency?
  • I am a native English speaker but am not from the EU/EEA area. Do I have to prove my proficiency in English?
  • How do I prove my English proficiency?
    • Test results showing a English proficiency level matching CEFR B2 or TOEFL 600/90: 


  • Do SESAM students have to pay tuition or semester fees
    • Universities in Norway do not charge tuition. The administrative fees at NTNU are about 600 NOK (about EUR 60) per semester.
    • Universities in Germany do not charge tuition. At TU Berlin the semester fee is around EUR 310, which includes free public transport in Berlin.
  • Is Norway an expensive country?
    • Yes. You will need around 11,000 NOK (1100 EUR, 1300 USD) per month to cover your expenses + additionally funds for traveling to and from your country of origin. Make sure you have financial coverage.



[1] We are not able to provide an exhaustive list of qualifying bachelor degrees. The follow should give a good indication:

  • Norwegian study programs and code:
    • Elektro (005/856) spesialisering Elkraft
    • Elkraft (006)        
    • Energi og miljø (769)
    • Energi, elkraft og miljø (072)        
    • Energiteknologi (822)
    • Fornybar energy (835)   
    • Industriell økonomi (767, 800, 813) 
  • Relevant international study programs in, such as
    • Energy systems engineering
    • Engineering manager
    • Industrial economics
    • Industrial engineering
    • Mechanical engineering and power systems
    • Mining engineering
    • Power systems engineering
    • Process and power engineering
    • Renewable energy
    • Renewable energy systems technology
    • Sustainable energy engineering
    • Sustainable energy systems design