The University of Manchester offers a wide range of courses and opportunities that are relevant to the nuclear energy sector.

Postgraduate and doctoral

Postgraduate and doctoral students benefit from our strong links with the UK industry and our extensive nuclear research capabilities and facilities.

The Nuclear Technology Education Consortium (NTEC) offers a breadth of training designed to meet the UK's projected nuclear skills requirements in decommissioning and clean-up, reactor technology, fusion and nuclear medicine, with study format including MSc, PG Diploma, PG Certificate and CPD.

You can find PhDs related to nuclear energy in the following centres:


There are numerous routes into the field of nuclear energy and studying any science, technology or engineering subject is likely to be useful. 

"Some people think that you have to already be a nuclear expert to apply for jobs in the nuclear industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are always pleased to hear from bright and enthusiastic scientists and engineers who would like a varied and challenging career in our sector. The industry will happily provide training to meet nuclear specialism requirements and through the work they will undertake within the sector – working alongside more experienced colleagues."

Dr Fiona Rayment, Director Fuel Cycle Solutions, National Nuclear Laboratory, and Chair of the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

The following Departments offer courses which can be relevant to the nuclear field and provide opportunities to choose nuclear-related modules or project work.

  • Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

    The nuclear industry employs many chemical engineers with expertise in process design and knowledge of relevant topics such as heat and mass transfer.

    Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

    • Engineering thermodynamics
    • Momentum heat and mass transfer
    • Heat transfer and process integration
    • Process measurement and control
    • Sustainability and nuclear power

    Visit the Chemical Engineering website for further information

  • Department of Chemistry

    Nuclear chemistry is a critical area for the nuclear sector spanning the development of reactor fuel, the operation of reactors and the long-term management of nuclear waste.

    Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

    • Radiochemistry and nuclear chemistry
    • Case studies in inorganic chemistry (nuclear forensics)
    • Topics in environmental chemistry (behaviour of radionuclides in the environment)
    • Core inorganic chemistry (the actinide elements)
    • Nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle
    • Radioanalytical chemistry

    Visit the Chemistry website for further information

  • Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

    Electrical and electronic engineers are employed in the nuclear sector across a range of areas, including control and instrumentation, non-destructive examination, robotics and autonomous systems.

    Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

    • Energy transport and conversion
    • Digital systems design
    • Machines, drives and power electronics
    • Sensors and instrumentation
    • Power systems: plant and protection
    • Control engineering
    • Instrumentation
    • Electrical power engineering
    • Sensor and image processing

    Visit the Electrical and Electronic Engineering website for further information

  • Department of Materials

    Materials science is fundamentally important for all aspects of nuclear science and engineering including, for example, the manufacturing of reactor fuels and structural components. Materials scientists also study the influence of irradiation on the microstructure and material properties of reactor materials.

    Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

    • Structure of materials
    • Computing and analytical methods
    • Deformation and strengthening of materials
    • Phase transformations
    • Joining of materials

    Visit the Materials website for further information

  • Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

    Mechanical and civil engineering are critical disciplines for the nuclear sector in the design, operation and decommissioning of reactors, and the management of radioactive waste.

    Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

    • Introduction to nuclear engineering
    • Nuclear materials (irradiation damage, irradiation chemistry)
    • Thermo-hydraulics, power systems and heat application
    • Nuclear systems: reactor design, safety, radiation and materials

    Visit the Mechnical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering website for further information

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy

    Nuclear physics is a critical discipline for the nuclear sector, supporting the design of reactor technology and decommissioning facilities, and the development, for example, of detectors and spectrometers.

    Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

    • The physics of energy sources
    • Introduction to nuclear and particle physics
    • Nuclear physics
    • Applied nuclear physics
    • Nuclear fusion and astrophysical plasmas
    • Physics applied to medicine and biology
    • Nuclear structure
    • Nuclear reactions
    • Research masterclasses (nuclear topics)

    Visit the Physics and Astronomy webiste for further information

  • Work experience and placements

    Throughout the University there are a variety of opportunities for those over 16 to explore subjects relevant to the field of nuclear energy. To find out more please get in touch with the outreach contact for the Department of your subject area of interest. For those based in Cumbria, work experience and placement opportunities are available at our Dalton Cumbrian Facility.

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