Master's Degree in Smart Grids

Submission of applications:
Begin: January 1, 2019
End: May 15, 2019

9 months (On-Campus) + 3 months Iberdrola’s facilities

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Information session
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Sep-Dec: ICAI School of Engineering, Alberto Aguilera 25, Madrid
Jan-May: University of Strathclyde, 204 George St, Glasgow G1 1XW, UK

Credits: 90 ECTS

The Master´s Degree in Smart Grids (MSG) is a Master of Science Degree with 90 ECTS credits, taught by the University of Strathclyde and the ICAI School of Engineering, in close collaboration with Iberdrola. The main objective of the program is to respond to the growing demand for engineers, needed to lead the ongoing process of the digitalization of the electric grid.

This program is designed especially for graduates in the area of electrical, electronic or telecommunications engineering. It will both deepen the knowledge of electrical engineering graduates in the new challenges and opportunities around smart grids, and allow information and communications engineers to gain new insights into the power sector’s emerging needs and the global energy transition. Students from all backgrounds will gain the foundations to contribute to the new energy paradigm and the utility of the future

The program of courses has been developed in close collaboration with Iberdrola. This alliance guarantees both the practical component, thanks to the participation of industry, and the academic rigor of the courses, resulting from the involvement of two internationally recognized universities. One of the most interesting features of the program is the intensive international experience offered. Students not only spend one semester in both Spain and Scotland, but also carry out internships offered within the framework of this Master´s Degree at any of the international offices of Iberdrola in Spain, Scotland, the USA and Brazil.

Applicant profile:

This Master’s Degree is aimed at enthusiastic Electrical and Telecommunications Engineers who would like to develop their career in the energy industry of the future.

The program presented here is tailored for outstanding engineers who wish to further their career by acquiring skills and knowledge that will be essential for the ongoing transformation of the energy sector.

Finally, participants should be willing to travel, since lessons will not only take place at ICAI (Madrid) and Strathclyde (Glasgow); there will also be a period with a paid internship in one of the leading companies in the world: Iberdrola. This internship will be carried out in one of the branch offices of Iberdrola around the world in the USA, Brazil, the UK or Spain.

Admission requirements:

A Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunications Engineering or a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Proficiency Level of English: (C1 European Level or higher is required for admission).

Admission process:

Applications should be submitted within the application period, accompanied by all of the required documents.

The Admissions Committee will study applications and inform candidates of its decision, as well as the corresponding enrollment deadline, when applicable, by email and post. There is no special admissions exam.

Admission criteria:

The student's academic transcript (80%), letters of recommendation, cover letter and, if applicable, an interview (20%) will be taken into consideration.

Admission application filing period:

Deadline for the submission of applications: From January 1st to May 15th, 2019

Information notice on the documents to be submitted.


1 academic year (90 ECTS)


Courses taught in Madrid (September to December) will be held in the afternoon between the hours of 3:00 pm. to 9:00 pm.

Courses taught in Glasgow (January to May) will be held between the hours of 9:00 am. to 5:00 pm.


  • Scotland/EU countries: €15,300 for the entire Master´s Degree (one year).
  • Rest of the UK: €15,300
  • Rest of the world: €20,400

Iberdrola will offer a number of grants for the most talented students joining this Master’s Degree Program. Further information concerning the application procedure for these grants will be provided shortly.


Information on grants from the ICAI School of Engineering can be found at

Additionally, as mentioned previously, Iberdrola will offer a number of grants for the most talented students joining this Master’s Degree Program. Further information concerning the application procedure for these grants will be provided shortly.


This Master’s Degree offers a significant international focus. The first period of studies (September to December) will take place in Madrid, at the ICAI School of Engineering. The second period of studies (January to mid-May) will be carried out in Glasgow, at the University of Strathclyde. During the third period of studies, (mid-May to early September) the student will be assigned to one of the international branch offices of Iberdrola.


Master’s Degree in Smart Grids

Attendance mode:

Class attendance is mandatory.



Classes begin on:

Classes begin in September 2sn, 2019. Some core courses may start during the last week of August.

Team in charge of the Master:

Director: Miguel Ángel Sánchez Fornié

Coordinator: Javier Matanza Domingo

Information point:

Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería (ICAI) Universidad Pontificia Comillas
C/ Alberto Aguilera 25 - 28015 Madrid, Spain
Tel. +34 91 540 62 55
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 13:30 and Monday to Thursday, 15:30 to 17:30


This Master’s Degree has a duration of 1 year (90 ECTS). Alternatively, it may be carried out over a period of two years, in conjunction with the Official Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering (MII) or the Official Master's Degree in Telecommunications Engineering (MIT).

1st Period (September to December) - Madrid (30 ECTS)

Fundamentals of Power Systems or Fundamentals of Telecommunications (3 ECTS)

Telecommunications: The objective of this course is to develop some basic understanding of the fundamental foundations on telecommunication. The course focuses not only on the transmissions systems and techniques used nowadays for transmitting information at a high level but it also elaborates on the fundamental concepts of signal modulation and propagation.

Power Systems: The aim of this course is to provide the student with the fundamental foundations on power systems that allow him to tackle more advance concepts.

Regulation and New Business Models (7.5 ECTS)

The course presents an in-depth interdisciplinary perspective of the electric power sector, with regulation as the core for networks business providing the link among the engineering, economic, legal and environmental viewpoints.

Operation and Planning of Future Distribution Networks (7.5 ECTS)

The aim of this course is to develop an understanding of the principles and main methodologies behind the planning and operation of distribution networks, understand how distributed energy resources affect these activities, and comprehend what technical solutions distribution grid operators need to deploy in order to address the new challenges of the Smart Grid.

Telecommunications for Smart Grids (7.5 ECTS)

The aim of this course is to provide the student with knowledge about the main technologies and standards used for digital communications. More precisely, the course is focused in technologies that are or could be useful in present and future Smart Grids, respectively. Contents will vary from a mathematical model of the signal transmission to a higher-level view of the network architecture for Smart Grid Networks. Cybersecurity will be a recurrent topic in this course.

Leadership, Change Management and Corporate Responsibility (4.5 ECTS)

This course provides skills and knowledge necessary to manage staff in dynamic company structures, which are subject to changes and difficulties as being part of a more complex organization. In addition to this, the course addresses situations which encompass dilemmas and implications of an ethical and professional nature, which will not only affect students in their future personal or professional life, but also have consequences that go beyond their own personal lives.


2nd Period (January to mid May) - Strathclyde (30 ECTS)

Data Analytics and AI for Energy Systems (5 ECTS)

A strong part of the business case for smart grids is using intelligence and automation to gain more capacity from existing assets to avoid large expenditure on further assets. Also, autonomy and intelligence is key to the flexible operation of smart girds, integration of low carbon generation and effective interaction with consumers. This module teaches the key AI and data science methods that are applicable to smart grids, and provides case studies of their application. We are moving to a future where much more can and will be monitored and new techniques, leveraging data analytics, are needed to fully exploit the data. Areas covered will be machine learning, knowledge based methods, distributed intelligence methods and architectures, applications in asset management, applications in network management and control.

Control and Protection of Future Networks (5 ECTS)

HVDC transmission systems and renewable generation units use power electronic converters rather than synchronous machines to interface to the AC network. Hence, classic control and protection methods meant for classic power systems may not be able to accommodate high penetration of renewables and long distance HVDC links.

The aim of this module is to enable students to appreciate the principles of control and protection of present-day and future electrical systems including:

  • The steady-state and dynamic analysis of electrical systems under normal, transient and fault conditions.
  • Grid-codes and other legislation that impacts upon the functional requirements of protection systems, generation and HVDC transmission units.
  • The main concepts related to the requirements, functions, design and operation of protection schemes for power system transmission and distribution systems.
  • How HVDC and converter-interfaced generation pose challenges to operation and protection system design; but also, how their enhanced controllability has great potential to enable new alternative concepts.

Offshore and Pan European Supergrids (5 ECTS)

This module establishes the case for a massive expansion of DC in transmission systems in order to access diversity of load and generation at a European level. Students will investigate different design strategies for new offshore networks compared to traditional networks in recognition of different risk and cost profiles.

The module also covers the fundamentals of HVDC grid, including mulit-level converter topology and configuration, operation, modelling and control of multi-terminal DC grids. This will also include the approach taken to control DC networks to provide support and integration of AC networks, and how an AC network is affected by a high penetration of DC links.

Hardware IoT Communications System Design (5 ECTS)

This module will provide you with the essential skills to design, build and test a sensor network for your smart grid application. The course makes use of radio frequency (RF) Internet of Things (IoT) development boards and a range of sensors and radio modules. You'll program the boards to communicate with the sensor nodes and wirelessly transmit data to gateway and onwards to a PC receiver or mobile wi-fi device. You'll analyse the measurement data and produce a graphical user interface to display it in a user accessible manner.

Power Electronics for Transmission and Distribution Networks (5 ECTS)

Power electronics provides one of the key technologies for delivering the flexible power networks necessary for future low carbon energy systems. This module will help to build the skills and knowledge necessary to analyse power electronic based systems, evaluate their operation within the wider power network, and identify the key advances that will facilitate wider adoption.

In particular the module will build understanding in the following areas:

  • The operation of power electronic based energy conversion systems.
  • The application of power electronics to transmission and distribution networks.
  • The benefits and disadvantages of power electronics in power systems.

5G Communications Networks (5 ECTS)

This module covers the core principles and operation of packet-based communications networks leading to the design and operation of future 5G networks. It describes the operation of the key transport layer protocols within the internet architecture including wired and wireless networks. Specific areas include 5G Quality of Services based networks, techniques to measure and report the network performance and operation.

The 5G Comms Networks course will also focus on topics in relation to cyber security including browser and HTTP fundamentals, security architecture and security analysis methodologies highlighting common web vulnerabilities, security management systems and policies and security governance.


3rd Period (mid May to early September) – Iberdrola (30 ECTS)

Internships + Master Thesis (30 ECTS)

For the duration of the internship (mid-May to early September), students will be assigned to one of Iberdrola’s international branch offices to carry out their internship. During this period of internship, Iberdrola will provide the students with a salary that may differ according to the destination.

The objective of the program is to develop expertise in both the Power Systems and Telecommunications dimensions of Smart Grids.

Academic excellence, together with internships in real-life projects taking place in a leading company such as Iberdrola, make it possible to acquire new skills, which are in demand in the energy industry.

This type of professional profile is already in high demand in the energy industry all around the world.

Professional Opportunities:

  • Electric Power Utilities: Transmission system operators, Distribution system operators, Retailers, aggregators and new ventures involving distributed energy resources
  • Electric Equipment and Systems Suppliers
  • Telecommunications Equipment and Services Suppliers
  • Government and Regulatory Agencies
  • Institutes for Research and Innovation
  • Energy Sector Consultants

Academic Career Paths:

  • Research, Development and Innovation
  • Doctoral Candidates
© Universidad Pontificia Comillas | C. Alberto Aguilera 23 Madrid-28015 - Tel.:(+34) 91 542 28 00

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