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Masters Degrees (Petroleum Refining)

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This programme will equip you with the essential knowledge for engineering careers in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors. Read more

This programme will equip you with the essential knowledge for engineering careers in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.

Upon completion of the course you will have gained a comprehensive understanding of oil refining and associated downstream processing technologies, operations and economics; process safety and operations integrity; and methods for the optimal design of process systems.

You will learn about the general economics of the energy sector, oil exploration and production, as well as renewable energy systems.

Furthermore, your study of the various aspects of petroleum refining will be augmented by unique work assignments at a virtual oil-refining and chemical company.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The programme aims to provide a highly vocational education that equips the students with the essential knowledge and skills required to work as competent engineers in the petrochemical sector.

This is to be achieved through combining proper material in two popular and complementary topics: process systems engineering and petroleum refining. The key objective is to develop a sound understanding of oil refining and downstream processing technologies, process safety and operation integrity, as well as systems methods for the optimal design of process systems.

A balanced curriculum is provided with essential modules from these two areas supplemented by a flexible element by way of elective modules that permit students to pursue subjects of preference relevant to their backgrounds, interests and/or career aspirations.

An integrated approach is taken so as to provide a coherent view that explores the interrelationships between the various components of the programme.

Programme learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

The programme aims to develop the knowledge and understanding in both petroleum refining and systems engineering. The key learning outcomes include:

  • State-of- the-art knowledge in petroleum refining and petrochemical processing, in terms of the technologies of processes that comprise a modern refinery and petrochemicals complex
  • The principles for analysing and improving the profitability of refining and petrochemicals processing
  • General Safety, health, and environment (SHE) principles on a refinery and petrochemicals complex
  • Methods and systems for ensuring safe and reliable design and operation of process units
  • State-of- the-art knowledge in process systems engineering methods, in the areas of: modelling and simulation of process systems, mathematical optimization and decision making, process systems design and process and energy integration
  • Advanced level of understanding in technical topics of preference, in one or more of the following aspects: petroleum exploration and production, economics of the energy sector, sustainable and renewable systems, supply chain management

Intellectual / cognitive skills

The programme aims to strengthen cognitive skills of the students, particularly in the aspects of problem definition, knowledge and information acquiring, synthesis, and creativity, as collectively demonstrable through the successful completion of the research dissertation.

The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:

  • Select, define and focus upon an issue at an appropriate level
  • Collect and digest knowledge and information selectively and independently to support a particular scientific or engineering enquiry
  • Develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies for analysing the issue, developing solutions, recommendations and logical conclusions, and for evaluating the results of own or other’s work

Professional practical skills

The programme primarily aims to develop skills for applying appropriate methods to the design and operation of petroleum refining processes. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:

  • Apply knowledge of the operation of refineries to analyze and to improve the profitability of refining and petrochemical processing
  • Apply relevant principles, methods, and tools to improve the safety and operation integrity of refineries
  • Apply systems engineering methods such as modelling, simulation, optimization, and energy integration to improve the design of petroleum refining units and systems

Key / transferable skills

The programme aims to strengthen a range of transferable skills that are relevant to the needs of existing and future professionals in knowledge intensive industries irrespective of their sector of operation.

The key learning outcomes include the further development of the skills in the following areas:

  • Preparation and delivery of communication and presentation
  • Report and essay writing
  • Use of general and professional computing tools
  • Collaborative working with team members
  • Organizing and planning of work
  • Research into new areas, particularly in the aspect of literature review and skills acquisition

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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This programme will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills to pursue a successful career in the oil and gas industry. Read more

This programme will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills to pursue a successful career in the oil and gas industry.

You’ll study modules covering core topics related to the downstream activities of the industry including drilling and production technology, oilfield chemistry and corrosion, and chemical reaction processes. You’ll also have the option to take modules in topics such as separation processes, process optimisation and control, and multi-scale modelling and simulation.

Practical work supports your lectures and seminars, as you split your time between the lab and the classroom. You’ll also undertake a major research project investigating a specific topic in petroleum production engineering, which could relate to your own interests or career intentions. Taught by experts in our world-class facilities, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to thrive in a challenging and exciting industry.You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of chemical and process engineering. We have facilities for characterising particulate systems for a wide range of technological materials, as well as facilities for fuel characterisation, environmental monitoring and pollution control. In our Energy Building, you’ll find an engine testing fuel evaluation and transport emissions suite and other characterisation equipment.

Accreditation

We are seeking accreditation from the Energy Institute.

Course content

Most of the course revolves around core modules, giving you a range of knowledge relating to different aspects of downstream petroleum production processes. These will include chemical reaction processes, drilling and production technologies and oilfield chemistry and corrosion.

You’ll look at the principles of process performance analysis, refining theory, enhanced oil recovery, chemicals used in corrosion control and strategies for new or mature assets. On top of this, you’ll take an optional module that allows you to develop your knowledge in an area that suits your own interests.

In the summer months you’ll undertake a research project, which will demonstrate the skills you’ve gained and may even be linked to your future career plans.

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look at the Petroleum Production Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (MSc) 60 credits
  • Chemical Reaction Processes 15 credits
  • Fuel Processing 15 credits
  • Advanced Drilling and Production Technology 15 credits
  • Drilling and Production Technology 30 credits
  • Unconventional Oil and Gas Reservoirs 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Separation Processes 30 credits
  • Multi-Scale Modelling and Simulation 30 credits
  • Rock Mechanics 15 credits
  • Petroleum Reservoir Engineering 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Petroleum Production Engineering MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.

Projects

The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.

Examples of project topics would include:

  • Enhancement of mechanical strength and corrosion inhibition in oil pipelines
  • Reducing oil pipeline scaling using nano-particle seeding agents
  • Monitoring pipeline flows using electrical resistance tomography (ERT)
  • The application of nano-technology in enhancing oil recovery
  • Application of polymer-based nano-particles in absorbing and controlling oil spillages
  • Tribo-electrostatic beneficiation of oil shale using a powder dispersal system

A proportion of research projects are formally linked to industry, and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.

Career opportunities

The programme’s main focus is on downstream petroleum industry activities such as drilling, production, refining and distribution.

With an MSc degree in Petroleum Production Engineering you could expect to pursue a successful career in the oil and gas industries in a wide range of areas as diverse as field engineering, production drilling engineering, pipeline and transportation logistics, refinery operations and management, refinery control and optimisation, and sales and marketing.

Careers support

You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.

The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The modern society relies on the work of Chemical Engineers who develop and design the processes that make the useful products for the society by efficient use and management of resources including water and energy while controlling health and safety procedures and protecting the environment. Read more
The modern society relies on the work of Chemical Engineers who develop and design the processes that make the useful products for the society by efficient use and management of resources including water and energy while controlling health and safety procedures and protecting the environment.

Chemical Engineering provides essential tools based on the concept of sustainability and low carbon footprint for changing raw materials into useful products in a safe and cost effective way. Chemical Engineers understand how to alter the chemical, biochemical or physical state of a substance, to create everything from health care products (face creams, shampoo, perfume, drugs) to food (dairy products, cereals, agro-chemicals) and water (desalination for freshwater) to energy (petroleum to nuclear fuels).

Your study at MSc level at Bradford will be a foundation for life aimed at developing a deep understanding of advanced technical principles, analytical tools, and competence in their application together with a wide range of management, personal and professional skills. The course will provide you with essential tools based on the concept of sustainability and low carbon footprint for changing raw materials into useful products in a safe and cost effective way.

Why Bradford?

Flexibility of career path – Choice of three routes:
-Chemical Engineering - advanced chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in chemical and process industries
-Petroleum Engineering -matches the needs in different areas of oil and gas production and in medium/small operating and consulting companies
-Polymer Engineering - design and operation of processes to engineer materials with advanced properties leading to careers in diverse manufacturing sectors

Research Strengths - Internationally acclaimed research activities in the following areas:
-Chemical and Petrochemical Engineering
-Polymers
-Energy
-Water
-Pharmaceutical engineering
-Coating and advanced materials engineering

Rankings

Top Five: Chemical Engineering at the University of Bradford is ranked 5th in the UK in the Guardian University League Table 2017/

[[Modules
MSc Chemical & Petroleum Engineering (Chemical Engineering Background)
-Desalination Technology
-Materials & Manufacturing Processes
-Transport Phenomena
-Design Optimisation
-Computational Fluid Dynamics
-Upstream Production & Refinery Operations
-Research Skills
-Food & Pharmaceutical Processes Engineering
-Polymer Engineering
-Risk Management
-Engineering Computational Methods
-MSc Project

MSc Chemical & Petroleum Engineering (non-Chemical Engineering Background)
-Desalination Technology
-Transport Phenomena
-Chemical Engineering Practice
-Material & Manufacturing Processes
-Design Optimisation
-Computational Fluid Dynamics
-Upstream Production & Refinery Operations
-Research Skills
-Food & Pharmaceutical Processes Engineering
-Polymer Engineering
-Risk Management
-Engineering Computational Methods
-MSc Project

Career support and prospects

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

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The course is designed for learners who need to achieve an improvement in English language equivalent to 0.5 of an IELTS point for entry to postgraduate taught and research courses with a January start date. Read more
The course is designed for learners who need to achieve an improvement in English language equivalent to 0.5 of an IELTS point for entry to postgraduate taught and research courses with a January start date.

It develops academic and language skills required for postgraduate-level study, and leads to direct entry to the following degree programmes upon successful completion of the course:
-Applied Management and Entrepreneurship MSc
-Accelerated MBA
-Chemical and Petroleum Engineering MSc
-Manufacturing Management MSc
-Software Engineering MSc
-Media Studies MA
-Nursing Studies (International) MSc
-International Health Management MSc
-Postgraduate research studies in all Faculties

If you are unsure if the course you wish to take has a January start date, please contact your Faculty directly.

Learning activities and assessment

You will receive 20 hours of tuition each week for 6 or 10 weeks in classes with a maximum of 16 students. You will be taught by highly qualified and experienced staff using up-to-date teaching methods, materials and equipment. Your course will include:
-Research skills using academic information sources
-Academic reading skills using summarising, paraphrasing, synthesising and quoting from sources
-Academic writing skills with a focus on understanding assignment questions, planning and structuring your writing, integrating secondary sources into your writing and referencing sources according to academic conventions
-Understanding lectures in your subject area
-Seminar discussion skills
-Oral presentations in your subject area
-Vocabulary development in general, academic and specialist language in your subject area
-Grammar development to improve your language accuracy, fluency and range
-British culture
-Personal development planning and independent learning

The teaching will be learner centred and will mostly take the form of pair and group work activities. You will be assessed in all the main skills of academic reading, writing, speaking and listening during the course with the goal of achieving competency equivalent to an improvement of IELTS 0.5 in final assessments.

To help you do well in the final assessments, there will be continuous practice opportunities throughout the course with individual feedback to target any weak areas.

Career support and prospects

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Facilities

The Language Centre also has an International Study Centre where you can study, engage in cultural events and meet other international, EU and Home students. You will also have full access to the University’s facilities, including Student Central (Students’ Union/Library/Computer Centre), the Health Centre, sports centre/gym, restaurants and cafés.

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