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Masters Degrees (Reservoir Characterisation)

We have 4 Masters Degrees (Reservoir Characterisation)

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An on-line version of a well established programme with an international reputation for excellence in the petroleum industry. Primarily suited to hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to further develop knowledge and skills whilst continuing full-time work. Read more
• An on-line version of a well established programme with an international reputation for excellence in the petroleum industry.
• Primarily suited to hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to further develop knowledge and skills whilst continuing full-time work.
• Comprehensive learning materials delivered via a dedicated web portal: video clips, animations, audio-visual presentations, fully-illustrated manuals, self-assessment quizzes, exercises and computer-based practicals.
• Field trips and intensive study seminars held at various locations worldwide.
• An option to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Petroleum Geoscience is available if a project is not undertaken.

Hydrocarbons are a precious resource. Finding new reserves is becoming ever more challenging and the enhanced recovery of reserves from existing fields is becoming increasingly important. Well trained Petroleum Geoscientists with the ability to integrate geological and geophysical data, and to apply it on a variety of scales, have a vital role to play. The MSc in Petroleum Geoscience provides graduates with training in the practical and technical skills required to address a range of questions, from understanding the distribution of hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins to quantifying the complex structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological architecture of individual reservoirs.

Studying Petroleum Geoscience at Royal Holloway
• The programme has the same curriculum as the MSc Petroleum Geoscience offered in London at the Royal Holloway campus and at Tyumen Oil and Gas State University in Russia.
• The department is ranked highly in national research assessment exercises as having a research output of international excellence.
• The programme has been developed by and is supported by a team of 13 academic staff, all active researchers and tutors in the field of Petroleum Geoscience.
• Tutorial support provided for each module by Royal Holloway staff
• With experience of supervising hundreds of independent projects for masters students, Royal Holloway staff can provide expert advice for the planning of projects to be carried out using industry data.

Course Content
The programme comprises six taught modules (MSc and PGDip) and an Independent Research Project (MSc only).
Geodynamics of Sedimentary Basins
Tectonics and geodynamic evolution of sedimentary basins, subsidence analysis, thermal histories.
Geophysical Analysis
Seismic acquisition and processing, interpretation techniques, seismic mapping, attribute analysis and reservoir characterisation.
Structural Analysis
Structural interpretation of seismic data, fault and fracture analysis.
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Siliciclastic and carbonate depositional systems, facies analysis, seismic and sequence stratigraphy, and palaeogeographic analysis and mapping.
Reservoir Geoscience
Well log analysis, rock mechanics, reservoir geology and geophysics, reservoir modelling.
Petroleum Systems
Petroleum systems, basin modelling, play analysis, petroleum economics.
Independent Project (MSc only)
An independent research project focussed on some aspect of Petroleum Geoscience, designed to meet individual training needs & carried out in association with industry.

Tuition and Assessment
Fully illustrated course materials provided through a web portal, with interactive coursework exercises and on-line tutorials. A two-week residential study period with team projects and incorporating a field course forms part of the programme. On-line quizzes and tutor-supported coursework provide feedback on learning; assessment is by coursework exercises submitted on-line and written examinations for each module.

Applications http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/geoscience

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The MSc in Petroleum and Gas Engineering is a programme that encompasses a wide range of specific knowledge, in particular Formation Evaluation, Reservoir Engineering and Reservoir Simulation. Read more

Why take this course?

The MSc in Petroleum and Gas Engineering is a programme that encompasses a wide range of specific knowledge, in particular Formation Evaluation, Reservoir Engineering and Reservoir Simulation. It also gives you the ability to appraise and select the appropriate technologies for safe production and for enhancing the recovery of hydrocarbon oil and gas, as pertinent to the modern petroleum industry.

This course is planned to respond to the need for specialists in upstream petroleum engineering systems and management by meeting the growing skills shortage of people, with core knowledge in this field. It provides relevant, up-to-date skills that will equip graduates and working professionals in the advanced concepts of reservoir and field development. It supports career development for the industry as well as career change.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Undertake field work in a number of locations in the UK
Undertake an industry relevant project working with industry

The SPE Chapter is organised managed and run by the students for the students under the guidelines of SPE international. The Chapter regularly host events and guest lecturers from the industry as well as showcasing all SPE UK webinars. It also hosts several field trips to near-by sites and organises careers seminars.

What opportunities might it lead to?

You are likely to gain work in:

Oil and gas exploration
Reservoir modelling
Engineering and management
Drilling and production
Product marketing
Management and finance

You will thrive in an exciting developing research environment, where your project can involve aspects of research in close collaboration with academic staff and industrial partners, both in the UK and abroad.

Module Details

You will study six units on this course plus an individual project.

The course concludes with an individual project in which you apply your knowledge to a significant, in-depth piece of analysis or design. Your projects will be tailored to your individual interests and may take place in our own laboratories or, by agreement, in industry. You will have the opportunity to attend seminars on project planning/management, ethics, health and safety, report writing, library skills and career management, to help prepare for the demands of the course and for future study or employment.

Core units include:

Petroleum Fundamentals and Exploration
Reservoir Characterisation
Reservoir Engineering and Simulation
Well Engineering
Unconventional Resources
Energy Economics Management and Risk Analysis

Plus an individual project.

Programme Details

You will be taught using a mixture of lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and project work. Each unit typically has up to 48 hours scheduled for lectures and supervised activities. In addition, you will need to spend significant time in our drilling, petroleum and computer laboratories, as well as in private study directed by lecturers.

Lecturers spend part of the scheduled time in the tutorial sessions to provide further opportunities to consolidate your learning and support you with any additional learning, for example with technical aspects of the course. You will also have a personal tutor who will support your engagement with other academic matters to enhance your learning as well as personal and professional development.

Assessment is geared towards the subject matter in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. It includes examinations, assessed coursework, laboratory work and a dissertation that can often be linked with industry.

Student Destinations

On successful completion of the course, you will have gained the skills and knowledge that will make you attractive to a wide variety of employers with interests in all aspects of the Petroleum upstream industry. It is an excellent preparation for a successful career in this expanding and dynamic field.

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Renewables are seen as the future source of energy to meet the world's growing demand, with geothermal resources offering a constant and independent supply. Read more

Renewables are seen as the future source of energy to meet the world's growing demand, with geothermal resources offering a constant and independent supply. Almost 90 countries have geothermal energy yet only 24 of them produce electricity from geothermal sources. There is a growing demand for specialists that will be capable of ensuring successful implementation of more geothermal energy projects to help lower the dependency on energy imports and to develop a broader base in the future energy mix.

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as geothermal energy professionals.

Why this course?

Geothermal resources will play a significant role in ensuring access to sustainable and reliable energy for all. Interdisciplinary competence is needed to untap the vast geothermal potential worldwide, through implementation of more and larger projects.

This is the only course to encompass all aspects of geothermal exploitation, from exploration to project delivery. You will develop the professional profile required by a growing energy sector, with a high level of skills' transferability across other geo-resource sectors, including oil and gas.

In addition to management, communication, teamwork and research skills, each student will attain at least the following outcomes from this degree course:

  • Demonstrate competence in the current concepts and theories governing energy flows, heat transfer and energy conversions.
  • Effectively acquire and critically review information from various sources
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of geothermal exploration, geothermal reservoir characterisation, drilling and completions, well performance and heat / power production
  • Develop a professional ability to undertake a critical appraisal of the interaction and dependency of sub-surface reservoir parameters with surface facilities
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the issues involved in the management of geothermal energy projects
  • Assess the potential of geothermal energy in the global energy resource portfolio.

We are very well located for visiting part-time students from all over the world, and we offer a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments. All our MSc programmes benefit from a wide range of cultural backgrounds which significantly enhances the learning experience for both staff and students.

Course details

The course will be composed of eight taught modules, one group project and one individual project.

Group project

The group project, which runs between February and April, enables you to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the course modules to an industrially relevant problem that requires a team-based, multi-disciplinary solution. In addition to gaining experience working in technical project teams, you will deliver presentations and learn other valuable skills.

A poster presentation will be required from all students. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner. All groups must also submit a written report.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available, if agreed with the Course Directors.

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. As our academic research is so closely related to industry, it is common for our industrial partners to put forward real practical problems or areas of development as potential research topics.

You will develop the skills required to design, optimise and evaluate the technical and economic viability of geothermal energy projects. Individual research projects may involve designs, computer simulations, feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations and experimental investigations.

The individual research project runs between April/May and August for full-time students. For part-time students, it is common that their research project is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work, under academic supervision./p>


Taught modules 40%, Group project 20%, Individual project 40%


To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Your career

Graduates from this course will develop diverse and rewarding careers in the extremely exciting and challenging field of geothermal engineering. The international nature of this growing field means that career opportunities are not restricted to the domestic market; Cranfield graduates develop careers around the world.

Those wishing to continue their education via PhD or MBA studies in the energy sector will be greatly facilitated by the interdisciplinary, project-oriented profile that they will have acquired through this course.

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Petroleum engineering is key to the functioning of the modern world, providing both energy and materials for industry. Teesside is a major European centre for the chemical and petroleum processing sector, making it an ideal location for individuals seeking to study for an MSc with industrial relevance. Read more

Petroleum engineering is key to the functioning of the modern world, providing both energy and materials for industry. Teesside is a major European centre for the chemical and petroleum processing sector, making it an ideal location for individuals seeking to study for an MSc with industrial relevance.

Course details

The programme of lectures and project work, encompasses a wide range of petroleum fundamentals, pertinent to the modern petroleum industry. Project work provides an opportunity for ideas and methods, assimilated through lectures and tutorials, to be applied to real field evaluation and development design problems. The course is applied in nature and has been designed so that on completion, you are technically well prepared for a career in industry.

Professional accreditation

Our MSc Petroleum Engineering is accredited by the Energy Institute, under licence from the Engineering Council. This means that it meets the requirements for further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) under the provisions of UK-SPEC.

By completing this professionally accredited MSc you could benefit from an easier route to professional membership or chartered status, and it can help improve your job prospects and enhance your career. Some companies show preference for graduates who have a professionally accredited qualification, and the earning potential of chartered petroleum engineers can exceed £100,000 a year.

Teesside University Society of Petroleum Engineering student chapter

Our Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) student chapter is one of only nine in the UK. SPE is the largest individual member organisation serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals worldwide in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. Through our SPE chapter we can invite professional speakers from industry, and increase the industrial networking opportunities for students. 

What you study

For the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules. For an MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.

You select your master’s research projects from titles suggested by either industry or our academic staff, but you may also, with your supervisor’s agreement, suggest your own titles. 

Student projects

Here are some examples of the Major Project module developed by our MSc Petroleum Engineering students.

View the projects

Course structure

Core modules

  • Drill Engineering and Well Completion
  • Hydrocarbon Production Engineering
  • Material Balance and Recovery Mechanisms
  • Petroleum Chemistry
  • Petroleum Economics and Simulation
  • Petroleum Reservoir Engineering
  • Practical Health and Safety Skills
  • Research and Study Skills

MSc candidates

  • Research Project

Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course is delivered using a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions.

Our MSc Petroleum Engineering is supported by excellent laboratory and engineering machine workshop facilities including fluid flow measurement, computer modelling laboratories, other laboratories and workshops, an excellent library and computing facilities. We have invested around £150,000 in laboratory equipment particularly in within core analysis and enhanced oil recovery. 

We have several computer laboratories equipped with specialised and general-purpose software. This generous computing provision gives you extended access to industry-standard software – it allows you to develop skills and techniques using important applications. For upstream processes, Teesside University has access to educational software packages like Petrel, Eclipse, CMG, PIPESIM and Ecrin to simulate the behaviour of oil reservoirs, calculating oil in situ, and oil and gas production optimisation. As for downstream processes, you can use HYSYS to test different scenarios to optimise plant designs. 

Petroleum Experts Ltd has donated to Teesside University a network system and 10 educational licences for the IPM suite (Integrated Production Modelling software) which includes Prosper, Gap, Mbal, Pvtp, Reveal and Resolve. This £1.3m system and software is used by our students to design complete field models including the reservoir tanks, all the wells and the surface gathering system.

Petroleum laboratory facilities

Enhanced oil recovery and core analysis laboratory

The flow through porous media, enhanced oil recovery techniques and core analysis is done in the core flooding lab. The lab is equipped with core plugging and trimming, core preparation and conventional core properties measurement equipment. At a higher level, the lab is also equipped to perform some special core analysis measurements such as fluid relative permeabilities as well as rock surface wetting quantification. 

Petrophysics laboratory

The petrophysics lab allows you to study the properties of rocks, particularly the measurement of porosity and evaluation of permeability. The lab is equipped with sieve analysis equipment to investigate grain sorting and its effect on permeability and the porosity of rocks. You are able to gauge saturation and fluid flow through porous media.

Surface characterisation laboratory

The rock surface characterisation lab is equipped with a zeta analyser to measure the rock surface electric charge. You study the rock surface wetting state, adsorption and desorption potential using digitised contact angle apparatus and thermos-gravimetric apparatus respectively.

Drilling laboratory

The drilling lab is equipped with mud measurement equipment including mud density, mud rheology and mud filtration systems to enable you to measure mud cake and formation damage. The lab highlights the importance of oilfield drilling fluids.

How you are assessed

Assessment varies from module to module. The assessment methodology could include in-course assignments, design exercises, technical reports, presentations or formal examinations. For your MSc project you prepare a dissertation.


These courses provide specialist education tailored to the requirements of both the upstream and downstream petroleum industry. The relevance of this education combined with careful selection of candidates has encouraged oil and gas companies to target our graduates for recruitment over the years.

The petroleum industry is subject to dramatic changes of fortune over time, with the oil price capable of very rapid rates of change in either direction. Petroleum, however, remains the dominant source of energy, with current world production of oil and gas at record rates. In this environment, companies face increasing technological and commercial challenges to keep their wells flowing and are increasingly dependent on input from petroleum engineers and geoscientists. 

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