Primarily suited to hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to further develop their knowledge and skills while working, this online version of the well-established Royal Holloway MSc course has an international reputation for excellence in the petroleum industry.
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.
This MSc in Petroleum Geoscience provides training in the practical and technical skills to address a range of exploration and production challenges, from predicting the likely distribution of hydrocarbons in a frontier sedimentary basin, to quantifying the complex structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological architecture of individual reservoirs.
Royal Holloway, University of London is one of the leading centres for Earth Science research in the UK. It has excellent links with the international oil industry and a strong programme of industry-funded petroleum geology research, which ensures that this Masters is up-to-date, focused and commercially relevant.
Royal Holloway staff provide tutorial support for each module, plus guidance for your dissertation and for project work, which is based on industry data.
- Comprehensive learning materials delivered via a dedicated web portal: video clips, animations, audiovisual presentations, fully illustrated manuals, self-assessment quizzes, exercises and computer-based practicals including examples of subsurface data such as seismic and well-log data
- A field trip and intensive study seminars held in the UK as part of the final module on the course
- Option to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Petroleum Geoscience if you choose not to undertake the project.
The programme has been developed by academics within the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway using the material and experience from the campus-based Petroleum Geoscience MSc course that has been running since 1985. The Royal Holloway Earth Sciences Department achieved an 'excellence' rating for teaching quality and 70% of our research was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
Many graduates of the campus-based MSc are now well-established, successful industry professionals with careers ranging from national oil companies to geoscience IT and consultancy to academia.
This course is offered online with each module running with tutor support for a three month period during the academic year, and available the rest of the time for preview and revision. This online structure enables you to fit your studies around work and family commitments. To complete an MSc in a three year period you will need to study an average of 20 hours per week during the academic session.
Fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment, you will have the opportunity for interaction with online tutors to discuss course material and exercises; a virtual student cafe allows you to interact and network with other students.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.
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.
We are seeking accreditation from the Energy Institute.
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.
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.
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.
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:
A proportion of research projects are formally linked to industry, and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.
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.
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.