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Masters Degrees (Shale Gas)

We have 4 Masters Degrees (Shale Gas)

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There is still a shortage of qualified engineering specialists in the oil and gas sector, with skilled professionals enjoying competitive salaries. Read more

About the course

There is still a shortage of qualified engineering specialists in the oil and gas sector, with skilled professionals enjoying competitive salaries.

This programme trains specialist engineers in oilfield structural design, fabrication and installation. It is aimed both at engineering and physical science graduates who are interested in working in the oil and gas industry and practising professionals who wish to specialise in the design, analysis and construction of oil and gas installations.

Aims

With high demand for qualified oil and gas engineers, graduates enter a global job market and can expect exciting career prospects - a trend that looks likely to continue for years to come.

As the industry now seeks the rapid drilling and commissioning of new wells to meet energy demands, along with major investment in heavy oils and shale oil and gas, skilled engineers who can rapidly design and commission oilfield installations will be the backbone for growth in this industry. It is precisely this type of engineer that Brunel’s programme will develop.

A distinguishing feature of the course is its ambition to instil systems thinking, by treating structures and their operating environment holistically as a system – helping graduates develop the skills to address a wide range of complex engineering problems rapidly.

Course Content

The programme duration will be 12 months for full-time study, or 24 months for part-time.

The taught part of the programme will take place during the Autumn and Spring terms over 24 weeks. Students will be encouraged to start planning their dissertation at the beginning of the programme. During the Summer term, students will be expected to focus their effort on their dissertation project, researching the dissertation topic full-time. Part-time students will be allowed an extended period to execute their dissertation project in line with the overall programme duration. However, they will be expected to devote an equivalent of at least one day per week on their dissertation project.

This programme has been developed with extensive consultation with the industry. It will be delivered by Brunel staff members and by industrial specialists. The programme structure is shown below and comprises two parts:

Core modules: The taught part of the course (Part 1) worth 120 credits. This includes a set of compulsory modules that provides fundamentals of structural and process engineering, and focuses on providing an understanding of how to design oil and gas structures such as pipelines, offshore and onshore to withstand internal loading induced by complex internal flows of oil and gas and also external loads such as waves and wind. Throughout fundamental mathematical, computational, experimental, testing and inspection techniques as well as codes of practice are taken into account. Civil engineering and construction aspects are also taught.

Dissertation: Your dissertation project forms Part 2 of the programme and is worth 60 credits.

Full-time (12 months) MSc and PGDip modules include:

Petroleum Production Fundamentals
Applied Engineering Mathematics
Structural Materials
Structural Integrity and FEA
Multiphase Flow Fundamentals and Flow Assurance
Dynamics of Petroleum Structures
Design and Construction of Installations
Reliability Engineering and Risk Management

Term Three (MSc Only):

Dissertation
Students will conduct a major piece of research (c. 30,000 words) in an area of oil and gas engineering.

Delivery will take place in block mode teaching with each module requiring a week-long teaching schedule. Laboratory sessions will take place at specialist facilities in the week following the module delivery and will last for up to three days each.

Part-time (24 months) MSc and PGDip:

In the part-time mode, four taught modules are taken each year with the completion of the dissertation following in term three of the second year.

Full-time and part-time (12 and 24 months) PGCert:

Students must take the Design and Construction Installations and Petroleum Production Fundamentals modules and select any other two modules.

Work Placements

Brunel has a purpose built award-winning Professional Development Centre with over 30 staff, including specialist industry consultants. The Placement service includes CV writing, one-to-one guidance and mock interviews. Brunel was named ‘Best University Placement Service’ at the Rate My Placement Awards in 2012.

Teaching

Students are introduced to subject material, including key concepts, information and approaches, through a mixture of standard lectures and seminars, laboratory practicals, self-study and individual research reports. Supporting material is available online. The aim is to challenge students and inspire them to expand their own knowledge and understanding.

Preparation for work is achieved through the development of 'soft' skills such as communication, planning, management and team work.
In addition, guest speakers from industries will provide a valuable insight into the real world of the oil and gas sector.

Many elements of coursework involve, and reward, the use of initiative and imagination. Some of the projects may be linked with research in the College's research institutes.

Assessment

Each module is assessed either by formal examination, written assignments and laboratories or a combination of these. Cut-off dates for receipt of assignments are specified at the beginning of the academic year. Examinations are normally taken in December and May.

Special Features

Students will be able to access laboratory facilities at the recently formed NSIRC site which are extensive, modern and well equipped.

Although we recruit a large number of highly qualified students to our undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees each year, we don’t forget that you are an individual. From the beginning of your time here, you are allocated a personal tutor who will guide you through academic and pastoral issues.

The College is research intensive as our academics are actively involved in cutting-edge research. Much of this research is undertaken with collaborators outside the University, including leading oil and gas companies, construction companies, water utilities, and other leading industrial firms. We work with universities in China, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Denmark and Japan. This research is fed directly into our courses, providing a challenging investigative culture and ensuring that you are exposed to up-to-date and relevant material throughout your time at Brunel.

We have excellent links with business and industry in the UK and overseas. This means:
Brunel degrees are designed to meet the needs of industry and the market-place;
The latest developments in the commercial world feed into your course;
You have greater opportunity at the dissertation stage of conducting a dissertation in industry;
We have more contacts to help you find a job when you graduate.

Accreditation

This course has been designed and developed in close consultation with industry and the Oil and Gas Engineering MSc is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). We are seeking accreditation with the following professional bodies:

Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Society of Petroleum Engineers
Institution of Chemical Engineers

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Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise. applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Read more
Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise: applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Through working with academics who are leaders in their field, you will be supported and guided to produce research of an international standard.

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences enjoys an international reputation for using the latest science to solve problems of global importance. For geochemistry we have MPhil and PhD supervision in the following areas:

Petroleum-related geological research
-Reservoir and source-rock geochemistry
-Microbial deep biosphere of petroleum reservoirs
-Origin, significance and maturation of molecular biomarker compounds in the sedimentary record
-Physico-chemical properties and behaviour of mudstone sequences
-Shale gas
-Geological sequestration of CO2
-Palynofacies and organic facies of ancient and modern sediments

Environment-related research
-Geomicrobiology
-Mineral science
-Molecular microbial ecology
-Molecular palaeontology
-Soil biogeochemistry
-Waste management
-Bioremediation of polluted soils and waters
-Biogeochemical cycling of elements through Earth history
-Climate change during past greenhouse conditions
-Processes of carbon cycling and export across the land–ocean transition

Delivery

We offer the MPhil and PhD on a full time or part time basis. You will work with research-active academics who will provide advice and support throughout your research project. You will receive formal training in research skills and methods and discipline-specific training is provided where appropriate.

The first three months of study involve intensive theoretical and practical tuition to ensure that you have the study skills to plan your project and can use the equipment and software related to your research. You are encouraged to attend our weekly research seminar series and to present your work at our annual postgraduate research conference, group seminars and relevant international conferences.

Facilities

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has an exceptional range of laboratories equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation supporting our research, teaching and contract research projects.
-Chemical and Biological Research Laboratories
-Geotechnics and Structures Research Laboratories

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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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This MSc will prepare students for highly skilled, multidisciplinary managerial roles in the natural resources sector across the globe. Read more
This MSc will prepare students for highly skilled, multidisciplinary managerial roles in the natural resources sector across the globe. The programme is transcontinental – offered by UCL and the University of South Australia (UniSA) - is delivered by UCL Chemical Engineering, UCL Earth Sciences, UCL School of Management, UCL Australia, and the Future Industries Institute at UniSA, and designed with significant input from industry.

Degree information

Students develop knowledge of geology, geosciences, geochemistry and the chemical processes used to transform raw materials into commmodities; managerial skills; and an understanding of the relationship between limited natural resources, economic forces, and the implications for society. The first two terms are spent at UCL in London and the third term and summer at UniSA in Adelaide.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Business Sustainability
-Decision and Risk Analysis
-Earth Resources and Sustainability
-Geology for Global Managers and Engineers
-Minerals Usage, Extraction and Processing
-Natural Gas Processing
-Prevention and Remediation of Environmental Contamination
-Social Licensing

Dissertation/report
All students undertake a dissertation of 6,000 words based on an individual research project, field trip and executive summary, and an oral examination (20 minutes maximum).

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, site visits, independent reading and research, and online material. Some of the modules taught in London will be co-taught by experts at UniSA, employing cutting-edge remote teaching methods. Assessment is by examination, coursework, process design, oral presentations, online quizzes, reports and executive summaries with some components involving group work.

Careers

Global Management of Natural Resources MSc prepares graduates for highly skilled, multidisciplinary managerial jobs in the natural resources sector. Recent graduates will gain a global perspective on the natural resources sector and mid-career professionals already employed in the energy and mining sectors, will expand their range of expertise.

Graduates of this programme will also be equipped for postgraduate research careers in relevant disciplines.

Employability
Successful graduates will be knowledgeable about all aspects of the energy and natural resources industries, have strong managerial and communication skills, be aware and respectful of social responsibilities, and operate within national and international constraints.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL, situated in the heart of London is consistently placed in the global top 20 in a wide range of world rankings and in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) UCL was the top-rated UK university for research strength. This MSc results from the European-funded research project ShaleXenvironmenT in which UCL was an academic partner, and anticipates increasing demand for managerial professionals in existing and developing natural resources fields. UniSA is Australia’s leading university for interdisciplinary research.

Students will become global citizens, with networking opportunities both in London, and in Adelaide and learn how to make an impact. Career advice will be offered throughout the programme and transferable skills will be fostered within the highly multidisciplinary environment.

The programme includes one field trip to Spain and/or in the UK to explore sedimentary formations similar to shale plays, and another field trip to a copper, gold or uranium mine in South Australia.

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