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Flow Assurance for Oil and Gas Production (MSc)

Course Description

Course Description

This is the first masters level degree course that brings academic rigour and focus to this multi-disciplinary subject. The MSc in Flow Assurance for Oil and Gas Production is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers in the oil and gas industry. Our strategic links with industry ensures that all the materials taught on the course are relevant, timely and meets the needs of organisations competing within the sector. This industry-led education makes our graduates some of the most desirable the world for energy companies to recruit.

In the foreseeable future, hydrocarbon (oil and gas) will still be the major energy source irrespective of the developments in renewable and nuclear energy. The term ‘flow assurance’ was coined by Petrobras in the early 1990s meaning literally “guarantee of flow.” It covers all methods to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of hydrocarbons from the well to the collection facilities. It is a multi-disciplinary activity involving a number of engineering disciplines including mechanical, chemical, process, control, instrumentation and software engineering.

Previously uneconomical fields are now being exploited - oil and gas are produced in hostile environments from deep water to the Arctic. As conventional oil reserves decline, companies are developing unconventional oil fields with complex fluid properties. All of these factors mean that flow assurance plays an increasingly important role in the oil and gas industry.

Course overview

The MSc in Flow Assurance for Oil and Gas Production is made up of nine compulsory taught modules (eight compulsory and one optional from a selection of three), a group project and an individual research project.

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

- Develop a professional ability to undertake a critical appraisal of technical and/or commercial literature.
- Demonstrate an ability to manage research studies, and plan and execute projects in the area of oil and gas production technology and flow assurance.
- Use of the techniques appropriate for the management of a oil and gas production and transport systems.
- Gain an in-depth understanding of the technical, economic and environmental issues involved in the design and operation of oil and gas production and transport systems.

Group project

The group project runs between February and April and is designed to give students invaluable experience of delivering a project within an industry structured team. The project is sponsored by industrial partners who provide particular problems linked to their plant operations. Projects generally require the group to provide a solution to the operational problem. This group project is shared across the Process Systems Engineering MSc, Flow Assurance MSc and Carbon Capture and Transport MSc, giving the added benefit of gaining new insights, ways of thinking, experience and skills from students with other backgrounds.

During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. All groups submit a written report and deliver a presentation to the industry partner. Part-time students will take an additional elective module instead of the group project.

It is clear that the modern design engineer cannot be divorced from the commercial world. In order to provide practice in this matter, 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.

Recent Group Projects include:

- Waste water treatment process design
- A new operation mode design for a gas processing plant.

Individual Project

The individual research project allows students to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. Our industrial partners often put forward practical problems or areas of development as potential research topics. For part-time students, their research project is usually undertaken in collaboration with their place of work. The individual project takes place from April/May to August.

Recent Individual Research Projects include:

- Separation – from Subsea to Topside
- Evaluation of Multiphase Flow Metering
- Multiphase Jet Pumps
- Sand Transport in Undulating Terrains.


The taught programme for the Flow Assurance masters is generally delivered from October to March and is comprised of eight compulsory modules, and one optional module to select from a choice of four. The modules are delivered over one to two weeks of intensive delivery with the later part of the module being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the compulsory modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the course director.

Core -

Management for Technology
Risk Management and Reliability Engineering
Pumps and Pumping Systems
Process Plant Operations
Advanced Control Systems
Introduction to Flow Assurance
Multiphase Flows
Multiphase Flows
Production Technology and Chemistry

Optional -

Process Measurement Systems
Process Design and Simulation
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Structural Integrity


Taught modules: 40%; Group project: 20% (dissertation for part-time students); Individual Research Project: 40%.
The taught modules are assessed by an examination and/or assignment. The Group Project is assessed by a written technical report and oral presentations. The Individual Research Project is assessed by a written thesis and oral presentation.


Bursaries are available; please contact the Course Director for more information.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Study/Postgraduate-degrees/Fees-and-funding/Funding-opportunities/cpls/Cranfield-Postgraduate-Loan-Scheme

The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Career opportunities

There is considerable global demand in the oil and gas industry for flow assurance specialists with in-depth technical knowledge and practical skills. The industry led education makes our graduates some of the most desirable for recruitment in this sector. The depth and breadth of the course equips graduates with knowledge and skills to tackle one of the most demanding challenges to secure our energy resource. Graduates of the course can also be recruited in other upstream and downstream positions. Their knowledge can additionally be applied to the petrochemical, process and power industries.

Further Information

For further information on this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/flow-assurance-for-oil-and-gas-production.html

Visit the Flow Assurance for Oil and Gas Production (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Chukwudubem Nwana

Impressive international rankings for the course of study and its reputation as the only postgraduate institution in the EU attracted me to Cranfield University. Also, its collaboration with industry was an important factor.
It helped me to develop my knowledge of business operations and how this interfaces with engineering expertise. I now have options in the manufacturing and the energy industries, both of which are my preferred career choices.
I found the international environment, as well as the access to social and extracurricular activities and facilities such as tennis and Jujutsu classes, and trips to Cambridge and London, fantastic.

Chukwudubem Nwanah, Management Trainee (Supply Chain -manufacturing), Unilever Nigeria,
(MSc, Energy Systems and Thermal Processes, 2014, full-time)


Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.
Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related science or engineering discipline. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director.

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