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    Department of Earth Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


    Materials Science

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    50 weeks

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2018/19: £10,400 International students tuition fee per year 2018/19: £19,000

  • Last Updated

    31 July 2018

Course content

This course is one of the premier international applied petroleum geoscience courses. Since the inception of the course in 1985 its graduates have an unparalleled employment record in the petroleum industry both in the UK and worldwide. In addition our graduates are highly sought after for further PhD research in the petroleum geosciences.

● Recognised by NERC - 5 MSc studentships each year covering fees, fieldwork and maintenance.

● Recognised by Industry - Industry scholarships

● We offer highly focused teaching and training by internationally recognised academic experts as well as by visiting staff from the petroleum industry.

The course covers the applications of basin dynamics and evolution to hydrocarbon exploration and production. The course is modular in form providing intensive learning and training in geophysics, tectonics and structural geology, sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology, hydrocarbon systems, reservoir geology, remote sensing and applied geological fieldwork.

The MSc course provides ‘state of the art’ training in -

● 3D seismic interpretation and 3D visualization;

● Fault analysis and fault-sealing;

● Seismic sequence stratigraphy;

● Applied sedimentology;

● Well log analysis;

● Remote sensing analysis of satellite and radar imagery;

● Analysis of gravity and magnetic data;

● Numerical modelling of sedimentation and tectonics;

● Applied structural geology;

● Geological Fieldwork.

● Transferable skills learned during the course include

project planning, presentation techniques, report writing and compilation, team working skills, spreadsheet and statistical analyses, GIS methods as well as graphics and visualization techniques.

● The full time MSc course runs for 50 weeks. The first half comprises one and two week course modules as well as group projects and fieldwork. The second half of the MSc course consists of an individual research project usually carried out in conjunction with the petroleum industry or related institutions such as international geological surveys.

● Part time study over 24 months is also available

● Each year independent projects are arranged with new data sets from industry – some students work in the offices of the company whereas other may use our excellent in-house facilities. All independent projects are supervised by faculty members with additional industry supervision where appropriate.

Facilities include –

● Dedicated Modern Teaching Laboratories

● 14 Dual Screen Unix Seismic Workstations

● PC and Macintosh Workstations

● Internationally Recognised Structural Modelling Laboratories

● Advanced Sedimentological Laboratories

The MSc course also greatly benefits from dynamic interaction with internationally recognised research groups within the Geology Department including –

● Project EAGLE – Evolution of the African and Arabian rift system – Professor Cindy Ebinger

● Southeast Asia Research Group – Tectonic Evolution and Basin Development in SE Asia – Professor Robert Hall

● Numerical Modelling Research Group – Numerical Modelling of Tectonics and Sedimentation – Dr Dave Waltham

● Fault Dynamics Research Group – Dynamics of Fault Systems in Sedimentary Basins – Professor Ken McClay

The 2005 MSc graduates went on to employment with Shell, BP, Amerada Hess, Gaz de France, OMV (Austria), Star Energy, First Africa Oil, Badley Ashton, ECL, PGS, Robertsons, PGL, Aceca, and to PhD research at Royal Holloway and Barcelona.

Since 2001, 85% of our graduates have gone in to work in the oil industry, 10% into geological research and 5% into environmental/engineering jobs.

Accommodation is available on campus in en-suite study bedrooms grouped in flats of eight, each with a communal kitchen and dining space.

Subsistence Costs ~£9,000 pa (including Hall of Residence fees of c. £4,500 for a full year)

APPLICATIONS can be made on line at

Visit the Petroleum Geoscience (Basin Evolution & Dynamics) page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!




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Recipient: Royal Holloway, University of London

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