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Course content

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.

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.


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:

  • 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.

Visit the Petroleum Production Engineering MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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