Masters degrees in Petrochemical Technology equip postgraduates with the skills to extract, process and distribute petrochemicals for domestic and industrial purposes, predominantly fuel production.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Petroleum and Environmental Technology, Petroleum Production Engineering and Petroleum Refining Systems Engineering. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Chemical Engineering, Geological Engineering or Environmental Science.
Petrochemicals are sourced from a range of natural chemical products, including petroleum, coal and natural gasses, as well as renewable sources such as corn and sugar cane. Courses in this field therefore offer a broad range of technological methods for you to explore with regards to extraction and distribution.
Training may include practical activities such as fieldwork, workshops and lab testing to develop your vocational skills in excavation and your critical understanding of processing techniques. Methodologies from fields such as Economics and Business Studies may also be included, which you may use to examine issues such as facilities management, production operations and asset management.
Careers in this field may include roles in fuel production including renewable energy, as well as utilities management, petroleum transport logistics and policy-making for regulatory authorities.
This programme will equip you with the essential knowledge for engineering careers in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.
Upon completion of the course you will have gained a comprehensive understanding of oil refining and associated downstream processing technologies, operations and economics; process safety and operations integrity; and methods for the optimal design of process systems.
You will learn about the general economics of the energy sector, oil exploration and production, as well as renewable energy systems.
Furthermore, your study of the various aspects of petroleum refining will be augmented by unique work assignments at a virtual oil-refining and chemical company.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The programme aims to provide a highly vocational education that equips the students with the essential knowledge and skills required to work as competent engineers in the petrochemical sector.
This is to be achieved through combining proper material in two popular and complementary topics: process systems engineering and petroleum refining. The key objective is to develop a sound understanding of oil refining and downstream processing technologies, process safety and operation integrity, as well as systems methods for the optimal design of process systems.
A balanced curriculum is provided with essential modules from these two areas supplemented by a flexible element by way of elective modules that permit students to pursue subjects of preference relevant to their backgrounds, interests and/or career aspirations.
An integrated approach is taken so as to provide a coherent view that explores the interrelationships between the various components of the programme.
Knowledge and understanding
The programme aims to develop the knowledge and understanding in both petroleum refining and systems engineering. The key learning outcomes include:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
The programme aims to strengthen cognitive skills of the students, particularly in the aspects of problem definition, knowledge and information acquiring, synthesis, and creativity, as collectively demonstrable through the successful completion of the research dissertation.
The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:
Professional practical skills
The programme primarily aims to develop skills for applying appropriate methods to the design and operation of petroleum refining processes. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:
Key / transferable skills
The programme aims to strengthen a range of transferable skills that are relevant to the needs of existing and future professionals in knowledge intensive industries irrespective of their sector of operation.
The key learning outcomes include the further development of the skills in the following areas:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
If you are considering a career or enterprise in oil and gas management or its associated supply chain this degree draws from the strengths of both academics at University of Aberdeen and industry professionals in the city who have helped to shape the programmes and modules from their learning and experiences. The university offers knowledge spanning fifty years in oil and gas production and commercialisation. The university has worked closely with the industry since its inception in Aberdeen city and in the 1970s to provide advanced level learning in the sector.
The programme uniquely offers a great range of knowledge across Geology and Engineering, Business and Law specific to the oil and gas industry but applicable to other similar industries with similar features. The degree offers great value in terms of the range of disciplines it covers and it will open up a range of careers internationally. It also gives you the confidence and knowledge to start up an enterprise yourself or work in mid to senior management within an already established company. Business and Law modules will be very useful to a great many commercial situations and sectors if you choose to apply your knowledge in the future. This also applies to Geology and Engineering which are also subjects in themselves when it comes to employment options.
This programme is ideal for small specialist companies working with National Oil Companies and energy ministries to commercialise innovation in science and technology and improve hydrocarbon exploration. It combines science with law politics and economics. Alumni work internationally across the supply chain and some of them have started their own businesses.
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*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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This course is ideally situated to take advantage of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen city and its industry experts who also have a strong input into the programme content and structure. This combination of academic overview and industry expertise ensures that you have a good range of skills and knowledge which is applicable to the global oil and gas and energy market so ideal if you are international or work or want to work internationally. Your skills are ideally placed to scope out maximising oil field recovery from declining field areas on top of upstream geoscience knowledge from initial exploration to mature and declining field recovery.
Aberdeen has been running this programme since 1973 to the current day, learning with the energy industry which is located in Aberdeen itself. This means that the programme is not only robust drawing on historical learning relevant to the current day, but highly regarded internationally. This strength of knowledge feeds down directly to you as a student and afterwards as a highly trained professional within the energy market.
Regarded as the best of its kind in the world the programme gives you vocational training in geoscience skills for minerals exploration and production, including: seismic interpretation, petrophysical analysis, geochemical evaluation, sedimentology, structural analysis, and reservoir modelling.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
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Find out more about fees on the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
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Please visit the school website for detailed information about the course.
Please vist the school website for further information.
The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.
Please visit the school website for information on funding opportunities.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The petroleum industry is the largest employer of earth science graduates, with good employment prospects in the United Kingdom and overseas in oil companies, consultancies, service companies, government bodies, the financial sector, and in teaching and research. During the research project students normally have the opportunity to work within sponsor oil company offices, gaining valuable industrial experience. The MSc course has a very strong track record for employability.
In semester 1, we typically have oil companies visiting the School to provide careers information and seek applications (typically BG, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Hess, Talsiman, Neftex, Fugro etc). Some also interview in the University. This is in addition to the University career fairs and other employment events.
Petroleum Geoscience and Engineering at the University of Manchester has well-established links with the petroleum industry. Research is funded by a large number of international oil companies. Guest speakers are invited on a regular basis to the department. There is also an AAPG Student Chapter , PESGB Student Chapter, SPE Chapter and EAGE Chapter, which arrange meetings throughout the year.
Many of the academic staff teaching on the course have considerable petroleum industry experience or consult for the oil industry. In addition the teaching team has a very strong group of external lecturers, who are all active consultants or employees in the petroleum industry, and who bring considerable expertise and industrial links.
BP staff teach on the course, Shell teaches the Malampaya oil game which offers an insight into the industry.
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 http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Registry/Admissions/applyonline.html
This course is designed for engineering graduates who intend to enter or enhance their career prospects in the oil or natural gas industry. It will be re-accredited by the IGEM in 2016.
The course explores the geology, exploration, drilling, production (surface and subsurface), reservoir engineering and management, distribution and transmission of oil and gas from practical and theoretical viewpoints.
You will develop the knowledge and the skills for problem solving in terms of development, design, business and economics management in oil and gas engineering which will assist you to make management and scientific decisions in the workplace.
On completion of this course you may be eligible to join the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers or Society of Petroleum Engineers which may enable you to qualify as a Chartered Engineer.
As well as studying the topics outlined in the following modules you will be expected to develop, to a professional standard, a number of transferable skills such as numeracy skills by way of quantitative mathematical analysis, problem solving skills, communication skills during group work, laboratory report writing and time management skills.
MSc (one year full-time or two years part-time)
PgDip (nine months full-time or one year and six months part-time)
MSc (one year and four months full-time or two years and eight months part-time)
PgDip (one year full-time or two years part-time)
Teaching will be carried out as formal lectures, laboratories, tutorials and workshops
Petroleum and Gas Engineering students are required to attend all of the modules. There are seven examination sessions. Students must pass all the modules studied with an overall average of at least 50% in the module programmes and in the course assessed work.
All laboratory and course assessed work must be submitted on time and to the required standard.
Students admitted to the course at Diploma level with examination and coursework of 50 % may proceed to MSc level. (120 Credits)
MSc Students must undertake a dissertation (60 Credits) on any aspect of the natural gas business either experimentally or computationally. The project can frequently relate to research work already in the school and or natural gas engineering and management.
Due to the relative uniqueness of this course in the UK, together with the high demand of graduates with the types of skills and knowledge that this course offers, employment prospects are excellent.
Graduates can expect to enter or progress in industries such as petroleum, gas, process engineering, chemical or steel.
This programme is strongly supported by major petroleum and gas engineering technology providers.
You will be assessed by both coursework 50% and examinations 50%
The hydrocarbon industry is crucial to provide us with domestic energy, transportation, plastics and other everyday needs. Petroleum Geoscience by Distance Learning with the University of London lets you earn a Masters degree in this booming sector which fits around your work or family commitments.
Choose from a range of course modules to tailor your learning, studying online over a period of years to earn your MSc. This flexible programme lets you choose between the standard course structure, a postgraduate diploma or a series of individual taught courses, letting you fit your studies around your daily life.
You’ll graduate with a Masters degree from the University of London by studying with the University of London International Programmes featuring academic direction from the renowned Royal Holloway Department of Earth Sciences, which is consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10. The programme finishes with a one-week field trip and research project, letting you contribute to our leading research culture while you develop your skills and knowledge.
Royal Holloway is recognised as one of the world’s premier training centres for the hydrocarbon industry, and has run a Petroleum Geoscience MSc programme since 1985. We’ve established invaluable links within the industry while helping over 600 graduates from 32 countries progress into rewarding careers in the Earth Sciences. Study Petroleum Geoscience (by Distance Learning) to enhance your career development without the need for full-time study.
PLEASE NOTE: All applications must be made through the University of London International Programmes website University of London application.
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.