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Petroleum Geoscience (MSc and postgraduate diploma)

Course Description

Study for a prestigious MSc in Petroleum Geoscience

by distance learning

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.

Practical and technical skills

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.

Features of the programme

- 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.

Career progression

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.

Your time commitment

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.

Excellent support

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.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre:

Visit the Petroleum Geoscience (MSc and postgraduate diploma) page on the University of London International Programmes website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline

Course Fees

£12,665 for the full MSc (option to pay as you study)

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