Integrated Petroleum Geoscience MSc

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience, MSc

Introduction

When you think Petroleum Geology, you think Aberdeen. This is the only programme of its kind, that is sitting directly at the heart of the UK oil and gas industry.

Running since 1973, the one-year MSc course in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience at the University of Aberdeen, is internationally regarded as one of the top vocational training pathways in the world and one of the most admired and industry relevant Petroleum Geology Masters programmes.

Key Facts

Duration
1 Year
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning

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Overview

Providing world-renowned training in the practical and technical skills required by the global hydrocarbon exploration and production industry. The programme receives detailed input and support from industry, ensuring it remains current and relevant. Graduates from this programme are highly sought after and the training offered is also an ideal springboard into a career based on further research/PhD level.

The programme focuses on all aspects of upstream geoscience, from initial exploration, through field appraisal and development, to maximising recovery from mature and declining fields. Skills in analysing the subsurface are further developed by field work on outcrops and by hands-on experience with core logging.

The aim is to provide a full training in integrated Petroleum Geoscience. We aim to prepare students to perform a wide variety of technical functions in a multidisciplinary environment. The training is also valuable as a springboard for those desiring a research career or a PhD.

The class is divided in to groups from the start. We are creating a closer parallel of the way industry works, helping students with the transition from education to employment.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.

The course content recognizes the increasingly diverse backgrounds of the students, as more first degree courses are modularised with significant non-geological components. The course content is designed as far as possible to fill in the gaps for such students, although we rely on the students to work at making up for their own weaknesses, under our guidance. Numeracy skills are important; we advise students to assess their own needs for additional training.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Geophysics and Petrophysics (GL5011)

By the end of the course, the student should:

1. Understand the theory of seismic signal description

2. Appreciate the main processes involved in a typical seismic data-processing suite

3. Understand the basic concepts of seismic stratigraphy

4. Be able to construct synthetic seismograms and explain the principles on which they are based

5. Be able to explain, and illustrate with examples, the concepts of seismic modelling

6. Be able to define, and illustrate with examples, the different types of seismic attributes

Applied Sedimentology (GL5012)

The course aims develop practical geological skills applicable to the hydrocarbons industry, embracing the subdisciplines of clastic and carbonate sedimentology, stratigraphy, and diagenesis; it will show how sedimentological and stratigraphic knowledge is crucial in both exploration and development activities, and is fundamental in making predictive models. It will impart a practical knowledge of depositional environments which form hydrocarbon reservoirs, linking these together using the techniques of sequence stratigraphy as applied to siliciclastic and carbonate settings. The origin and effects of reservoir fluids and subsequent diagenesis will also be covered.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Production Geology (GL5511)

This course aims to deliver key skills and understanding in production geology, in the hydrocarbon industry;

• An appreciation of the role of the geologist during the development and production stages of a hydrocarbon field.

• Knowledge of the types of geological heterogeneity that might impact hydrocarbon production.

• The approaches employed in building qualitative and quantitative geological models of the subsurface, and the difficulties associated with doing this reliably.

• The basis from which to convey the expectations of the reservoir engineer, and procedures that will lead to improved reservoir performance evaluation.

Regional Exploration (GL5512)

This course aims to demonstrate the stages in a hydrocarbon exploration project from initial basin screening, through the identification of leads and prospects, to an economic assessment. The course includes components of structural geology, tectonics, organic geochemistry, and basin modelling. It is important to view these activities in an economic context; accordingly, the course aims to explain the role of the geologist in the business of exploration and appraisal of hydrocarbons. This aims to inform the student of important economic and logistical constraints which operate alongside geological details.

Professional Skills Incorporating International Field Trip (GL5013)

By the end of this course students will be aware of issues relation to team work, particularly communication, diversity, and organisation. They will be able to communicate technical interpretation effectively by oral, written and electronic methods. They will be able to design and carry out a research project relevant to the hydrocarbon industry.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Example projects from previous years:

  • Classical and modern approaches to examine reservoir connectivity in a mature field, West Siberia Basin
  • Hydrocarbon Migration and Fill History of the Rosebank Field, West of Shetland, UK
Project in Integrated Petroleum Geosciences (GL5907)

In the final project you are expected to undertake and complete a study of a problem applicable to the petroleum industry. The project is an extended, independent, self-directed, piece of practical work integrating and reinforcing the material taught on the course, and giving a detailed insight into the demands of, and ways of working in the hydrocarbon industry. The project forms the major part of the IPG’s employability strategy.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Lab Work
  • Field Work
  • Field Trips
  • Research
  • Individual Projects
  • Group Projects

Assessment

Practical work, projects and reports will be assessed continuously throughout the programme. Examinations are held in December and April on the preceding term’s curriculum. An oral examination will be held. Candidates will be expected to present a final report on a relevant and approved major topic.

Why Study Integrated Petroleum Geoscience?

  • The programme (formerly MSc in Petroleum Geology) is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world and is the only degree in the world that sits at the very heart of the UK oil and gas industry in Aberdeen.
  • Components of the programme focus on all aspects of upstream geoscience, from initial exploration for new prospects, through field appraisal and development, to maximising recovery from mature and declining fields.
  • Provides an all-round preparation for a wide-range of employment in a mobile, dynamic, wealth creating industry, and to show how integration of information across discipline boundaries can provide solutions to industrial problems.
  • Develops the knowledge needed to communicate with and work alongside specialists in the other engineering and scientific disciplines involved in hydrocarbon exploration and production, in small, multidisciplinary teams.
  • It enhances the interpersonal and transferable skills relevant to the hydrocarbon industry today; to develop presentation and report-writing skills; to encourage team work; to stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving ability. 
  • Over the last decade, more than 98% of our MSc graduates have immediately been employed in the oil and gas industry or gone straight on to funded PhD research.
  • Hands-on field based study is a crucial part of the teaching on all our Geology related degrees. This programme is no exception, offering a trip to Sicily in semester 1 and a two-week trip to Utah in semester 2.
  • You will work on challenging exercises during the year which have been set by major oil and gas operators including Chevron and BP.
  • There is an opportunity for you to complete your MSc Project dissertation with an oil and gas organisation, giving the opportunity to experience current industry thinking and challenges.
  • There is opportunity for you to learn and communicate with specialists from other disciplines, in particular those involved in drilling, reservoir engineering, petrophysics, geochemistry, and geophysics. You will also develop key interpersonal and transferable skills in presentation, report-writing, team work, creative thinking, and problem-solving.
  • Our Geology graduates move into very successful careers with a large proportion working in senior roles in the industry.
  • All students participate in a Challenge Day in the first half session. This is run jointly with students from the MSc in Oil & Gas Enterprise Management.

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition fee for main award £10,000
International Students Tuition fee for main award £26,500
  • You will be classified as one of the fee categories above.
  • All International students entering in year 2016/17 will pay the 2016/17 fee for each year of study.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.

Funding

There are a limited number of industry-funded places available each year to UK students. All eligible applicants will be reviewed using their MSc application. In order to be considered for an industry-funded place for September 2016, complete applications must have been submitted online by 1st December 2015. Academic decisions will be communicated via email after 14th December.

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

6th best Geology Department in the UK

6th best Geology Department in the UK - 2016 Complete University Guide

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a Geology or Geophysics degree at 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours level (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth).

Evidence of high marks in the following key subjects is important for admission: Oil & Gas/Petroleum Hydrocarbons (not Engineering-based), Sedimentology, Petroleum Geology, Geophysics, Basin Analysis, Geochemistry and independent project work.

Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Higher level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

  • Degree Transcripta full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statementa detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications
  • CVan up-to-date CV/Resumé
  • Referencea reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability

Features

  • Utah Field Trip

    Utah Field Trip

    A truly once in a lifetime opportunity is on offer to all MSc IPG students with the annual Utah field trip.

  • Sicily Field Trip

    Sicily Field Trip

    This is a 4 day trip to Sicily where we examine petroleum systems developed in Mesozoic carbonates and Cenozoic turbidite successions develped in passive margin and foreland thrust belt settings respectively.

  • IPG Dedicated Room

    IPG Dedicated Room

    Range of analytical equipment, state-of-the-art industry software packages, including Petrel and the entire Landmark seismic interpretation, well log correlation, and modelling suite. We use the Geographix Discovery suite in the seismic components.

Careers

Over the last decade, more than 98% of our MSc graduates have immediately been employed in the oil and gas industry or gone straight on to funded PhD research. A large number of graduates from the programme now hold very senior roles in some of the world's major oil and gas companies.

The dynamic nature of the programme provides an all-round preparation for a wide-range of employment in a mobile, dynamic, wealth-creating industry. You will also benefit from graduating from a programme that truly is recognised as one of the strongest of its kind around the world.

Industry Links

Organisations that we work with across a number of areas include – Apache, Statoil, Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Dana Petroleum,Halliburton, BP, Shell, Pemex and SaudiAramco, to name a few. These links,and more help us deliver world-class teaching and research.

Hear from Business

  • BP

    BP

    BP has supported this degree over several years and has identified it as a key course from which to recruit graduates. Aberdeen uses local petroleum industry knowledge to produce well rounded geoscientists that are keen to start their careers.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Professor John Howell
Professor Adrian Hartley
Professor Andrew Hurst
Professor David Macdonald
David Iacopini
Programme Coordinator
Dr Nicholas Schofield

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

What our Alumni Say

  • Moritz Rosenkranz, Africa New Ventures Geologist at

    Moritz Rosenkranz

    Job Details
    Africa New Ventures Geologist
    Graduated
    I did my final MSc project with an oil company in Aberdeen that hired me as a Graduate Geologist on the basis of my performance during this time. Hence, the degree has been absolutely crucial in getting my career started.
  • Paul Gannon, Graduate Geoscientist at

    Paul Gannon

    Job Details
    Graduate Geoscientist
    Graduated
    The fact that it is a Petroleum Masters degree, located in the heart of an Oil and Gas global hub provides a unique access and insight that no other Masters I researched could provide.
  • Becky Wain, Graduate Geologist at

    Becky Wain

    Job Details
    Graduate Geologist
    Graduated
    The links with many different industries allows the university to be among the best for research and development so you will know that you are learning the most up to date and relevant information during your studies.
  • Matthew Warner, Exploration Geologist at

    Matthew Warner

    Job Details
    Exploration Geologist
    Graduated
    The school is a leader in Petroleum Geoscience, so its reputation for being the best was a major lure.

1st for Research Impact - Earth Sciences

1st in Scotland for research impact (REF 2014) 

Contact

Address
College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building
King's College
Aberdeen

AB24 3UE
Email
Phone
+44 (0)1224 272515
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