This accredited programme provides training in the use of geological data and software simulation to manage and optimise hydrocarbon reservoirs, filling a crucial skills gap in the global oil and gas industry.

This programme is studied on campus.

Reservoir Engineering expertise is needed from the early stages of survey and exploration right through to production and decommissioning. In particular, Reservoir Engineering input required across all areas of petroleum engineering, including drilling, production, and fracking.

Click here to watch an interview with an RE graduate, Mike Smith

This programme provides graduate engineers, geologists, and other scientists with the practical specialist knowledge and understanding of the geology, performance and management of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

You will gain hands-on experience of industry-standard software including Petrel and Eclipse in all aspects of reservoir engineering and a group design exercise provides you with an opportunity to apply a range of concepts to the appraisal of a prospect and selection of appropriate technologies and solutions for viable development and management of oil and gas fields.

The highlight of the programme is the 6-day field trip undertaken in semester 2, which gives you vital field-based study experience and provides an opportunity to integrate all of the elements from the taught part of the course.

Our close working relationship with local oil and gas industry, including Apache, Statoil, Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Dana Petroleum, Halliburton, Shell, Pemex and SaudiAramco, ensures a high level of industry engagement, including industry-based based projects, site visits and guest lectures from practising reservoir engineers.

Wider societal topics such as ethics, sustainability and environmental issues are covered in the taught courses. In addition, students study a business course on commercial evaluation, including the economics of exploration and production; the role of markets; project economic analysis; the economic impact of uncertainty and risk.

Graduates of Reservoir Engineering can also work in other related fields such as underground water, geo-thermal energy, and underground pollution.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Fundamentals of Petroleum Geoscience (GL5033) - 15 Credit Points

The course covers aspects of geology, geophysics and prospect evaluation to illustrate how geologists deal with uncertainty and risk during the exploration process. It will look at the place of the geoscientist during the productive life of an oilfield. Another key aspect of this course will be the issue of communication between geoscientists and engineers. By the end of this course students should understand how geologists explore for oil and gas, and the main tools at their disposal; the role of the geophysicist; how to make prospect maps; petroleum volumetrics; subsurface fluid flow; and the creation of static reservoir models.

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Petrophysics, Core Analysis and Formation Evaluation (GL5307) - 15 Credit Points

This course looks at the tools available to analyse the lithology and fluid content of a reservoir and how petrophysicists work with other discipline to estimate e hydrocarbon volumes in the subsurface. The course identifies the multiple data sources required for reservoir evaluation, emphasising integration of all available data, potential sources of error and uncertainty within the data. It shows how to relate wireline data to core; gives a solid grounding in the acquisition and evaluation of routine (RCA) and special (SCAL) core analysis datasets; and teaches how to apply these principles to a fully computerised formation evaluation workflow

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Reservoir Engineering (EG501L) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides an understanding of the flow of hydrocarbon fluids through reservoir rocks and the interplay between the fluid and rock properties and reservoir performance.

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Introduction to Energy Economics (BU5053) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces key techniques from economics and finance to allowing understanding of the basics of business decision making within the energy industries and the economic implications of key energy policies. We consider basic financial concepts such as: present value, the opportunity cost of capital and their role in business decision making in energy industries. We also consider key economic elements of markets and how the economic environment structures the way in which businesses make decisions and energy market outcomes.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Principles of Static and Dynamic Modelling (GL5536) - 30 Credit Points

The course will develop practical skills in clastic and carbonate sedimentology, stratigraphy, and diagenesis; it will show how sedimentological and stratigraphic knowledge is crucial in understanding the architecture of reservoirs, and is fundamental in making predictive models. The origin and effects of reservoir fluids and subsequent diagenesis will also be covered. The course includes components of structural geology, tectonics, organic geochemistry, and basin modelling. It incorporates a 10-day field trip which gives students a chance to integrate all of the elements in the taught part of the course. Currently this field trip is planned to the Wessex Basin, in Dorset.

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Reservoir Simulation (GL5539) - 15 Credit Points

Reservoir simulation is an indispensable tool for today's reservoir engineers. Using this approach engineers can develop better designs and processes for exploitation of subsurface resources. This course will provide students with basic knowledge of the technologies used in the oil and gas industry for modelling complex flows in reservoirs.

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Group Project and Research Skills (GL5523) - 15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to teach a critical approach for evaluation and appraisal and the ability to carry this out as part of a diverse team. The course is centred around a three-week group project in reservoir modelling, incorporating dynamic modelling and history matching. This course will allow the development of the necessary skills to undertake the independent project. Specific elements will also address: presentation and communication skills; standards of professional behaviour; work in different teams in pursuit of common goals; and how to design and execute a research project relevant to the hydrocarbon industry.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

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.

Project in Reservoir Engineering (GL5909) - 60 Credit Points

The aims of this course are:

1. to provide an opportunity to study large-scale examples of a wide spectrum of reservoir phenomena, and to evaluate them in the context of petroleum engineering and cognate areas of petroleum geoscience within the economic context of the hydrocarbon industry; and

2. to undertake and complete the 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.

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Course Availability

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.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

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

Assessment Methods

By written examination, continuous assessment and coursework as prescribed for each course.

Why Study Reservoir Engineering?

  •  Aberdeen is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a research-led degree with a focus on employability.
  • There are only a few Reservoir Engineering degrees available in the UK. We are the only one delivered from the very heart of Europe's Energy capital.
  • You will take part in a 6-day field trip as part of the programme, giving you vital field-based study experience and providing a chance to integrate all of the elements from the taught part of the course. 
  • This programme will develop core competencies and capabilities within the reservoir engineering discipline, allowing you to integrate your work with other disciplines and functions and to understand the role of the reservoir engineer within the overall commercial and economic structure of the international oil industry.
  • By the end of the programme you will have knowledge of Data Acquisition & Management (particularly the design, planning and execution of fluid sampling and well tests); Reservoir Surveillance and Management; Reservoir Modelling and Analysis; Estimation of Hydrocarbon Reserves and Resources; and Field Level Planning for Development and Redevelopment.
  • You will also gain exposure to the business and commercial elements of the industry: the economics of exploration and production; the role of markets; project economic analysis; the economic impact of uncertainty and risk.
  • As well as the academic skills, the programme will give you the transferable skills required by industry: observation and synthesis; public speaking and presentation; written communication; and research design and methods.
  • We have created a world-class learning environment and we pride ourselves on being a close community of staff and students, working together.
  • Organisations that we work with across a number of areas include – Apache, Equinor, Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Dana Petroleum, Halliburton, Shell, Pemex and SaudiAramco, to name a few. These links, and more, help us deliver world-class teaching and research.
  • Demand for qualified Reservoir Engineers remains strong within the oil and gas industry, owing to the highly specialist nature of the position which requires highly detailed knowledge of computer simulation and modelling. In addition to oil and gas, Reservoir Engineers are also in demand in other fields, including underground water and geo-thermal energy.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree, or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth in Engineering, or a Geoscience discipline which includes at least one module of Geophysics.

Key subjects you must have covered: Mathematics (at least one year of university maths, or Higher/Advanced Higher/A-level or other indicator i.e. Geophysics).

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,600
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
International Students £27,600
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


On the programme you are given several opportunities to engage directly with industry. This level of exposure gives you an excellent opportunity to build a network of industry contacts who may be able to advise on potential career opportunities in the future.

The strong level of industry input also ensures that you are prepared to work in the industry and have been educated in key, relevant areas.

Career Opportunities

  • Production Engineering
  • Production Technologist
  • Reservoir Engineer
  • Reservoir Simulation Engineer
  • Well Planning Engineer


This degree holds accreditation from

  • Energy Institute
Image for useful fact about this Degree

6th best Geology Department in the UK

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

Image for useful fact about this Degree

1st for Research Impact - Earth Sciences

1st in Scotland for research impact (REF 2014) 

What our Alumni Say

Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Job Details
Regional Head of Training, Rock Flow Dynamics
Graduated 2016

My current job at RFD entails model building, reservoir simulation and many more subject areas, all of which have been built on from skills learnt on this programme. The most relevant skills acquired were from practical workshops using industry-leading model building and simulation software’s, which required logical thinking and problem solving.

Nana Kutin

Nana Kutin

Nana Kutin

Graduated 2017

This course was hands down some of the best team working experiences I've had. The backgrounds of the people in the course were truly multi-disciplinary. They also had a broad range of work experiences, so I could always talk to any of my classmates and share perspective and understanding of topics when it wasn't so clear.

Our Experts

Teaching will be delivered by University of Aberdeen academics, highly recognised in their fields of expertise, from the School of Geosciences and the School of Engineering. Through the Economics course, students also receive teaching from the Business School.

We also have industry professionals contributing to key elements of the programme. This provides students with a unique insight into the latest industry thinking and the opportunity to network with experienced industry professionals.

Other Expert
Professor David Macdonald
Programme Coordinator
Dr Mehrdad Manzari

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX