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Petroleum Engineers are at the forefront of ensuring that we have an abundant supply of oil and gas, in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner. With continued worldwide demand for energy, there is no better time to be a Petroleum Engineer.
We are the only University in Scotland that offers an undergraduate Petroleum Engineering degree and also a general engineering curriculum.
Ranked in the Ten best UK universities to study engineering (The Telegraph, 2018)
This programme is studied on campus.
Petroleum Engineering is concerned with the exploration for and extraction of hydrocarbons, e.g. crude oil and natural gas. Petroleum Engineers use creative and imaginative knowledge of petroleum geology, reservoir behaviour as well as fundamental engineering principles to develop effective and safe solutions for the exploration, recovery and transportation of hydrocarbon products trapped underground, onshore or offshore, and in very challenging environment.
Located in the heart of the energy industry in Europe, Aberdeen is an International Centre of Excellence for exploration and production of oil and gas, providing services for not only the North Sea but also many provinces worldwide. The distinctiveness of the Petroleum Engineering degree programme is provided by its combination of excellence in both engineering and in petroleum geoscience. With engineering at its heart, the programme draws upon well-established expertise in petroleum exploration and geoscience within the University, and the local oil and gas industry, to provide students with a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the challenges faced by petroleum engineers and the petroleum energy industry sector.
The first two years cover general Engineering, with elements of Chemical, Mechanical, Petroleum and Electrical/Electronics, as well as Civil. In the later years you specialise, following your chosen discipline in greater depth. You do not need to finalise your choice of specialisation until you begin third year.
It is possible to move between MEng and BEng and this can be accomplished at any point until the second half session of fourth year. Successful BEng candidates will be offered the chance to change to the MEng and there is no quota, meaning that if grade requirements are met that transfer is guaranteed.
In year 1 you can study topics such as Engineering Mathematics, Principles of Electronics, Electronics Design, Fundamental Engineering Mechanics, Fundamentals of Engineering Materials and Computer Aided Design & Communication.
The aim of the course is to introduce basic concepts of electrical & electronics within a context of general engineering. The topics covered are kept at an elementary level with the aim of providing the foundational material for subsequent courses at levels 1 and 2. The course adopts the philosophy of application oriented teaching. During each topic the students will be provided with examples of day-to-day devices. Topics covered include dc circuit analysis, electronic amplifiers, digital circuits, optoelectronics, and ac theory.
Chemistry plays a central role in modern science and engineering, not only because of the insights it gives on the composition, properties, and reactivity of matter but also because of its wide-ranging applications. This course seeks to consolidate some of the important fundamentals of chemistry that underlie many topics and principles across the physical sciences and engineering, bringing together molecular structure, reaction mechanisms, the driving forces behind chemical reactions, and methods of chemical analysis and structure determination.
Workshops and laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.
course is designed to introduce the students to different methods of
communication in the process of interchanging ideas and information. Oral presentation
and writing of technical reports are introduced. The importing data from
web-based and library-based sources will be integrated through information retrieval
and investigative skills training. Professional ethics are covered on plagiarism,
copyright and intellectual property. Engineering drawing skills and knowledge
of relevant British and International Standards will be developed through
intensive training in the use of computer aided design and modelling package,
SolidWorks. Standard drawing formats including 3D depiction of stand alone
parts and assemblies are covered.
The course presents fundamental mathematical ideas useful in the study of Engineering. A major focus of the course is on differential and integral calculus. Applications to Engineering problems involving rates of change and averaging processes are emphasized. Complex numbers are introduced and developed. The course provides the necessary mathematical background for other engineering courses in level 2.
Engineering design depends on materials being shaped, finished and joined together. Design requirements define the performance required of the materials. What do engineers need to know about materials to choose and use them successfully? They need a perspective of the world of materials. They need understanding of material properties. They need methods and tools to select the right material for the job. This course will help you develop knowledge and skills required for the successful selection and use of engineering materials.
Engineering Mechanics is concerned with the state of rest or motion of objects subject to the action of forces. The topic is divided into two parts: STATICS which considers the equilibrium of objects which are either at rest or move at a constant velocity, and DYNAMICS which deals with the motion and associated forces of accelerating bodies. The former is particularly applied to beams and truss structures. The latter includes a range of applications, such as car suspension systems, motion of a racing car, missiles, vibration isolation systems, and so on.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
The fluid mechanics section of the course begins with the material properties of fluids. This is followed by studying fluid statics and principles of fluid motion. Bernoulli’s equation is used to explain the relationship between pressure and velocity. The final fluids section introduces the students to incompressible flow in pipelines.
The thermodynamics section presents: the gas laws, including Van Der Waals’ equation; the first law of thermodynamics with work done, heat supply, and the definitions of internal energy and enthalpy. The second law is introduced including entropy through the Carnot cycle.
A general engineering course that provides an insight into the principles of engineering design process, computer programming in MATLAB and its application in parametric study and basic design optimisation, environmental ethics and sustainability in the context of design, and Computer Aided Design (CAD) using Solidworks. The course also includes hands-on exercises on the manufacture of simple parts using a variety of machine tools and joining processes.
A general engineering course that provides insight into the two main conservation principles, mass and energy. Processes are usually described through block diagrams. This language, common to many disciplines in engineering, helps the engineer to look at their processes with an analytical view. Degree of freedom analysis is addressed, emphasising its importance to solve a set of linear equations that model fundamental balances of mass. Practical examples of Energy balances are displayed, bringing Thermodynamics to a practical level. Heat Transfer is introduced. Process control is introduced, explaining basic control techniques and concepts, i.e sensors, feedback, control loops and PID controllers.
This course provides students with the opportunity to refresh and extend their knowledge to analyse the mechanical behaviour of engineering materials and structures. In particular, mechanical properties of materials, and 2D and 3D stresses and strains are examined, the effects of internal imperfections on the performance of materials under loading, brittle fracture, fatigue and non-destructive testing are discussed. The structural analysis of beams and columns, deflection and buckling, as well as design applications are also considered in the course.
This course provides students with an integrated development of methods for modelling, analysing and designing systems comprising electrical and mechanical components. In doing so it intends to emphasise to the students the similarity in behaviour between electrical and mechanical systems. The course aims to give an introduction to both electrical machines, circuit and systems, transformers, and similar mechanical systems like gearbox, vibrating system and principles of dynamics, and thus provide the foundation material for several courses at level 3 .
This course is an introduction to the formation mechanisms and controls on formation of the three major rock groups: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. The relationship between plate tectonics and the petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks, including types and styles of volcanic eruptions will be addressed. The formation and fill of sedimentary basins and their importance in the accumulation of hydrocarbons is an integral part of the course. Practical classes will centre around the nature of geological materials and how the atomic and molecular properties of minerals scale up to the physical properties of rocks.
You have the opportunity to study from a range of courses leading to specialisation in your chosen discipline. The opportunity exists to study a European language to support this study. Formal courses continue to develop your specialist interests.
Modern engineering analysis relies on a wide range of analytical mathematical methods and computational techniques in order to solve a wide range of problems. The aim of this course is to equip students with the necessary skills to quantitatively investigate engineering problems. Examples applying the methods taught to practical situations from across the full range of engineering disciplines will feature heavily in the course.
The course begins with dimensional analysis and the concept of dynamic similarity applied to fluid flow phenomena. This is followed by sections on the energy and momentum equations applied to a range of problems in civil, mechanical, chemical and petroleum engineering, including steady flow in pipes, design of pump-pipeline systems, cavitation, forces on bends, nozzles and solid bodies, turbomachinery and propeller theory. A section on unsteady flow applies inertia and water hammer theory to the calculation of pressure surge in pipes. The final section deals with flow through porous media such as flow through soils and rocks.
The process of drilling an oil and gas well will be outlined. We will look at the surface equipment, downhole technologies and associated safety issues. Drilling fluids, casing and cementing the well, directional drilling etc. will be investigated
This course focuses on applied momentum, heat, and mass transport in engineering problems. It demonstrates how fundamental design equations can be derived for a wide range of real engineering problems (e.g. nuclear fuel rods, coal combustion, radiation shielding, electrical heaters, toothpaste etc). This course makes it clear that engineering is the art of applying mathematics to the real world and develops the tools required to tackle a wide range of challenges.
The analytical results of transport phenomena are demonstrated in simple systems before discussing more complex systems, such as multiphase flow, which require the use of semi-empirical correlations to solve.
This course presents an introduction to the theories that govern the flow of oil and gas through a reservoir rock. The mechanisms that drive the fluid flow through the reservoir and that control hydrocarbon production are described and discussed. Some ways of increasing hydrocarbon production are introduced. The course is intended for students on the honours petroleum engineering degree program and students will require a strong engineering, or physics background (to level 3) and a good grasp of engineering mathematics at level 3 (or equivalent).
This course aims to introduce participants to the concept of the petroleum system, demonstrating how all the elements are necessary for a conventional accumulation of hydrocarbons. It will deal particularly with the ways that geologists think – particularly in the exploration phase – and show how explorationists make risked predictions of volumes in frontier areas. The course looks in detail at reservoir architecture and the factors that influence the performance of reservoirs. The course includes two full days of geological fieldwork.
This course provides experience of working in a team by carrying
out a practical well engineering design.
design will draw on theories and concepts from courses previously and/or
currently being studied by the student. This course may be accompanied by
lectures from practising engineers on professional aspects of petroleum
engineering design and practice. Students will be encouraged to attend relevant
local meetings of professional engineering societies and institutions.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of well fluid and reservoir testing and the implications for reservoir characterisation. The theory of reservoir pressure testing is introduced, testing methods examined and some of the standard analysis techniques are explored using both “hand calculations” and industry standard software.
To provide the student with the opportunity of pursuing a substantial and realistic research project in the practice of engineering at or near a professional level, and to further enhance the student's critical and communication skills. The project will usually be carried out at the University of Aberdeen but may be carried out at industry or other research location.
This course provides students with an understanding of advanced concepts of geomechanics and their application to safe, environmentally friendly and efficient drilling for, and production of, hydrocarbon fluids. The course has no formal pre-requisites, but is intended for students on the Honours Petroleum Engineering Degree Programme and students will require a strong Engineering, or Physics background (to Level 3), and a good grasp of Engineering Mathematics at Level 3 (or equivalent).
This course provides students with understanding of analytical methods that can be used to assess different improved hydrocarbon recovery methods and identify the principal mechanisms controlling the performance of producing oil and gas reservoirs.
This course provides a detailed overview of oil and
gas field development from discovery to abandonment with particular focus on
the decisions made prior to first production. The roles of uncertainties,
economics considerations, safety and environmental impact on the design choices
This course examines various natural
resource forms which are source of hydrocarbons but its extraction poses an
engineering challenge. It analyses the utilisation coal in the form of methane
production from its seams and underground coal gasification, hydrocarbon
production from shale, oil sands and methane hydrates. This course encompasses a wider approach from
the fundamentals of hydrocarbon placement, retention and transport phenomena in
porous media to environmental impact assessment of extraction activities.
Resource estimation and reservoir engineering aspects specific to each of the
aforementioned resources will be discussed. Case studies of geological basins
with successful unconventional hydrocarbon recovery are analysed.
Students will examine the societal grand challenges of water, food, medicine and energy (electricity and heat) to thread together the themes of environment, sustainability and ethics.
The course also aims to provide graduates with a versatile framework for evaluating and developing business models which should prove invaluable for both potential entrepreneurs and future senior executives.
Smooth petroleum production requires an understanding of all technical disciplines in facility design and their deliverables as well as of specific new technologies. Competent facilities engineering is needed from concept selection to commissioning and maintenance.
Facilities engineering course focuses on equipment and systems from the well head to the delivery point of the oil and gas industry. This includes not only the processing of the oil and gas but the support systems which might include water treatment, power generation and pollution abatement.
The course provides an understanding of theoretical formulation, data sources and integration into simulator, and quantification of uncertainties necessary for transforming real reservoir engineering problems into manageable numerical simulation models.
contemporary engineering projects and challenges invariably require inputs from,
and collaboration amongst, multiple disciplines. Furthermore, legal and
economic aspects, as well as safety, team work and project management must also
be successfully navigated through. This course enables students to immerse
themselves in a realistic, multidisciplinary, multifaceted and complex team
design project that will draw on their previous specialist learning and also
enable gaining and practicing new skills of direct relevance to their
With growing demand on energy, there is increasing need to maximise the production of oil and gas, especially from depleting reservoirs. This course examines the methods and processes of enhanced recovery of oil and gas and provides students with the knowledge and understanding required to develop, acquire and safely integrate enhanced oil recovery technologies into field development plan and field operations.
Wave equations describe transient phenomena commonly encountered in all areas of engineering. This course covers: (i) elastic waves, such as response of offshore structures to wind or wave loading, earthquakes; (ii) acoustic waves such as water hammer in pipelines, micro-pressure waves in railway tunnels; (iii) electromagnetic waves, such as signals in transmission lines, transient states in DC cables. These phenomena in real world engineering applications are simulated using several numerical methods. Students develop their own simulation codes using Matlab or any other programming language, and run a series of simulations for the problem of their choice.
The course aims to provide understanding of main principles and techniques underpinning computational fluid dynamics (CFD) combining numerical methods with practical experience using appropriate software. The course develops a foundation for understanding, developing and analysing successful simulations of fluid flows applicable to a broad range of applications.
Decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure requires graduates to have a competent and realistic understanding of well plugging and abandonment. This course allows students to understand the scientific, engineering, and economic rationale for abandoning wells and decommissioning fields.
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
How the programme is assessed
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
Why Study Petroleum Engineering?
We are the only University in Scotland that offers an undergraduate Petroleum Engineering degree and also a general engineering curriculum.
With Engineering at its heart, our Petroleum Engineering programme draws upon well-established expertise in Petroleum Geology within the University, and the local oil and gas industry.
The first two years of our engineering programmes cover general engineering. This means you develop vital knowledge in all engineering areas – making you far more adaptable in employment.
We deliver teaching in world class facilities, including laboratories dedicated to particular areas of work such as satellite communications, computer aided design, electrical machines, materials testing, laser welding, hydraulics and fluids, large structures and geotechnics.
The School has produced thousands of world-class graduates over the decades, many who have progressed into Managing Director and Chief Executive roles in the oil and gas and wider energy industries.
Across a number of our programmes, we work closely with colleagues across geology, chemistry and business disciplines to ensure the teaching is fit-for purpose.
We are well connected with local, national and international industry, particularly in the oil/gas/energy industry where you get the chance to experience real-life industry challenges and projects, through guest lectures, company visits and networking events.
All of our degrees have been accredited by the relevant professional engineering institutions, providing you with your first step into becoming a chartered engineer. Undergraduate Engineers intending to follow a professional engineering career should consider student membership of the appropriate Engineering Institution.
Our award winning Society of Petroleum Engineers Student Chapter is one of the 230 student chapters around the world. We build strong relationships with members and non-members alike, and help you gain insight into the oil and gas industry.
Hands-on experience of laboratory experiments and of industry-standard software is used to enhance your learning. Group design exercises based on real case field data and supervised by practising professionals from industry prepares you for work.
Opportunities exist for industry sponsored scholarships and bursaries, final year individual projects undertaken with industry, and study abroad opportunities.
I carried out a summer internship at Equinor. You have the opportunity to apply the knowledge you've learnt at University in a real working environment. The people you meet are great at speaking to in regards to careers paths.
During my degree I gained work experience on a Summer Internship. My transferable skills, including team work, communication skills and time management have developed greatly.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
SQA Highers Standard: AABB (Mathematics and Physics or Engineering Science required*) Applicants who achieve the Standard entry requirements over S4 and S5 will be made either an unconditional or conditional offer of admission.
A Levels Standard: ABB (AB required in Mathematics, plus at least one from Physics, Design & Technology, Engineering or Chemistry). Applicants who are predicted to achieve the Standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and may be made a conditional offer of admission.
* FOR CHEMICAL AND PETROLEUM ENGINEERING PROGRAMMES: Please note: For entry to Chemical and Petroleum Engineering an SQA Higher or GCE A Level or equivalent qualification in Chemistry is required for entry to year 1, in addition to the general Engineering requirements.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Engineering degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate 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:
Equipped with a balanced portfolio of knowledge on the full lifecycle of hydrocarbon production, graduates from this discipline are highly sought after by a range of companies; from major operators and multinational service providers to small and medium enterprise technology companies.
A degree in Petroleum Engineering allows graduates to function effectively in a complex environment and to work across the disciplines of petroleum geology, drilling, production and process engineering. In addition, the underlying attributes, such as logical analysis, problem solving, management and communication, allow them to develop a career in a range of other sectors including finance and management. If you are interested in applying the knowledge of geology and physics in creating engineering systems for safe and sustainable harnessing of the primary source of energy used by the modern society, then you should consider Petroleum Engineering.â€‹
According to your choice of curriculum, our MEng Honours degree is an accredited five-year Honours programme satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Energy Institute or by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The BEng Honours degree is an accredited four year Honours degree programme partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) while it fully meets the educational base for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration.
Top 5 in UK for Employability
1st in Scotland 3rd in the UK for graduate engineering employability (Guardian League Tables, 2016/17)
Scotland's number 1 School of General Engineering
Scotland's number 1 School of General Engineering, 10th in the UK
What our Alumni Say
Wells, Reservoir, Facilities Management Production Technologist
Itâ€™s best to learn from people who have worked in the energy industry and have actually applied all the methods & technology that is being delivered in the Petroleum Engineering program â€“ Aberdeen is in the perfect location for just that.
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.
TAU Formula Racing
TAU (Team Aberdeen University) Racing was established by a group of undergraduate engineers at the University. The goal each year is to design and build a single seat racing car to compete at Silverstone in the Formula Student competition.
Society of Petroleum Engineers, Student Chapter is one of the 230 student chapters around the world. Currently, our chapter is managed by 6 elected committee members and is advised by Dr. Akisanya. We have more than 150 members.