Introduction

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.

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 environments.

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.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
BEng
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
H851

What You'll Study

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.

This is also the point at which a final decision between MEng and BEng must be made. Successful BEng candidates will be offered the chance to change to the MEng.

Year 1

Year 1

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.

Compulsory Courses

Principles of Electronics (EG1008) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Chemistry for the Physical Sciences 2 (CM1513) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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CAD and Communication in Engineering Practice (EG1010) - 15 Credit Points

The 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.

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Engineering Mathematics 1 (EG1504) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Fundamental Engineering Mechanics (EG1510) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Fundamentals of Engineering Materials (EG1012) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

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

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics (EG2004) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Design and Computing in Engineering Practice (EG2501) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Process Engineering (EG2011) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Solids and Structures (EA2502) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Electrical and Mechanical Systems (EG2503) - 15 Credit Points

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 .

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Introduction to Geology for Petroleum Engineers (GL2512) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Engineering Mathematics 2 (EG2012) - 15 Credit Points

This course follows Engineering Mathematics 1 in introducing all the mathematical objects and techniques needed by engineers. It has three parts:

  • Matrices: definitions, operations, inverse and determinant; application to systems of linear equations.
  • Ordinary differential equations: 1st order (linear and separable), 2nd order with constant coefficients, forced osciallations and resonance.
  • Functions of two variables: partial derivatives and extrema, the chain rule, the heat equation and the wave equation.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

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.

Compulsory Courses

Engineering Analysis and Methods 1 (EG3007) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Project and Safety Management (EG3599) - 10 Credit Points

To course aims to provide students with an awareness of purpose, principals, fundamental concepts and strategies of safety and project management.

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Fluid Mechanics (EM3019) - 15 Credit Points

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 propellor 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.

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Reservoir Engineering 1 (EP3595) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Heat, Mass & Momentum Transfer (EX3030) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Reservoir Engineering 1 - Fundamentals (EP3596) - 15 Credit Points

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).

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Petroleum Geology and Reservoir Characterisation (GL3029) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Petroleum Engineering Design (EP3597) - 10 Credit Points

This course provides experience of working in a team by carrying out a practical well engineering design.

The 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.

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Well Testing (EP3598) - 10 Credit Points

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.

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Year 4

Year 4

The major feature is the individual project in the area of your specialisation. The project occupies half of your study time and can be undertaken in Aberdeen or abroad. The opportunity exists to study a European language to support this study.

Compulsory Courses

Geomechanics (EP4015) - 10 Credit Points

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).

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Reservoir Engineering II: Performance (EP4019) - 10 Credit Points

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.

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Petroleum Production Engineering and Technology (EP4018) - 10 Credit Points

This course provides detailed understanding of the methodologies and relevant engineering science and technology for efficient and safe production of oil and gas.

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Optional Courses

Option 1

  • BEng Individual Project (EG4014)
  • Group Design Project (BEng) (EG4578)
  • Field Development and Petroleum Economics (EP4531)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice

Option 2

  • Engineering Project Abroad (BEng) (EG4011)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
BEng Individual Project (EG4014) - 30 Credit Points

To provide the student with the opportunity of pursuing a substantial and realistic exercise 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.

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Group Design Project (BEng) (EG4578) - 15 Credit Points

This course is a concentrated design and reporting exercise which requires application of project management and team liaison skills in addition to technical design ability. Specific exercises will include interdisciplinary aspects and will relate to design requirements arising from the professional activities of the School of Engineering or its industrial contacts. Written and oral presentations form part of the course.

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Field Development and Petroleum Economics (EP4531) - 15 Credit Points

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 are explored.

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Engineering Project Abroad (BEng) (EG4011) - 60 Credit Points

The course is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to carry out a project in an approved European institution by pursuing a substantial and realistic exercise in the practice of engineering at or near a professional level, and to further enhance the student's critical and communication skills.

View detailed information about this course

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
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

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 within 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.

What Our Students Say

  • Adam Zalewski
    Adam Zalewski

    Adam Zalewski

    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.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

4 Highers at ABBB - AB required in Mathematics and in Physics/Engineering Science. If applicant presents with H in Engineering Science instead of Physics, Mathematics must be A grade. S at grades 1, 2, or 3, or National 5 at grades A, B or C in English.

3 A Levels at BBB, B in Mathematics and Physics or a B in Design and Technology or a B in Engineering. GCSE English at C.

Note: 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.

Further detailed entry requirements for Engineering degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £18,400
Students Admitted in 2018/19 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.

Funding Opportunities

Funding may be available from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

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.​

Career Opportunities

  • Design Engineer
  • Environmental Adviser
  • Field Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Production Technologist

Accreditation

Most engineers achieve professional status in the UK through membership of one of the Engineering Institutions and register as Chartered Engineers. Chartered Engineers can practice in Europe and our Honours degrees are recognised by the European Federation of National Engineering Associations.

The Engineering Institutions regularly review degree programmes and accredit those they find suitable on behalf of the Engineering Council (UK) and Engineering and Technology Board.

What our Alumni Say

  • Nurkenay Bulekbayeva
    Nurkenay Bulekbayeva, Wells, Reservoir, Facilities Management Production Technologist at

    Nurkenay Bulekbayeva

    Job Details
    Wells, Reservoir, Facilities Management Production Technologist
    Graduated
    It’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 – Aberdeen is in the perfect location for just that.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Paul Davidson
Dr Thangavel Thevar
Professor Ran Levi
Professor Maria Kashtalyan
Dr Oleksandr Menshykov
Programme Coordinator
Professor Alfred Akisanya

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.

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Top 5 in UK for Employability

1st  in Scotland 3rd  in the UK for graduate engineering employability (Guardian League Tables, 2016/17)

Features

Image for SPE Student Chapter
SPE Student Chapter

SPE Student Chapter

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.

Find out more
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TAU Formula Racing

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.

Find out more
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Engineering Society

Engineering Society

Student led social and employability events and networking.

Find out more
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Scotland's number 1 School of General Engineering

Scotland's number 1 School of General Engineering, 10th in the UK

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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