MSc Petroleum Geoscience

The course is open to applications for 2018

  • Overview

    The course is taught over one year, full time, by leading researchers in the field from the University of Manchester. Course content is continually refreshed and updated to reflect current thinking and geoscience techniques. We also have close links with industry, including most major oil companies, who provide additional input into our courses and also deliver some of the content alongside careers presentations.

    A range of geological and geophysical subjects are taught covering the hydrocarbon industry value chain from acquisition, exploration and appraisal to development and production. A multidisciplinary approach takes students through investigation of outcrop analogues as well as geophysical investigation of subsurface hydrocarbon systems.

    The course is aimed at recent graduates as well as individuals with some industrial experience. As part of the course training is provided in technical areas such as core logging and industry standard software. Content is advised on by industrial partners with the aim of maintaining relevance to company needs. The course provides an thorough grounding for work in the hydrocarbon industry, or further PhD research.

    Maura's Point, Loop Head Peninsula on west Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way
    MSc Petroleum Geoscience field trip, County Clare, Ireland.

  • Why study at Manchester?

    • 2018 QS World University Ranking places Manchester as the 34th best university in the world, and the seventh best in the UK.
    • Research led teaching: MSc is integrated with the Basin Studies Research Group, one of the largest and most experienced teams in UK, with added strength and depth derived from dedicated external teachers.
    • Course fee is all inclusive: Fieldwork, £250 of field equipment and final project costs are all included in the fee.
    • Unrivalled teaching and research facilities. Dedicated MSc Petroleum Geoscience computing lab with a workstation for each student. 
    • Field classes tailored to industry demand.
    • Huge range in final projects from field studies to subsurface datasets. Many projects linked to company datasets. Students showcase projects at an end of course conference.
    • Good employment record. Recent students employed with Statoil, Shell, ERCL, etc.
    • Many students continue on to PhD study.
    • Manchester is a vibrant, centrally located city.

    MSc conference 2017
    MSc Petroleum Geoscience staff and students at 2017 conference.

  • Programme structure

    To reflect the demands of the industry we have developed two petroleum geoscience postgraduate courses:
        Petroleum Geoscience for Exploration [MSc]
        Petroleum Geoscience for Reservoir Development and Production [MSc]

    The courses are designed to allow you to excel in your chosen area, while maintaining a broad education in petroleum geology, geophysics and an introduction to reservoir engineering. They will prepare you for employment as geologists, geophysicists, or a more specialist career as a petrophysicist, basin analyst or operations geologist.

    The emphasis is on teaching practical aspects of petroleum geoscience which can be readily applied in an industrial environment. Aspects of the practical applications are taught by practising professional geologists from the petroleum industry. Fieldwork studies are an important component of the course. Attendance at appropriate conferences and workshops is encouraged.

    Course overview:

    Semester 1 is taught jointly between both MSc courses and builds a foundation of knowledge in petroleum geoscience. The core subjects cover the fundamentals of petroleum geoscience, such as reservoir geology, geophysics fundamentals, petrophysics, operations geology, fundamentals of exploration and production geoscience and geochemistry.

    Semester 2 separates the year group into dedicated Exploration and Development course groups. Both courses share some units, but each will include specifically tailored units.

    From June until August students undertake an Independent Research Project. Students can specialise during this period. Many students will take the opportunity for industrial placement to complete a project using data provided by a sponsor oil company. The results are presented as a poster, a written dissertation and orally to a group of invited guests from the petroleum industry at the end of the year.

  • Petroleum Geoscience for Exploration

    This course focuses on exploration geoscience and develops key skills for understanding petroleum systems. You will learn how to evaluate sedimentary basins and leads along with prospect generation. You will be given the skills to explore for oil and gas (and unconventional hydrocarbons). We provide a global overview of major hydrocarbon provinces, as well as current exploration trends.

    This masters course is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in the oil industry working in exploration for oil and gas. It is also suitable for anyone who wishes to focus on field appraisal and development.

    For full details of couse modules see here.

    Semester 2 among others, teaching comprises four specialist units:

    • 3D Seismic Interpretation and Basin Analysis develops interpretation skills using Petrel. We teach you the theory and techniques for basin analysis and modelling, structural and stratigraphic trapping mechanisms, and petroleum system analysis.
    • The Group Exploration Project is run as part of the AAPG Barrel award. Working in groups of four or five and mentored by research students and staff, you will analyse a typical exploration dataset.
    • Field Appraisal and Development introduces you to the tools and techniques used by petroleum engineers to develop oil and gas fields. You will discover the roles of the geoscientist in oil and gas field development.
    • Prospect Evaluation and Petroleum Economics shows you how to develop leads and prospects, assess reserves and risk, and evaluate value using petroleum economics.
  • Petroleum Geoscience for Reservoir Development and Production

    The oil industry has clear objectives to maximise recovery from oil and gas fields, and to extend the life of existing fields. This course aims to meet the need for skilled personnel by training graduates that specialise in appraisal/development/production geoscience and the fundamentals of reservoir engineering. There course features training in seismic interpretation which leads into modelling of the reservoir, fluid flow, and the impact of recovery mechanisms and dynamic displacement.

    Semester 2 comprises four specialist units:

    • Integrated Subsurface Description, covering 3D seismic interpretation and visualisation; trapping framework; reservoir framework; reservoir and fluid properties; uncertainty and risk.
    • Oil and Gas Reservoir Dynamics, covering reservoir compartments; reservoir energy and recovery mechanisms; geological reservoir modelling; reservoir simulation; well testing.
    • The Group Development Project requires you to work in groups of four or five. You will be mentored by research students and staff to undertake a field evaluation using a typical dataset.
    • Field Depletion Planning covers resource assessment; rate production profile prediction; depletion planning; how to operate in an oil and gas field; health and safety; petroleum economics and risk analysis; reservoir management; and base management.
  • Ruairidh Salmon

    What our alumni say

    Ruairidh is a graduate of MSc Petroleum Geoscsience for Exploration

    The MSc provided me with a more technical understanding of petroleum systems, geophysics, sedimentology and stratigraphy along with experience of working within an international team.

    Read more about Ruairidh 

    Did you know?

    90% of our Petroleum Geoscience graduates are now working full-time as geoscientists in industry (Source: Graduate DLHE Survey 2012)
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