Petroleum Engineering [MEng] Year 1

You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts that you will need to study Petroleum Engineering. Since many of our students have no previous experience of Earth systems, you will receive an overall introduction to Earth Science so that you are aware of its importance to the exploitation of hydrocarbons.

You will also receive grounding in the fundamental physical, chemical and mathematical concepts necessary to describe fluid flow in porous media. We will tutor you in learning techniques and help you to develop skills that allow you to make the most of what you are taught in lectures, perform well in exams, and find the information that you need online and in the University library.

Field course to North Wales

Year 1 Aims

Year 1 aims to introduce you to the basic concepts of Petroleum Engineering. In particular we will discuss how the Earth was formed, what it is made of and what resources are extracted from it. We will introduce you to the geological and engineering nomenclature used by Petroleum Engineers and the basic geometrical relationships that can be observed in rocks at, and close to, the Earth's surface. Crucially we will also provide you with the vital mathematical skills needed by a Petroleum Engineer, introduce you to the fundamental processes of fluid flow, and provide you with the basic laboratory skills necessary for this discipline. We assume you have no prior knowledge of this subject area.

Year 1 Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of Year 1 you will:

  • appreciate the interdisciplinary nature and scope of petroleum engineering;
  • understand the basic processes that formed the Earth, both in terms of its material properties and the structural relationships that can be observed;
  • know how to interpret basic 3D rock geometries (structural and sedimentological) from geological maps;
  • know what the Earth is composed of, and have a good grasp of the nomenclature used to describe rocks and their properties in the Engineering and Geological literature;
  • know how to describe rocks in the field and be aware of the material differences (grain size, mineralogy, porosity and permeability) in sedimentary rocks at a variety scales in the context of petroleum engineering;
  • appreciate how the key Earth Resources, and particularly hydrocarbons, were formed;
  • have the basic mathematical skills to describe fluid flow through porous media that are needed by a Petroleum Engineer;
  • have the basic laboratory skills necessary to be an effective Petroleum Engineer;
  • have learnt how to communicate basic scientific ideas in both in written and oral presentations.


You must do all of the mandatory course units:

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