MSc Mature Field Management

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    Key information

    Mode of delivery
    Start date
    September, January


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    The bulk of the world's hydrocarbons come from producing assets - so-called 'mature fields'. In turn, these supply the bulk of the world's energy.

    Managing these assets is therefore a central aspect of global energy supply, and will become more so as the world's giant fields become progressively more mature. Most industry jobs in exploration and production will be in this arena, requiring a talented workforce to fill them for decades to come.

    Heriot-Watt's GeoEnergy Engineering has therefore created a new Masters degree to address this need. The topical content is necessarily broader than the existing IPE degrees, embracing not only geoscience, reservoir and well engineering but also surface engineering and the linkage between them in the form of integrated asset management (IAM).

    The subject also demands a grasp of incremental petroleum economics and risk analysis, and a methodology for handling decision-making in assets in which production and data gathering are continuous. This methodology provides the link between the degree components and sits at the core of the group exercise, with Edinburgh's own Forth Bridge as a visual metaphor for the process.

    Finally the degree deals with the asset endgame. When does production cease, how can field life be extended, how do we decommission - or then recommission and what are the potential uses of these reservoirs in the post-carbon era?

    Degree duration

    2½ - 8 years. On average, our PgDip courses studied online are completed in 2-3 years, while MSc courses are completed in 3-4 years.

    Industry links

    The Institute has an industry-based Strategic Advisory Board which monitors activities in the wider context of the needs of the industry and offer guidance on the course ensuring content is up to date and relevant to current industry needs. Seminar sessions are also conducted by staff from a variety of petroleum engineering companies.

    Course content

    Year 1

    This course, led by Dr Khafiz Muradov, is composed of eight mandatory courses for those studying at PGDip level, each assessed by examination. For those looking to complete the course at MSc level a Field Management and an Individual Project (Dissertation) are also required.

    Degree structure

    • Managing the Surface
    • Strategy and Planning
    • Cessation of Production?
    • Managing the Reservoir
    • Optimising Productivity
    • Optimising Recovery
    • Producing Field Practices
    • Managing the Wells
    • Field Management Project
    • Field Management Individual Project

    Detailed degree guide

    Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

    The programme gives the opportunity to develop skills in:

    • fundamental concepts, principles and theories of the main petroleum engineering and geoscience disciplines involved in mature Oil and Gas field management
    • the application of IT to petroleum engineering in terms of design and analysis.
    • the ethics and standards relevant to professional engineering practice and the transfer of problem-solving skills to a variety of contexts
    • integration of theory and practice and application of statistical, scientific and economics skills

    Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

    The students are expected to read more deeply into the subjects by referencing materials in their tutorial exercises, field work reports and laboratory exercises. This is important in developing study plans, developing research plans and methods.

    Approaches to Teaching and Learning

    Course notes are provided for all courses. All lecture sessions are reinforced by tutorials or classroom exercises. Coursework is then further used to extend the concepts learned in lectures and notes and to demonstrate the use of problem solving skills by the students. Course notes come with model exams and answers, as well as recommended reading lists or suggestions for further reading. All courses have a VLE page, on which notes, Powerpoints, reading lists, a model exam with answers and 1 or 2 other past papers, exercises and assessment are routinely posted for all courses. There is a discussion board for all of the courses and introductory videos for each course. IDL students are supported by bi-weekly Webinars.

    Assessment Policies

    Assessment is based on a combination of examination and project work submissions. The project work is assessed on written and oral presentations. In the Group Project, part of the assessment is by peer review.

    The IDL delivery necessarily places more emphasis on examination with some modules being assessed 100% by examination. However a dissertation plus a project module ensures that a significant proportion of the assessment is non-examination.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees
    Status Per course [footnote 1] Dissertation/Project [footnote 1]
    UK / EU / Overseas GBP1315 GBP1220
    1. The tuition fees listed are for courses starting between September 2023 and August 2024. Fees normally increase annually. Find out more about our tuition fees.

    Scholarships and bursaries

    We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Each year, hundreds of students enhance their educational experience through a variety of Heriot-Watt and externally funded scholarships, including opportunities funded by the University's generous alumni community, based all over the world.

    View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

    Entry requirements

    Entrants to the course will normally have a good honours degree (minimum 2:2 or UK equivalent) in an engineering or relevant science discipline from a British or overseas university.

    In addition to the academic qualifications, motivation, industrial experience and personality are taken into consideration.

    Recognition of prior learning

    We are committed to providing study opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For more information on RPL, please contact the Online Admissions Team ( ahead of application. We can only consider requests for RPL at the time of application to a course of study.

    English language requirements

    If English is not your first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters course:

    • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
    • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


    The courses provide specialist education tailored to the requirements of the upstream petroleum industry, which is undergoing significant changes and faces major challenges when operating mature field managements in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Middle East, Malaysia, East Asia and South America. Petroleum, however, remains the dominant source of energy for our society, with current world production of oil and gas at record rates and increasing volumes coming from existing and mature fields rather than new discoveries.

    It is widely recognised that a steady influx of well-trained and industry-aware people with fresh ideas is vital for longer term success and stability of an organisation. The relevance of the education offered by this new MSc course in Integrated Mature Field Management, combined with careful selection of candidates and Heriot-Watt University's long-standing global success in providing graduate training for the petroleum industry, will ensure that operating companies and oilfield service companies will continue to target Heriot-Watt for recruitment of graduates in the future, especially candidates who will be able to make sound technical contributions to the management and operation of mature fields.

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Flexibility and affordability

    Study at a time and pace that suits you, and even while you work. HW Online offers pay-as-you-study courses and fees inclusive of exams and study materials, meaning you can focus on success, not extra costs.

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Online events

    We host online events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to speak to our academic teaching staff, meet students, find out what it is like to study using our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and discover how to enrol.

    Lifelong connections

    Upon completing your studies you will automatically join the UK's oldest alumni association The Watt Club, with 147k members worldwide.

    Study options Edinburgh - Mature Field Management

    Our MSc in Mature field management is also available to study at our Edinburgh campus.

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