Dual degree programme: Heriot-Watt University and Baku Higher Oil School, Azerbaijan

The programme

The BEng programme aims to provide students with a sound understanding of subsurface engineering and geoscience required by companies exploring for and producing oil and gas. In addition to a grounding in petroleum engineering, science and mathematics, our degree programme helps students cultivate the ability to apply skills to real, practical engineering problems and deepen understanding of petroleum engineering principles through problem solving, projects and assignments.

Programme content

Year 1

Provides a general introduction to the subject, emphasising the role of basic mathematics and science. Courses introduce basic techniques and principles of petroleum engineering including: Mass Balances; Basic Thermodynamics; Energy Balances. An awareness of professional and personal development forms a critical part of the teaching in this year.

Year 2

Important themes focus on an understanding of the movement of material, heat and how materials behave. Principal components include Fluid Mechanics; Heat Transfer; Mechanical Engineering and Thermodynamics as well as Geoscience. Also includes a mini-design project to consolidate the knowledge from the other courses.

Year 3

Introduces some of the specialist petroleum engineering topics such as reservoir engineering, production technology that are key to producing oil and gas reserves. Studies in geoscience concentrate more on the geology necessary to allow reservoirs to form. Advanced thermodynamics and fluid mechanics provide further supporting core engineering material.

Year 4

Completes the study of petroleum engineering with topics in economics, reservoir simulation and production technology. In addition, there are topics on surface engineering, safety and sustainability associated with elements of processing the recovered oil and gas. A final element is a major group and individual project work that draws together all of the knowledge together to solve problems that duplicate many of the issues found in industry.

Career prospects

Petroleum Engineering is a highly specialist course and graduates will find employment opportunities with major energy providers and smaller specialist companies. Students will acquire practical abilities that are highly sought after by the oil and gas industry now and in the future. The programme allows students to undertake a wide range of technical and managerial careers across the sector, e.g. reservoir analysis and simulation studies, drilling production patterns, estimation of petroleum reserves, design and implementation of oil field production, construction, commissioning, operation, management to specialist consultancy and advanced research and development.

Postgraduate prospects

Specialist topics in geology, reservoir simulation and economics provide graduates of the BEng programme with the foundation for further specialist qualifications in these areas.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorial classes, laboratory classes, individual assignments and group projects. Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment and examination.