The Applied Petroleum Geoscience programme is a unique programme in subsurface geoscience and exploration at Heriot-Watt University. The programme mainly focuses on exploration petroleum geoscience, but it is closely linked with other MSc programmes and research groups in petroleum engineering and reservoir geology at the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering, Heriot-Watt University. The programme is also applicable to non-petroleum subsurface geoscience subjects, such as CO2 storage and groundwater flow.
The Applied Petroleum Geoscience degree provides participants with a thorough training in aspects of subsurface geology, geophysics and geo-engineering, relating to the exploration, appraisal and development of subsurface resources. Although the programme mainly concentrates on exploration for hydrocarbon resources, and delineation of hydrocarbon reservoirs in the subsurface, the skills gained in this subject are applicable to all subsurface geoscience areas, including groundwater exploration, waste disposal or CO2 sequestration.
The programme is deliberately intensive, typically consisting of working a full 5 days per week of lectures and practical work, including labs or tutorial exercises designed to teach practical skills in addition to learning theory. Project work, both as groups and individually, forms part of the assessment for the programme.
Two fieldtrips are a permanent part of the course, the second as part of the Wessex Basin Team Project which aims to integrate basin scale and reservoir scale exploration tasks, similar to those that students will encounter working in Oil and Gas employment. Other fieldtrips and visits to local core viewing facilities (hosted in the neighbouring British Geological Survey facilities) will be arranged on a more ad hoc basis.
Students on the Applied Petroleum Geoscience programme come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including directly from undergraduate degrees and also from years to decades of experience in the Oil and Gas industry. Our on-campus students come to us from all parts of the world, in the last few years the students in all three MSc programmes within the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering have come from over 30 different nations.
Students on the Applied Petroleum Geoscience MSc will benefit from the excellent links with industry and research activities by the staff at the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering. The Institute has an industry based Strategic Advisory Board who monitors activities in the wider context of the needs of the industry, and in addition some classes and also extra tutorial sessions are conducted by both retired and active staff from a variety of petroleum companies.
Flexible study options
This course can be studied by Online Learning which ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. The course is also available to study full-time at our Edinburgh Campus.