The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date



Gas hydrates are crystalline compounds that can form when water or ice and suitably sized molecules are brought together under favourable conditions, usually at low temperatures and elevated pressures.

Gas hydrates could form in numerous hydrocarbon production and processing operations, causing serious operational and safety concerns. In the natural environment, suitable conditions for methane hydrate formation can be found in some marine and deep lake sediments, and in the subsurface of arctic permafrost regions. Current estimates suggest that the energy held in this form is twice that of total fossil fuels, a vast untouched natural gas reserve.


Research projects

The Centre for Gas Hydrate Research at Heriot-Watt University addresses various aspects of flow assurance and gas hydrate research, including: avoiding gas hydrate, wax and asphaltene problems in petroleum production and transportation, design and testing of low dosage hydrate inhibitors and the natural occurrence of hydrates in marine sediments. Further areas of interest include positive aspects of gas hydrate technology, such as their application in processing and transportation of hydrocarbon fluids, role of hydrates as neutron moderators, CO2 capture and sequestration, and the potential of natural gas hydrates as a source of energy.

Entry requirements

Please contact the institute to discuss.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course can be found on the tuition fees page.

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. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate research scholarships.

Additional scholarship information

Industrial sponsorship

Many of our past students have gained funding from industry sources, both those companies involved in oil exploration and production in their home countries or larger international companies that offer scholarship programs. For example:

  • Nigerian Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)
  • Bolahak, Kazakhstan
  • Commonwealth Scholarships
  • Chevening scholarships
  • BP
  • Chevron
  • Shell
  • ExxonMobil

There are also a number of Industrial sponsorships available every year to UK and EU students. All eligible applicants (generally EU/UK students) automatically have their CVs or applications sent to participating petroleum companies, who offer a limited number of sponsorships each year to our students, across all three programmes. The number of sponsorships offered will vary depending on the companies’ needs and situations, and the quality of the student applicants and are given our after an interview event that takes place during the summer before the course starts.