The course

Course type
Entry date



The Oil and Gas Innovation MSc (by research) is a project-led masters course which will equip students with the skills and competencies to generate and commercialise innovations for the oil and gas industry.

The course is a collaboration between the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and a range of Scottish Universities, including the University of Aberdeen (lead), Heriot-Watt, Strathclyde University, University of St Andrews, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of the Highlands and Islands and Robert Gordon University to develop new technologies in exploration, production and decommissioning.

The collaborative nature of this course means that in addition to courses at Heriot-Watt's Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering, students will also take modules at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Strathclyde giving them the unique opportunity to benefit from the oil and gas expertise available at each of these three institutions.

Innovation Project

The innovation project is a unique part of the Oil and Gas Innovation MSc and comprises 75% of the course. The project gives students the opportunity to use their acquired knowledge and skills in a practical application.

Our students

The Oil and Gas Innovation MSc by Research is aimed at: 

  • Technical staff who have identified an innovation or have expertise likely to yield innovative solutions and want to learn how to commercialise these.
  • Business developers who have identified an opportunity to innovate in the oil and gas sector and seek to understand the framework of the industry and its supply chain.
  • Managers or technical staff who are seeking innovative solutions for their challenges and want to equip themselves with the knowledge and leadership skills to enable their companies to identify, validate and commercialise possible solutions.
  • Graduates in engineering or science, who have the qualities and ideas required to become leaders in innovation.

Programme duration

This course is available as a one-year full-time degree or part-time over two or three years.

Detailed course information


Detailed course guide

This research-led MSc will include courses taken at Heriot-Watt University, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Strathclyde.

Innovation project

The project in Oil and Gas Innovation (75% of the degree) can be completed in a company or university.

Programme structure
Semester 1 Semester 2

Course descriptions

Please find below the course descriptions. For more information on courses, please contact the Programme Leader.

Business Essentials for Innovators (University of Strathclyde)

This course aims to enable students to experience an entrepreneurial perspective on leading and managing innovative green field or corporate ventures. In addition to the distinct intellectual approach to entrepreneurial management and
leadership, the class aims to transmit an understanding of cash flow management, viable financial structures, and access financial and human resources.

Topics covered include: Key concepts in Entrepreneurial Finance, Entrepreneurial versus Administrative Management, Entrepreneurial Leadership and Managing risk in uncertain environments.

For more information, please check the Business Essentials for Innovators - course description (PDF).

Product Development (University of Strathclyde)

This course will provide students with a structured introduction to Product Development processes, issues and tools.

Topics covered include: Background and design for competitiveness and sustainability, Integrated Product Development, Key issues related to design complexities and Design performance and innovation. 

For more information, please check the Product Development - course description (PDF).

Commercialising Innovation (University of Aberdeen)

This course will provide students with a practical and theoretical framework for understanding and approaching the commercialisation of innovation and also provide an overview of industry relevant context and appropriate tools and techniques for the commercialisation of innovation in the sector. The course will also build a peer-to-peer learning community with the goal of enabling participants to feel comfortable and open to sharing ideas, experience and practice.

Topics covered include: How to Innovate, How to Protect innovation and Innovation maturity. 

For more information, please check the Commercialising Innovation - course description (PDF).

Technical Elective (Heriot-Watt)

This course can be chosen from a list of existing courses available for Heriot-Watt's Petroleum Engineering MSc. The options include: Reservoir Engineering, Petroleum Geoscience, Drilling Engineering, Formation Evaluation, Reservoir Simulation, Petroleum Economics, Production Technology and Well test analysis.

For more information, please check the available course descriptions on the Petroleum Engineering MSc Programme Content page. 

Project Scoping  (Heriot-Watt)

Students scope an innovation project in Oil and Gas – under supervision – which will later be pursued in the Oil and Gas Innovation Project course. This entails deciding on the scope of the innovation project, undertaking literature and market research, producing a realistic project plan, and considering intellectual property rights issues (and where necessary with help from Research and Innovation ensuring a collaboration agreement is put in place with an industrial partner). 

A particular emphasis will be made on learning how to communicate the project objectives, planning, scope and the outcomes to industry and wider community.  

Project in Oil and Gas Innovation (Heriot-Watt)

The project offers students the opportunity to use their acquired knowledge in a practical application.

  • Students will undertake an innovation project – under supervision - as the basis for the completion of a dissertation which is the culmination of the taught coursework of the MSc in Oil and Gas Innovation.
  • The work requires reference to and integration of the various taught elements, independent research (data collection, analysis, interpretation), together with a general knowledge of all aspects of innovation (including political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors).
  • Normally projects will involve working with an industry partner, and students can be based in industry for this project.

Available projects

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) in an Engineering or Science subject.  Those with alternative qualifications and substantial relevant experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

If English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. 

Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree course. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required. 

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters course:

14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)


Tuition fees for 2019 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time
Home / EU £9900
Overseas £18420

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your 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. 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.