Postgraduate study

PgDip/MSc Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering is key to the functioning of the modern world, providing both energy and materials for industry. Teesside is a major European centre for the chemical and petroleum processing sector, making it an ideal location for individuals seeking to study for an MSc with industrial relevance.

Course information


  • 1 year

More full-time details


  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

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The programme of lectures and project work, encompasses a wide range of petroleum fundamentals, pertinent to the modern petroleum industry. Project work provides an opportunity for ideas and methods, assimilated through lectures and tutorials, to be applied to real field evaluation and development design problems.The course is applied in nature and has been designed so that on completion, you are technically well prepared for a career in industry.

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Energy Institute, under licence from the Engineering Council. This means that it meets the requirements for further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) under the provisions of UK-SPEC.

By completing this professionally accredited MSc you could benefit from an easier route to professional membership or chartered status, and it can help improve your job prospects and enhance your career. Some companies show preference for graduates who have a professionally accredited qualification, and the earning potential of chartered petroleum engineers can exceed £100,000 a year.

Teesside University Society of Petroleum Engineering student chapter
Our Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) student chapter is one of only nine in the UK. SPE is the largest individual member organisation serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals worldwide in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. Through our SPE chapter we can invite professional speakers from industry, and increase the industrial networking opportunities for students.

For PgDip award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules. For an MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.

You select your master’s research projects from titles suggested by either industry or our academic staff, but you may also, with your supervisor’s agreement, suggest your own titles.
More information on master’s projects with typical project titles.


Core modules

Drill Engineering and Well Completion

This module provides you with a detailed understanding of drilling engineering, the process of well completion, work-over and stimulation to improve well performance. You also cover drilling methods and equipment, and drilling systems such as hoisting systems, power systems, circulation systems and hydraulic systems. You consider drilling mud properties and behaviour, the blow-out preventer and other safety measures, and drilling bit types and performances. This module is delivered through lectures, tutorials and engineering laboratory sessions. You are assessed by an in-course assessment (30%) and exam (70%).

Hydrocarbon Production Engineering

This module provides you with a detailed understanding of hydrocarbon production operations. You study oil and gas production systems including wells, pipelines, separators and chokes. You look at the inflow performance relationships for oil and gas wells, and well performance analysis. You also cover the artificial lift system including electric submersible pumps, hydraulic pumps and gas lift. You learn about surface production facilities and operations used in crude oil treatment and natural gas reconditioning such as sweetening and dehydration. This module is delivered through lectures and tutorial sessions. You are assessed by an in-course assessment (30%) and exam (70%).

Individual Research Project

You are required to carry out a detailed investigation of a topic related to petroleum technology both in upstream and downstream applications. Projects are offered either by the petroleum technology teaching team or may be the choice of individual students.

Projects normally include a wide choice of experimental research, computer modelling and real oilfield problems, problem solving, case studies, comparisons study, analytical studies. Assessment is by thesis and oral presentation.

Material Balance and Recovery Mechanisms

This module provides you with an in-depth understanding of the principles of conserving mass and volume in a hydrocarbon reservoir and the effect of rock and fluid compressibility on hydrocarbon recovery. You cover the key concepts of recovery factors as well as displacement efficiency. And you discuss different oil and gas recovery approaches from primary, secondary and tertiary recovery mechanisms. This module is delivered through lectures and tutorial sessions. You are assessed by exam (100%).

Petroleum Chemistry

The module provides you with an understanding of crude oil fractions and components enabling you to study the phase behaviour of reservoir fluids as a function of temperature and pressure. We use different equations of state to analyse the pressure-volume-temperature correlations. You explore how constructing compositional fluid models, using an industry-standard reservoir simulator, enables you to investigate reservoir fluid properties and behaviour. You also discuss oil field corrosion and scaling mechanisms as well as monitoring and inhibition methods. This module is delivered through lectures, tutorials, and IT laboratory sessions. You are assessed by an in-course assessment (30%) and exam (70%).

Petroleum Economics and Simulation

This module provides you with a detailed understanding of petroleum economics as well as concepts related to asset and project assessment and valuation. You investigate the economics of the oil industry and the cost stabilities of large oilfields and their economies of scale. You look into industry-standard reservoir simulators, their theoretical background, and their uses and limitations. You develop an understanding of reservoir management by integrating different operations, sub-processes and upstream activities. This module is delivered through a series of lectures supported by tutorials and IT laboratories. You are assessed by an in-course assessment (30%) and exam (70%).

Petroleum Reservoir Engineering

This module covers the key concepts of reservoir engineering including reservoir properties, single and multiple-phase fluid flow through porous media. You are introduced to various reservoir rock types including carbonate and sandstone rocks, and the geological aspects of hydrocarbon reservoirs. You discuss formation evaluations based on well-testing and well-logging interpretations. This module is delivered through lectures supported by tutorials. You are assessed by in-course assessments (30%) and exam (70%).

Professional Studies

Research and Study Skills

This module is designed to introduce you to issues which relate to research and study beyond undergraduate level.

You explore issues such as information skills, qualitative and quantitative research, creating appropriate reference material, referencing and avoiding academic misconduct. In addition, you are introduced to the notion of ethical research and given the opportunity to further your career skills.


MSc candidates

Major Project

This is the culmination of the programme of studies. You undertake a challenging problem related substantially to your discipline. The project is linked where possible to an industrial or external partner organisation, which may even host your work and substantially direct the activity. Where this is not possible, a real or simulated real problem may be chosen as the subject for the work. It is, however, expected that even where the problem is simulated or hypothetical, it will be treated as if real. The project outcomes should be at a publishable standard.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

The course is delivered using a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions.

Our MSc Petroleum Engineering is supported by excellent laboratory and engineering machine workshop facilities including fluid flow measurement, computer modelling laboratories, other laboratories and workshops, an excellent library and computing facilities. We have invested around £150,000 in laboratory equipment particularly in within core analysis and enhanced oil recovery.

We have several computer laboratories equipped with specialised and general-purpose software. This generous computing provision gives you extended access to industry-standard software – it allows you to develop skills and techniques using important applications. For upstream processes, Teesside University has access to educational software packages like Petrel, Eclipse, CMG, PIPESIM and Ecrin to simulate the behaviour of oil reservoirs, calculating oil in situ, and oil and gas production optimisation. As for downstream processes, you can use HYSYS to test different scenarios to optimise plant designs.

How you are assessed

Assessment varies from module to module. The assessment methodology could include in-course assignments, presentations or formal examinations.

Career opportunities

These courses provide specialist education tailored to the requirements of both the upstream and downstream petroleum industry. The relevance of this education combined with careful selection of candidates has encouraged oil and gas companies to target our graduates for recruitment over the years.

The petroleum industry is subject to dramatic changes of fortune over time, with the oil price capable of very rapid rates of change in either direction. Petroleum, however, remains the dominant source of energy, with current world production of oil and gas at record rates. In this environment, companies face increasing technological and commercial challenges to keep their wells flowing and are increasingly dependent on input from petroleum engineers and geoscientists.

It is widely recognised that a steady influx of fresh people and ideas is vital for the longer-term success and stability of an organisation, and it is therefore expected that recruitment will continue, especially for those with motivation and the appropriate qualifications.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have an honours degree (at least 2.2) in an appropriate related discipline - petroleum engineering, geological qualifications, civil engineering qualification, mechanical engineering, geophysics, chemical engineering, petrophysics, physics, mathematics or chemistry.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information


  • 1 year

More full-time details


  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

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