Petroleum Engineering BEng (Hons)


Major advances in renewable energy are moving forward quickly but the reality is we're likely to depend on oil and gas for many more years to come. If you'd get a kick out of solving problems in this area and want to see the world, this BEng (Hons) Petroleum Engineering degree course is ideal.

You'll get a practical understanding of oil exploration, drilling and extraction, learn how the petroleum industry functions and get to apply your skills in our labs and on field trips.

There's currently a shortage of qualified oil and gas engineers. The skills and industry connections you develop on this course will set you up for a career in the petroleum and engineering sector in areas such as oil and gas exploration, reservoir modelling, product marketing, management and finance.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Study the phases involved in finding, drilling and extracting oil
  • Apply your skills in our geological and reservoir and drilling labs
  • Use our computer-aided design (CAD) suite, rapid prototyping suite, energy systems lab, petroleum engineering lab, and metrology and 3D scanning microscopy facilities
  • Take your learning out of the lab, with field visits to Stockbridge production facility and Kimmeridge Bay for geological work
  • Take advantage of our status as an active chapter for the Society of Petroleum Engineers with regular industrial talks and an annual event celebrating Petroleum Week
  • Become a student member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – we pay student membership fees for all of the students on this course
  • Have the chance to expand your experience and make valuable contacts by completing your final-year project with support from the industry professionals and companies

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary opportunities that will complement your studies and build your CV.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Engineering Practice – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the world of engineering through engineering projects, interactive workshops and lectures, preparing you for a career in a complex industry.

Introduction To Petroleum Engineering – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the main activities in each stage of Oil and Gas Field development, such as exploration, appraisal, development and production.

Mathematical Principles – 20 credits

This module gives you a foundation in algebra, trigonometry and calculus of a real variable required for engineering analysis. 

Petroleum Chemistry – 20 credits

On this module you'll discuss the principles of chemical behaviour and associate them with Petroleum Engineering.

Petroleum Engineering Principles – 20 credits

This module gives you a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental concepts and principles of petroleum engineering. 

Petroleum Geoscience – 20 credits

On this module, you'll develop the fundamental knowledge of petroleum geoscience and geophysics that you'll need as a petroleum engineering professional.

Year 2

Core modules

Drilling Engineering – 20 credits

On this module, you'll focus on the design and operation of oil and gas wells.

Innovation and Enterprise – 20 credits

On this vocationally focused module, you'll explore the competitive labour market in the engineering industry and get an introduction to the potential of self-employment.

Numerical & Computational Methods In Petroleum Engineering – 20 credits

On this module you'll get an understanding of the mathematical equations that govern fluid flow in porous media and an overview of making the basis of reservoir simulation models.

Petroleum Reservoir Fluid Properties And Thermodynamics – 20 credits

On this module you'll learn about the principles of thermodynamics. 

Reservoir Engineering – 20 credits

On this module you'll get a strong foundation in reservoir rock and fluid properties, and their interactions during oil and gas recovery operations from subsurface oil bearing formations.

Optional modules

Industrial Placement – Petroleum Engineering – 20 credits

On this placement year you'll get industrial and commercial experience working for an employer, or self-employed experience if starting up a business, and complete pre-placement documentation, such as a job offer letter or a business plan framework.

Modern Foreign Language (IWLP) - 20 credits

In this module, you'll study 1 of 8 modern languages on the University's free Institution-Wide Language Programme.

Petroleum Refinery Operations – 20 credits

On this module you'll focus on the major processes in a typical petroleum refinery.

Year 3

Core modules

Formation Evaluation And Well Logging – 20 credits

On this module you'll learn about, and practice, open hole and cases hole exploration logs, by working with the logs and evaluating their properties. To do this you'll be introduced to their working principles, formulas and calculations. To choose this module, you need to take the Petroleum Geoscience module in year 1.

Individual Project (Engineering) – 40 credits

On this module you'll formulate an independent piece of work based on the knowledge gained in all other course modules.

    Petroleum Production Engineering – 20 credits

    On this module you'll focus on the petroleum production system including the fluid flow from the reservoir/well interface throughout the well and surface facilities.

    Petroleum Reservoir Simulation – 20 credits

    On this module you'll consolidate your knowledge on the main concepts of numerical simulation of flow in reservoirs. 

    Sustainable Development And Environmental Management - 20 credits

    On this module you'll look at the duty to optimise the use of energy, materials and products in the context of sustainable development and global environmental management.


    Teaching methods on this course include:

    • lectures
    • seminars
    • tutorials (personal and academic)
    • laboratory
    • project work
    • computer-aided-engineering system activity
    • open access study

    You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

    How you're assessed

    You’ll be assessed through:

    • written examinations
    • coursework
    • practical tests
    • project work
    • presentations

    You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

    You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

    The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

    • Year 1 students: 84% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 8% by coursework
    • Year 2 students: 68% by written exams and 32% by coursework
    • Year 3 students: 43% by written exams and 57% by coursework

    Careers and opportunities

    When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

    What can you do with a Petroleum Engineering degree?

    Previous graduates have gone on to work in many petroleum-related fields, including:

    • oil and gas exploration and production
    • reservoir modelling
    • drilling and refinery operations
    • product marketing
    • manufacturing
    • management
    • finance

    What jobs can you do with a Petroleum Engineering degree?

    Roles our graduates have taken on include:

    • petroleum engineer
    • reservoir engineer
    • drilling engineer
    • gas engineer

    You could also continue you studies as postgraduate level.

    After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

    BEng (Hons), BEng (Hons) Award
    September Start
    Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
    3 years Duration

    Entry Requirements For This Course

    96-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with a minimum of 40 points from Mathematics, plus one relevant subject.

    English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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