Taught course

Petroleum Geoscience

Heriot-Watt University · School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Entry requirements

For MSc level entry, students must hold: A good honours degree in a relevant Geoscience discipline such as Geology or Geophysics from a UK or Overseas University. In addition to the academic qualifications, motivation, industrial experience and personality are taken into consideration.

Months of entry


Course content

The Applied Petroleum Geoscience programme is a unique programme in subsurface geoscience and exploration offered by Heriot-Watt University. The programme 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.

The Applied Petroleum Geoscience MSc is deliberately intensive, typically consisting of working a full five days per week of lectures and practical work, including labs or tutorial exercises. Project work, both as groups and individually, is part of 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.

The programme is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IMMM) and Energy Institute (EI).

Students will study the following eight core courses.

  • Reservoir Concepts
  • Formation Evaluation
  • Reservoir Sedimentology
  • Petroleum Basins
  • Petroleum Systems
  • Stratigraphy and Reservoir Quality
  • Petroleum Geophysics
  • Geomechanics and Flow Mechanics

Information for international students

This programme is designed to provide the necessary training for multi-disciplinary professionals required by the petroleum industry. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

UK students
refer to website
International students
refer to website

This programme has been selected to support the skills demand in Scotland's key economic growth areas. A number of full fee bursaries are available to applicants permanently resident in Scotland. Download an application form and submit to scholarships@hw.ac.uk.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    Students take 8 taught modules, a Team Exploration Project and an Individual Project. The taught modules are 120 hours each, the projects 360 and 480 hours duration. The course is offered jointly with Edinburgh University and Newcastle University.


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations45
Written coursework / continuous assessment10
Dissertation25 (15000 words)
Team Project (Wessex Basin Project)20

Course contact details

EGIS Student Office
+44 (0) 131 451 8368