Go overseas for fieldwork and placement opportunities
Why take this course?
Whether we like it or not, we rely on the long-term supply of gas and oil. Petroleum engineers play a very important role in resolving this problem and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
This course gives you a broad ranging knowledge of all the phases involved in finding (exploration), drilling and extracting oil.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Carry out fieldwork on one of our many UK field trips to geological sites
- Use our state-of-the-art geological and geotechnic labs for practical work
- Put learning into practice by doing a paid work placement, either in the UK or overseas
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and will lead to Chartered Engineer (CEng) status with further learning. It puts you in an excellent position to start a career as a professional engineer and you’ll possess specific skills to succeed in the petroleum industry and its associated service sector.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- mineral and petroleum exploration
- reservoir engineering, simulation and performance management
- drilling and production engineering
- drilling fluid analysis
- mud/wireline logging (formation evaluation)
- petroleum refinery operations
Apply for September 2016
If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
- 280-320 points to include a minimum of 200 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 100 points from Mathematics, plus two Science or Technology subjects. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2555
- School of Engineering
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
This first year provides you with a broad understanding of petroleum engineering and you’ll cover general topics of an engineering and geology nature.
Core units in this year include:
- Introduction to Petroleum Engineering
- Earth Materials
- How Earth Works
- Thermofluid Mechanics
- Solid Mechanics and Dynamics
- Electrical and Electronic Principles
- Engineering Mathematics 1
- Communication and Business
Broaden your knowledge gained in the first year. You’ll study the specific areas within the petroleum industry allowing you to specify which area appeals to you the most.
Core units in this year include:
- Reservoir Engineering
- Drilling Engineering
- Petroleum Refining Operations
- Energy Engineering
- Engineering Mathematics 2
- Instrumentation and Control
- Structural Geology and Geophysics
In your final year you will focus on production-related topics. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to get out in the field alongside working on a number of different projects.
Core units in this year include:
- Individual Project
- Petroleum Production Engineering
- Petroleum Reservoir Simulation
- Geotectonics (including fieldwork)
- Integrated Engineering Group Business Project
- DL Project Management
*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials (personal and academic), laboratory and project work, CAE system activity and open access study. The course has a strong practical emphasis and we pride ourselves on working at the leading-edge of technology and learning practices.
How are you assessed?
A range of assessment methods encourages a deeper understanding of engineering and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how we assess your work:
- written examinations
- practical tests
- project work
Dr Ozgur Gundogan
Lecturer in Petroleum Engineering
Do you ever wonder how oil and gas are discovered and produced from underground that can be several kilometres deep? It is far from just drilling a hole and requires far more advance technology to produce them as we work in more challenging environments. The course covers a wide range of topics to teach efficient, safe and environmentally responsible ways of producing oil and gas. If you are interested in maths, science and geology and want to shape our society by providing advance technology for supplying oil and gas, this is a course for you.
Facilities & Features
We offer a fully equipped geological, geochemical and a recently refurbished geotechnics lab. Brimming with ultra-modern equipment, here’s a taste of what you have to work with:
- x-ray diffractometer
- x-ray fluorescence spectrometer
- scanning electron microscope
- atomic absorption spectrophotometer
Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Industry standard software
The Petroleum Engineering course at the School of Engineering, University of Portsmouth received a generous donation of a software suite worth more than £1,335,161.50 from Petroleum Experts (Petex), UK.
Integrated Production Modelling (IPM) suite is developed by Petroleum Experts, the specialized petroleum engineering software developer with headquarters in Edinburgh. They are used extensively as a standard prediction tools by more than 350 oil and gas companies worldwide.
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Careers & Opportunities
Currently, there is a major international shortage of qualified engineers in the petroleum industry and our course is designed to enable you to take advantage of the exciting and highly rewarding career prospects in this area. Due to the remote locations of oil reserves, petroleum engineers are usually required to travel a lot working for domestics and multinational companies. They also earn the highest average starting salary amongst graduate engineers (2010 NACE, SPE survey).
You’re likely to find work in oil and gas exploration, reservoir modelling, engineering and management, drilling and production, refinery operations, product marketing, management and finance. There are also employment opportunities in related areas such as equipment manufacture and supply, consultancy and regulation.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- petroleum engineer
- reservoir engineer
- drilling engineer
- gas engineer
Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make as more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. SPEC, our Student Placement and Employability Centre, not only helps you to arrange your placement but acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on anything and everything related to employability skills as well as assisting you in gaining other types of work experience.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.