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Petroleum Geoscience

Imperial College London
1 year
Full time
Master's degree

About this program

Petroleum Geoscience

This degree is professionally accredited by the Geological Society of London. As well as your main Imperial degree (MSci), you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines on completion of this course.

Petroleum geoscience uses a fundamental understanding of the Earth and its past to locate and responsibly exploit petroleum resources with minimal environmental impact, making it key to the world's energy future.

This course will provide you with in-depth knowledge of issues facing the petroleum sector, as well as interdisciplinary skills in physics, maths, chemistry, engineering and the geosciences to give you an understanding of present challenges and possible solutions.

Your study reaches Master's level in the fourth year, with advanced modules, a specialist field trip, and a substantial independent research project. This means that you will require fewer years of work experience than graduates of our BSc degrees to apply for Chartership of the Geological Society.

We place emphasis on field work across all our courses. It is a great way to apply your knowledge to the real world and learn essential observational and practical skills. Depending on which degree scheme you choose, you could spend over 100 days in the field. This can range from a couple of days along the Dorset coast to 10 days in the Pyrenees or Cyprus. Students on Geology courses spend six weeks mapping the geology of areas such as the: Greek Cyclades, French Massif Central, Pyrenees, French Alps, North West Scotland, and others. Students on Geophysics courses have the chance to gain experience in using technical equipment in the field.

All of our courses follow a similar syllabus for the first two years. This high level of shared content means you may transfer between all our Geology and Geophysics courses up to the start of spring term in the first year if you meet the original entry requirements for the course you want to transfer to. If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa, but our International Student Support Team are here to help advise and support you. Transfer onto our Year Abroad courses is not normally possible, as places at our partner institutions are limited. As a result, you are encouraged to only apply for one course within the department.

Admission requirements

Language requirement

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. 

For more information about the requirement please visit the university website.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

You take all of the core modules below.

  • Applied Sedimentology
  • Exploration Geoscience
  • Exploration Geoscience Group Project (Barrel Award)
  • Independent Project (see last tab)
  • Petroleum Basin Analysis
  • Petrophysics and Structural Geology
  • Production Geoscience
  • Reservoir Characterisation Fieldtrip and Group Project
  • Synthesis Fieldwork

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the institute website for more information.


The tuition fee for Home and EU Students 2020 entry is £17,750 per year.

The tuition fee for Overseas and Islands Students 2020 entry is £37,250 per year.

Career paths

The majority of graduates from this course are employed as petroleum geologists and geophysicists by oil companies.

Other first destinations include: geophysical contractors involved in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of seismic data; geological consultancies serving the oil industry; petroleum service divisions of financial institutions; organisations providing IT services to the oil industry and financial institutions; and further higher education.

About this institute

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is one of the top universities in the world and the only university in the UK to focus exclusively on science, engineering, medicine and business. What makes Imperial special is not just the quality of our teaching...

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Contact info

Imperial College London

Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London


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