Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (2022)


Aberdeen has a long history of petroleum exploration and production, and the City is regarded as a world-leading hub for energy expertise and technologies. This is the only programme of its kind that is sitting directly at the heart of the UK energy industry.

Running since 1973, the one-year MSc course in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience is internationally regarded as one of the top vocational training pathways into the energy industry. The programme equips students with the knowledge and skills to understand the subsurface and hydrocarbons stored there.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

Providing world-renowned training in the practical and technical skills required by the global hydrocarbon exploration and production industry.

The programme receives detailed input and support from industry, ensuring it remains current and relevant, particularly moving forward to a Net Zero economy.

IPG focuses on all aspects of upstream geoscience, from exploration, field appraisal and development, maximising recovery from mature fields, and ultimately considerations for repurposing depleted fields for carbon storage. Skills in analysing the subsurface are further developed by field work on outcrops and by hands-on experience with core logging.

The aim is to provide full training in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience. We aim to prepare students to perform a wide variety of technical functions in a multidisciplinary environment. Graduates from this programme are highly sought after and the training offered is also an ideal springboard into a career based on further research or PhD.

Teaching methods aim to create a close parallel to the way industry works, providing students with the teamwork and communication skills required to transition from education to employment.

The IPG programme is supported by a number of industry partners, including Equinor and Harbour Energy who provide scholarships for a select number of students each year. The close ties between the University and industry including Baker Hughes, Hess and Shell allows for multiple energy companies to provide training, projects and student mentorship each year.

What You'll Study

The course content recognizes the increasingly diverse backgrounds of the students, as more first degree courses are modularised with significant non-geological components. The course content is designed as far as possible to fill in the gaps for such students, although we rely on the students to work at making up for their own weaknesses, under our guidance. Numeracy skills are important; we advise students to assess their own needs for additional training.

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

  • PD5006: Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen
Geophysics and Petrophysics (GL5011)

30 Credit Points

By the end of this course, the student should:

  • Understand the Petrophysical rock properties that affect fluid storage and movement (Porosity, Permeability, Saturation, Mineralogy).
  • Understand the primary wireline and LWD logging tools: Measurement, Fundamental physical principles, and applications.
  • Understand the theory of seismic signal description.
  • Appreciate the main processes involved in a typical seismic data-processing suite.
  • Understand the basic concepts of seismic stratigraphy and the interpretation of seismic data.

Detailed course information

(Video) Course Overview: Postgraduate study in Petroleum Geoscience

Applied Sedimentology and Structural Geology (GL5044)

30 Credit Points

The course aims to develop practical geological skills applicable to the hydrocarbons industry, embracing the subdisciplines of tectonics and structural geology together within clastic and carbonate sedimentology, stratigraphy, and diagenesis; The main basin-forming processes with be introduced to provide context for the sedimentary geology. The basics of structural geology for trap definition and characterisation are developed and applied, deducing structural styles on seismic images and examples of how deformation influences reservoir behavior and trapping mechanisms. The course will show how structural, sedimentological and stratigraphic knowledge is crucial in both exploration and development activities, and is fundamental in making predictive models. It will impart a practical knowledge of depositional environments which form hydrocarbon reservoirs, linking these together using the techniques of sequence stratigraphy as applied to siliciclastic and carbonate settings. The origin and effects of reservoir fluids and subsequent diagenesis will also be covered.

Detailed course information

Professional Skills Incorporating International Field Trip (GL5013)

15 Credit Points

By the end of this course, students will be aware of issues in relation to team work, particularly communication, diversity, and organisation. They will be able to communicate technical interpretation effectively by oral, written and electronic methods. They will utilise knowledge gained in the field and classroom to complete a number of industry-facing tasks through assessments based on real life scenarios utilising field-based data and concepts derived from lectures and field observations. These skills will be developed on two fieldtrips, one of which will focus on the exceptional geology exposed in Utah.

Detailed course information

Stage 2

Compulsory Courses

Production Geology (GL5511)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to deliver key skills and understanding in production geology, in the hydrocarbon industry;

• An appreciation of the role of the geologist during the development and production stages of a hydrocarbon field.

• Knowledge of the types of geological heterogeneity that might impact hydrocarbon production.

• The approaches employed in building qualitative and quantitative geological models of the subsurface, and the difficulties associated with doing this reliably.

• The basis from which to convey the expectations of the reservoir engineer, and procedures that will lead to improved reservoir performance evaluation.

Detailed course information

Regional Exploration (GL5512)

30 Credit Points

This course aims to demonstrate the stages in a hydrocarbon exploration project from initial basin screening, through the identification of leads and prospects, to an economic assessment. The course includes components of structural geology, tectonics, organic geochemistry, and basin modelling. It is important to view these activities in an economic context; accordingly, the course aims to explain the role of the geologist in the business of exploration and appraisal of hydrocarbons. This aims to inform the student of important economic and logistical constraints which operate alongside geological details.

Detailed course information

Stage 3

Compulsory Courses

Example projects from previous years:

  • Classical and modern approaches to examine reservoir connectivity in a mature field, West Siberia Basin
  • Hydrocarbon Migration and Fill History of the Rosebank Field, West of Shetland, UK
Projects in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience (GL5907)

60 Credit Points

In the final project you are expected to undertake and complete a study of a problem applicable to the petroleum industry. The project is an extended, independent, self-directed, piece of practical work integrating and reinforcing the material taught on the course, and giving a detailed insight into the demands of, and ways of working in the hydrocarbon industry. The project forms the major part of the IPG’s employability strategy.

(Video) A Geoscience Degree? I totally wish I knew these things before I started way back when.

Detailed course information

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Related Programmes

You may also be interested in the following related postgraduate degree programmes.

  • Geophysics
  • Oil and Gas Enterprise Management
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Sustainable Energy Geoscience

Related Information

  • Energy Masters Prospectus
  • Postgraduate Guide
  • Find Accommodation
  • Find Funding

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £31,000
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home / RUK £11,600
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year

International Applicants

Further Information about tuition fees and the cost of living in Aberdeen

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

NEO Energy Postgraduate Scholarship - Energy firm NEO Energy is offering 2 scholarships worth £20k each for Home/UK students commencing an energy-related postgraduate degree, including our MSc Integrated Petroleum Geoscience programme. Application deadline is Wednesday 24 August 2022.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Field Work
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Research

Assessment Methods

Practical work, projects and reports will be assessed continuously throughout the programme. Examinations are held in December and April on the preceding term’s curriculum. An oral examination will be held. Candidates will be expected to present a final report on a relevant and approved major topic.

Why Study Integrated Petroleum Geoscience?

  • The programme is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world and is the only degree in the world that sits at the very heart of the UK energy industry in Aberdeen.
  • Components of the programme focus on all aspects of upstream geoscience, from initial exploration for new prospects, field appraisal and development, maximising recovery from mature fields, and ultimately considerations for subsurface storage.
  • Provides all-round preparation for a wide range of employment opportunities in a dynamic industry.
  • Develops the knowledge needed to communicate with and work alongside specialists in the other engineering and scientific disciplines involved in the subsurface.
  • Enhances the interpersonal and transferable skills relevant to the energy industry today: developing presentation and report-writing skills; encourage working in multidisciplinary teams; and stimulating creative thinking and problem-solving ability.
  • Hands-on field-based study is a crucial part of the teaching on all our Geology related degrees. This programme is no exception, offering a UK-based field trip in semester 1 and a two-week trip to Utah in semester 2.
  • Involvement of industry experts across the teaching activity during the year including major oil and gas operators.
  • Learn and communicate with specialists from other disciplines, in particular those involved in drilling, reservoir engineering, petrophysics, and geophysics.
  • There is an opportunity for you to complete your MSc Project dissertation with an energy company, giving the chance to experience current industry thinking and challenges.
  • Employability: Over the last decade, more than 90% of our MSc graduates have immediately been employed in the oil and gas, energy and applied industries or gone straight on to funded PhD research.
  • Mentorship: All our students are mentored by professionals through an organized mentoring scheme.

Interested in this programme?

Email Enquire Now Using an online form Next Steps Find out how to apply

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a Geology or Geophysics degree at 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours level (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth).

Evidence of high marks in the following key subjects is important for admission: Oil & Gas/Petroleum Hydrocarbons (not Engineering-based), Sedimentology, Petroleum Geology, Geophysics, Basin Analysis, Geochemistry and independent project work.

(Video) Introducing the new Learning Geoscience

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

International Applicants

  • Information about visa and immigration requirements


Over the last decade, more than 90% of our MSc graduates have been employed in the oil and gas, energy and applied industries or gone straight on to funded PhD research. A large number of graduates from the programme now hold very senior roles in some of the world's major oil and gas companies.

It is clear Hydrocarbons will play an important role in ensuring our energy supply for decades to come and form a crucial role in Net Zero targets. Exploration and production roles will be required going forward and that this remains a vibrant industry to enter. By laying down the fundamentals in subsurface investigation, the course will also equip you with the knowledge to branch into other careers that involve examining the subsurface, including emerging geoenergies such as CCUS.

The dynamic nature of the programme provides all-round preparation for a wide-range of employment opportunities within a mobile, dynamic, wealth-creating industry. You will also benefit from graduating from a programme that truly is recognised as one of the strongest of its kind around the world.

Career Opportunities

  • Exploration Geologist
  • Exploration Geoscientist
  • Petrophysicist
  • Project Geoscientist
  • Regional Exploration Geoscientist
  • Senior Geologist

Industry Links

Organisations that we work with across a number of areas include – Apache, Statoil, Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Dana Petroleum,Halliburton, BP, Shell, Pemex and SaudiAramco, to name a few. These links,and more help us deliver world-class teaching and research.

Hear from Business

  • Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (1)


    BP has supported this degree over several years and has identified it as a key course from which to recruit graduates. Aberdeen uses local petroleum industry knowledge to produce well rounded geoscientists that are keen to start their careers.

What our Alumni Say

Moritz Rosenkranz

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (2)

Moritz Rosenkranz

Job Details
Africa New Ventures Geologist
Graduated 2011

I did my final MSc project with an oil company in Aberdeen that hired me as a Graduate Geologist on the basis of my performance during this time. Hence, the degree has been absolutely crucial in getting my career started.

(Video) Why study Geoscience? My Background and How & Why You Should Become a Geologist | GEO GIRL

Wiewwiwun Rojborwornwittaya

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (3)

Wiewwiwun Rojborwornwittaya

Job Details
Log Analyst (Cased- Hole Logging)
Graduated 2013

Aberdeen is the oil capital of Europe. Aberdeen broadened my knowledge, skills and experience, and was beneficial for my career path.

Becky Wain

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (4)

Becky Wain

Job Details
Graduate Geologist
Graduated 2013

The links with many different industries allows the university to be among the best for research and development so you will know that you are learning the most up to date and relevant information during your studies.

Matthew Warner

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (5)

Matthew Warner

Job Details
Exploration Geologist
Graduated 2013

The school is a leader in Petroleum Geoscience, so its reputation for being the best was a major lure.

Paul Gannon

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (6)

Paul Gannon

Job Details
Graduate Geoscientist
Graduated 2014

The fact that it is a Petroleum Masters degree, located in the heart of an Oil and Gas global hub provides a unique access and insight that no other Masters I researched could provide.

Kirsty Lewis

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (7)

Kirsty Lewis

Job Details
Research Geologist , Equinor
Graduated 2020

Courses covered in the masters gave the base-level skills and knowledge required to enter the industry in a geoscience role. The industry mentors and various talks throughout the masters also gave great insight into the industry and allowed for good networking opportunities. The thesis project enabled me to fine-tune my researching skills and improve on my academic writing.

Alistair Swan

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (8)

Alistair Swan

Job Details
Data Analytical Role, Oil and Gas Authority
Graduated 2020

When applying for the course I had high expectations for what was to be expected of the course, and of the standard of teaching. However, the course far exceeded my expectations. The standard of teaching is world-class, the organisation of teaching is seamless and the incorporation of new technology into the teaching means that this course is still at the forefront of the current academic teaching. I believe as time goes on the course will progress and will continue to teach relevant and modern

Our Experts

Other Experts
Professor John Howell
Professor Adrian Hartley
Dr Nicholas Schofield
Programme Coordinator
Dr Rachel Brackenridge

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (9)

Utah Field Trip

A truly once in a lifetime opportunity is on offer to all MSc IPG students with the annual Utah field trip.

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience | Postgraduate Taught Subjects | Study Here (10)

IPG Dedicated Room

A teaching class room and a computing room with high spec. blades are dedicated for the MSc IPG students. A range of analytical equipment, state-of-the-art industry software packages are available for the courses and projects.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX
  • Enquire Now Using an online form

Social Media

(Video) Geoscience Careers—Parts 1 & 2. What can I do with my degree in geoscience? So many things!!!!


What is Integrated Petroleum Geoscience? ›

The Integrated Petroleum Geosciences (IPG) program provides advanced training in geology and geophysics for students preparing to enter the oil and gas industry. This one-year full-time program emphasizes cross-disciplinary training and the teamwork that characterizes modern oil and gas exploration and development.

What is geology and petroleum studies? ›

Petroleum geology is the study of origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbon fuels. It refers to the specific set of geological disciplines that are applied to the search for hydrocarbons (oil exploration).

What is Geoscience in oil and gas industry? ›

In a nutshell, geoscience is the study of features on and under the surface of the earth. In the oil and gas industry, the principle purpose is to find reservoirs of hydrocarbons which a company can then analyse and decide whether to proceed with a project to extract the reserves.

What is petroleum geoscience in Kenya? ›

Diploma in Petroleum Geoscience is an interdisciplinary program in the Department of Mining & Geoscience designed to enhance both critical thinking and the technical skills that serve as the scientific foundation for practicing petroleum managers.

What are the subjects required for petroleum engineering? ›

Some of the major subjects taught in a petroleum engineering course are physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, thermodynamics, computation, applied mechanics, and structural engineering.

Is petroleum a geoscience? ›

Petroleum geology is a specific field of geosciences that addresses the origin, distribution, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas resources.

Where can a petroleum geoscientist work? ›

Graduates get to work with top industries/organisations including, but not limited to the following: multinational and independent petroleum exploration and production companies, petroleum service companies, geophysical exploration and service companies, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Petroleum Commission, ...

What is the job of a petroleum geologist? ›

Job Summary:

The Petroleum Geologist will identify the location of oil and gas deposits by studying rock formations, mineral samples, and other areas on land and under water and will recommend safe and efficient means to extract deposits.

Is petroleum geology a good career? ›

One of the top paying careers for physical and biological science majors is petroleum geologist. These professionals search for oil and gas deposits in the Earth. With experience, they can earn a median annual salary of $117,000.

Is Diploma in Petroleum Geoscience marketable in Kenya? ›

Oil and gas engineering is a new degree course in Kenya,which is marketable compared to many courses. The course is offered at the University of Nairobi and Mount Kenya University. And the number of graduates is not as high as those from BCOM and other business courses.

Which universities offer petroleum engineering in Kenya? ›

Universities Offering B.Sc. Petroleum Engineering(Technology)
  • University of Nairobi, Nairobi. Admission requirements. ...
  • Kenyatta University, Nairobi. Minimum qualifications. ...
  • South Eastern Kenya University, Kitui. Admission requirements. ...
  • University of Nairobi School of Continuing and Distance Education, Kikuyu. Duration : 5 years.

Is petroleum geology a course? ›

The principal objective of this course is to summarize the fundamentals of Geology that need to be understood and integrated with Engineering data to effectively and optimally manage petroleum reservoirs.

What jobs can you get with a petroleum geology degree? ›

Petroleum geologists can work as independent contractors in an oil or gas company or a governmental agency. They may use advanced computer technology to survey a region to get the necessary information. They study and examine rock formations and mineral samples to find gas and oil deposits.

What are the basic elements of petroleum geology? ›

They consist mainly of carbon and hydrogen with traces of vanadium, nickel, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen and are classified based on their percentage of paraffin, naphthene, and aromatic compounds. Typical refined petroleum products of crude oils include gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, lubricating oil, and residuum.

What is the role of petroleum geologist? ›

The Petroleum Geologist will identify the location of oil and gas deposits by studying rock formations, mineral samples, and other areas on land and under water and will recommend safe and efficient means to extract deposits.

How is geology related to petroleum engineering? ›

Petroleum geology and geophysics focus on provision of a static description of the hydrocarbon reservoir rock, while petroleum engineering focuses on estimation of the recoverable volume of this resource using a detailed understanding of the physical behavior of oil, water and gas within porous rock at very high ...

Why do petroleum Engineers need to understand geology? ›

For instance, a proper understanding of geology can make it easier for petroleum engineers to analyze the absorbency of various rocks. Experts in geology can also use various indicators to analyze the presence of various minerals.

What is a oil prospecting geochemist job? ›

They collect rock and sediment samples from sites through drilling and other methods and test the samples for the presence of oil and gas. They also estimate the size of oil and gas deposits and work to develop sites to extract oil and gas.


1. Is a GEOLOGY Degree Worth It?
(Shane Hummus)
2. MSc Integrated Petroleum Geoscience (IPG) Conference Day
(University of Aberdeen)
3. Environmental Geoscience
(School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
4. A Multidisciplinary Graduate Program in Computational Geoscience
(NCAR & UCAR Education and Outreach)
(Barbara Aboagye)
6. Machine Learning in Geoscience - PhD Defence of Jesper Dramsch
(Jesper Dramsch – Real-world Machine Learning)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated: 11/02/2022

Views: 6130

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.