Amongst MSc Petroleum Engineering academics are distinguished researchers and lecturers, highly regarded in academia and the petroleum industry. The programme is also accredited by the UK Engineering Council so that graduates with appropriate first degrees and relevant professional experience qualify for the CEng (Chartered Engineer) designation. 

Course Director

Professor Martin J. Blunt

Chairs in MSc Petroleum Engineers

Professor Martin J. Blunt

Professor Matthew Jackson

Professor Peter R. King

Professor Ann Muggeridge

Professor Velisa Vesovic

Professor Robert W. Zimmerman

The Department of Earth Science and Engineering enjoys excellent links with many major companies including Shell, Total, BP, BG, Statoil, Conoco Phillips and many more. Every year a number of leading figures from the industry come to Imperial College London to teach MSc Petroleum Engineering students in various disciplines. This is to the mutual benefit of both parties as these figures can impart knowledge of cutting edge technologies and processes used in the industry whilst also gaining an introduction to our students who are considered as potential future employees and highly regarded because of the quality of the education they receive during their time at Imperial College London. Along with internal staff, those visiting lecturers combine to form a specialist Petroleum Engineering team of over 20 academics who can pass on knowledge from over 160 years of experience in the oil and gas industries.

Course structure

The course is managed by Professor M. Blunt. It is supported by over 20 specialist internal and external staff with over 160 years of cumulative industrial experience. The course also benefits from contributions from industry professionals. The course runs for 12 months and is aimed at providing the necessary background for employment in the oil and gas industry or a springboard for a research degree, as well as providing an in-depth study and consolidation for those already working in industry.

There are three principal elements to the course:

  • Formal lectures, problem classes, laboratory and computer exercises. These take place on a full-time, structured basis from October to March in the normal academic terms. During the taught course, our students are taken on field trips including the Wessex Basin. Formal examinations are conducted in January and the first two weeks of the Summer term.

  • Group project work. This is a group field development exercise carried out by groups of about five to six students, the first phase being carried out jointly with the MSc Petroleum Geoscience students. The objective is to interrelate the separate subjects taught in formal lectures. Data for the project are analysed with prevailing commercial software as part of Modules II to IV and integrated into a development proposal as part of Module V. This is assessed initially by a presentation to the examiners at the end of the Spring term. After review and discussion, selected groups make further presentations to an invited audience from industry.

  • Individual research projects. After formal examinations, candidates will work on individual research projects. These are submitted at the beginning of September and are examined both as a report and by an oral presentation in mid-September. Projects may be selected by the candidate, planned in cooperation with industrial sponsors or allocated by the Department.


The course finishes with an extensive four-month individual research project in the student's chosen branch of Petroleum Engineering. A broad range of research topics are covered and all projects are supervised by an academic from Imperial College London and many are done in collaboration with major petroleum companies allowing students to make contacts and gain practical experience within the industry.

The projects expand upon the core taught modules, requiring independent thinking and critical analysis, resulting in an addition to knowledge of substantial depth and relevance to the modern petroleum industry. On completion of the projects will be a series of presentations to faculty of Imperial College London and our associates in industry. A number of the final theses are published as SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) papers

Course Assessment

Please see the course outline document below for details on course assessment.

Please view the Programme Specification document for the MSc Petroleum Engineering

Please view the Course Outline for the MSc Petroleum Engineering

Please view the Syllabus for the MSc Petroleum Engineering

Please view the Guidebook for the MSc Petroleum Engineering

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