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School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Petroleum Engineering MEng, BEng

MEng BEng Petroleum Engineering - Undergraduate degree

Global economic growth requires an ever-increasing demand for oil and gas. Although other forms of renewable energy are emerging, these more traditional commodities still make a significant contribution to modern society, providing a large proportion of our energy needs and acting as feedstocks for a variety of everyday products used in industry and the home.

Petroleum engineers play a vital role in the industry by finding, extracting and processing oil and gas. Currently, there is a major shortage of qualified engineers in this area and this course has been designed in collaboration with a number of companies as a direct response to this need.

The breadth and depth of the course content means that a wide range of interesting and rewarding careers is available, reflecting the diversity and geographical spread of the oil and gas industries. Typical areas of employment include ‘upstream’ activities such as petroleum geology, oil and gas exploration, reservoir modelling, drilling and production, while ‘downstream’ activities include refinery operations, product marketing, operational management, equipment manufacture and supply.

The course is taught jointly by the School of Chemical and Process Engineering and the School of Earth and Environment with the former acting as parent school. Both schools have well-established reputations in teaching and research across the entire spectrum of energy and resource systems and applications, which means that the course reflects the latest developments in the field of petroleum engineering.

You will be taught by academics at the cutting edge of their field and have extensive background in both research and industry for instance, Dr. Colin Poole (who is head of Undergraduate Programmes and also teaches PEME1300 ‘Introduction to Petroleum Engineering’) has over 30 years experience in the fields of mineral and particle process engineering in both academia and industry, with particular expertise in the chemical processing of minerals, industrial minerals processing, mineral waste disposal and utilisation, surface chemistry and solid/liquid separation. Professor Mike Fairweather and Dr Ali Hassanpour who also teach on the programme have significant industrial experience which they incorporate into the teaching of the programme.

Academic members of staff from the School of Earth and Environment bring their backgrounds in the petroleum industry into the curriculum.

UCAS Code: H851 (MEng, BEng) or H856 (BEng)
Our students typically undertake the Integrated Masters (MEng, BEng) as this is the most direct route to becoming a chartered engineer (CEng).
Industrial placements: Yes
Study abroad: Yes
Course duration: 3, 4 or 5 years depending on option taken.
Start date: September
Course fees (per year): UK/EU: £9,000; International: £19,000
Information about living expenses and financial support can be found on the University's website.
Scholarships: Scholarships worth up to £8,000 available.

Applications for second year entry in 2016 have now closed. Applications for entry into the first year of the course remain open.

Course Content

In years one and two, you will be exposed to the fundamental science and mathematics underpinning a wide range of engineering and geological concepts.

In year three, you will then go on to study more specialised topics, such as hydrocarbon resources, exploration seismic, reservoir engineering, separation processes, drilling and production technology, and reservoir performance modelling.

In year four, you will cover research-informed material in areas such as oilfield corrosion, refinery chemistry, advanced drilling and production technology, and oilfield case studies.

As with all our degree courses, there are projects in all years. Smaller projects in the early years lead to a major team project in year three, which focuses on the design of an oil/gas reservoir or a production/processing facility. In year four, the MEng individual research project investigates a petroleum industry-related topic.

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Our courses have a modular structure where you will be required to study 120 credits per year.


Career prospects in the field of petroleum engineering are excellent, as worldwide economic growth continues to produce increasing demand for hydrocarbons production. You can therefore look forward to exciting and global career prospects.

Typical areas include petroleum geology, oil and gas exploration, reservoir modelling, drilling and production, refinery operations, product marketing, operational management, equipment manufacture and supply, consultancy and regulatory authorities.

Recent graduate destinations include:
• Thermal Reservoir Engineer, Kuwait Gulf Oil Company
• Wireline Field Engineer, Baker Hughes
• Production Engineer, Saudi Aramco
• Drilling Engineer, Saudi Aramco
• Field Engineer, Schlumberger
• Graduate Oil and Gas Production Technologist, Shell
• Process Engineer, Total.

With the help of our Employability team, we will make sure you are given every chance to secure a position before you graduate.

Entry requirements

We welcome students with a wide range of qualifications. If your qualification does not appear in the list below please contact our admissions team.

Entry requirements for the Integrated Masters (MEng, BEng) and the standalone BEng are the same.

AAA at A-level including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry.

Advanced Diploma: Grade A with an appropriate amount of Mathematics and either Chemistry or Physics.

BTEC Extended Diploma: D*DD including an appropriate amount of level 3 Mathematics, and Chemistry or Physics.

IB: 35 points overall, with 18 points at higher level to include 5 points in higher level Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry.

Country-specific equivalent qualifications
The Faculty's country-specific equivalent qualifications web page will give you an idea of the types of qualifications we accept.

English language requirement
GCSE English Language grade C (or above) or an equivalent recognised English Language qualification e.g. IELTS: 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component of listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Our Language Centre provide the Academic English for Undergraduate Studies Pre-sessional course, which is designed to help international students develop their language and academic study skills.

Access to Leeds
We have a policy of welcoming applicants from non-traditional academic backgrounds. If you do not meet our entry criteria above, you may be eligible via the Access to Leeds scheme.

Foundation courses
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degree, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. The University offers a one-year BSc Studies in Science for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science Foundation Year for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

Our International Foundation Year (IFY) is intended for international students who do not yet have the formal qualifications required for entry to level 1 of our degree courses.

How to apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS).

Once you have applied and your application has been reviewed by our admissions tutor, suitable applicants will be invited to an applicant day, which we encourage you to attend.

Applicant days are very different from the general university open days you may have attended. Our applicant days give you the opportunity to meet our academic staff and students, take part in group activities, find out more about your course, and to tour the University and the school, which includes demonstrations in our laboratories.

You will also participate in a group interview with an academic member of staff. This will give you the chance to have your questions answered, check that it’s the right course for you and your career plans, and find out more about studying at Leeds.

We appreciate that not all applicants are able to attend an interview and in such cases the offer decision will be made based on the information on the UCAS form.

MEng only
If you are an International (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant who has applied for, or intends to apply for, this course within the Faculty of Engineering and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will require an ATAS certificate.

If you require any further information please contact our admissions team,
e: t: +44 (0)113 343 6542.