Earth sciences students conducting fieldworkECTS: 90 credits
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 1 year full-time
LocationSouth Kensington

This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

This course covers a wide range of earth science subjects and their application to the full spectrum of hydrocarbon exploration and production.

About the course


This course is a one-year, full-time multidisciplinary programme covering a wide range of earth science subjects and their application to the full spectrum of hydrocarbon exploration and production.

It is designed for students with some industrial experience, as well as for recent graduates seeking careers in the petroleum and allied service industries.

The course presents the methods and practices of the modern petroleum industry, with considerable emphasis on developing transferable skills.


This course is professionally accredited by the Geological Society of London.


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.


We have a number of Industry scholarships for Home or EU students on the Petroleum Geoscience MSc course, and also offer a range of scholarships for all postgraduate students to support you through your studies.

Please use our scholarships search tool to find out more.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Core modules

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


  • Wessex Basin, UK (6 days): characterisation of outcrop analogues for subsurface reservoirs; integrated analysis of petroleum systems
  • North Somerset, UK (2 days): geometry and evolution of faults and fractures
  • Derbyshire, UK (2 days): deep-water reservoirs; resource plays
  • Synthesis fieldwork (15 days): stratigraphic analysis of depositional systems from reservoir scale to basin scale, linked to tectonic basin development and analysis of structural styles

Independent Project

Takes place between June and September. Many of these include a placement in oil company offices, which provides an opportunity to gain an insight into current industry practices.

Teaching and assessment


  • Fieldwork
  • Group projects
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Workshops


  • Fieldwork exercises
  • Oral and poster presentations
  • Reports
  • Written Examination

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in an earth science-based subject.

Graduates with other closely related earth/ environmental science degrees will be considered.

Professionals with different qualifications but relevant industrial experience are also encouraged to apply.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification. 

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirements

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 details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:


Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most of our postgraduate courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full. We therefore recommend applying early to avoid disappointment, especially students who will also be applying for funding or applying for a visa.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

ATAS Certificate
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.