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Petroleum Geology BSc

UCAS code F620
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department Earth Sciences »

Petroleum Geology is the study of a dynamic Earth, exploring the ways in which our physical environment was created,  the patterns of change that continue to alter the world around us, and the precious resources – the oil and natural gas that fulfils so many of our secondary needs.

You’ll study in a department consistently ranked among the top 10 in the country (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016), and be inspired by a leading research culture that informs all of our teaching. You’ll gain an holistic knowledge of the Earth Sciences, with elements of chemistry, physics, geography and mathematics combining to enhance your knowledge of the geology of petroleum.

Graduate from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway and you’ll take a diverse research and practical skillset into a field with excellent graduate employment prospects. This programme represents excellent preparation for a career in the extractive hydrocarbon industries, combines theory and practice with extensive field work to leave you ideally placed for a rewarding, well paid career.

  • Benefit from a pioneering research culture, with 94% of Department of Earth Sciences research ranked world-leading or internationally excellent – no.2 in the UK. (Research Excellence Framework, 2014)
  • Enjoy extensive fieldwork opportunities in the UK and Europe.
  • Gain a practical skillset geared towards a well paid, rewarding career in the extractive hydrocarbon industries.
  • Choose from a range of optional courses to tailor your learning to your own interests and ambitions.

Core modules

Year 1

Global Tectonics

Introductory Sedimentology

Igneous and Metamorphic Geology

Physics and Chemistry of Earth

Earth Structures

Introductory Palaeontology

Geological Field Skills

Year 2

Regional Geology

Sedimentary Basin Analysis

Applied Geophysics

Structural Analysis and Remote Sensing

Field Methods in Geology

Year 3

Advanced Concepts and Techniques in Geology

Advanced Topics in Sedimentology

Advance Techniques in Tectonic and Structural Interpretation

The Geology of Petroleum

Independent Field Mapping (Sediment Basin)

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Stratigraphy and the History of Life

Geohazards

Igneous and Metamorphic Geology

Geochemistry

Computational Earth Sciences

Year 3

Marine Geology

Aqueous Geology

Volcanology

Planteary Geology and Geophysics

Mineral Resources

Advanced Palaeontology

Teaching and learning is mostly by means of practical classes, which comprise 60% of the timetabled study time. Lectures are used to introduce material and provide a context for private study. Tutorials supplement and reinforce knowledge and understanding. Field and laboratory project work carried out as individuals or in teams are valuable opportunities for students to develop in-depth knowledge of specialist areas and help bring the syllabus to life.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the chosen course units. Coursework can include literature research reports, fieldwork and laboratory exercises and reports, oral presentations and independent dissertations. In the final year you will produce an independent geological map and write a research report with individual guidance from your tutor.

The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year, optional year abroad and final year marks do count, with the final year marks being more heavily weighted in order to reward progress and achievement.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels ABB-BBB
Required/preferred subjects

Required subject: a Science subject (one from Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography).

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • The educational context in which academic achievements have been gained.
  • Whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken.

At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics.

All applications will be subject to a selection interview, providing that minimum academic requirements are met.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including a Science subject (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography), with a minimum of 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a science subject. Substantial Maths content required.
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, plus A2 grade B in a science subject.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

Distinction plus A2 grades B, B, one of which must be a science subject.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

Scottish Advanced Highers

AB including a Science subject: Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Higher grades as published).

Scottish Highers

AABBB (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Advanced Higher grades as published).

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H3 in one Science subject.

Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit including minimum of 15 Level 3 credits in Science units at Distinction.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall and minimum of 5.5 in each subscore.  For equivalencies please see here

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

Petroleum Geology graduates are highly employable and in demand, having acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the extractive hydrocarbon industries  Recent alumni have gone on to careers in the hydrocarbon and mineral extraction industries and environmental professions, among others.  

Petroleum Geology will also prepare you to progress to postgraduate study should you so wish. All Department of Earth Sciences programmes are accredited by the Geological Society towards Chartered Geologist Status 

  • Jobs fairs, skills workshops and visits from industry representatives provide students with excellent career opportunities.
  • 90% of graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Earn a degree in a field with excellent graduate employment prospects. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: £120

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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