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 Times Good University Guide 2018), 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.
- Excellent preparation for a career in the extractive hydrocarbon industries.
- Tailor your learning to your own interests and ambitions.
- Be inspired by a leading research culture that informs all of our teaching.
- Combines theory and practice with extensive fieldwork to prepare you for a rewarding career.
- Petroleum Geology will also prepare you to progress to postgraduate study should you so wish.
Core ModulesYear 1
- Global Tectonics
- Introductory Sedimentology
- Igneous and Metamorphic Geology
- Physics and Chemistry of the Earth
- Earth Structures
- Petroleum Geology with Maths
- Introductory Palaeontology
- Scientific and Geological Field Skills
- Regional Geology
- Sedimentary Basin Analysis
- Applied Geophysics
- Structural Analysis and Remote Sensing
- Advanced Scientific and Field Skills
- Advanced Concepts and Techniques in Geology
- Advanced Topics in Sedimentology
- Advanced Techniques in Tectonic and Structural Interpretation
- The Geology of Petroleum
- Mapping Sedimentary Basins
Optional ModulesYear 1
- All modules are core
- Stratigraphy and the History of Life
- Igneous and Metamorphic Geology
- Computational Earth Sciences
- Marine Geology
- Aqueous Geology
- GIS and Remote Sensing
- Modern Climate Change
- Mineral Resources
- Advanced Palaeontology
Teaching & assessment
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.
Acceptable Science subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Chemistry, Geography, Biology. At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants. Read more about what we look for here.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
We accept the following internationally-recognised English language qualifications:
- Pearson Test of English
- Cambridge ESOL
Your future career
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
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £18900
Other essential costs***: £100 for a set of essential field work equipment, for example a hard hat, compass. £150 per year contribution towards field trip costs.
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates has not yet been confirmed for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20.
**Fees for international students starting a degree at Royal Holloway in the academic year 2019/20 have not yet been set, and those for 2018/19 are shown for reference purposes only. Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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.