The EU's Best Universities for an Oil Career


The UK boasts some of the most well-regarded science and engineering universities in the world. While a good engineering or geology degree from Cambridge, Oxford or London's Imperial College would likely go down well with oil and gas recruiters, a more direct route into the sector would be to study for a specialized degree at the UK's key oil and gas hub: Aberdeen.

Aberdeen University

Aberdeen University, with a history stretching back to the 15th Century, offers more than 550 undergraduate degrees across a wide variety of subjects as well more than 120 taught postgraduate degrees.

Aberdeen University

Thanks to its location at the center of the UK oil and gas industry, the university today has several degree courses available to those looking to get started in the energy sector.

Among courses for undergraduates are a four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree in 'petroleum engineering' and a four-year bachelor's degree in 'geology and petroleum geology'.

The list of companies that Aberdeen’s petroleum engineering graduates have joined includes: Aker Solutions ASA, Amec plc, BP plc, ExxonMobil Corporation, Halliburton Corporation, Petrofac plc, Royal Dutch Shell, Subsea 7 SA, Technip SA and Wood Group plc.

Its geology graduates have found employment with BP plc, Cairn Energy plc, Halliburton, Shell, Statoil ASA and Subsea 7.

Aberdeen also offers several master's degree courses in subjects as varied as 'oil and gas computing', 'oil and gas law', 'petroleum, energy economics and finance' and 'petrophysics'.

Robert Gordon University

Originating as an education institution in the 18th Century, Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University only became an official university in 1992. Yet, today it boasts the best record for graduate employment among the UK's universities – with 2013 statistics showing that 97.7 percent of students graduating from RGU in 2011/12 had found employment or were undertaking further study (source: Higher Education Statistics Agency).

RGU Aberdeen

For students yet to get a degree who are looking to get into the oil and gas sector, RGU offers a four-year 'mechanical and offshore engineering' Bachelor of Engineering degree (that can be upgraded to a Master of Engineering degree with additional study).

RGU's "extremely popular" Master of Science degree in 'petroleum production engineering' requires not only a good honors degree in engineering (or closely-related discipline) but at least two years' practical industrial experience. But unlike some of the master's courses to be found on the Continent, the 45-week program can be completed within a year.

The university also offers master's degrees in 'oil and gas engineering' and 'energy management', the latter being specifically designed to meet the needs of upstream oil and gas managers and managers in the renewable energy industry.


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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Bernardo  |  July 24, 2014
Not to forger Subsea Msc at Aberdeen University, it is a fairly good programme with good industry connections
Peter Schwarz  |  July 11, 2014
The University of Stavanger is considered one of the best places to study petroleum engineering in Norway, located in the undisputed oil capital, Stavanger. The university has approximately 10.000 students, 10 percent having international background. The university is renowned for its close contact with the oil and gas industry, with the headquarters of 26 international oil and gas companies in the region. The university offers English Master’s programmes in a wide range of courses, including Offshore Technology, Environmental Technology, Petroleum Engineering, and Petroleum Geosciences Engineering. It was recently chosen by the Norwegian Government to host Norway’s new cutting-edge petroleum research centre for Improved Oil Recovery, based on a national competition evaluating scientific quality and collaboration with industry. The degree in Petroleum Engineering has been offered since 1977 and is at the forefront of petroleum engineering education worldwide. It offers three specializations; Well Engineering, Reservoir Engineering and Natural Gas Engineering. The degree in Offshore Technology is focused on industrial asset management, risk management and issues related to the design of offshore installations for the oil and gas industry. This programme incorporates three streams of specialization; Industrial Asset Management, Marine and Subsea Technology and Risk Management. The degrees have an international profile and accommodates both Norwegian and international students.
Alan MacLennan  |  July 08, 2014
Robert Gordon University also offers MSc Information Management by distance learning. Its a profession increasingly in demand in the O&G industries, as we know from our friends (and graduates) in the industry who advise us on course content.
Rob Townsend  |  July 07, 2014
In the UK there are several Geological Society of London accredited courses that have not been mentioned here. A recently accredited course that is worthy of mention would be that of the University of Derby with its MSc in Applied Petroleum Geoscience.
Vutescu Cristian  |  July 07, 2014
University Oil and Gas Ploiesti Romania. In Ploiesti, the capital of the Oil industry in Romania. From this University, at this moment, many engineers are working around the word for the most important Oil Companies.
Joel Couse  |  July 05, 2014
Im stunned to see that Frances IFP (Institut Français du Pétrole) gets no mention in your list. Its certainly the equal of any of the schools mentionned in the last, and is backed by a very large research activity.
Wale olojo  |  July 05, 2014
If you read the write up from the start you would realise he said the list is not exhaustive and also that if you wanted cheap tuition but quality education. Im sure thats why hes not mentioned Heriot watt.
Olarinre Salako  |  July 04, 2014
I want to believe this survey is incomplete. This is because Heriot Watt Institute of Petroleum Engineering is well known all over the world. It is a leading centre of excellence in petroleum engineering and petroleum geosciences teaching, training and research with strong links to industry worldwide. It has graduated many Petroleum Engineers, Reservoir Managers and Geoscientists who are doing very well in the industry. The institute has gotten 5-star awards for third time running ahead of Imperial College
Andrew Faulkner  |  July 02, 2014
I find it extraordinary that Heriot Watts department of petroleum engineering gets no mention. it is considered ( by employers) one of the best in the world let alone Europe or is this survey based purely on recent grant awards?

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