MSc in Petroleum Engineering

Having been developed in partnership with the Heriot-Watt University, this innovative course of Advanced Master’s aims to train skilled professionals who are experts in the exploration & production of Oil & Gas.

About the Program

Find out more about this innovative program

The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering is a higher education program jointly developed by the Institute of Oil and Gas – Association for Research and Advanced Training (ISPG) and the Heriot-Watt University (HWU).

Petroleum Engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and quantitative methods in the exploration of oil and gas reserves located in the subsurface.

This master’s program offers its graduates a learning experience heavily based on the development of science and applied technology activities that meet the specific needs of the oil and gas industry.

The program runs on the premises of the Faculty of Sciences of the Lisbon University campus in Portugal, with English as the teaching language. The faculty consists in professors from the HWU, supported by teachers from the scientific and industrial members of the ISPG:

  • Universidade de Aveiro;
  • Universidade de Coimbra;
  • Instituto Superior Técnico;
  • Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa;
  • Universidade do Minho;
  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
  • Universidade do Porto;
  • Galp Energia.

Graduates of this program will be conferred a degree in Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Heriot-Watt University.

This initiative is integrated in the network of scientific cooperation of Approved Learning Partners (ALPs) of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at the Heriot-Watt University, one of the world centres of excellence in education, training and research in petroleum engineering, with strong links to industry leaders in the sector.

This partnership program is strictly monitored so as to ensure high levels of academic quality prevailing in the HWU campus.

Download the full program


A comprehensive course designed for a wide range of professionals.

Requirements for Admission

Candidates must hold a Master degree in any field of engineering or other scientific area, preferably in one of the following courses: Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Geological Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering, Physics Engineering, Geology, Geophysics or Physics.

In the selection of the candidates will be considered the academic qualifications as well as the fluency of the English language, the motivation, the industrial experience and the personality of the candidates.

The maximum number of students admitted each year is 20. Starting on January, the period of study lasts for 12 months.

At the final stage of the selection process, applicants must submit copies of the following documents:

  1. Degree Certificate and Credits Transcription, both in English;
  2. 2 reference letters in English (usually academic, but can also be professional – 1 page maximum);
  3. Candidates whose first language is not English:
    a) Certificate stating that your highest level curriculum was taught in English, or
    b) English level certificate (minimum IELTS 6.5, Cambridge CAE grade B, TOEFL 87, Pearson Test of English 61);
  4. Application form.

Other documentation may be required.


Learn how much it costs and how you can pay the tuition fees.

The tuition fee and the payment to attend the Masters course will soon be communicated.

Graduation and Certification

A course certificate which guarantees you the best qualifications.

HWU sets and performs all tests and evaluates delivery of the program. Students who finalize all modules will be awarded a degree in Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering by HWU.


Learn about the doors it can open in your career.

The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from HWU is globally recognized by oil and gas companies. Graduates from this course will increase their job and career prospects in the global oil and gas industry. The degree is also a good starting point for a career in research and academia.

Curricular Content

Curriculum designed by the leading experts of the major Portuguese universities.

The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the HWU consists of eight modules and two projects:

  1. Petroleum Geoscience
    Has to do with the origin, structure and internal geometry of the reservoirs and the creation, migration and entrapment of hydrocarbons. The geological models form the basis of estimation of reserves and development planning.
  2. Evaluation of Training
    Understand the concept of evaluation of training and well logging. Understand the physical principles of the tools used in the logging process. Characterize training based on the interpretation of well logs.
  3. Reservoir Engineering and Well Testing
    Understand the rock and fluid properties of a hydrocarbon reservoir. Describe the nature of fluid flow and pressure distribution in a reservoir. Understand the effects of production/injection in the recovery of reserves.
  4. Reservoir Simulation
    Develop an understanding of the role of simulation in reservoir engineering. Gain perspective on the value of simulation. Provide appropriate numerical techniques to increase the recovery of hydrocarbons.
  5. Production Technology
    Has to do with the productivity of oil and gas wells. Includes the design, installation and operation of surface and down-hole systems, to optimize controlled recovery of the quality of the oil and gas pipeline. Security and responsiveness to situations with change dynamics are important considerations.
  6. Drilling Engineering
    Involves a variety of engineering subjects on the design and safe construction of exploration and development wells. These wells are needed to both gather information and to drain oil and gas reservoirs.
  7. Economics of Oil
    Understand the economic concepts involved in the project’s evaluation. Understand the value of investments. Assess the risks associated with economic decisions. Ranking of projects.

Development Project
Based on real data from a field, similar to those available for an Operator before deciding on its development, the analysis of these data results in an evaluation of the reservoir and leads to the design of an appropriate production system.

Through this exercise, students gain a valuable perspective on the use of incomplete and imperfect data on the integration of the various learning components and the problems of group interaction. It is also an opportunity to learn a range of skills such as teamwork, presentation and negotiation. During the project, pupils have access to ‘state-of-the-art’ technology and standard software used in the industry.

The evaluation is based on the preparation of a report and a group presentation.

Individual Project
Students should carry out a detailed investigation on topics related to geosciences and petroleum engineering. The projects are provided by the university and industry and include a wide range of experimental research problems, computer modelling and real oilfields.

The evaluation is based on a thesis and an oral presentation.


Full Program: 12 months – Credits and effort

Modules Level od Credits(*) Study Period Grades
Petroleum Geoscience
Training Evaluation
Reservoir Engineering
Well Testing
Reservoir Simulation
Production Technology
Drilling Engineering
Economics of Oil
11 per course Each course requires 150 hours of effort per student and 70 hours of contact with students 80% of total credits
Development Project 300 hours of effort per student 30 hours of contact with students 10% of total credits
Individual Project 300 hours of effort per student 30 hours of contact with students 10% of total credits

*The level of credit and effort are specified by HWU using the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework


The application period for the Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering, 6th edition, will take place between August 27 and September 28, 2018. The inaugural session will be January 18, 2019. The Master of Science lasts for one year. Classes will start on January 21, 2019 and the Master of Science will be completed with the final assessment to be held until January 20, 2020.

Note: The dates of the inaugural session and start of classes may be subject to change, if this happens the selected candidates will be informed in a timely manner.


Learn how you can attend this course with a scholarship.

ISPG offers scholarship opportunities to all those applying to HWU’s MSc in Petroleum Engineering. In this sense, the ISPG has a scholarship program that may fund all or part of the tuition fees.

These scholarships are awarded according to eligibility criteria, such as academic or professional merit, as well as to applicants with financial needs.

Candidates who receive a scholarship must sign a contract with ISPG for educational and professional commitments.

Share Button