Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 3 years
£1,175 per 20 credits* (2020/21)
£19,950 for the full programme (2020/21)
This innovative course has been designed to produce graduates who can actively contribute to the global energy transition, have the ability to tackle climate change and the expertise to combine emerging techniques with conventional ones. You will consider a variety of energy sources, with your main focus being on how we can responsibly obtain energy from the Earth (conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons and geothermal energy) and how we mitigate global warming (carbon capture and subsurface storage, a key technology that many governments are deeming to be imperative to meet their carbon unit quotas).
The course aims to view energy from all aspects: finding, producing, assessing impact, and protecting the climate while powering the economy and providing for society. You will be able to apply traditional exploration and production skills to provide for future global power while ensuring a sustainable climate. On the course, you will:
- Gain an understanding of locating and evaluating hydrocarbon sources
- Apply your knowledge of related energy options to prepare for a carbon-neutral transition, such as geothermal energy and carbon capture
- Undertake relevant software training: seismic interpretation, GIS, petrophysics, gravity & magnetics, reservoir/fluid modelling, to prepare you for industry
- Gain practical skills (such as core logging and wireline log interpretation) that enhance employability
- Use critical evaluation of datasets, creating industry-standard reports, which will build confidence in guiding companies towards the right mix of energy utilisation and climate protection
- Collaborate on live projects with UK Geoenergy Observatories to put your skills into practice
- Be able to provide solutions which carefully balance providing affordable and sustainable energy with enhancing social, economic, and environmental prosperity
- Study content aligned to the priorities of global initiatives, such as the UK Clean Growth strategy, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals where 'affordable and clean energy' is listed as a priority
- Work with our research-active teaching team who have a wealth of experience in renewable energy, climate change, and conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons
Demand for new energy
Energy is vital to our everyday lives, but how we obtain it is changing. Many parts of the world are stepping up to the energy challenge, with governments in Germany, Denmark and Kenya actively pursuing new geothermal district heating schemes, and petroleum companies already running CO2 injection projects in Algeria, Norway and further proposed sites. Local and UK governmental authorities are starting to consider energy needs of the population and CO2 impact of choices in deciding future energy resources.
In addition, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals seek to build a platform for the future, in particular Goal 7 where 'ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all' is listed as a priority, and the UK 25 Year Environment Plan identifies 'mitigating and adapting to climate change' as a key goal. Geologists play a crucial role in this transition as their specialist skills include being able to help not only secure future energy, but also ensure that solutions are implemented in an environmentally-sensitive manner.
Our course prepares students to produce a range of energy-producing techniques that can be applied in the UK and globally.
Understanding our natural environment
Our MSc in GeoEnergy provides our graduates with the tools they will need to play their part in this endeavour. An understanding of the rocks beneath our feet is critical for tapping into geothermal sources as well as hydrocarbon reserves. Taking carbon from our atmosphere and safely storing this deep underground is emerging as a new tool to combat elevated greenhouse gas levels. Surveys for the safe deployment of offshore renewables is also of paramount importance.
Our campus is situated in the heart of England, with easy access to a wealth of world-class geological localities, as well as the British Geological Survey offices and several major geo-technical companies for off-site visits.
You'll study modules such as:
Global Energy Challenges - You'll learn about renewable, conventional & unconventional energy provision, and integrating and managing multiple energy sources
Subsurface Geology: Structures and Reservoirs - You'll explore tectonics, reservoir quality, field examination of tectonics, reservoirs and retaining seals
Geofluid Behaviour: Water, CO2, Oil and Gas - You'll focus on fluid character and movement of surface water, brines, hydrocarbons; retaining seals for existing and injected fluids
Subsurface Interpretation Methods - You'll examine seismic reflection, using petrophysical well data, application to extraction and injection
Positioning and Designing Wells and Reservoir Models - You'll develop an understanding of locating (GIS) and modelling geological resources, basin assessment techniques, well design for target fluids
Integrated Energy Evaluation - You'll participate in a field assessment of a region for energy potential; then analyse data, generate and evaluate an energy model
Independent Scholarly Activity (project focused on your area of interest) - You'll partake in an independent investigation applied to a topic or site of energy focus, likely to be Geothermal, Carbon Capture and Storage, Hydrocarbon Exploration/Production
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Learning and teaching methods will vary between modules. The course is delivered face-to-face, by University lecturers and industry experts, and learning materials can be accessed online. You will be assessed on written reports and essays, oral presentations, independent and group assessments practical exercises, including mastery of industry-standard software suites.
Technical specialist skills include:
- Seismic interpretation and processing (Petrel and Kingdom)
- Gravity analysis of basins
- Intrepretation of basin Heat Flow results
- Sedimentological logging of core and outcrops to industry-standards
- Reservoir modelling for fluid connectivity (Petrel)
- Computational analysis (reservoir, seal and volume assessment based on wireline, fluid and sediment data)
- Commercial decision-making (viable drilling plan, energy production vs cost, appropriate energy source, prospect risking)
We are also keeping track of innovation at companies such as BP, Shell & Equinor (Statoil) to ensure our students are ready for energy jobs now and in future.
An expert, research-active teaching team
This course sits within the School of Environmental Sciences, home to a broad range of research-active specialists, currently studying topics such as the implications of renewable energy for urban communities, climate change, the potential of biofuels, and fluid flow in carbonate host rocks. The programme team for this course are:
- Dr Ian Billing (Programme Leader). Ian completed his undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Oxford, before embarking on a PhD at Durham University. He then pursued a 25-year global career in the Oil and Gas Industry, working for Shell, Saudi Aramco and BP before joining the University of Derby in 2016. He has been able to combine his love of palaeontology and sedimentology throughout his career, and is a specialist in carbonate reservoir analysis. Ian is a Chartered Geologist with the Geological Society of London, as well as a member of the PESGB and the AAPG.
- Dr Dorothy Satterfield (Lecturer in GeoEnergy). After completing her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Georgia State University, Dorothy studied for her doctorate at the University of Oxford. Her professional interests include sedimentology, seismic interpretation, thin section petrology, and basin anaylsis. Dorothy is a member of several professional bodies: UK Onshore Geophysical Library trustee, and a member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, the London Petrophysical Society, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, and the GSA.
We typically require at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Geology or a closely related subject, such as Geophysics with Geology. Your application may also be considered if you have relevant work experience.
International students should have the above or an international equivalent. If English is not your first language, you will need to hold IELTS 6.0 or above.
2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)
£1,175 per 20 credits*
£1,175 per 20 credits*
£19,950 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
There has been a major shift by energy providers, who now include sustainable practice into their plans, as well as government officials across the world creating blueprints for a more sustainable future. The world is now taking notice of the action needed to carefully balance energy generation with environmental management, providing exciting opportunities to be a part of such a defining moment in our history.
To succeed in this new era of energy production and secure a sustainable mixed-energy economy, the sector requires leaders who are bold, knowledgeable and inventive in their approach. Our MSc in GeoEnergy will equip you with a solid knowledge of the application of a wide variety of geological techniques to identify energy-rich areas, and the ability to select and carry out the appropriate methods of producing energy while reducing CO2 output to the atmosphere. The course prepares you to excel in organisations who produce strategies with a single energy focus, as well as those with combined energy strategies. You will have gained the skill sets that are vital not only to oil and gas industries but also to environmental agencies and consultancies, alternative energy companies and geo-technical companies.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.