Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£1,175 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

International fee

£19,950 for the full programme (2020/21)

Course level




Start date


Course description

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:

A working geothermal plant

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.

Prime location

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.

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research

What you will study

You'll study modules such as: 

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.

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Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

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:

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 includes:

Who will teach you

Dr Dorothy Satterfield
Programme leader

Dorothy is a Senior Lecturer in Petroleum Geology.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

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.

Fees and funding

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 Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 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.

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply


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.

Contact us

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 Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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.

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