Course details

Study options

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

UK fee

£10,575 for the full course or £1,175 per 20 credits* (2022/23)

International fee

£19,950 for the full course (2022/23)

Course level

Postgraduate

Qualification

MSc

Start date

September

Course description

Introducing GeoEnergy

GeoEnergy is a broad and rapidly evolving field incorporating a spectrum of traditional and innovative geologically focused energy generation and storage strategies as well as the provision of carbon mitigation technologies to the wider energy sector.

The field of GeoEnergy includes both conventional energy generation technologies, such as hydrocarbons, as well as new and developing strategies including geothermal resources and hydrogen exploration and production.

GeoEnergy also encompasses other energy provision technologies, including the subsurface storage of natural gas and hydrogen and Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) systems.

GeoEnergy practitioners are key to the adoption of carbon mitigation technologies including Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), enhanced weathering and radioactive waste storage.

The safe efficient adoption of these technologies requires a detailed understanding of the subsurface geological environment – such understanding can only be provisioned by geoscientists.

Be prepared for the Global Energy Transition

This innovative course has been designed to produce world-class graduates with the transferable skills to actively contribute to the global energy transition, have the ability to address climate change and the expertise to integrate emerging and conventional technologies. You will consider a variety of energy sources, with your main focus being on how to responsibly obtain energy from the Earth and how we employ geological resources to mitigate global warming.

The course studies all aspects of the GeoEnergy sector including energy exploration and production, environmental impact assessment, and protecting the climate while powering the economy and providing for society. The course is taught by our research-active teaching team as well as by industry experts bringing you the latest practises and developments from the GeoEnergy sector.

On the course, you will:

  • Study a programme which is recognised for high professional standards: our MSc is accredited by The Geological Society
  • Gain knowledge of the broad GeoEnergy sector
  • Achieve an understanding of locating and evaluating subsurface geoenergy sources
  • Apply your knowledge of related energy options to prepare for the carbon-neutral transition, such as geothermal energy and carbon capture, utilisation and storage
  • Acquire experience in the use of a wide range of industry software in the fields of: seismic interpretation, GIS, petrophysics, gravity & magnetics, reservoir/fluid modelling
  • Gain practical skills (such as core logging and wireline log interpretation) that enhance employability
  • Learn to communicate effectively to peers, managers and the public in order to disseminate accurate information and thereby enable informed dialogues during the integrated energy transition
  • 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 Net Zero strategy, and United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals
  • Work with our research-active teaching team who have a wealth of experience in renewable energy, climate change, and conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons
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.

The UK 25 Year Environment Plan identifies 'mitigating and adapting to climate change' as a key goal. In addition, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals seek to build a platform for the future, in particular the goals below:

  • Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Goals 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Geoscientists 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.

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. During the course, you will participate in residential and non-residential field trips to a fabulous range of geological localities spanning much of the geological record.

A group of students on a fieldtrip
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

During the course you will study modules such as: 

  • Global Energy Challenges - You will learn about renewable, conventional & unconventional energy provision, and integrating and managing multiple energy sources 

  • Subsurface Geology: Structures and Reservoirs - You shall be introduced to a range of geophysical and petrophysical methods to investigate subsurface properties. You'll apply the techniques to potential extraction and injection of geofluids

  • Geofluid Behaviour: Water, CO2, Oil and Gas - In this module you will focus on fluid character and the movement of surface water, brines, hydrocarbons; retaining seals for existing and injected fluids

  • Subsurface Interpretation Methods - This module examines seismic reflection, using petrophysical well data, application to extraction and injection

  • Positioning and Designing Wells and Reservoir Models - You will develop an understanding of locating (GIS) and modelling geological resources, basin assessment techniques, well design for target fluids

  • Integrated Energy Evaluation - You shall 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 specific area of interest) - During this final module you will partake in an independent investigation applied to a topic or site of energy focus, likely to be Geothermal, Carbon Capture, ulilisation and Storage, Hydrocarbon Exploration/Production

  • Geofluid Behaviour: Water, CO2, Oil and Gas - You'll investigate properties of fluids involved in energy production behaviour of fluids under different pressure, temperature conditions
A male student working in the lab

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.

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. Your transferable skills 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 (using Schlumberger, Petrel and IHS Kingdom software)
  • Gravity analysis of basins (using FastGray software)
  • Interpretation of basin Heat Flow results (using Sirius Exploration Geochemistry Novva software)
  • Sedimentological and stratigraphical logging and interpretation 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)

Parts of some modules are taught by industry experts, ensuring that you stay up-to-date with the latest developments and techniques within the GeoEnergy sector.

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:

  • Dr Dorothy Satterfield: (Programme Leader). 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.
  • Dr Stephen Lokier: Stephen has more than 20 years of practical applied experience in the fields of sedimentary geology, reservoir characterisation, palaeontology, sequence stratigraphy and environmental geology, working with academia, industry, local government and NGO’s. He has carried out a range of research but a particular focus of his research has been the study of carbonate deposition in stressed environments including settings under the influence of volcanic activity and arid high-salinity settings such as those found in the Arabian Gulf. He is also a member of a range of professional bodies including the Geological Society of London, International Association of Sedimentologists, and Palaeontological Association. 

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.

We also offer a self-guided short online Bridge to GeoEnergy course for those with a science degree in a subject other than geology, for those with an engineering background and for geology graduates returning to geosciences. This course provides a practical foundation in the areas of applied geology that are critical to studying for a higher degree in GeoEnergy.

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

2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)

TypeFull-timePart-time
UK

£10,575 for the full course or £1,175 per 20 credits*

£1,175 per 20 credits

International

£19,950 for the full course

N/A

Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

AwardCredits
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.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

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

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


UK students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University
International students

On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email askadmissions@derby.ac.uk.

Apply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for a postgraduate degree

Careers

Over the past few years there has been a major shift by energy providers and government to ensure the provision of more sustainable, low-carbon energy. 

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 equips you with applied knowledge of the employment of a wide range 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. Your newly acquired transferable skill sets are vital not only to oil and gas industries but also to environmental agencies and consultancies, alternative energy companies and geo-technical companies.

The UK Government predicts 220,000 jobs will be required to support the UK’s energy transition over the next 10 years.
Potential employment opportunities include:

  • Conventional and renewable energy companies
  • Consultancies to the energy sector
  • Environmental consultancies
  • National government agencies
  • Local government agencies
  • Public outreach consultancies
  • Non-governmental organisations
A turtle swimming in the sea surrounded by plastic.

Environment and Sustainability News

We're in the fortunate position of having a wealth of expertise and knowledge to help tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Take a look at examples of how we are responding to the climate emergency.

Read our news storiesRead our news stories
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

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.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
  • Compulsory fieldwork costs are covered
  • Access to industry-standard software
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
  • You will need to purchase or have access to appropriate clothing and fieldwork for fieldtrips including waterproofs and strong footwear.
Optional costs not included in your fees
  • Access to personal IT equipment such as a laptop.

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.

Other courses you might like