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BEng (Hons) Petroleum Engineering

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time


Fuel the world

This is an interesting time for the oil and gas sector. Its wide-ranging challenges make for a fulfilling career. On this BEng course you can expect hands-on experience of industry software and its application in the real world. You'll undertake investigative and laboratory technique work and develop valuable, transferable skills. And if you choose to spend a year in a placement, you’ll gain even more understanding of how the industry functions.

We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2020.

Why study Petroleum Engineering at LSBU?

We’re accredited by the Energy Institute, making you more attractive to employers.
We’ve been teaching Petroleum courses taught for over 60 years.
Ranked 1st for graduate prospects in London (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020).
Our staff are experts, with a great deal to share.
Specialist facilities: get access to industry level £1 million software suite sponsored by leading suppliers.
Work experience: complete your third year in a paid professional work placement.
Ranked joint 3rd for student voice, Engineering (National Student Survey 2019).


Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus
4 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus


This course prepares you for a career as a professional engineer in either the petroleum industry or chemical process industries. At every stage we’re looking to build your technical skill, problem-solving and professionalism.

You can expect to adapt theoretical principles to solve real-world engineering problems very early on in your university career. After all, that’s what engineering is all about.

Some of the modules are shared across all our engineering courses – these help you understand the commercial priorities that shape engineering practice. In reality most engineers will find themselves working side-by-side in multi-disciplinary project teams. So, one of the greatest professional assets that you can have is the ability to function well in this team set-up.

Methods of assessment for course overall: 42% coursework.

Year 1

  • Engineering principles 1
    This module will help you develop your understanding of essential scientific principles for the study of engineering to degree level. It's designed to be accessible to students with a range of prior science specialisation. The module comprises two blocks of study. These will introduce the principles of measurement systems and units, thermal physics and mechanical and electrical principles. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.
  • Engineering principles 2
    This module will further develop your understanding of essential scientific principles for the study of engineering to degree level. It's designed to be accessible to students with a wide range of prior science specialisation. This module comprises two blocks of study. These cover basic materials science and thermofluids. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam. 
  • Design and practice
    This module will cover material design activities, team work, creative problem-solving, project management, sustainable development principles, personal development planning, report writing communication, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), employability and transferable skills. It's also a work-based module for part-time students, utilising the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to provide supporting teaching material and assessments. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
  • Engineering mathematics and modelling
    This module consolidates the mathematical skills that underpin the BEng engineering degrees. It's specifically designed to cater for the wide differences in mathematical background of 1st year students, as well as to prepare you for the Advanced Engineering Mathematics and Modelling module that you'll take in the second year. Assessment methods: 50% coursework, 50% exam.
  • Introduction to chemical and petroleum engineering
    This module provides an introduction to the scope and nature of the chemical and petroleum industries, the role of professional engineers within these industries, and key technical concepts underpinning chemical and petroleum engineering. You'll develop an understanding of the economic importance of these industries and the career pathways available to you. Key concepts in process analysis and resource utilisation will be introduced. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.
  • Engineering computing
    This is an introductory module that will address the engineering formation as well as programming knowledge and skills. It will enable you to appreciate the role and importance of software and computers in engineering, and so provide you with the impetus to quickly become competent in their use. Assessment method: 100% coursework.

Year 2

  • Advanced engineering mathematics and modelling
    This module covers undergraduate advanced engineering mathematics to enable you to consider and model a variety of relevant engineering problems (e.g. electrical, mechanical, petroleum, chemical, computer, civil). Assessment methods: 50% coursework, 50% exam. 
  • Thermodynamics
    Thermodynamics is concerned with the study of heat, work and the transfer of energy from one form to another in physical and chemical transformations. An understanding of thermodynamics is important in many industrial processes. This module provides you with a study of the basic chemical and power thermodynamics.  Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
  • Fluid and separation
    This module covers the basic concepts and principles underlying the physical separation of ideal binary liquid mixtures. It also covers the design of stage-wise and differential distillation and gas absorption processes for the separation of ideal binary mixtures. Equipment design for separation of particles in suspension from a liquid or a gas will be introduced, looking at mechanical separations and related unit operations such as sedimentation, centrifugation, filtration, membrane separations, fluidisation processes, and crystallisation. The physical principles of fluid mechanics for fluid flow in pipes (with frictional losses) will be taught, together with design of piping systems (parallel or in series), as well as an introduction to single particle dynamics in fluids, associated drag force and drag coefficients and Stoke’s law, and the application of Stoke’s law in a cyclone separator. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
  • Geoscience, well drilling and logging
    This module is an integration of geoscience, well drilling engineering and well logging. The emphasis is to create an understanding of geoscience, petroleum systems and reservoirs, and fluid flow and traps. The module will introduce cycles of an oilfield project, from exploration to decommissioning, well drilling and well logging and their importance on the different stages to get information from the earth. The module will include principles of geoscience, and an introduction to drilling engineering practices, drilling fluids, well logging and interpretation. This module particularly builds on the skills and knowledge developed in Design and Practice at Level 4. You'll learn key petroleum engineering processes and complete calculations by hand. The module will include practical aspects of geoscience with a field trip and laboratory practices in drilling fluid design and evaluation. Assessment methods: 60% coursework, 40% exam.
  • Principles of control
    This module aims to give a sound understanding of a range of topics in Control Systems Engineering. It will impart methods to model and analyse dynamical systems met in the engineering of systems such as robotics, automobiles, aircraft, automatic machinery, chemical process plant, etc. It will teach you to determine the stability of a system and to predict system responses in the time domain (transient and steady state) and in the frequency domain, as well as to handle the interconnection of many Single Input Single Output systems connected in feedback and feed forward configurations. The module will provide you with methods to specify supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and to modify the behaviour of a given system by using feedback control to improve stability, to make the system act quickly and precisely, and to reduce the effect of disturbances. Learning will be supported by a laboratory workshop that enables the study of control systems using both analysis methods and computer simulation using MATLAB and SIMULINK. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
  • Reservoir engineering and petroleum economics
    This module will introduce the fundamentals of reservoir engineering and present selected economic concepts related to petroleum costing and management. It's intended that during this module, you'll build a comprehensive reservoir engineering background and then apply skills learnt to the analysis and costing of selected petroleum production projects. Reservoir engineering topics include rock and fluid properties, phase diagrams related to reservoir classification, reserves estimation, recovery processes and flow in porous media. Economic topics focus on the time value of money, profit and cost analysis, profitability indicators and economic objectives influencing evaluation decisions. Understanding these fundamental topics will allow you to acquire the necessary skills required for future petroleum-based modules, as well as the Petroleum Engineering Design Project which will be taken in the following year. Professional development planning will also be undertaken, where you'll prepare your personal curriculum vitae and relevant job application material. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.

Year 3

Optional placement year

Year 4

  • Design project
    This is an integrative project to plan, execute, review and report upon a piece of project work related to your BEng course. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
  • Production engineering
    This module is designed to provide you with a deep understanding of the conceptual aspects of petroleum production. It's built on the introductory aspects and fundamentals of petroleum engineering delivered in the first two years of the course. The module addresses the study of the flow of reservoir fluids through the production tubing and other surface equipment. You'll be familiar with theory and practice of reservoir evaluation. The module will give you the ability to evaluate the production rate, pressure drop and phase separator design. The module in general involves problem-solving exercises and other tutorial exercises. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.
  • Petroleum process and control
    This module is an integration of well drilling engineering, fluids and applications of control. The emphasis is to create an understanding of geoscience, petroleum systems and reservoirs, also fluid flow and traps. It will introduce the cycles of an oilfield project from exploration to decommissioning, well drilling and well logging and their importance on the different stages to get information from the earth. The module will include principles of well design, and fluid dynamic optimisation and completion. This module particularly builds on the skills and knowledge developed in Level 5 modules Geoscience and Well Drilling, and Fluids and Separation. You'll learn key petroleum engineering processes, fluids, and application of principles of control. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.
  • Innovation and enterprise
    In the rapidly changing world around us, it's imperative that you're able to think dynamically to create advantage in your life. This module encourages you to question what you see and experience around you and in your prospective engineering field with an aim to enhance your creativity to discover new and better ways of doing things. It aims to equip you with methods and processes to recognise opportunities and to plan on harnessing commercially viable benefits that may exist from exploiting those opportunities in a sustainable fashion. This might be a product or service (such as consultancy or contract management). The application of project management principles will help to define the critical path of a proposed business and how the many processes involved (planning, market research, market placement, finance, operations, human resources etc.) are interlinked throughout the initial planning exercise and how they can change over time. You'll be expected to reflect on what you can contribute towards a group. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
  • Reservoir management
    This module is designed to provide you with a deep understanding of the conceptual aspects of reservoir engineering. It's built on the introductory aspects and fundamentals of petroleum engineering delivered in the first two years of the course. This includes fundamentals of behaviour and properties of reservoir fluids, physical properties and flow of fluid through porous media, oil and gas well performance, water influx, oil recovery mechanisms and the material balance equation, predicting oil and gas reservoir performance, and enhanced oil recovery. The module in general will involve problem-solving exercises and other tutorial exercises. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.
  • Process safety and environment protection
    This module will look at the basic concepts of process safety and pollution control, and in so doing it will define the relationship between industry and environment. You'll understand the basic principles used in the design of safe environmentally sustainable processes with case studies drawn from the chemical and petroleum industry. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.


Petroleum Engineers often find themselves working with geoscientists, other engineers and commercial managers to reveal the ideal locations to locate wells and predict how much oil or gas could be extracted. They use complex mathematical models to ensure the material is recovered as efficiently as possible. They'll design parts of the well and production systems, and give feedback to clients.

As an engineer, you can be a problem-solver, a technical specialist, a manager...the types of projects you’ll work on are interesting and varied and there’ll always be something new to motivate and inspire you.

This course is the first step to becoming a chartered engineer – and remember Chartered Engineers typically earn more than their colleagues.

Take a look at some potential careers, including petroleum engineer/chemical, on Prospects.

Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Professional links

We’ve been teaching Petroleum courses taught for over 60 years – and in that time we’ve built up a lot of industry contacts. We have links with the Society of Petroleum Engineers – and our students regularly go along to monthly meetings and networking events in London.

Putting your skills to work

Though not essential (and subject to availability), you may wish to spend your third year in an industrial placement where you can put your new skills into practice. This four-year sandwich option is a great opportunity to understand the way that the industry functions and to gain an appreciation of the priorities in the commercial environment.

During the year you’ll stay in regular contact with your tutor and your peers – and we’ll make sure that you have the support you need.

In-sync with industry

Accreditation is a mark of quality assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council, who represent the engineering profession. This course is accredited by the Energy Institute.

Energy Institute logo

The Energy Institute (EI) is the professional body for the energy industry delivering good practice and professionalism across the depth and breadth of the sector.

Teaching and learning

Your lecturers are leading practitioners in their fields, so everything we do is industry relevant. You'll learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work. Taking on both group and individual projects, we assess your work through a mixture of coursework and exams, with project and laboratory work counting towards your final award.

We also teach you the life skills of effective communication, problem solving, project planning and team working that will set you apart and give you the best chance of getting the job you want after you graduate.

Percentage of time spent in different learning activities

Lectures, seminars and lab-based study Self-directed study
Year 1 32% 68%
Year 2 35% 65%
Year 3 25% 75%

Personal Tutoring

As an Engineering student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU.  The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.

Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.  
They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.

You will have appointments with your personal tutor at least twice a semester. Some meetings will be one-to-one and others will be in small groups.  You can contact your tutor for additional support by email or in person.


Entry requirements

  • A Level BBB or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DDM or;
  • Access to HE qualifications with 24 Distinctions and 21 Merits including 3 Distinctions in Maths and 3 Merits in Physics or;
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 122 UCAS points
  • Level 3 qualifications must include Maths and Science (Chemistry preferred)
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).

We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

How to apply

International students

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method
4 years
Start date
Application code
Application method


Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.

Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.

Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

Prepare to start

Applicant events

After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.


Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

Fees and funding

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 143 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 102 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.


We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

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