The programme duration will be 24 months for part-time.
The taught part of the programme will take place during the Autumn and Spring terms over 24 weeks. Students will be encouraged to start planning their dissertation at the beginning of the programme. During the Summer term, students will be expected to focus their effort on their dissertation project, researching the dissertation topic full-time. Part-time students will be allowed an extended period to execute their dissertation project in line with the overall programme duration. However, they will be expected to devote an equivalent of at least one day per week on their dissertation project.
This programme has been developed with extensive consultation with the industry. It will be delivered by Brunel staff members and by industrial specialists.
The programme structure is shown below and comprises two parts:
Core modules: The taught part of the course (Part 1) worth 120 credits. This includes a set of compulsory modules that provides fundamentals of structural and process engineering, and focuses on providing an understanding of how to design oil and gas structures such as pipelines, offshore and onshore to withstand internal loading induced by complex internal flows of oil and gas and also external loads such as waves and wind. Throughout fundamental mathematical, computational, experimental, testing and inspection techniques as well as codes of practice are taken into account. Civil engineering and construction aspects are also taught.
Dissertation: Your dissertation project forms Part 2 of the programme and is worth 60 credits.
MSc and PGDip modules include:
Petroleum Production Fundamentals
The module aims at developing knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of how hydrocarbons are extracted, production processes, fundamental geoscience/physics, reservoir fluids, flows in porous media, the relationship between properties of hydrocarbons to process and temperature and the effects of process equipment to those. The module includes contemporary issues including shale oil and gas and fracking.
Applied Engineering Mathematics
This module aims at extending the mathematical background of students underpinning the mathematical aspects of all other modules with advanced numerical methods for solving differential equations, advanced algebra and optimisation. The module content and teaching of techniques and methodologies will be in the context of oil and gas engineering and will be based on industry relevant case studies.
This module aims to provide an understanding of the materials employed in petroleum structures, their composition and how they are engineered to provide suitable properties. The module includes topics such as fracture mechanics for pipelines, material testing, offshore and onshore structures, selection, assessment, fabrication, degradation mechanisms including corrosion, welding and joining. Laboratories are included in the module to cover material testing aspects.
Structural Integrity and FEA
The module aims to provide knowledge of structural analysis methods including defect assessment, failure criteria and codes of practice for pipelines, floating and also fixed steel structures. At the core of the module is the development of key skills in finite element analysis for the structural response of those structures. The module includes computer sessions and laboratory sessions to cover topics such as testing and inspection of structures including Non-Destructive Testing techniques.
Multiphase Flow Fundamentals and Flow Assurance
The module introduces the fundamentals of multiphase flow processes and issues related to flow assurance of hydrocarbons, the properties of multicomponent mixtures and multiphase phenomena in pipelines, equations of state, heat and mass transfer. The module also aims at developing skills in computational fluid dynamics applied to hydrocarbon transportation in pipelines. Furthermore, the module introduces approaches for transportation systems including the treatment of flow especially for heavy oils and includes an introduction to advanced topics such as field development. The module includes laboratory sessions.
Dynamics of Petroleum Structures
This module aims at the development of knowledge, understanding and skills for the prediction and analysis of the dynamic response of onshore and offshore structures under external dynamic loading conditions such as wave and wind forces.
Design and Construction of Installations
The module includes the civil engineering aspects of onshore pipelines and offshore structures including geotechnical and structural engineering approaches, codes of practice and standards for construction to prevent failure. In addition, it includes engineering project management techniques, contractor selection and management, investment appraisal, testing and commissioning. A group project forms part of the module assessment.
Reliability Engineering and Risk Management
The module aims at the development of knowledge and understanding of risk and the quantitative methods for risk analysis and mitigation strategies in the design of onshore and offshore structures.
Term Three (MSc Only):
Students will conduct a major piece of research (c. 30,000 words) in an area of oil and gas engineering. Delivery will take place in block mode teaching with each module requiring a week-long teaching schedule. Laboratory sessions will take place at specialist facilities in the week following the module delivery and will last for up to three days each.
Part-time (24 months) MSc and PGDip
Full-time and part-time (12 and 24 months) PGCert
Brunel has a purpose built award-winning Professional Development Centre with over 30 staff, including specialist industry consultants. The Placement service includes CV writing, one-to-one guidance and mock interviews. Brunel was named ‘Best University Placement Service’ at the Rate My Placement Awards in 2012.
How will it be taught?
Students are introduced to subject material, including key concepts, information and approaches, through a mixture of standard lectures and seminars, laboratory practicals, self-study and individual research reports. Supporting material is available online. The aim is to challenge students and inspire them to expand their own knowledge and understanding.
Preparation for work is achieved through the development of 'soft' skills such as communication, planning, management and team work. In addition, guest speakers from industries will provide a valuable insight into the real world of the oil and gas sector.
Many elements of coursework involve, and reward, the use of initiative and imagination. Some of the projects may be linked with research in the College's research institutes.
Each module is assessed either by formal examination, written assignments and laboratories or a combination of these. Cut-off dates for receipt of assignments are specified at the beginning of the academic year. Examinations are normally taken in December and May.
The learning outcomes of the programme are:
Knowledge and understanding
- Fundamental understanding of oil and gas production including multiphase flows;
- Analysis, design and assessment of offshore, onshore structures and pipelines;
- Knowledge of technical and functional safety, safety and environmental legislations, and risk management in the context of the oil and gas industry;
- Knowledge of contemporary issues such as shale oil and gas and fracking.
- Apply knowledge of engineering mathematics, analytical and computational methods for the design and engineering of petroleum structures;
- Identify, analyse and address surface engineering problems using a multidisciplinary approach, considering the trade-offs between cost, safety and delivery time;
- Identify and evaluate different options in the design, specification and operation of surface production facilities;
- Develop an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility, adhering to quality and health and safety standards.
Transferable skills and attributes
- Communicate effectively through oral, written and electronic presentations;
- Skills in the design and conduct of experiments as well as in the analysis and interpretation of data. Work independently but at the same time work/contribute/manage multi-disciplinary teams;
- Obtain and apply effective interpersonal skills and develop leadership potential to drive growth in fast moving and capital intensive environments.
These learning outcomes are consistent with the Society of Petroleum Engineers technical knowledge matrix developed in consultation with major oil and gas companies. The matrix shows the essential as well as the desired skill sought by industry in graduating engineers.
Dissertation projects will be designed around industry needs in the areas covered by the programme, but will be appropriately scoped for MSc level studies. Industrial partners will have the opportunity to screen potential new recruits through these projects.