Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Petroleum)

 About Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Petroleum) at UNSW

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Petroleum) is a four-year full-time undergraduate degree for aspiring petroleum engineers. This degree prepares graduates for careers in the oil and gas industries.  As part of your study you’ll examine various processes used in the oil and gas industry in an efficient, safe and environmentally responsible way. You’ll learn how to apply practical science to the challenges and problems associated with oil and gas exploration, drilling and petroleum production. With a focus on the environment, this degree shows students how we can meet global energy needs in a long-term, sustainable manner.

A Bachelor of Engineering degree in Petroleum will help you specialise in solving engineering problems as you design technologies for use deep underground. You’ll apply knowledge of chemistry, physics, geology and economics to the discovery, development and production of energy and material resources below the Earth's surface. This knowledge can also be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and geothermal resources engineering.

Petroleum Engineers rely on physical, mathematical and engineering principles to identify and solve problems in exploration, exploitation, drilling and production. The skills and knowledge learned in this degree will also help you to address the economic and management problems associated with the recovery of hydrocarbons and alternative sources of energy from below the Earth’s surface.

Taught by leading academics in the field you’ll study major engineering topics such as:

  • Petroleum geology
  • Geophysics
  • Petroleum reservoir characterisation
  • Reservoir and drilling engineering
  • Oil and gas production

This degree includes a research component where you can sharpen your research skills alongside some of the best researchers in the country. Through an original Research Thesis or an Integrated Oil and Gas Field Evaluation, you’ll have the opportunity to take charge of your own learning. It’ll allow you to develop skills that will set you apart in the workplace.

 Why Study Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Petroleum) at UNSW 

When you study a Bachelor of Engineering in Petroleum at UNSW you’ll be taught by the School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, a leading provider of world-class education and research in mining engineering. We’re ranked 7th in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2018) and 4th in Australia (QS World University Rankings, 2018) meaning we’re recognised at one of the top places to study internationally.

We’ve got close ties to industry with industry partners such as Shell, BHP and Rio Tinto. We provide innovative solutions and research outcomes to the sector and bring a real-world focus to our education and degrees. With state-of-the-art facilities, world-class researchers and some of the brightest engineering students from across the world, we’re a great place to study Petroleum Engineering. Our benefits include:

  • Strong partnerships with industry in education, research, training and employment
  • For the past 4 years we’ve had a 5-star rating in employability, teaching and research
  • Strong importance on the translation of research into practice
  • Recent investment in our facilities means we’re now home to many cutting-edge laboratory facilities which are unique nationally
  • Students receive first-hand practical experience by participating in exciting and innovative student-led projects and industry-based training
  • A flexible first-year program consisting of a wide choice of electives and five core courses in Maths, Physics, Engineering, Design and Computing
  • $3 million in scholarships provided each year 

Learn in State-of-the-Art Facilities

Our world-class facilities within the school give our students and researchers the ability to innovate continuously. This includes the Tyree X-ray, mine water and mineral processing laboratories, in-situ site waste monitoring and sensor system.

UNSW Petroleum Engineering students have access to leading technology such as our Virtual Reality Simulator. Developed for student use and industry training, it has floor-to-ceiling screens and casts 360 degree, 3D images with cinematic clarity. You’ll experience realistic underground mines and scenarios that go beyond traditional education into experiential learning.

You’ll gain real-world insights by using these facilities that will get you ready for working in environments outside the classroom that may involve high-risk situations and hands-on implementation.

Benefit from Interdisciplinary Learning

This degree is more than just standard study of Petroleum Engineering and the associated knowledge required. Throughout close ties to industry, we understand graduates of today need a range of knowledge within a range of engineering disciplines to meet the demands on today’s engineers. We offer over 27 electives for students to study across including:

  • Sustainable Product Engineering and Design
  • Engineering in Medicine and Biology
  • Engineering Chemistry
  • Computer System Fundamentals
  • Environmental Principals and Systems
  • Grand Challenges for Engineering
  • Minerals Resources Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Sustainable Energy

Your Career Opportunities 

The UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering is ranked as one of the top mining and resources engineering schools in the world. A degree from UNSW Engineering is highly regarded by employers and opens doors to local and global career opportunities.

While Renewable Energy sources are growing in popularity, the need for Petroleum Engineers is not dwindling with BP, one of the industry’s largest companies, stating that the need to find and produce oil is still steady. Growth in energy consumption is predicted across the globe and with this comes the need for Petroleum Engineers to find and harness this widely used source of energy.

There are different types of Petroleum Engineers within the sector including:

  • Completions Engineers, who determine the best way to finish building oil or gas wells and oversee work to complete the construction of these wells
  • Drilling Engineers who decide the best way to drill oil or gas wells, considering many factors including cost, safety and environmental impact
  • Production Engineers, who monitor completed wells’ oil and gas production and often figure out ways to increase extraction from these wells
  • Reservoir Engineers, who estimate how much oil or gas can be recovered from reservoirs by studying the characteristics and determining methods to extract the most oil or gas

What Our Graduates Say

"I have been given many opportunities to connect and learn from employers at several industrial networking events, including a field trip to Perth and the annual Petroleum Dinner."

- Vinh Truong, Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering alumni