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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Petroleum)

Australia's #1 Engineering & Technology Faculty
Commencing Terms
Term 1, 2 & 3
4 Year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
UAC code 425000
Program code 3707
CRICOS code 056835E
Entry Requirements
ATAR/2023 lowest selection rank
View all admission criteria
2024 Indicative first year full fee
2024 Indicative full fee to complete degree
Engineering students working in makerspace


Petroleum Engineers work with oil or gas companies to design, test and implement efficient methods to extract petroleum products from the earth and sea floor. They use their knowledge and skills to make estimations about what is going on thousands of metres below the ground. Petroleum Engineers rely on physical, mathematical and engineering principles to identify and solve problems in exploration, exploitation, drilling and production.

They work closely with other professionals, such as geologists, to locate the dig site, design and build the machines that extract as much oil and gas as possible. They also oversee the removal and processing of the petroleum itself. Petroleum engineers address the economic and management problems associated with the recovery of hydrocarbons and alternative sources of energy from below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers apply practical science to the challenges and problems associated with oil and gas exploration, drilling and petroleum production. In this career you’ll focus on the environment, and how we can meet global energy needs in a long-term, sustainable manner.

In this career 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.

Key features

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree is globally recognised and accredited by Engineers Australia and acknowledged by the Washington Accord. Part of the degree involves applying your skills through 60 days of approved industrial training in Australia or overseas. UNSW Engineering also hosts many industry nights and networking events to help connect students with employers.

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

This degree includes 60 days Industrial Training which provides a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience. WIL allows you to engage in work learning experiences that integrate academic learning with its application in the workplace, connecting you directly with industry and community partners

Why study this degree 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 4th in the world and 2nd in Australia (QS World University Rankings, 2023).

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.

When you study Petroleum Engineering at UNSW you’ll benefit from:

  • Strong partnerships with industry in education, research, training and employment
  • For the past four years we’ve had a five-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

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 prepare for working in environments outside the classroom that may involve high-risk situations and hands-on implementation.

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023

Program Code






UAC Code


Total Units of Credit (UOC)


Indicative Enrolments


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Entry requirements

2023 Lowest Selection Rank


2023 A Levels


2023 IB Diploma


2023 Lowest ATAR


    1. The 2023 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023.
    2. The 2023 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. The 2023 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. The 2023 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.
  • At UNSW, we are committed to ensuring prospective students have all the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their study options.

    To assist you in gaining a better understanding of how Admissions works at UNSW, we have provided you with a summary of ATAR offers and the student profile.

    We hope this information will help you identify the degree that is right for you.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics Extension 1, Physics

Adjustment Factors

We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

HSC Plus 
This scheme rewards students who perform well in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree. You may be awarded up to five points. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Admission pathways

The Faculty of Engineering Admission Scheme (FEAS) is a possible alternative admission pathway for the admission of domestic undergraduate students to UNSW Faculty of Engineering degree programs, including the BSc Computer Science and the BSc Food Science (Hons), who do not meet the published Guaranteed Entry selection rank. Visit the FEAS page for more information.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Admission pathways

If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry into your chosen degree, you may be eligible for a pathway program with UNSW College. UNSW College provides alternative entry options using university-approved content so that you can start your UNSW journey with confidence. 

English language requirements

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Program structure

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.

    • Petroleum Engineering

Full program structure

Degree structures can vary depending on the number of courses you choose and timetabling, to give you an indication you can consider the below. 

In your first year you might study: 

  • Two introductory courses in Mathematics 

  • An introductory course in Physics, 

  • and an introductory course in Computing 

You may also study an introductory course related to your specialisation of choice. These courses equip you with the skills required for the rest of your Engineering degree.   

All students study ENGG1000 “Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation”. In this course you’ll learn to think the way that engineers think, developing solutions with limited budget, time and resources.  

In your second year you’ll undertake: 

  • Courses from your selected specialisations 

  • Core courses to give you the fundamental knowledge in your area of interest 

In your third and fourth year you’ll develop your knowledge further with a range of core and elective courses.   

During your degree you’ll be required to complete two General Education electives. These courses help you broaden your education by completing several courses from outside the engineering faculty strengthening your cross-disciplinary thinking, developing a flexible approach and enhancing your critical analysis skills.  

This degree also requires you to complete 60 days of industrial training, which gives you some on the job experience before graduating. This multidisciplinary educational approach connects students, academics and industry enabling you to develop the essential technical and professional skills, so you thrive in your future career.  

Future careers

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

Potential careers

  • Oil and gas industry
  • Oil service companies
  • Reservoir development
  • Computer-generated modelling
  • Environmental organisations
  • Banking and Finance


Engineers Australia, Institution of Chemical Engineers, Australian Computer Society, Graduates are eligible to apply for membership of Engineers Australia. Further information may be found on engineersaustralia.org.au The Surveying major is recognised by the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information of New South Wales for registration as a surveyor in NSW.

Double degrees

Our double degrees give you a broad and cross-disciplinary education. Merge your interests to enhance your career prospects. Design your degree to suit your career goals with the flexibility to specialise in up to two areas of Engineering, or a subject outside of Engineering such as Science, Business or the Arts. Explore our double degree options below.

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.

Featured scholarships

Women in Engineering Scholarships

UNSW provides a wide range of Women in Engineering scholarships to support high-achieving female students throughout their degree.

Apply here and search for ‘Engineering’ in the keywords.  

Engineering Rural Scholarship

The Faculty of Engineering Rural Scholarships Program aims to assist high achieving high school students from rural or isolated areas to study in the Faculty of Engineering at UNSW.

Apply here and search for ‘Engineering’ in the keywords.  

  • Top 20

    QS World University Rankings, 2024.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

I love that everything in the world is being engineered by somebody.
Engineering alumni Rachel Mcvittie

Rachel McVittie

Engineering Alumni

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