With four of the top 20 universities, for Geology, Scotland is the ideal place to study. The University of St. Andrews, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh and University of Aberdeen make up the “Ancient Universities of Scotland,” which are public universities founded in the 1400s and 1500s. Besides being the oldest universities in Scotland, they are also some of the oldest schools in the English-speaking world, and have a great reputation as world-renowned institutes. Robert Gordon based in Aberdeen, at the heart of the North Sea oil and gas industry provides a vital link with the oil and Gas industry. Heriot-Watt, Founded in 1821, has a rich heritage and an established reputation as a leading research-led university and provider of education around the world.
Below is a list of the courses offered at these Universities for both undergraduate and post graduate study. If you require any further information please follow the links to each.
University of Aberdeen
The School of Geosciences offers an interesting range of both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality, engaging and academically challenging programmes. Our learning environment is one of support and personal development leading to well-rounded and highly employable graduates.
Under Graduate degrees
You will start your studies by ensuring a good grounding in Geology and geological principals. In the final two years (Honours) the degree specialises to focus on geology relevant to the petroleum industry, but with a focus on skills applicable to any geoscience problem. You are therefore well placed to pursue careers across the breadth of geoscience sub-disciplines, or careers that involve problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Designed to bridge the gap between our BSc Geology and Petroleum Geology programme and higher degrees, be they a taught master’s course or a PhD. This course also enhances employment prospects by providing hands-on access to technical data and software, much of it arising directly from industry.
Throughout the UK the MGeol is now the most usual route taken by Earth Scientists into a PhD and satisfies European expectations of a pre-PhD university education (opening greater opportunities for higher study abroad). However, the generic training in problem-solving and teamwork are also especially valued by non-Earth Science employers, making the MGeol a good choice for students considering broader career paths. It is also widely used as a bridge into taught vocational master’s courses.
Post Graduate Masters Degrees
The School offers a range of postgraduate taught masters courses, that cover the expertise of the schools. To find out more about each follow the link below.
University of Edinburgh
With so many sites of Geological interest right here in Scotland, as well as exciting excursions further afield, Edinburgh is the perfect place to study this ever-changing discipline.
Under Graduate degrees
If you choose a Geology degree, you’ll have the chance to study fossils, volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, minerals, landscapes, dinosaurs and work on your own mapping project. A practical degree with flexible study options for 3 years (Fast Track entry), 4 years (standard), or 5 years (integrated Masters).
Understand the processes that govern the habitability of the planet and the interaction between humans and the environment, and learn through measurement, problem-solving and critical analysis of results. Our third year students gain practical experience from a field trip to a tropical marine laboratory overseas.
Geophysics is the study of physical processes that occur on a huge variety of scales, from microscopic properties of minerals to forces like gravity and magnetism that act on planetary or inter-planetary scales. Study options include 3 year fast track, 4 years undergraduate, and 5 years integrated Masters.
Post Graduate Masters Degrees
We offer world-class MSc study in the areas of: Ecology and Natural Resources; Energy Futures; Environment and Society and Spatial Informatics and Earth Observation as well as collaborative Programmes with Scotland’s Rural College.
Our MSc Programmes can broadly be classed into 5 Clusters with an additional Cluster of entirely Online Programmes. These Clusters reflect the breadth of our teaching and research expertise. Our clusters encapsulate around 20 Programmes with a vast array of optional courses available to all MSc students. Click the link below to access the available courses
University of Glasgow
The school has two very successful undergraduate programmes, Geography and Earth Science. Both are ranked in the top 10 of the UK according to the Complete University Guide, and the Guardian University Guide. We have also received outstanding scores in the National Student Survey, which is completed by our final year students.
Earth science is the study of the Earth, its structure, composition, history and resources. It is concerned with the interactions of the Earth’s deep geology with surface processes, climates and natural and anthropogenic changes.
Under Graduate degrees
The flexibility of our Honours programme will enable you to choose options focused towards a range of potential careers while maintaining a very firm grounding in the core aspects of Earth Science including professional-level field skills.
You will undertake two independent Honours projects: a field-based geological mapping project and a laboratory-based research project. The latter involves the use of analytical facilities within the School (such as our state-of-the-art electron microscopes) and can lead to a genuine contribution to science.
Travelling and overseas work are major features of a geoscience career and we encourage our students to take advantage of the University’s extensive exchange programmes to study abroad. Our students have studied in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, California and Europe
University of St Andrews
Earth and Environmental Sciences at St Andrews spans topics from the formation of the planets to current climate change, integrating the natural sciences to understand the world around us. Degrees from the School equip students with a fundamental understanding of natural processes, ranging from the formation of mountain belts to ocean acidification, and volcanic eruptions to management of Earth's resources.
Under Graduate degrees
The BSc in Geology at St Andrews will provide you with a deep understanding of the materials, structures, and processes that have characterised the solid earth throughout its 4.6 billion year history. The BSc Geology degree emphasises the origin and chemistry of rocks and minerals, geological mapping, and the processes and events that have shaped the rock record.
The MGeol in Earth Sciences will equip you with the skills and knowledge to investigate Earth as an interconnected system, integrating the study of the oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, to understand the processes that have formed Earth and that generate environmental change. Applied training is provided via hands-on experience with analytical techniques and focussed field- and laboratory-based study. The MGeol allows you to combine undergraduate and postgraduate study into a single five-year programme, graduating with a Masters degree. The course is designed to enhance your research experience, preparing you for a career in industry or a PhD.
Environmental Earth Sciences focuses principally on understanding the processes that influence Earth’s surface environments and how those are modified by both natural and anthropogenic processes. The programme addresses the main challenges facing society from climate change and the methods employed to better understand how the oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere are interconnected and drive environmental change.
University of Strathclyde
We’re the first department in the UK to fully embrace the importance of integrating infrastructure and the environment in today’s world.
This makes us an ideal choice for graduate students who are interested in doing a postgraduate degree that is highly marketable. The success rate of graduates from our department is excellent, with most finding permanent course-related employment within six months of completing their degree!
Heriot Watt University
We are a leading Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Engineering and Petroleum Geoscience, recognised internationally for the quality of our teaching, training and research.
We now offer a range of postgraduate opportunities, all uniquely tailored to the oil and gas industry, in a dynamic, multidisciplinary environment which provides a stimulating place for learning and research.
This year we celebrate 40 years at the energy nexus. We are grateful for the continuing support of all our industrial sponsors and collaborators.
The Institute boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including the Centre for Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (CESEM), which are accessible to all students.
Post Graduate Taught degrees
Post Graduate Research degrees
Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
Based in Aberdeen, at the heart of the North Sea oil and gas industry, the Institute draws upon the vast experience, thought-leadership and exclusive facilities that RGU has built up over more than four decades of engagement with the sector.
This background allows the Institute to recognise and understand the increasing maturity of the North Sea, focusing upon the challenges and opportunities it presents, both in the UK and across the globe.
The Institute provides the vital link between the oil and gas industry and RGU’s 300+ teaching and research staff, via four Knowledge Centres.
RGU is a renowned leader in oil and gas teaching, training, innovation and research. The Institute’s Knowledge Centres will lead and build up that reputation, providing a clearly-defined interface between the skills and knowledge housed within the University and the wider oil and gas industry
The Oil and Gas courses offer flexible modes of study, from full time or part time on campus to online distance learning. We know that many students are working whilst studying, and that’s why we offer the choice – allowing you to balance learning with a busy schedule.
In addition to tutor contact and online lectures, our distance learning students have a strong sense of community through the use of discussion forums, chat sessions and group working areas.
Post Graduate degrees
- MBA Oil & Gas Management
- MSc Oil & Gas Accounting
- MSc Oil & Gas Finance
- MSc Energy Management
- MSc IT for the Oil & Gas Industry
- MSc Oil & Gas Engineering
- MSc Offshore Oil & Gas Engineering
- MSc Petroleum Production Engineering
- MSc Drilling & Well Engineering
- MSc Commercial Practice for the Energy Sectors