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MSc Subsurface Energy Systems

Heriot-Watt University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    Edinburgh Campus

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

Our Masters in Subsurface Energy Systems delivers the key concepts of subsurface energy and CO2 storage, geothermal energy or transitional gas and integrates geoscience, engineering, political and societal aspects important for large scale implementation of these technologies. The programme is recommended for Geoscientists, Petroleum Engineers, and Governmental Stakeholders and beyond such that they can participate in the management of subsurface reservoirs used to switch from a fossil fuel driven to a decarbonised economy. This degree is delivered by The Lyell Centre and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering committed to delivering research and training courses that meet the needs of the international subsurface energy industry. The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts serious consequences from further emitting CO2 into the atmosphere, thereby accelerating man-made climate change. A maximum of 2°C of global temperature increase is targeted, with a strong ambition to not exceed an increase of 1.5°C. This requires drastic reductions in our CO2 emissions. Part of this decrease in emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other sources comes from promoting other energy sources, like renewable energies (i.e. wind, solar, hydro, geothermal energies) or from an increase in the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Surface renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro can readily be used in the form of electrical power if sufficient capacities are installed and natural conditions are favourable enough to be economic. Installed capacities within the UK increased from about 5 GW in 2005 to about 30 GW in 2015 with an outlook of further drastic increase in capacities. In case of overproduction, electricity can be stored in grids or batteries at limited capacity. As part of a Geoenergy application, these energies will be stored in the subsurface after conversion to e.g. hydrogen, thermal energy, or compressed air until needed, allowing for back-production within short and longer time scales of hours to years. A number of courses are related to the application of learning in the upstream petroleum industry. Other courses specifically address aspects not currently covered in the petroleum industry in great detail (e.g. geothermal, energy storage). The aims of the Programme are to make aware and enhance the skills related to professional engineering and geoscience and related scientific methods. Students will also achieve PGDip and PGCert awards in this course.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 29,088per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Heriot-Watt University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, City Of, EH14 4AS, Scotland

Highly regarded around the world with a strong focus on business, engineering, design and the physical and life sciences.
Culturally diverse, warm and welcoming, Heriot-Watt is one of Scotland's most international universities with a global footprint.
Global companies actively seek out Heriot-Watt graduates due to the nature of the university's research-informed education.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    7th out of 71 8

  • Entry standards

    / Max 241
    177 77%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    95.0 95%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.11 82%



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