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MSc. in Petroleum Studies

Department of Geosciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

+356 2340 3849

E-mail address

Type of course

Language of tuition

Length of course
12 months

Date of commencement
2 October

Class size

Annual Enrolment Fee for EU and EEA – Euro 400
Annual Enrolment Fee for Non-EU and Non-EEA – Euro 13,400

Students need to make their own arrangements. University accommodation website

Major recruiters of graduates of our programmes
Oil companies, Service companies within the oil and gas sector, Governments, Regulatory Authorities in the oil and gas sector, National Oil Companies

Student profile
1. Ratio of National / Overseas students 2:1
2. Ratio of Men / Women 2:1
3. Age range 20 - 40

Admission requirements
See opposite

Programme Director
Professor Pauline Galea

Contact person for application
Ms Janice Zerafa
Email: janice.zerafa(at)

University of Malta

Master of Science in Petroleum Studies

The Master’s degree programme in Petroleum Studies aims at providing professionals with the necessary broad skills and understanding in petroleum related subjects to allow them to start or advance their career in the oil and gas sector. The course offers academic and specialised training in all aspects of the upstream petroleum industry, from exploration to production.

Students will acquire in depth knowledge on petroleum geology and geophysics including the processing and interpretation of geophysical data and the economic assessment of prospects, together with a sound understanding of petroleum engineering including drilling, production and process engineering, as well as an overview of the legislative framework.

The course is especially suited to students interested in a job environment encompassing the full spectrum of disciplines of the upstream oil and gas industry such as technical and managerial job placement in exploration and production and in the regulatory sector.

On successful completion of the course the students would have developed an understanding of:
  • the main petroleum science and engineering subjects including geophysics, petroleum geology, petrophysics, petroleum geochemistry and microbiology, operational geology, reservoir engineering, drilling, development and production engineering
  • analysing field and well data, such as outcrops, cuttings, cores and wireline logs, formation fluids and formation pressure
  • currently used industry software
  • the economics of petroleum, risk assessment and environmental mitigation
  • currently used drilling and development technology
  • the contractual and regulatory aspects of the industry
  • current developments in the international exploration and production business
  • skills that promote employment advancement.

Programme Description

 Geology 1
 Physical geology, stratigraphy, rocks and minerals, sedimentology, palaeontology
 Geology 2
 Petroleum geology, petroleum systems and basin analysis
 Geophysical Techniques 1
 Gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, radiometric & remote sensing: theory, acquisition, inverse theory, modelling
 Geophysical Techniques 2
 Seismic reflection technique, marine & land acquisition, 3D surveys, wave equation, time series analysis, seismic data processing to pre stack depth migration, amplitude versus offset, impedance, direct hydrocarbon indicator
 Physical properties of rocks, well logs and log interpretation
 Reservoir Engineering
 Flow in porous media, reservoir mechanics, material balance, secondary recovery,
 Petroleum Geochemistry & Microbiology
 Origin of petroleum, composition, maturity, basin modelling, isotopic characteristics, microbiology and petroleum nutrients, conversion, sampling, analysis, surveys
 Prospect Generation and Geoinformatics
 Seismic interpretation, seismic attributes, work stations, prospects, risks, economics
 Drilling & Production Engineering
 Rigs, drilling procedure, mud engineering, casing and cementing, production and processing, transportation
 Fiscal and Resources Law
 Licensing, fiscal regimes, contracts, royalty, taxation, environmental impact assessment, health and safety, decommissioning, maritime zones, delimitation, conventions, agreements, disputes, resolution
 Individual project selected by the student or allocated by the Department

Admission requirements

The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:

(a) hold a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree or equivalent, in Science or Engineering or a related relevant degree and obtained in the 10 years previous to registration for the Course; or

(b) have reached an equivalent standard through completion of a relevant postgraduate qualification; or

(c) hold a Third Class Honours, Grade II degree or equivalent, in Science or Engineering or a related relevant degree and obtained in the 10 years previous to registration for the Course, provided that the applicants have obtained other qualifications, including relevant experience, following their first cycle degree. Such applicants may be required to follow a preparatory programme as specified below.

Full admission details can be found at:

English Requirements: The language of instruction at the University of Malta is English. Applicants who have completed their secondary education overseas are obliged to satisfy the University’s English Language requirement by presenting a Secure English Language Test (SELT) result at the required levels. The following are the main Examining Boards recognised by the University for this purpose.



Cambridge **

Internet-Based (iBT)

Postgraduate Course *



Advanced Certificate

* For Postgraduate Courses: IELTS: a minimum of 6.0 in each element
TOEFL: Internet-Based Test (iBT): a writing score of at least 24

** Cambridge Certificates: a pass at a Grade C or better is required.

Full requirements can be found at:

About University of Malta

The University of Malta is the highest teaching institution in Malta. It is publicly funded and is open to all those who have the requisite qualifications. The University's structures are in line with the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area. Conscious of its public role, the University strives to create courses which are relevant and timely in response to the needs of the country. The supreme governing bodies of the University are the Council and the Senate.

There are some 11,500 students including around 1,000 international students from 92 different countries and 450 visiting students, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, many of them run on the modular or credit system. The University regularly hosts a large number of Erasmus and other exchange students. A basic Foundation Studies Course enables international high school students who have completed their secondary or high school education overseas but who do not have the necessary entry requirements, to qualify for admission to an undergraduate degree course at the University of Malta.

The University is geared towards the infrastructural and industrial needs of the country so as to provide expertise in crucial fields. Well over 3,000 students graduate in various disciplines annually. The degree courses at the University are designed to produce highly qualified professionals, with experience of research, who will play key roles in industry, commerce and public affairs in general.