Petroleum Engineering - 7343

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

Contact: School

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 0.8 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 36

View program information for previous years

Program Description

This Graduate Certificate program in Petroleum Engineering is designed to cater for engineering and science graduates and industry personnel who are interested in expanding their knowledge base and improving their technical understanding. It covers both the fundamentals and applications of drilling engineering, reservoir engineering, petroleum technology, business principles and business management.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The program is designed to enable students to fulfil a number of needs including:
  • Updating technical knowledge and skills in petroleum engineering
  • Developing and expanding knowledge and skills in engineering management
  • Updating qualifications and knowledge to meet or maintain professional accreditation standards
  • Providing opportunities for continuing professional development
  • Providing opportunities for interaction with those at the cutting edge of the discipline
  • Providing a pathway towards the Graduate Diploma and Master's program.
Learning Outcomes
Disciplinary Knowledge and practices
  • Graduates will develop theory-based knowledge and techniques within petroleum engineering. (EA 1.3 / EA2 12)
  • Graduates will broaden their knowledge of engineering, including engineering management. (EA 1.4)
  • Graduates will be able to apply engineering methods to engineering problem solving. (EA 2.1)
Cognitive skills and critical thinking
  • Graduates will develop their ability to define, investigate and analyse engineering problems and develop creative and innovative solutions to these problems. (EA2 14 & 15)
Communication, adaptive and interactional skills
  • Graduates will demonstrate professional-level skills in presenting information and justifying decisions to other professionals, clients, stakeholders and the broader community. (EA 3.2 / EA2 8)
  • Graduates will demonstrate creative and ethical approaches to practice. (EA 3.3 & 3.1)
  • Graduates will develop their ability to work as team members and leaders. (EA 3.5)
Global outlook
  • Students will develop an appreciation of the issues associated with international engineering practice and global operating contexts. (EA 1.5)

Program Structure

Students must complete 36UOC of courses to be eligible for the degree, and must complete:
  • 12 UOC of Foundational Disciplinary courses
  • 18 UOC-24 UOC of Disciplinary Knowledge courses
  • 0UOC-6UOC of Advanced Disciplinary Knowledge courses
The degree is offered in the following streams:
The Graduate Certificate can be an entry point for obtaining foundational qualifications in Petroleum Engineering, and for articulating to the Graduate Diploma (and subsequently the Masters degree) subject to having a credit average and no fails. Upon completion of this degree, candidates can articulate to the Petroleum Engineering stream of the Graduate Diploma in Engineering - students articulating are required to complete four additional courses (24UOC) to complete that program.

Academic Rules

Entry Requirements

Entry into the Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Engineering can be via two pathways:
  • Entry pathway 1 - A 3 or 4 year Bachelor of Engineering/Science degree in a relevant discipline or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university or tertiary institution; OR
  • Entry pathway 2 - Consideration will be given on an individual basis for those with relevant petroleum industry experience with vocational training based on the portfolio supporting the application. A minimum of 5 years of full-time relevant professional and/or responsibility in the upstream petroleum industry is required. Students are required to demonstrate work experience in the Upstream Petroleum Industry (i.e. the exploration, reservoir engineering, drilling and production of oil &/or gas). An entry interview may be required.
For entry pathway 2, a portfolio is to be provided to support the application for postgraduate coursework study, including the following:
  1. A cover letter explaining your motivation to work in the petroleum industry and proposed study program at UNSW. The letter should tell us about your interests and achievements and be no more than 400 words.
  2. A CV that provides information on industry responsibility including employer, dates employed in each position and a description of the position roles (no more than 50 words for each position).
  3. Information that demonstrates aptitude for learning and relevant experience including evidence and details of employer sponsored training and Vocational Education and Training (VET). This may include brief summaries (no more than 2,000 words total) of selected projects outlining your leadership and/or substantial contribution.
  4. Contact details of two referees, including at least one past or current employer. A letter from an employer verifying the role performed would be highly regarded to support the consideration of relevant industry experience.
  5. Certificates of relevant training including VET.
The portfolio is to be provided in electronic format as part of the application process.

General Rules of Progression

Progression in all postgraduate coursework programs in the Faculty of Engineering is permitted by course. However:

(a) Not all courses are available every session and some courses may only be available in alternate years. Students should check the approved list of courses for their specialisation and for further details. Students will need to select courses carefully to ensure they can complete their program in minimum time. Students are not permitted to enrol in courses with clashing timetables.

(b) Students must satisfy the rules governing re-enrolment. A student's academic standing is evaluated at the end of each session. Any student not in Good Standing should discuss the situation with the Academic Adviser in the relevant school, and may be required to talk to a counsellor in the Careers and Counselling Unit. The full description of the University policy governing enrolment and academic standing can be found at this Link

(c) Students must satisfy the relevant pre-requisite and co-requisite requirements for each course.

(d) Only in exceptional circumstances will students be permitted to enrol in more than 24 units of credit in a session. The part-time mode will usually require students to enrol in a minimum of 18 UOC within any three consecutive sessions.

(e) Students are only permitted to enrol in courses that satisfy the program requirements as specified in the On-Line Handbook for the program in which they are enrolled. Enrolment in any other course is permitted only on a Non-Award basis, that is, on a tuition fee basis.

(f) Notwithstanding the above, before a student can enrol in any non-standard program, such a program must meet with the approval of the relevant program authority as shown in the program rules.

Transfer Between Programs

The courses in each specialisation form an articulated sequence. Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Engineering program may upgrade to the Graduate Diploma program with 24 UOC credit for the core disciplinary courses undertaken in the Graduate Certificate program at UNSW. A credit average (65%) is generally required to articulate to the Graduate Diploma.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

A student may apply to the Program or Stream Authority for advanced standing or exemption as per the UNSW RPL Policy and Procedures. Program or Stream Authorities may grant up to 18UOC of advanced standing or exemption if they consider the student has prior learning (formal, informal or non-formal) where it can be demonstrated that the student has achieved equivalent learning outcomes to the exempted course(s). Application for advanced standing or exemption would require substantiating evidence including documents including academic records, continuing professional education, professional registration and statements of service from the employer.

Computing Requirements

All software required for coursework is provided on the computers in the School computer laboratories. Some students find it advantageous to buy their own computer and software so that they can work at home. Some external courses may require students to own their own computer with Microsoft Office or equivalent. Specialist software packages that are required for external courses will be provided as part of the course pack to students.

Field Excursions and Site Visits

Field projects, site visits and industry seminars or lectures are a requirement of some courses and may involve additional expense.

Part-time study

All programs are available on a full-time or part-time basis.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Area(s) of Specialisation