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Petroleum Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering (Petroleum Engineering) - BEng(Curtin) - MJRH-PTENG Science and Engineering
Guaranteed ATAR 80 This is the ATAR level at which an offer of admission is guaranteed, subject to any other non-ATAR criteria being met.
Location Bentley or Sarawak This course may not be offered at all locations every year. Please contact us for more information on availability.
Study method Full-time or part-time
Study mode On-campus
Intake February or July
Duration 4 years full time

Course overview

Petroleum engineers figure out the best way to extract oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. They work closely with other professionals to understand the geological and geophysical characteristics of particular reservoirs, before designing, testing and implementing the most effective and profitable extraction method for that site.

Currently, reservoirs yield only about 30 percent of their oil, so petroleum engineers are needed to develop methods to increase oil and gas production. They are also needed to help develop newly discovered and future offshore gas fields.

Curtin is located in the hub of the oil and gas industry in Australia. We are building a strong reputation for excellence in the sector, with our researchers and academics collaborating closely with industry to develop solutions that enhance resource performance, technology and environmental management.

In this major you will learn how to evaluate, drill and then develop and mine oil and gas reserves. You will examine issues involving fluid flow through reservoirs, basic geology, the role of engineering in oil and gas production, chemical engineering, thermodynamics, hydrocarbon phase behaviour, drilling and well engineering. You will also develop an understanding of global economic trends and corporate profit margins through the study of economics, risk and project management. You will have the opportunity for practical study in fluid and reservoir rock laboratories and geodynamics laboratory work, and you will gain industry exposure through field trips to service company offices and drilling sites.

In your first year you will complete the Engineering Foundation Year (EFY). The EFY builds a solid base of the fundamental concepts common to all areas of engineering. The EFY was developed in partnership with industry to create a curriculum that is reflective of engineering practice.

In your final year of study you will undertake a major research or design project.

You also undertake at least 12 weeks of industrial experience, complete your Senior First Aid Certificate course and an industrial IFAP course on safety, to help you to be career-ready when you graduate. 

Admission criteria

In addition to the course-specific admission criteria listed below, please read our general admission criteria. Our general admission criteria apply to all courses at Curtin University.

Admission criteria for Australian and New Zealand students

Guaranteed ATAR This is the ATAR level at which an offer of admission is guaranteed, subject to any other non-ATAR criteria being met.


STAT entry STAT entry - The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) assesses competencies considered important for success at uni. These tests are provided by the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) to help mature age candidates apply for certain courses.

Not accepted.

Please see our correlation comparability for previous TEE subjects, WACE courses and WACE ATAR courses.

ATAR-related adjustments

Details of the types of ‘bonus points’ commonly available to applicants can be found on our StepUp to Curtin page.

ATAR and selection rank profile for those offered places wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR in the most recent intake period

View data on the ATAR and selection rank profile of offers made from the most recent intake period.

Mature age entry

Discover other ways you can qualify

Essential WACE courses

  • Mathematics: Methods ATAR and at least one of the following: Physics ATAR, Chemistry ATAR, Engineering Studies ATAR, or equivalent.

Desirable WACE courses

Mathematics: Specialist ATAR, or equivalent.

English language proficiency

IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0
Reading 6.0
Listening 6.0
Overall band score 6.5

Other qualifications may also satisfy our English language admission criteria. Please view our English language requirements page to find out more.


Fees for Australian and New Zealand students

Year Student type Cost
2018 Commonwealth supported What is a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)? - A CSP is subsidised by the Australian Government. They pay part of the course fees directly to Curtin and then the student pays the remainder. The student can defer this fee to their HECS-HELP loan.

All Australian students studying an undergraduate degree are automatically awarded a Commonwealth supported place.

Learn more about CSPs and whether you're eligible by visiting the Australian Government's StudyAssist website.

Fees are indicative first year only and are subject to passage of legislation.

*The indicative first-year fee is calculated on 200 credit points, which is the typical full-time study load per year, however some courses require additional study to be completed, in which case the fee will be higher than that shown.

This fee is a guide only. It may vary depending on the units you choose and do not include incidental fees (such as lab coats or art supplies) or the cost of your textbooks - visit other fees and charges for more information. For more information on fees and to determine your eligibility for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, please visit fee basics or the Study Assist website

If you're not an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen, please see information for international students.

Professional recognition

Graduates fulfil the stage 1 competencies required by Engineers Australia (E Aust) as the pathway to chartered-engineer status (CPEng).

Credit for previous study

If you have previously worked or studied in this field, you are encouraged to contact the Faculty to discuss eligibility for recognition of prior learning.

Learn about Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL).

Career opportunities

This course can help you become a:

  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Reservoir engineer
  • Production/operations engineer
  • Drilling engineer

Why Petroleum Engineering?

  • Companies such as Chevron, Woodside, Shell, BHP Biliton, BP and numerous others support the petroleum engineering program at Curtin and provide graduates with employment opportunities during and beyond their studies
  • Curtin's Department of Petroleum Engineering is the largest petroleum engineering department in Australia and South-East Asia, with 10 full-time teaching staff.
  • Most teaching staff are professionals from within the industry.
  • Student membership to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is encouraged and this, in conjunction with the Curtin Chapter of the membership, provides you with valuable networking, learning and career development throughout the degree.
  • You will spend a large amount of time applying the course material to real oil and gas field data.

How this course will make you industry ready

Currently, reservoirs yield only about 30 per cent of their oil, so petroleum engineers are needed to develop methods to increase oil and gas production. With the recent high level of success in gas exploration, more petroleum engineers are needed to help develop these newly discovered and future offshore gas fields.

As a qualified petroleum engineer, you can work in a technically challenging career and benefit from being part of a worldwide community of professionals.

Student profile

View our student profile table to get an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students at Curtin University. This table provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date in the most relevant recent intake period for which data are available. It includes those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.