School of Science and Engineering

Natural Resources Engineering & Management

PhD in Petroleum Engineering


Oil and gas sector, in general, is facing a number of challenges including instability in production rates, fluctuating market prices and environmental challenges, which make the oil based economies more vulnerable and unpredictable. As Iraq’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas resources which necessitates to adopt a rational approach to manage these resources by introducing state of the art technologies and producing highly skilled manpower to handle oil and gas operations. With this perspective, University of Kurdistan Hewler is offering PhD Programme in Petroleum Engineering to enhance academic and research capacity as well as professional development of the young professionals in this discipline. This is a new contribution to oil and gas sector that already stands on the cutting edge of the science and technology, which will definitely add to the future of the petroleum research. The programme intends to produce highly skilled professionals, which is a prerequisite for improved and efficient management of oil and gas resources in the country. The programme will lead to advanced knowledge, innovative research and pragmatic solutions to the imminent challenges in oil and gas sector. 


PhD Programme in Petroleum Engineering is a three years programme with a maximum of 4.5 years, with required extensions and approvals.

Upon acceptance, students will study 5 modules in the first semester. After passing all modules and securing an overall average of 70% student will do the comprehensive exam. After passing comprehensive exam student will start his/her dissertation.

Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive exam has two components, written and oral. Students should attend and pass the both:

·         Written Exam

o   Close book exam (major plus minor)

o   Open book exam (major plus minor)

·         Oral Exam

The material includes all what related to Petroleum Engineering. The student has a maximum of two chances to attend the comprehensive Exam. The first chance is at the end of June

The second and the last chance is at the end of September (if student fails in the first trial).


Students need to attend and pass all 5 modules given below:


1.    Advanced Drilling Engineering II

2.    Advanced Production Engineering II

3.    Advanced Reservoir Engineering II

4.    Formation Evaluation

5.    Advanced Reservoir Simulation II

Skills Development

PhD Programme in Petroleum Engineering at UKH mainly intends to enhance the academic and research capacity as well as professional development of the young academicians, researchers and practicing engineers in the region. It brings a unique opportunity to the potential students to enhance their knowledge and skills and to perform cutting edge research on the emerging challenges in this discipline. Students can opt any advanced topic within this discipline like exploration, drilling, production, formation evaluation, reservoir simulation and management for his/her dissertation.


First semester 5 modules and exams – Passing marks in any module is 60% with a cumulative average of 70% or above in all modules.

Second semester preparation for comprehensive exam. Student must pass comprehensive examination. Students have a maximum of two chances of comprehensive exam. First chance is at the end of June and second and last chance will be at the end of September, for the students who fail in the first chance.


The rest of the period is for research, which is 2 years.


Three extension periods are allowed. Each extension is of 6 months requested by the student approved by the department, the school and finally by the Vice President of the University.

Other rules and requirement will be according to UKH and Ministry of Higher Education/ Kurdistan regulations.


Student can select any topic within Petroleum Engineering Discipline for his/her PhD research. After successful completion of the theoretical modules and passing the comprehensive exam, student will start work on his/her research. As a first step student needs to select a topic for PhD research, select a supervisor and write a comprehensive proposal. Upon acceptance of the proposal by the Post Graduate Committee of the Department, student will start work on his/her research. Duration of the dissertation including proposal time is 2 years. 

Admission Criteria

PhD applicants are required to have:

      i. A minimum final grade of 65% (or among the top 25% of their cohort) in their bachelor degree in Petroleum Engineering

     ii. MSc in Petroleum Engineering or an equivalent from a recognized institution (equalized) with a minimum of 70% grades.

    iii. English Language Competence: Prior to admission, applicants shall have obtained a score of at least 60 in a Pearson Test of English (Academic) for the natural sciences, or the equivalent in IELTS or TOEFL examination, including UKH or any other English based universities

   iv.  At least 3 years experience after their MSc graduation.

     v.  A proposal for the research topic of at least 5000 words.

Tuition Fee

6000 USD Per Academic year

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