Wellbore Surveying Competency Programme

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What is special about this course?

This competency programme in wellbore positioning has been developed by the University of the Highlands and Islands in partnership with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Technical Section for Wellbore Positioning, also known as The Industry Steering Committee for Wellbore Survey Accuracy (ISCWSA).

This is the first industry recognised programme on the subject and has been developed in response to an industry-wide need to promote good practice in this safety critical activity. It is aimed at oil professionals who collect, manage or use wellbore survey data and require to have a good understanding of the methods, the equipment and their applications and limitations.

It also provides contractors with a standard, recognised credential in wellbore surveying to demonstrate to clients that their personnel have an adequate competency in the subject.

The programme is facilitated by Prof Angus Jamieson of the University of the Highlands and Islands and includes contributions from well-known industry experts. Angus is a consultant in directional drilling and the primary author of the University of the Highlands and Islands/SPE book ‘Introduction to Wellbore Positioning’ which all students will be expected to read.

Special features

  • You will study online via video lectures and simulation exercises which provide a realistic experience of the process of drilling a directional well using the latest high accuracy techniques.
  • You will have the opportunity for one-to-one question and answer sessions with known industry experts through an online forum.
  • You will have access to the materials for both the Fundamental and Advanced levels.
  • An optional two-week field work summer school is planned which consists of practical field exercises on site at Inverness College UHI, with day-trips to Loch Ness and the Moray Firth.

Entry requirements

  • While no formal qualifications are required, a good basic knowledge of geometry and trigonometry is an advantage.
  • You should have had some exposure to directional survey data and a background in drilling or geoscience.


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How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)

Part-time (Unstructured)

  • This will include video lectures and online simulation exercises as well as opportunities for one-to-one questions and answers through an online forum with known industry experts.

How long will my course last?

8 weeks of learning @ approx. 12 hours per week.
Assessment will take place in week 9 after completion of the study period.

Where can I study my course?

    Start date

    • The next intake will start on15 January 2018
    • Places will be allocated on a first come, first-served basis and we cannot guarantee your chosen date.


    How much will my course cost?

    The online programme fee for 2016 will be US$ 3,000 per student for the tutored programme or US$ 1,000 for the un-tutored programme.

    The optional summer school fee will be US$ 12,000 per student, excluding accommodation and travel.

    It is recognised that some companies will send multiple students on this programme. Special fee arrangements will be available for companies who can provide the personal tutoring support internally.

    The University of the Highlands and Islands reserve the right to mark the final examinations.


    Applicants may wish to approach their company to enquire about possible funding options.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    Once you have successfully completed this programme you will be better equipped for careers in – Directional drilling, geosteering, MWD operations, wellbore surveying, relief well operations.

    Is there more information available online?

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    Apply for Wellbore Surveying Competency Programme

    Please note that places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and we cannot guarantee your chosen date.

    I want to apply for this programme for the following intake starting on:

    15 January 2018

    International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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