Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Energy Law with Dissertation (LLM)
A uniquely-positioned masters degree that is without equivalence in Europe. You will have the opportunity to learn directly from Programme Director Professor John Paterson who has worked closely with the Scottish and UK governments

Key Facts

Study Modes
Full-time (12 months)
Part-time (24 months)
Entry Dates
Learning Mode
On-campus Learning

Programme Details

All energy markets are heavily regulated due to the sensitive nature of where facilities operate from in some of the harshest environments on earth. All energy extraction operations have to be strictly monitored and licensed. Regulators looks at environmental pollution in the sea, on land and in the air with potential to affect all living organisms,the basic essentials of life such as water, ecology, earth at the minimum. Within the energy sector there is a strong emphasis on health and safety, security and providing a safe environment which is continuously updated in terms of climatic impacts and new operational facilities. The resulting agreements between states and the commercial energy sector are complex as legislation touches every aspect of the energy chain. Law is an inescapable and vital part of this sector being able to continue within markets globally. Aberdeen positions itself as having lead the industry in these areas where innovation has always required major understanding of how to extract energy in accordance with global legal systems alongside learning new ways to provide legislation in light of innovation.

This new programme not only links to energy and environmental directives and issues but it covers the area from multiple perspectives of domestic, regional and international law. Within the multiple challenges facing the world today, the provision of sufficient energy at appropriate prices to promote and sustain growth whilst at the same time accommodating climate change concerns, must feature near the top of any list. Energy is vital to sustain our society, business and many vital industries such as transport, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and many important other sectors.

This programme is designed to prepare lawyers for working in this challenging environment and not only develops their knowledge of this aspect of law but enhances their knowledge of environment when considering newer alternatives industries and methods of extracting energy.


Why Study this Programme?

  • Aberdeen is the European capital of oil and gas energy with a history of innovation dating back to the 1960s to draw upon.
  • Energy Law is one of the fastest changing areas of Law. The latest UK Energy Act was only brought out in 2013 and climate issues mean that this is an exciting area to study
  • We're home to the Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law which researches new trends and works with policy makers and industry directly
  • Our energy lawyers provide multi disciplinary research with industry to provide relevant thinking and teaching.
  • Our Lecturers regularly provide consultancy, policy work at international level and publish in the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Modern Law Review and many other publications
  • We are located in Aberdeen, Europe's energy capital with FTSE 100 Oil and Gas business centred in the city
  • Our industry is regulated locally by the Department of Energy and Climate Change with many other links to global oil and gas industry located locally
  • The LLM Energy Law is relevant to the global energy sector which operates on our doorstep


Among the multiple challenges facing the world today, the provision of sufficient energy at appropriate prices to promote and sustain growth whilst at the same time accommodating climate change concerns, must feature near the top of any list. With a role to play in terms of international agreements among states in relation to both energy security and climate change, in terms of agreements between states and the commercial energy sector, and in terms of agreements among the multiple actors within the that sector, to say nothing of the legislation and regulation that touches every aspect of the energy chain, Law is an inescapable but also indispensible aspect of this sector.

This programme is designed to prepare lawyers for working in this challenging context.

Our Experts

Mr Greg Gordon

Greg Gordon worked in London as a solicitor specialising in litigation in the oil and gas sector. He joined the school in 2004 and became a senior lecturer in 2011. Professor Paterson and Mr Gordon are Co-Directors in the Centre for Energy Law, LLM Oil and Gas Law and the university's involvement in the North Sea Energy Law Programme. His teaching and research interests are in energy law, particularly upstream oil and gas law, delict / tort and commercial contracting. Mr Gordon is the General Editor of the Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia and a Trustee of the TB Smith memorial Trust. He is also a local committee member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and in this connection will be pleased to hear from students interested in becoming student members.

The School of Law has around 50 academic staff , 900 LLB undergraduates, 345 taught postgraduate students made up of: 200 LLM, 80 Diploma in Professional and Legal Practice and 65 postgraduate research students.

Contact Information

Graduate Programmes Coordinator
The School of Law


All candidates must take the following courses:


  • LS501T      Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (for September starts)


  • LS551T      Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (for January starts)


  • LS5904     LLM Dissertation (60 credit points)

In addition to the above, candidates must take at least three of the courses listed below. A fourth course may be chosen from a different LLM programme. The number in brackets indicates the semester in which the course is taught.

  • LS501D  Oil and Minerals for Good (1)
  • LS501F  Energy, Innovation and Law (1)
  • LS501H  Low Carbon Energy Transition: Renewable Energy Law (1)
  • LS5076  Oil and Gas Law (1)
  • LS551A  Principles of Environmental Regulation (2)
  • LS551J  Low Carbon Energy Transition: Nuclear Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (2)
  • LS551L  Corporate Environmental Liability (2)
  • LS5594  Downstream Energy Law (2)
  • LS5585  International Investment Arbitration in the Energy Sector (2)

Students should note, however, that course options are dependent on staff availability, sabbatical arrangements and sufficient enrolment.

For outlines of the above modules, see the Postgraduate Catalogue of Courses.


Assessment is based on a combination of coursework submitted during the semester and a written examination at the end of the relevant semester. In addition, students must complete a course in research skills and a dissertation on a topic within the specialism. All full time students, both those who begin in January as well those who begin in September, commence work on the dissertation in March, with a final submission date in the beginning of September each year. Guidance on the writing of a dissertation is given.


Teaching is organised on a modular basis. There are two twelve-week semesters, the first beginning in the second week of September and finishing at the end of January (1), the second at the end of January and finishing in early June (2). Examinations are held at the end of each semester, in January and May. The dissertation is submitted at the end of August. Students can join either in September or January.


Graduates of our LLM programmes have gone on to work in academia, legal practice, and in governmental and non-governmental agencies. Many of graduates of the Oil & Gas Law and Energy Law programmes also go on to successful careers in the energy industry both in the UK and abroad.

Normally a 2(1) honours degree in Law (or another related discipline) or equivalent.

English Requirements

Foreign-language students need a minimum of IELTS at 6.5 (6.0 for writing), or an equivalent score on an internationally recognised English test with above-average competence in English language. Previous study of language and linguistics is desirable. For further details re English language requirements, please see: .



Full details of tuition fees is available here


For details of funding opportunities please visit the Law School webpages on funding.

SFC Postgraduate Taught Scholarships

Thanks to additional funding from the Scottish government this programme has funded places for Scottish and EU Students. More Information.


Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
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