Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Oil and Gas Enterprise Management

Programme Details

12 Month programme of study with two intakes: September & January

The MSc encompasses modules in the latest science and technology in geology, geophysics and engineering. It also includes entrepreneurial and negotiation skills, petroleum economics, psychology, accountancy, safety engineering and environmental sciences. The emphasis is on practical application of studies, technology, lateral thinking and management techniques. Assessment is by a combination of course assessment, exams and project work.

Aberdeen is one of the world's Oil and Gas capitals. Its geographic position has maintained its dominance of the European hydrocarbon exploration and production environment for many years. The city has the highest population of Oil Industry professionals in all sectors, and rivals Calgary, Jakarta and Houston. The University of Aberdeen is the premier location for Industry contact for research and education. With so many industry-funded staff members, and with large numbers of outstanding professionals at hand, we are in the enviable position to educate personnel who wish to have accelerated learning in the Oil Industry.


The MSc in Oil and Gas Enterprise Management provides a broad training in oil industry matters; especially those pertaining to how relatively small oil companies can work with National Oil Companies (NOCs) and energy ministries to better exploit their hydrocarbon resources. In this respect training in commercialisation, economics and law will be important, as will an understanding of how science and technology can be applied at the cutting edge to improve hydrocarbon exploration success and recovery.

The target audiences are geologists, engineers and business managers working in NOCs and energy ministries, but the course would equally appeal to British and international graduates and professionals seeking to increase their knowledge, skills and qualifications.

The course aims to develop the conceptual and empirical knowledge, analytical skills and understanding of the business development process in the oil and gas industry. The MSc encompasses modules in the latest technology in geology, geophysical disciplines and Engineering disciplines. It also includes entrepreneurship, negotiating and presentation skills, petroleum economics, accountancy, safety engineering and environmental sciences. The emphasis is on practical application of studies, lateral thinking and management techniques. The first term covers science and technology issues of hydrocarbon commercialisation, and the second term focuses on business, law, politics and economics.

About the Department

  • Geology degrees have been awarded at Aberdeen for more than 150 years. Despite our close links with, and direct experience in oil and gas, our breadth of teaching and research stems beyond this.
  • We have created a world-class learning environment and we pride ourselves on being a close community of staff and students, working together and sharing experiences.
  • Research in the department focuses on subsurface earth science and its deeper time record. To the department’s traditional strengths in petroleum geology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry we have recently added significant expertise in geophysics, tectonics, structural geology to form a major research team with the goal to elucidate geological processes in sedimentary basins and their underpinning tectonics.
  • We deliver industry supportive and responsive research in a number of key oil and gas and wider energy areas. 
  • Learn more about our academic-experts working in the department - Our Geology teaching really does benefit from the best of both worlds - research active academics + industry professionals.
  • Organisations that we work with across a number of areas include – Apache, Statoil, Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Dana Petroleum,Halliburton, BP, Shell, Pemex and SaudiAramco, to name a few. These links,and more help us deliver world-class teaching and research.
  • We deliver our programmes from world-class facilities with a number of our MSc programmes having dedicated study and teaching space available.
  • Local, national and international field trips play a major part in all our postgraduate teaching. Some are organised directly through the department as part of the degree programme, whereas others are organised through the active student chapters, which offer great networking opportunities and form an essential bridge into careers.
  • In the 2014REF results, we were
    • 1st in Scotland - Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Geology and Geosciences)
    • 1st in Scotland for Impact - Geosciences
  • Recent additions to our portfolio of MSc degree programmes now means we offer one of the most industry relevant,comprehensive and careers focussed Geoscience portfolios in the UK.
  • Opportunities exist to join our Geology Student Chapter.
  • Our department works closely with the Aberdeen Geological Society and this provides you with networking opportunities with fellow geologists - 
  • Our geology graduates move into very successful careers with a large proportion working in senior roles in the industry. It doesn't matter where in the world you end up working, you are likely to have a fellow Aberdeen graduate geologist working with you. Our Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology truly is a global family network -

Contact Information

For further information about the programme or to discuss your application, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Unit.


The programme covers a broad range of subjects and courses in order to encompass all the aspects related with the oil industry environment. You will be presented with all of the business drivers in these areas of technology; from exploration, appraisal through production and decommissioning. Environmental, human and cultural impact of the oil industry is presented, and safety engineering and issues, using a series of case studies, is included. You will be expected to research beyond each of these areas and produce papers reviewing aspects of technology and how it impacts on the business.

You will study:

Geoscience in oil exploration

This course aims to cover many important aspects of geology, geophysics and prospect evaluation whilst illustrating how geologists deal with uncertainty and risk during exploration stages. An understanding will be gained about how geologists go about exploring for oil and gas, and the main tools at their disposal. 

Introduction to energy economics

This course discusses the world petroleum market in the context of overall energy markets.  The main features of the evolving petroleum market are analysed including examination of the Hotelling model and Hubbert curve.  Oil price determination is discussed with detailed consideration of the special characteristics of the demand and supply curves in the industry.  The role of OPEC in the market is examined, including discussion of the various models of OPEC behaviour and the determinants of its market power.  The economics of climate change and the place of renewable energy in the wider energy market is discussed.

Drilling and well engineering

This course aims to cover the main aspects of drilling and well engineering whilst remaining focused on licensing and regulatory frameworks. This will include long-term views on tendering and technique development.  Another key aspect of this course will be the issue of communication between geoscientists and engineers.

Management in engineering

This course will provide an understanding of the management aspects of reservoir, facilities, pipeline and safety engineering in the hydrocarbon industry.  It will also give an understanding of approaches to risk management and psychology that will enhance management decision-making.

Portfolio Optimisation

This course covers some basic economics and then focuses on valuation of assets, how to deal with risk in making investment decisions, and the various systems by which petroleum revenue is taxed.

Commercial law and regulatory frameworks

This course introduces financial laws attached to petroleum exploration and exploitation with respect to the UK, alongside an introduction to international law and regulatory frameworks.

Remediation technology

Case studies of contaminated land and the science underlying the remediation strategy employed provides you a broad understanding of the sources, fates, effects and assessment of pollutants.

Lectures covering legislation for the assessment and treatment of contaminated lands develop your understanding of how and why techniques are applied.

Online course material organised using a moodle-based interactive system provides scope for independent study and pursuit of specialized knowledge.

Coursework designed to replicate tasks that one would encounter in an environmental consultancy provide you with transferrable, employability skills.   

Research skills, professional development and field study

The aim of this course is to provide a structured method for researching various forms of materials and sources with a critical approach for evaluation and appraisal.  This course will allow the development of the necessary research skills required to undertake the independent project.  Other skills developed include CV preparation, interview practice and group working techniques. 

Individual Project

Your final year project can have many forms. It could be a review of a particular topic (e.g. A Government’s taxation strategy). You can assess a process (e.g. effectiveness of solvent aided EOR) or investigate a market (e.g. is there a market for oil support vessels servicing offshore wind farms). You are free to propose and assess the viability of a new enterprise or new technology


The Oil Industry has very strong links with the Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology with 30 years of alumni from our MSc in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience (formerly Petroleum Geology) already in the industry globally. As part of the MSc in Oil and Gas Enterprise Management, we take advantage of our position as the European Oil Capital by organising a series of excursions to examine aspects of the Oil Industry and the geology of the North Sea.


Lectures and classes are held in locations across the campus.

Students have a dedicated classroom in Meston building and classes are held in this room and across the campus. In the dedicated classroom, students have access to 11 PCs, colour and monochrome laser printers and an a4 flatbed scanner. The PCs have a wide variety of specialist and standard software installed.

The Department is also home to the The Halliburton Suite, a 3D visualisation facility which allows seismic data, gathered from surveys of the earth’s crust, to be viewed in 3D enabling geoscientists to examine and map the internal structure of the earth’s crust, to improve the understanding of its evolution, and to study methods involved in oil and gas exploration.

Students also have access to the other departmental facilities if required.


Assessment comprises of many practical exercises and research papers and essays, where students can access information from a wide array of sources, including Oil Industry journals, periodicals and other papers which are available to them. Many of the courses include ‘games’ spread over several days, which require team and negotiating skills, as well as a knowledge of technology and economics, which draw the various courses together. Team-building, geological fieldwork, a visit to see oil platforms and offshore safety are all part of the programme.


Lectures and classes are held in locations across the historic Kings College campus. Students have a dedicated classroom in Meston building and classes are held in this room and across the campus. In the dedicated classroom, students have access to computers, colour and monochrome laser printers and an a flatbed scanner. The PCs have a wide variety of specialist and standard software installed.


Our graduate employment record is one of the best in the country with Aberdeen trained geologists working in every part of the world, many in prominent positions within industry and academia.

Konstantin Nazaruk "I was lucky enough to secure a summer placement with Oil & Gas operator CNR International which has a number of assets in North Sea and West Africa. I was offered a chance to write my dissertation on behalf of a company and in the same time I have proven my ability to work hard and the university background helped me to understand the background to different issues the company was dealing with." [More]
Kevin Docherty "Being from Aberdeen, the oil and gas industry was always attractive to me. Every aspect of modern life relies on hydrocarbons in one way or another, they are geopolitically interesting, and the technology which allows their extraction is world leading.The connections [Aberdeen has] to industry are second to none and its location allows for convenient access to some of the most important companies in the oil and gas industry, both operators and contractors." [More]


Academic Requirements

Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) in Geology, Geophysics, Engineering, Law, Economics, Commerce, Business or Finance.  Joint Business and Computing degrees may also be considered.

It is important to note that the programmes of postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen are very competitive and the entry requirements stated are a guide to the minimum requirements, but do not guarantee entry. 

Document requirements

For this application we need at least:

  • a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) so far (original & official English translation)
  • detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • current CV/resume

It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible. 


Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements. These are located at This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Higher' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen . Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations. 


We have two intakes of students each year - September & January. Late applications may be asked to wait until the next intake should the programme coordinator feel there is insufficient time to consider the application. Prospective students who require a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early in the year as possible to secure a place. Applications received after 30th June (September intake) or 2nd November (January intake) from students who need to apply for a visa to study in the UK will not be processed for entry but will be considered for entry into the following intake as appropriate.


2016/17 Fees

UK/EU Students - £7,100

International - £17,200

Information on tuition fees, can be found on the University Registry website.



 University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated (or about to graduate) with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More Information

Funding opportunities can be found in our searchable Funding Database. You are advised to search the database as a broad range of funding exists much of which you may be eligible for.


Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
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