Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Petroleum, Energy Economics and Finance
An intellectually challenging programme, providing career-ready credentials to help increase your employer appeal within an energy economics context.

Key Facts

Study Mode
Full-time (12 months)
Entry Date
Learning Mode
On-campus Learning

Programme Details

It’s a highly-distinctive, 1-year Masters programme combining the disciplined study of economic principles with a deep understanding of the dynamic, constantly evolving energy industry.

In the first semester, we’ll make sure you’re fully versed with the key micro and macroeconomic modelling techniques. And to make financial sense of the data, there’ll be time spent understanding the critical aspects of financial analysis. We’ll give you a thorough grounding in corporate finance and the statistical and quantitative methods used across economics and finance. You’ll also gain an in-depth understanding of energy and petroleum economics and explore issues like the Hotelling model and oil price behaviour, the role of OPEC and the issues of global warming and renewables in an economic context.

Semester two will be where we ramp up your strategic thinking (game theory) using its concepts to demonstrate how businesses interact strategically, globally. We’ll help to develop your individual analytical skills and judgement surrounding energy industry investment decisions having to be made in an uncertain world. Key issues covered include
-- petroleum policies
-- economic rents and their collection to the state
-- carbon capture and storage
-- modelling prospects for an oil province
-- subjects like licensing, the economics of decommissioning and energy security.

During the summer term, you’ll undertake a dissertation project from a range of possible key topics in the petroleum and energy industries. Past subjects have included economic evaluation of oil and gas taxation, energy policy analysis and investments in the petroleum and energy industries. Former students have created their dissertations in association with blue-chip organisations such as BP and Total as well as Scottish Government.

The programme incorporates significant input from the Energy industry. We bring together a range of visiting speakers from leading inames such as Wood MacKenzie and ConocoPhillips to discuss curriculum topics so you benefit from professional insights into contemporary issues.

Why Study this Programme?

The University of Aberdeen is an established leader in teaching and research in the fields of economics and energy. Our MSc Petroleum Energy, Economics and Finance builds on our considerable strength in these fields.

With a world expert in Energy Economics, Professor Alexander Kemp OBE, actively teaching on this programme, it is a course of study that is without equivalent.

Students also benefit from the presence of the Aberdeen Institute of Energy, powered by the University.

We draw a highly distinctive mix of students, spanning both nationalities and disciplines. So you'll be encouraged to look at energy business challenges from across disciplines, with an integrated perspective.  About a third of students come from an economics/finance background, a third have a scientific background and the final third come from the social sciences.  In 2014, in a class of 38, students represented 26 different nationalities - the students referred to themselves as the 'United Nations class'

It is this diversity of the student cohort that brings a richness of experience. Learning alongside classmates who contribute wide-ranging perspectives will help you acquire skills beyond the Academic and the technical - that cultural intelligence, those soft skills - that employers increasingly seek.

We uniquely offer all of this - and more.

  • A distinguished department, we’re home to two highly-rated relevant research centres,
    - Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF)
    - Scottish Experimental Economic Laboratory
  • Strong links and active engagement with professional practice, multi-nationals and government agencies around the world
  • Obtain insights into commercially-oriented analysis
  • Develop quantitative skills to better utilize data to inform strategic decisions
  • Learn to analyze energy markets and the micro and macro impacts of various stimuli
  • Work and network with employers from a range of national and multi-national companies through our visiting speaker programme
  • Field trips organised to energy industry sites
  • Acquire the global perspectives essential to professional success.


The University of Aberdeen has an international reputation for teaching and research in economics and in petroleum economics in particular, with the work in this latter area led by Professor Alexander Kemp OBE.   This MSc introduced in 2008, draws on this expertise to address the need for economic and finance skills required for complex decision-making in the petroleum and energy industries.  

Our Experts

Professor Alexander Kemp OBE

Professor Alexander Kemp OBE, who is one of the foremost experts on the economics of the North Sea oil and gas industry and globally lauded as one of the leading oil industry experts. Professor Kemp has written numerous discussion papers, reports and books on the oil industry. He is currently Professor of Petroleum Economics and director of Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF) at the University of Aberdeen. Professor Kemp has previously worked for Shell, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Nairobi. For many years he has specialised in research in the field of petroleum economics with special reference to licensing and petroleum taxation issues. He has published more than 200 books and papers in this field and was awarded an OBE for services to the oil and gas industry in 2006.

DR. MARC GRONWALD Programme Director

Prior to his appointment as Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in September 2013, Marc held an appointment at the ifo Institute, Munich.

He obtained a diploma (master equivalent) degree in Economics from the University of Bielefeld, and his PhD. from the University of Hamburg. Marc is member (affiliate) of the CESifo Research Network and Research Associate of the ifo Center for Energy, Climate and Exhaustible Resources.

Research Interests: Energy Economics, Environmental Economics, Resource Economics, Applied Econometrics, Public Economics Current Research Marc’s current research focuses on empirical analyses of climate change related commodity prices, in particular crude oil prices and carbon prices in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

He attempts to understand the statistical behaviour of these price series and to elaborate how certain price patterns relate to existing economic theories and how they affect economic decisions. Recently, Marc also got interested in the economics of mass media.

Contact Information

For any information concerning the programme content, Programme Director, Dr Marc Gronwald, can be contacted via

Alternatively, Clare McIntyre, Recruitment & Admissions Co-ordinator, Graduate Business School, can be contacted via email: or tel: + 44 (0) 1224 273235


Semester One

Economic Analysis 

Equips students with an understanding of micro and macroeconomic modelling techniques. 


Provides students with an understanding of accounting information and financial reporting and introduces key aspects of financial analysis.

Introduction to Corporate Finance

Equips students with the analytical skills in order to understand the implications of corporate financing decisions and the theoretical underpinnings of corporate finance theory.

Quantitative Methods

Introduces the statistical and quantitative methods used in economics and finance.

Introduction to Energy and Petroleum Economics 

Applies economics and finance principles to examine key issues in the petroleum and energy industries.  Issues examined include an analysis of the world petroleum market, the Hotelling model and oil price behaviour, the role of OPEC plus global warming, renewable policy.


Semester Two

Business Strategy 

Provides a systematic approach to strategic thinking (game theory) and uses its concepts to explain understand how businesses interact strategically.

Real Options and Decision Making  Develops students’ analytical skills and understanding concerning investment decisions under uncertainty.  It introduces students to methods of analysis of the benefits and costs of investment decisions and provides an appreciation of how these are useful to decision makers in the petroleum and energy industries industry.

Issues in Energy & Petroleum Economics  Further application of economics to key issues in the energy and petroleum sectors.  Recent Topics have included:  Petroleum Policies, Economic rents and their collection of to the state, Licensing and other policy issues, Modelling prospects for an oil province, Economics of Decommissioning, Carbon Capture and Storage,  Electricity Markets and Wind Energy,  Energy Security. 

Empirical Methods In Energy Economics  Applies a range of empirical methods to issues in energy including analysis of energy spot and future prices using time series econometric techniques, economic evaluation using Monte Carlo simulation, modelling using linear programming, application of partial equilibrium modelling to energy market analysis. 

Summer Term

Dissertation Projects cover a wide range of topics examining various economic and finance issues in the petroleum and energy industries.  For example, past projects have undertaken economic analysis of oil and gas taxation in various counties, analysis of issues in energy infrastructure, energy policy analysis, application of real options analysis to investments in the petroleum and energy industries.  Opportunities also exist for students to undertake their dissertations in association with companies involved in the energy industry. 

How You'll Learn



It’s a combination of in-course assessments, examinations plus your summer term dissertation.


As well as formal teaching, there will be visiting speakers currently working in the Energy Industry, and field trips organised to energy industry sites.


An MSc in Petroleum Energy, Economics and Finance could take you far. We’ve had many students going through to successful, rewarding careers with a range of top employers. Let’s name drop a few:

  • Aditya Birla
  • BP
  • Citibank
  • Centrica
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • ExxonMobil
  • Ghanian Petroleum Commission
  • KPMG
  • npower
  • Oil and Gas UK
  • Petrofac
  • Palantir Solutions
  • PwC
  • Sapient
  • UBS Investment Bank
  • UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
  • Schlumberger
  • Talisman
  • Total
  • Turkish National Oil Corporation
  • UBS
  • Wood Group

The list really does go on. And so does the number of posts our past students have successfully applied for. - Here’s a small selection:

  • Energy and Business Consultant
  • Strategy Analyst
  • Market Analyst
  • Commercial Analyst
  • Economist, Project Manager
  • Oil and Gas Associate

But don't just take our word for it. In the words of efinancialcareers: 'An MSc in petroleum economics – or indeed any qualification in petroleum economics will help you get into commodities sales and trading, if it’s from a top school. The University of Aberdeen runs a course in the UK'

Normally at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in any discipline with either a significant quantitative component or some component of either economics or finance. For candidates who do not meet normal admission requirements a GMAT test may be requested.

To perform well, it’s a programme in which students joining must have already developed analytical skills to a certain level.

English Requirements

  • IELTS minimum overall: 6.5
  • IELTS minimum by component: 6.0 in writing, 5.5 other elements (or equivalent PTE).

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


For further information on tuition fees please click here.


All applicants will be considered for Graduate Business School and Kings College Scholarships

Students who accept an offer of a place will be asked to pay a deposit (approximately 10% of the total programme fee) to secure their place. This deposit is later deducted from the tuition fees payable at registration. See www.abdn. uk/sras/deposits for further details.

Prospective students should visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

SFC Postgraduate Taught Scholarships

Thanks to additional funding from the Scottish Funding Council, this programme has funded places for Scottish and EU Students.

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 with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. 


Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
The Hub
King's College

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272576