Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Oil & Gas Chemistry
A unique programme, tailored for training the next generation of professional chemists for the oil and gas industry.

Key Facts

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

Programme Details

This programme will build on your undergraduate chemistry experience and develop specialist skills applicable to the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry is expected to remain an important source of energy provision for the foreseeable future, with oil and gas projected to meet 60% of the world's energy needs in 2030, despite the growing research emphasis on renewable forms of energy generation.

This postgraduate programme focuses on the chemistry applicable to efficiency and environmental responsibility, addressing materials and energetics relevant to production and refining, and environmental impact and remediation.

The University has a historic and central presence within Aberdeen, the Energy Capital of Europe. This programme has been designed in collaboration with industry which ensures that it is relevant and current. You will also be given the opportunity to build up your own network of industry contacts.

“Aberdeen University is one of the oldest and most respected in the UK, and this new initiative by the Chemistry Department is an exciting opportunity both for prospective students and for the oil and gas industry. The understanding and control of many types of chemical processes is crucial for safe and successful operations across many parts of the oil business, and the industry needs talented graduates with the skills and knowledge to bring the right chemistry to the right projects at the right time.” Norman Laing, Foinaven Reservoir Engineer , BP North Sea 

Why Study this Programme?

  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, it has been highly commended as an exceptional programme which meets the needs of future employers in the Oil and Gas and Energy field for the local industry and worldwide.
  • Since its launch in 2011, this programme has steadily grown, attracting students from around the world. It now forms a major part of our impressive suite of oil and gas and wider energy related MSc programmes.
  • We provide strong research-led teaching in oil and gas-relevant themes and a close interaction with the oil and gas industry, providing knowledge & experience from renowned academics and industry professionals.
  • Aberdeen is the oil and gas capital of Europe and is the office location for many of the major oil companies that serve the industry. You will have the opportunity to work with and visit leading organisations during the programme.
  • Graduates find work in oil and gas and energy areas, and attain a leading roles in their chosen areas. As Alumni, they then feedback into this course, for example through our mentoring system, where students are encouraged to contact mentors from industry.
  • Despite its focus on oil and gas chemistry themes, this degree programme will also give you the relevant chemistry knowledge and skills to perform in a variety of industrial processes.
  • 80% of research in Chemistry was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' at REF2014.
  • In the REF2014, our department was rated "1st in Scotland for Chemistry research impact.
  • We are a close department of staff and students who actively work together. Your development will be encouraged and supported throughout your studies and you will build relationships that may last a lifetime.


Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

"The MSc Oil and Gas Chemistry is an exceptional course.  It clearly meets the needs of the local industry and future employers. 

This programme and its structure are commended and is a credit to the department."


Our Experts

Programme Director - Dr Andy Kindness

Head of Chemistry - Prof. Jorg Feldmann

Contact Information

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


The Programme is structured across three semesters with candidates being required to attend the designated programme of courses as described below. Each level acts as a pre-requisite for the next (i.e. Certificate, Diploma, MSc). 

January start structure varies slightly from the below but still meets the same level of academic quality. 

First Semester – September-December


Second Semester – January - May

Only candidates who complete the above at an appropriate standard will be allowed to progress to Stage 3.  Candidates who fail to achieve the standard for progression to, or who elect not to proceed to, the project stage shall be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma if they have achieved the appropriate standard for that award.

Third Semester (MSc) – June-September

Extended Research Project/Dissertation (60 credit points)

 Assessment:  By course work, by written examination, or by a combination of these, as prescribed for each course.  The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CAS mark of 9 in CM 5903 (Project), irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Some previous examples of projects include:
  • Computational modelling of Inorganic scales in oilfield reservoirs
  • Optimisation of viscosifiers for water based drilling fluids.
  • Characterisation of polymers subjected to subsea conditions.
  • Steel corrosion susceptibility in different oil well cements (in-house, Chemistry)
  • Determination of arsenic species in water and gas condensate samples (in-house, Chemistry)
  • Mercury analysis in hydrocarbon fluids. (Intertek)
  • Determination of BTEX in oilfield produced water (Intertek)

Learning Methods

Field Trip, Group Projects, Individual Projects, Lectures, Research


Assessment is by course work, by written examination or by a combination of these as prescribed for each course. The Extended Research Project will be assessed by dissertation. The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to complete the Extended Research Project at an appropriate standard, irrespective of their performance in other courses.


Many of our graduates find careers in the oil and gas service sector, amongst which oilfield chemicals plays a significant role. Several such companies are based in Aberdeen but it is anticipated that graduates from this programme will be able to find employment opportunities in all major oil and gas producing countries. 

Some of the roles our graduates have gone onto do include:

  • Process Engineer Chemist
  • Field Support Chemist
  • Technical Specialist
  • Chemist
  • Crude Oil Analyst
  • Technical Advisor
"The broad variety of courses offered in the programme opened up many more opportunities in the energy sector than I had before.  In addition, insight into the industry provided by professors, guest lecturers and an industrial placement during the research portion of my degree, helped me determine in what area of the oil and gas industry I wanted to start my career." [More]
"During my MSc degree in Oil and Gas chemistry, I was given the opportunity to carry out my industrial placement / dissertation for a period of 4 months in a global oilfield chemical company. This was the beginning of my career in oilfield chemicals." [More]

Academic Requirements

Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a Chemistry, Applied Chemistry or Industrial Chemistry degree at 2:2 (lower second class) UK Honours level (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth). 

Students with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Geology or B.Ed in Chemistry may also be considered if they have a 2:1 (upper second class) result or above.

Key subjects you must have covered: a minimum of 2 years of chemistry in your undergraduate degree.

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. 



We have two intakes of students each year - September and 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 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.

English Requirements

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 Standard' 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. 


2016/17 Fees

UK/EU Students - £4,500

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.

A list of funding opportunties is also maintained on the College of Physical Sciences Funding Page.


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

Social Media