MSc Energy Politics and Law provides you with the skills to analyse the relationship between energy needs, politics, law and economics.
As a society we face challenges in the future concerning managing our energy reserves, storing energy for future generations, monitoring energy usage, providing it across nations and how governments should regulate it. Energy politics and law brings a multidisciplinary subject together to allow you to develop an advanced knowledge in energy management, regulatory agencies, stakeholder engagement, and NGO/policy advisory roles.
This programme will provide you with the skills to analyse energy, political, economic and legal issues. You will study the politics of energy and of electricity market reform; how economics and legal issues affect political and commercial decisions in energy; how the law affects the oil and gas industry; commercial domestic and international political regulation of energy markets; the politics and law of renewable energy; international energy security issues such as oil crises, and the law and politics of climate change. Being based in Aberdeen, Europe's energy capital, we provide opportunities for direct engagement through work experience or collaboration in writing dissertation projects with the energy industry. This will enable you to more easily to find employment in an energy-related activity.
You may study this subject as a stand-alone programme to enhance your knowledge of this area at advanced level, or you may wish to provide the necessary foundations for a PhD in social sciences.
The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.
History and politics of energy since WW2. Nuclear Power politics – rise, fall and non-rise?. Renewable energy politics, rise and stagnation or triumph? EU politics of liberalisation and interventions such as the EU ETS. Environmental politics and oil; conserving nature and extracting oil Arguments about regulations on oil and gas, planning arguments, arguments about oil spills, protests (eg Brent Spar). The politics of natural gas. The case of ‘fracking’. The course will discuss how economics and politics interact. No prior technical or econometric knowledge is required for this course.
This course introduces key techniques from economics and finance to allowing understanding of the basics of business decision making within the energy industries and the economic implications of key energy policies. We consider basic financial concepts such as: present value, the opportunity cost of capital and their role in business decision making in energy industries. We also consider key economic elements of markets and how the economic environment structures the way in which businesses make decisions and energy market outcomes.
Students may choose between one of the following:
A transition from reliance on fossil fuels to low-carbon renewable energy is essential for mitigating climate change and for making energy supplies more sustainable. The course considers the challenges and concerns that this fundamental change in the nature of energy supplies gives rise to, and explores laws role in addressing them. The course examines the legal regimes for promoting renewable energy at international, EU and UK levels, and considers how law can be used to address significant constraints on the growth of renewable energy including difficulties with grid access and public opposition to wind energy development.
The petroleum industry brings together the most powerful public and private actors in the form of states and trans-national corporations. Oil and gas law has the task of arranging the resultant relationships and of ensuring that the legitimate interests of each side are protected. Following a series of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics drawn from the state control, contracting and regulatory aspects of oil and gas law. This course is available to LLM students on programmes other than the specialist LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes.
Oil and Security – how oil crises have occurred since 1973, with a focus on the energy demand and supply pressures and the political factors triggering the 1973 and 1979 oil crises. OPEC and IEA. The factors underpinning the oil crisis of 2008 and its relationships to world economic crisis. The role of China in oil politics.
Natural Gas, the EU and Russia. How conceptions of (natural gas) energy security are constructed and implemented in the EU and Russia –Nuclear Power and energy security;– eg Iran .
Students may choose between one of the following:
Nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage are seen by some governments as key contributors alongside renewable energy to the decarbonisation of energy supplies. However, significant risks of harm to the environment and human health and challenges with securing investment and overcoming public concerns are associated with the use of both technologies. The seven seminar course examines legal responses to these risks and challenges at international, European Union and national levels, critically considering their adequacy for tackling the difficulties with employing nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage as part of a low carbon energy transition.
The supply of electricity and natural gas – as network-related industries – presents specific regulatory challenges. These challenges are of particular importance in the context of the liberalisation of these sectors, i.e. the restructuring of these industries from monopolies to competitive markets. Will liberalised electricity and gas markets ensure security and reliability of energy supply? Will consumers be adequately protected against potential abusive behaviour of dominant market players? Is liberalisation compatible with the objectives of decarbonisation and environmental protection? The purpose of this course is to explore the law and policy framework governing energy supply in a liberalised market environment.
The project will take the form of a traditional dissertation in that a research question will be set, theory that is relevant to the empirical topic under consideration will be selected and utilised to answer the research question, and an appropriate methodology will be used to answer the research question. There will be a discussion of the evidence and theory discussed and a cogent conclusion reached on the basis of the argument that is developed.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Our next Open Day will be onFind out more
Teaching includes a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning in order to enhance students’ critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills.
Courses are assessed through essays, presentations, group and project work and exams. The variety of assessment in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practice and become expert communicators and team players.
The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CAS mark of 9 in the relevant dissertation course, irrespective of their performance in other courses.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||Tuition fee for main award||£4,500|
|International Students||Tuition fee for main award||£13,800|
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
References are not required for applicants to submit an application. They are not usually required for a decision to be made but applicants may be asked to provide a single academic reference.
Applicants for admission are expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with at least 2:1 standard from a recognised educational body. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience, appropriate to the field of study.
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.
If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
ACREEF provides a focus for the identification and implementation of high quality research in the areas of energy economics and finance.Find out more
The Centre for Global Security and Governance brings together academic experts, policy makers, and students to define, analyse, and propose remedies to the most pressing security and governance challenges the world faces in the 21st century.
This research centre promotes the research activities of the many members of the School having an interest in Energy Law matters, as well as fostering an environment for collaborative work.Find out more
This programme will give you the skills and experience to apply in various aspects of the energy industry, planning, legal aspects of energy, involvement in organisation of projects, project evaluation, policy research and guidance, provision of energy services and administration. You can apply your knowledge to different types of energy organisation ranging from the major utilities and energy companies through to independent companies, local government and national government and pressure groups and policy foundations interested in energy issues.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.