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Gain a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of fluid flow, vital for pipeline engineers and highly relevant across many sectors of industry.

Learn from a top team of experts in fluid mechanics and chemical engineering, with the input of industry experts and real-life scenarios, as you grow your widely-applicable knowledge and expertise.

Boost your professional skills and fast track your career, enjoying the advantages of distance learning whatever your location in the world.


Transport of oil and gas through pipelines poses many challenges for the engineer. These challenges require a real grasp of the fundamentals of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, phase changes, deposition and/or obstruction, and erosion. Deep water production, heavy oils, high water production, severe slugging, hydrates, sour gases, asphaltenes and waxes make this task even harder. It’s vital for an engineer to be up-to-date with new technologies to ensure reliable and cost-effective transport of oil and gas.

This course gives you a thorough grounding in these topics through expert teaching, real-life examples, invited lectures from experienced engineers, and training in state-of-the-art flow assurance software.

You’ll gain knowledge and skills in single and multiphase fluid flow, thermodynamics and phase behaviour including the effects of temperature and pressure, and heat transfer by conduction and natural or forced convection.

The strong focus on fundamental fluid engineering makes this course (a compulsory module in our highly-acclaimed MScs in Subsea Engineering and Oil and Gas Engineering) a brilliant choice for you as an engineer in whatever industry you work.

Aberdeen is the obvious provider of this course, as a globally-recognised centre of excellence in subsea engineering and fluid mechanics, and in a region with the highest concentration anywhere of subsea companies. You’ll be taught by experienced tutors who have themselves worked at senior level in the industry, and by guest speakers from major companies operating in the subsea and wider offshore sector. Your programme benefits from an Industry Advisory Board which constantly reviews your course content to ensure that you gain state-of-the-art knowledge and are up to date with emerging trends and technologies.

You can take this credit-bearing short course standalone or as a taster to progress to a full Masters in Subsea Engineering or in Oil and Gas Engineering, both available fully online.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of reputation, experience, breadth of expertise, teaching and research strength, location and international outlook, makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class education in energy. Aberdeen is Europe's energy capital, and a leading ‘World Energy City’. Our University is a founding Member of the Global Subsea Universities Alliance.

Our Institute of Energy brings together experts in research, teaching and professional development across all areas of engineering, oil and gas, and renewable energies. Students gain the benefit of close working relationships with major companies and entrepreneurs, and learn from experienced industry professionals and world-class academics who collaborate with industry colleagues on cutting-edge research.

Aberdeen engineering graduates are today working at senior level, including CEO and MD, in the offshore industry worldwide. Wherever you are working in the world you are likely to have a fellow Aberdeen graduate engineer working with you.

You can take this credit-bearing short course standalone. Should you decide to pursue your studies in greater depth you can use these credits to progress to the full online MSc in Subsea Engineering, accredited by The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), and the Energy Institute. You can also progress to our highly-acclaimed MSc in Oil and Gas Engineering.

A further opportunity, which requires campus study, is our new MSc Global Subsea Engineering programme which offers a unique chance to study in an internationally collaborative environment centred around two major oil and gas hub - Aberdeen in Scotland and Perth in Western Australia.

What you'll study

You’ll cover the processes and problems associated with the flow of hydrocarbon product through subsea systems, with a particular emphasis on fundamentals of system modelling and design.

Topics include:

  • chemical properties of the principal hydrocarbon fluids
  • methods to assess the phase diagram and thermophysical properties of fluids transported along pipelines
  • techniques to model single phase and multiphase flow and resulting design implications
  • causes and effects of waxing, hydrate build-up, asphaltenes, scale and other chemical obstacles to fluid flow through pipelines
  • techniques to maintain pipelines free from obstructions and assess erosion
  • mathematical techniques to model flow dynamics
  • mathematical techniques for the thermal modelling of pipelines
  • future design trends.

How you'll study

This online, 12-week distance-learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, work and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an international online classroom experience and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

We expect you to spend around 10-15 hours weekly on your 12-week course. You’ll be guided through your programme with weekly online lectures and tutorials. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to interact with your tutors, and with your online classmates on discussion boards.

Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the advantages of online distance study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


Your learning will be assessed continually throughout your course, and this will contribute 30% of your final mark.

At the end of the course you’ll have a written three-hour examination worth 70% of your marks.

Through our network of partners throughout the world we will arrange a convenient location for you to sit your exam. Alternatively, if you are based in Aberdeen, you can take your exam on our Aberdeen campus.

Entry Requirements

In general, applicants are expected to hold a relevant degree; however alternative/lower qualifications combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience, may also be considered as a means for entry.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.