At the University of Aberdeen as well as flexible, quality online degree programmes, we also offer individual, credit-bearing short online courses that can be taken to work towards a degree qualification or for professional or personal development reasons.

Our online short courses are self-contained units of learning that are taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes. Students enrolled on our short courses benefit from the same student experience, including access to a suite of learning resources and support, as students on our full degree programmes.

So, if you are thinking of starting on your journey towards a degree or want to advance your career with new knowledge and skills, then apply today for one of our short courses.

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Applied Health

Applied Anatomy: Upper Limb (January / September)

A short course for clinicians, allied healthcare professionals, science graduates and anatomists looking to refresh or enhance their knowledge of functional and applied anatomy with a focus on the function of the upper limb.

Students study online for five weeks in preparation for two days of intensive, face-to-face cadaveric based workshops in week six.

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Applied Statistics (January)

Applied statistics introduces students to statistical concepts involved in the appropriate design, analysis and interpretation of research in health settings, covering aspects of data types and presentation of data; probability; samples, distributions, statistical inference; hypothesis testing; univariate parametric and non-parametric methods and correlation with an introduction to regression.

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Assessment of Nutritional Health (September)

This course will give you a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the methods used to assess nutritional status, dietary intake and the nutritional composition of food. Theory will be put into practice through a series of practical workshop to give you ‘hands-on’ experience of using a range of assessment techniques using equipment routinely employed by nutritionists.

The assignments for this course are designed to help you develop the skills you will employ in daily life as a nutritionist these include presenting an academic poster, producing a paper and conducting a nutritional assessment of a client.

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Epidemiology (January)

This course in applied epidemiology gives an introduction to disease measurement at a population level, basic epidemiological study design and analysis, and provides an understanding of key methodological issues needed to apply when designing – or critically appraising – an epidemiological study.

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Evidence-Based Health (September)

This course aims to enable the fundamental understanding and application of evidence based health at an individual- and population-level, focusing on the use of systematic reviews to synthesise evidence as well as methods to translate and implement evidence to inform health practice and policy.

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Fundamentals of Human Nutrition and Metabolism (September)

This course will provide you with the basic knowledge required to enable you to move on to the complex issues that are addressed in today's society around the role of nutrition and food in disease prevention and management. This coures is designed as a refresher course for those who have already undertaken nutrition at undergraduate levels or to enable students with a strong science background to convert their knowledge into the nutrition field.

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Fundamentals of Research Design (September)

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of health research methods. The course will focus on the development of research protocols, including how to formulate research questions, identify appropriate study designs, identify relevant outcomes and plan data collection.

Students will be introduced to the main study designs used in health research including experimental, observational, qualitative and mixed method designs. Sampling techniques and methods for data collection for both quantitative and qualitative methods will be addressed. Students will also be introduced to the importance of critical appraisal and research ethics and will learn how to communicate scientific findings.

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Health Informatics (January)

We live in a time of ‘Big Data’ with the rapid growth in the digital capture of health information. Health Informatics is the science of data capture, linkage and analysis of large datasets to improve health. The demand for health researchers with training and experience in health informatics is high. For people practicing in Public Health, it is a key skill.

It will equip students for any career in health research or public health practice and this course is an excellent stepping stone for those wishing to develop a specialist interest in the field.

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Nutrition and Health Through the Life Stages (January)

This course will provide a detailed knowledge of the relationships between diet, human development, health, and disease. Topics covered include diet and nutrition across the life course, integration and adaptability of different metabolic pathways e.g. starvation, exercise, and the role of diet in the development of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. During the course you will also develop the skills required to select and critically appraise scientific evidence.

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Counselling and Mentoring Approaches in Educational Settings (September)

This course is designed to extend knowledge and understanding and enhance practice in counselling and mentoring. Participants will develop a critical understanding of the theoretical concepts and principles underpinning approaches to counselling and mentoring; reflect critically on their own attitudinal qualities, interpersonal and communication skills when in role as a counsellor, mentor and mentee; through skills development, enhance their skills when involved in educational contexts; contribute to enhancing the quality of provision within their learning community through undertaking counselling, coaching and mentoring related activities and reflect on the impact of their role on self and others.

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Critical Approaches to Academic Literature (January / September)

This course is for students undertaking postgraduate study which requires a good standard of critical reading and writing skills.

The essential aim of the course is to provide participants with a working knowledge of what is required to appraise journal and other material, and be able to present a reasoned argument based on evidence. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate the capability to

  • develop a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts of the topics studied, together with knowledge of major policy issues involved
  • analyse critically evidence and arguments to support professional judgments

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Exploring Leadership (September)

This fully on-line course examines the current debates and research on leadership, particularly as these apply to not-for-profit organizations, such as education, nursing, emergency and other services.

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Leading and Managing from the Middle (September)

This module focuses on the middle levels of leadership. Formal and informal roles will be explored from a practical and research perspective. The role of the Head Teacher's in facilitating and building teachers’ capacity to lead will be reviewed. Participants can focus on the concept of leadership, related to the different models of leadership that prevail in schools today with some accent on the impact and delivery of Distributed Leadership.

The values and principles of leadership will be reviewed within the context of the participant's own professional context, and by open exchange of ideas with others in the group.

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Leading Change (January)

Participants will review and critically appraise current conceptual understandings of change, gain an understanding of change management, and evaluate change processes in their own organisational setting.

Implementing and managing change has become an on-going leadership task; coping with the complexity, ambiguity and stress which change can generate is seen as a key leadership skill. It is widely accepted that leaders and managers will succeed more often if they have the necessary knowledge of how to view, cope with, initiate and sustain change.

This course is designed to increase the understanding of participants who are involved in leading to enhance performance.

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Leading Effective Improvement (September)

This module provides opportunities for participants to investigate current theories and research in improvement, and further explore those theories in relation to practices in their own work environment, along with the principles and practices of self-evaluation that inform them.

A seminar format will be followed providing participants the opportunity to contribute to discussion and actively input ideas relating to ways and means of initiating and leading school improvement. Participants will meet regularly in a virtual, online learning environment which facilitates discussion and inter-action with others. Many of the principals and practices of school improvement are transferable to other organizations.

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Personal and Social Development, Health and Wellbeing (January)

Personal and social development linked to health and wellbeing is increasingly recognised as central to an effective education in which the potential of the whole individual is developed.

Curriculum for Excellence and HW E&O’s emphasize the importance of planned approaches. This module is therefore designed to increase competence in identifying and meeting the developing needs of young people through effective planning.

The module covers aspects below:

  • planning, development and delivery of inter-disciplinary programmes of PSHE including assessment, evaluation and improvement planning
  • learner-centred approaches and the importance of a supportive climate

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Research Methods (January / September)

The course is focussed on social science research and applications in professional / work contexts. Participants make critical connections between policy, theory, research and practice in the context of investigating their own practice.

Course coverage includes research philosophy and methodology, research implementation (design, methods, data collection and ethics), data analysis and interpretation, and reflective evaluation.

Participants conduct a small scale research activity to enable exploration and evaluation of the application of research in their own context. The course offers a supportive, formative learning experience in preparation for a larger project.

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Energy Conversion and Storage (January)

This course examines the interconnection between different forms of energy, the fundamental thermodynamics which limits the efficiency of energy conversion, device design limitations and the different ways in which energy might be stored.

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Energy from Biomass (September)

This course examines the full life cycle of biomass and bioenergy industries including resources, technologies, environmental and sustainable issues, and challenges facing the use and application of these forms of energy in the energy mix.

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Flow Assurance (January)

There are many challenges during transport of oil and gas through pipelines. These challenges require a real grasp of the fundamentals in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, phase changes, deposition and/or obstruction, erosion and new technologies to ensure a reliable and cost effective provision of oil and gas. Deep water production, heavy oils, high water production, severe slugging, hydrates, sour gases, asphaltenes and waxes make this task even harder.

This course will provide a detailed explanation of the topics, a well-balanced set of tutorials with real examples, invited lectures from experienced engineers and flow assurance specific software training.

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Fundamental Safety Engineering & Risk Management Concepts (September)

The course serves as the entrance to the field of safety and reliability engineering with the introduction of the basic concepts and tools of safety and risk management. Legal frames related to engineering safety are also introduced.

Contents include: Fundamentals of safety engineering; natural and man-made hazards; safety measures; accident and failure statistics; fundamentals of risk management; risk assessment techniques; classical reliability theory; modelling of engineering systems as series and parallel systems; redundancy; fault trees and event trees; availability and maintainability; UK safety legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work Act and its historical, offshore and other regulations.

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Human Factors Engineering (January)

Human Factors Engineering (HFE) covers a range of issues relating to how people interact with complex engineering systems. These can be grouped into one of three main areas - Man-Equipment interfaces and interactions; Organisational Behaviours; and Personal Behaviour/Human Error. Failures in these three areas are involved in all major incidents and candidates will explore them as part of this course.

First, a review of a number of major accidents will be undertaken to identify how the equipment design, individual behaviours, and organisational behaviours contributed. The role of equipment/system design and the effect it has on individuals' behaviours is then explored, including man-machine interfaces.

Human Error is then addressed, including error types and the impact of environmental factors. This will be applied to Critical Task Analysis and Human Reliability Assessment. Finally, organisational behaviours will be examined. Leading and Lagging indicators are explored and their strengths and weaknesses considered.

At each stage, students will have the opportunity to complete practical assessments led by industry practitioners with specialist expertise in HFE.

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Offshore Structures and Subsea Systems (September)

This course will equip students with the required knowledge of offshore and subsea oil and gas production systems, and to enable them to gain an appreciation of the infrastructure and facilities that need to be removed during decommissioning.

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Pipelines and Soil Mechanics (January)

Offshore production of oil and gas requires transportation of the oil and gas from where it is produced to shipping vessels, storage tanks or refinery. The transportation is done using pipelines which are installed on the seabed.

This course examines the engineering and scientific concepts that underpin the selection of the material and size of such pipelines as well as safe installation and operation. The environmental impact and the role played by the seabed profile are also discussed.

Contribution from industry-based practicing engineers is used to inform students of current practices and technologies in subsea pipelines.

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Risers Systems and Hydrodynamics (January)

The course provides students with detailed knowledge of risers systems design considerations. Typical riser systems including flexible, steel catenary, hybrid and top tensioned riser systems are covered.

The ocean environmental hydrodynamics and interactions between vessel, mooring and riser systems are also considered.

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Statistics and Probability for Safety, Reliability and Quality (September)

The aim of this course is to get an understanding of applied probability and statistics. Students will be able to handle variables of a random nature, deal with parameters of different distributions and data of scattering nature.

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Subsea Construction, Inspection and Maintenance (September)

This course provides a detailed understanding of the techniques used for installation, inspection, and maintenance of subsea systems, including seabed hardware, pipelines and risers, and the implications of such techniques for the design of subsea components and systems.

The course will provide detailed knowledge on various techniques and trends in the installation, inspection and maintenance of subsea equipment, especially pipeline and riser systems and principal components. It will provide engineers with a sufficiently broad awareness of techniques used throughout offshore operations to give an appreciation and understanding of system limitations and appropriate applications for different subsea environments

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Subsea Control (September)

This course introduces the key concepts and components that form the subsea control system. A subsea control engineer must be comfortable in dealing with a multitude of engineering concepts at the basic level. Subsequently, this course borrows from concepts in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, civil and structural engineering and hydraulics to name a few. The course tends to give a high-level systemic introduction of the various fundamental aspects necessary for a well-operating subsea control system.

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Subsea Integrity (September)

This course is for students studying MSc Subsea Engineering. The aim is to provide knowledge of materials engineering and selection, and failure and degradation issues in a subsea environment, including life cycle analysis; to provide knowledge for understanding and applying the relevant design standards and selection guidelines; and to provide a detailed understanding related to fault finding and integrity management. Fundamental studies are combined with industry applications.

  • Principles of materials selection
  • Materials and component qualification: design standards and testing/acceptance regimes
  • Degradation processes - corrosion, erosion, stress corrosion
  • Failure processes - fracture and fatigue
  • Inspection techniques
  • Integrity management procedures

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Scotland: A Millennium of History (September)

The course provides students with the opportunity to study a broad sweep of Scotland's history in both chronological and thematic terms. Themes offered include: Landscapes and Identities; Government; War and Conflict; Religion; Popular Culture; Mobility; Travel and Tourism; Urban and Rural Life; Highlands and Islands; Scotland and Empire; Education; Housing and Health; National Identities and Imaginations; Environment; Anglo-Scottish Relations; Population; and Literature.

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The Scottish Diaspora (January)

The course has a global reach, engaging participants with the motives and experiences of emigrants and sojourners in the Scottish diaspora, and connecting those themes back to Scotland.

Topics covered include historiographical debtes; causes and consequences of late eighteenth-century emigration; Highland and Lowland Clearances; the recruitment business; Scots and Native Americans; Religion and Faith in the Diaspora; the Inter-war Exodus; the significance of sojourning; strengths and weaknesses of emigrant testimony as a source; and the diaspora in literature, poetry and popular culture.

Depending on students' interests, particular attention may be paid to Scottish settlement and its impact in a particular location, particularly the USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia.

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Co-operative Contracts in the Oil and Gas Industry (September)

This course provides a detailed overview of the cooperative contracts utilised to govern the commercial relationship between oil and gas companies when they form consortia in order to bid for and develop oil and gas assets. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion.

The course will cover such topics as the purpose and key terms of Area of Mutual Interest agreements; Confidentiality Agreements; Joint Bidding Agreements; Joint Operating Agreements and Unitisation and Unit Operating Agreements.

It will provide a detailed discussion of selected issues including the significance of the legal nature of the joint venture, the problem of dissensus between the co-venturers and the legal issues arising from a default in a party’s obligations under the joint venture.

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Core Principles of World Trade Organisation Law (January / September)

This course examines the key foundational principles of WTO law. The principles that the course focuses on include non-discrimination, tariffs, quantitative prohibitions, subsidies, and transparency in sanitary and phytosanitary measures. The course also considers the WTO dispute settlement.

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Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Commercial Aspects (January)

This course provides a detailed overview of a range of the most significant commercial legal issues arising from decommissioning operations. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion. Focussing primarily upon the UK Continental Shelf, the course will cover such topics as: decommissioning security and its impact upon commercial deals; the decommissioning contacting chain; contracts for decommissioning (including campaign contracts) and a discussion and appraisal of the division of risk and reward in the principal contractual models.

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Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Regulatory Aspects (September)

This course provides a detailed overview of the international and domestic legal regulatory framework pertaining to the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion. Introduction to key decommissioning issues - Law cohort, Introduction to Law, International Law, Domestic Law, 1958 Convention, UNCLOS 1982, International Maritime Organization guidance, UK guidance approach, Stakeholder engagement, Norway - External colleagues, USA - External colleagues, South East Asia - External colleague, 1996 Protocol.

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Financing of International Sales (January)

This course focuses on the financing of international trade and examines the most common methods of international payment and finance in the context of international sale of goods. The particular issues selected will vary depending on current developments in the field. However, the indicative topics covered by the course are trade risks and the need for finance options in the context of international sale of goods, bills of exchange, documentary letters of credit, demand guarantees, other financing methods, and private international law issues surrounding international payments and finance.

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Governance and Petroleum Developments (January)

This course provides a detailed overview of the international and domestic law and regulatory regime pertaining to the proper governance of petroleum developments. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion. Topics will include: what is governance, Regulation / governance theory, the State's role in governance, The role of legal institutions, The role of NOCs in governance, Norwegian approach, Transparency, Corruption, Use of law to counter corruption, Uganda, Greenland.

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International Arbitration Law (January / September)

Arbitration is growing in popularity as a dispute resolution method across a variety of sectors, and internationally. The law in this area is technical and complex, and a full understanding of how it operates is essential for anyone advising clients, or framing contracts carrying arbitration clauses.

The principles and content of international arbitration law are considered, with the UK arbitral system as the template. Other systems, including some of the institutional rules, are also considered. Key concepts which apply across all arbitration regimes will be considered. Subjects covered here will include the rules and principles underpinning the following:

  • The Arbitration Agreement
  • Sources of Arbitral Rules: Legislative and Institutional
  • Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal
  • Appointment of Arbitrators
  • The Arbitral Process Pre-Hearing
  • The Arbitral Hearing
  • Arbitral Costs
  • The Award and Challenge
  • Enforcement of the Award

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International Arbitration Practice (January / September)

This course builds on the International Arbitration Law course (completion of which is a prerequisite), but develops understanding of the key stages in any international arbitration process from its inception to its conclusion (and beyond). Instead of concentrating on the legal rules and principles which typify such a process (covered in the International Arbitration Law course), this course will take students through the full arbitral process, covering such important practicalities as:

  • Drafting Arbitral Agreements
  • Selecting Arbitrators
  • The Arbitrator Contract
  • Preliminary Issues
  • Preservatory and Injunctive Relief
  • Discovery, Preliminary Meeting
  • Directions (including drafting)
  • Preparing for the Arbitral Hearing
  • Conducting the Arbitral Hearing
  • Practicalities of Arbitral Costs
  • The Award
  • Challenging the Award
  • Enforcing the Award

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International Investment Arbitration (January)

This course studies the procedural issues arising from investor-state arbitration under international investment agreements. The course will consider the historical evolution of international investment agreements and the modern concerns new forms of these type of instruments.

The course will discuss the different aspects of the investor-state arbitration process, starting from the differences between commercial and treaty disputes, studying the notion of sovereign inmunity and the understanding of the procedural issues that often arise, such as trasnaprency, the role of amicus curiae and enforcement of international investment awards.

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International Investment Law (January)

The aim of this course to study the substantive legal issues arising from dipsutes under international investment agreements in particular in the the process of investor-state arbitration.

This course will examine the interplay between a state's right to regulate and the susbtantive protections offered to foreing investors to protect their investments.These substantive protections include fair and equitable treatment expropriation, most favoruable nation and national treatment.

It will be an interactive and dynamic course, as students will have the opportunity to work on a substantive protections lab so that they can understand the notions of each substnaitve protection in real treaty practice.

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International Sale of Goods (September)

This course focuses on the legal challenges which may arise in connection with a contract of sale of goods when the buyer and the seller of the goods are each located in different legal systems. The course considers the definition and sources of international sale of goods law and the legal issues arising for the buyer and for the seller in an international sale of goods transaction.

The course examines the issues arising in relation to transactions to which the CISG (Vienna Sales Convention) may apply and contrast the CISG responses with the position under the UK's Sale of Goods Act 1979.

The course also considers aspects of carriage of the goods from seller to buyer concerning bills of lading and Incoterms. In addition, the course focuses on dispute resolution as well as private international law issues in relation to international sales contracts.

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Investment Disputes in the Oil and Gas Context (January)

This course provides for a detailed overview of oil and gas international arbitration proceedings in the context of foreign investments. This course is the basis for understanding the particular issues of disputes in the energy sector and reviews the key issues that interact in the dispute resolution process in the industry.

The course will cover topics as: applicable law and lex pretolea, the Energy Charter Treaty, stabilization and renegotiation clauses and an extensive discussion on gas supply, upstream oil and climate change disputes. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussions.

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Legal Principles (January / September)

Those operating in the dispute resolution field need to understand some of the legal principles which underpin activity in this area. This course covers the main principles of contract law (which underpins the negotiation, arbitral and mediation contracts) tort/delict (which can be a basis for liability as an alternative to contract in arbitral proceedings) and some of the rules of civil evidence (which can apply in arbitration, with some implications around privilege and confidentiality for negotiation and mediation).

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Mediation Theory and Practice (January)

This course offers students the opportunity to study the theory of mediation and to develop their skills in mediation practice. The course is designed to enable students to learn independently, with ongoing facilitation and support from experienced teaching staff. Students are encouraged to interact with tutors, peers and study groups to develop knowledge, understanding and interpersonal skills, which are critical for the effective practice of mediation. In addition, students will study conflict theory and communication skills, as well as the process and theory of different models of mediation and their application in the many areas where mediation is practised.

Students will be encouraged to critically reflect on their own styles and learning, a pre-requisite for effective mediation practice. It will look in detail at the full range of generic mediation skills, making it suitable for prospective mediators in all situations and jurisdictions.

A successful student will achieve a good understanding of the basic principles of conflict resolution with some practical experience of mediating disputes.

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Negotiation Skills (January / September)

The vast majority of disputes and differences of a civil, that is, non-criminal nature are resolved before one of the parties commences legal proceedings, be they by application for resolution by a court, arbitration or mediation. Somewhere between 85% and 95% of those disputes and differences are resolved before the commencement of the hearing of the legal proceedings by the court or arbitration tribunal or the mediation proper.

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Petroleum Law: Resource Management (January)

This course provides a detailed overview of key issues in the provision of access to petroleum resources and managing the relationship between the state and the private sector. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion.

The course will cover such topics as: the role and objectives of the state, the international oil company and the national oil company; licensing regimes (from a theoretical and comparative perspective); contractual access regimes, such as PSA and service contract; and the comparison between the differing regimes.

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Regulatory Law for Petroleum Operations (September)

This course provides a detailed overview of key issues in health and safety law and environmental regulation in the context of the oil and gas industry. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion.

The course will cover such topics as: regulatory theory (the different modes of regulation, including command and control and goal-setting), health and safety (with specific sub-topics to include the UK regime, the US regime, the Australian regime, Well integrity, Identity of regulator) and environmental regulation (public law, private law, prevention, liability, vulnerable areas).

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Risk Allocation In Oilfield Service Contracts (January)

This course provides a detailed overview of the law relating to risk allocation provisions in oilfield contracts. Teaching and instruction will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion: Role of insurance, public policy challenges, gross negligence, third party issues and solutions, limitations of different solutions, different approaches in jurisdictions, contractual interpretation.

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