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An online short course equipping you with an overview of the critical area of subsea control systems.

Learn from a founding member of the Global Subsea Universities Alliance, at the forefront of teaching and professional training for ambitious engineers throughout the global oil and gas industry.

Gain the career boost of additional professional skills whatever your role in the subsea and wider industry – with all the advantages of online learning at any location.


The subsea control system is the nerve centre controlling the entire subsea factory. All professionals working in the subsea sector need a thorough awareness of how this system and its components operate, including risk and safety as well as complex technology.

This area is often dubbed a ‘magic art’, highly technical and understood by only a few. To break this mystery down, our experts have designed this course as an essential introduction and foundation, providing a broad overview which simplifies the building blocks of subsea control.

You’ll gain huge benefit and career advantage whatever your engineering background, as will colleagues in other areas of the business who want to know more about the interface of subsea control systems and their own professional area.

Aberdeen is the obvious choice for this course, as a globally-recognised centre of excellence in subsea engineering and the greatest concentration of subsea companies. You’ll be taught by experienced tutors who have themselves worked at high 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 study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or progress to a full MSc in Subsea Engineering, highly acclaimed and accredited by relevant industry bodies. This prepares highly-trained, highly-qualified, business-aware graduates to make an immediate impact in their chosen career, and address the need for key skills in the subsea industry. This programme is also available fully online, for you to study at your own pace, at any location, and fitting around your work and personal commitments.

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.

The Aberdeen Institute of Energy brings together experts in research, teaching and professional development across all areas of 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.

This credit-bearing short course will give you an overview of subsea control. Should you decide to pursue your studies in greater depth, you can use your 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 may also want to consider our new MSc Global Subsea Engineering programme which offers a unique opportunity for students to learn in an internationally collaborative environment centred around two major oil and gas hubs: Aberdeen in Scotland and Perth in Western Australia.

What you'll study

You’ll be introduced to 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. For this reason you’ll cover concepts in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, civil and structural engineering, hydraulics and other areas – giving you a high-level, systemic introduction to the various fundamental aspects necessary for a well-operating subsea control system.

You’ll gain an overview of all aspects of electrical power, including topside and subsea, control fluids, umbilical and control lines, valves, sensors, and sizing of hydraulics.

And you’ll examine transmission through fibre and optic cables, standards and guidelines, risk and safety, and look ahead at obsolescence and future technologies.

How you'll study

This 12-week online 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, reading material, and 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 study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


Your continuous, formative assessment will take the form of two coursework assignments, each accounting for 10% of your marks.

At the end of the course you’ll have a written examination worth 80% 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.