Introduction

The world's first and only Masters degree in decommissioning oil rigs, platforms and offshore structures.


MSc Decommissioning is also available to study full time on campus.

This programme is studied fully online.

The aim of the taught programme is to provide students with an overview of entire breadth of decommissioning activities, such as engineering, project management, business, law and health, and safety and environment. Providing students with a broad range of skills to suit the ever growing decommissioning sector and provide opportunities for those working in the sector currently, and also those that wish to get into it.

It is a multi-discipline degree programme accepting applications from various backgrounds, including engineering, law, business, economics, environmental studies etc.

Degree marketing image

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Online Learning
Degree Qualification
ISS or MSc
Duration
5 months or 27 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month
January or September

Study Options

There are two study options for this programme: the full MSc and ISS (Individual Subject Study).

MSc: 12 courses in total taking a minimum of 27 months to complete, taking a maximum of 2 courses concurrently each semester. You can take fewer courses at a time as long as you complete your studies in 60 months.

ISS: 1 or 2 courses taken concurrently per semester with the option, but no commitment, to continue to further courses.

Approximately 10-12 hours of study is expected per week per course.

ISS 5 months Online Learning Part Time January or September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Each course below runs from September to December and requires 10-12 hours of commitment per week. Up to 2 courses can be taken concurrently.

Courses can be taken individually and/or used towards a qualification: Postgraduate Certificate (successful completion of 4 courses), Postgraduate Diploma (8 courses) or MSc (all 12 courses).

Optional Courses

Offshore Structures & Subsea Systems (EG502T) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Law and Decommissioning: Regulatory Aspects (LS502J)
Semester 2

Semester 2

Each course below runs from January to May and requires 10-12 hours of commitment per week. Up to 2 courses can be taken concurrently.

Courses can be taken individually and/or used towards a qualification: Postgraduate Certificate (successful completion of 4 courses), Postgraduate Diploma (8 courses) or MSc (all 12 courses).

Optional Courses

Marine Environmental Impact Assessment (ZO5514) - 15 Credit Points

In recent decades, concern about environmental damage in different parts of the world has led to public pressure on governments to regulate ‘developers’ and others so as to minimise adverse environmental effects, while allowing economic activities to continue. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been developed as a critical component of the approach to achieving sustainable development. It originated in the USA and has since been incorporated into the EU/UK legislative frameworks. It is therefore important to understand the nature of the EIA process and to be able to select, and use, suitable techniques.

View detailed information about this course

Process Shut Down, Structural Decommissioning and Disposal (EG55T1) - 15 Credit Points

Decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure is becoming a major issue for the North Sea and other mature basins. This course provides students with an overview of the stages of shutting down the production process and cleaning of the system and then the possible methods of removal of the structure.

View detailed information about this course

MSc 27 months Online Learning Part Time September
Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Offshore Structures & Subsea Systems (EG502T) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Regulatory Aspects (LS502T) - 15 Credit Points

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. This course is available to students registering for the Online LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes (Dissertation or Professional Skills) and MSC Decommissioning.

View detailed information about this course

Marine Environmental Impact Assessment (ZO5514) - 15 Credit Points

In recent decades, concern about environmental damage in different parts of the world has led to public pressure on governments to regulate ‘developers’ and others so as to minimise adverse environmental effects, while allowing economic activities to continue. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been developed as a critical component of the approach to achieving sustainable development. It originated in the USA and has since been incorporated into the EU/UK legislative frameworks. It is therefore important to understand the nature of the EIA process and to be able to select, and use, suitable techniques.

View detailed information about this course

Process Shut Down, Structural Decommissioning and Disposal (EG55T1) - 15 Credit Points

Decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure is becoming a major issue for the North Sea and other mature basins. This course provides students with an overview of the stages of shutting down the production process and cleaning of the system and then the possible methods of removal of the structure.

View detailed information about this course

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Well Plugging and Abandonment (EG503T) - 15 Credit Points

Decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure requires graduates to have a competent and realistic understanding of well plugging and abandonment. This course allows students to understand the scientific, engineering, and economic rationale for abandoning wells and decommissioning fields.

View detailed information about this course

Petroleum Economics and Project Evaluation (EC5006) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to key techniques from economics and finance allowing them to understand the business decision making relevant to the petroleum industry and decommissioning. Students will learn how these principles help explain how investment and disinvestment decisions (such as cessation of production) are taken, how oil markets operate, and the government's role in setting environmental regulations and taxation allowances.

View detailed information about this course

Group Project in Comparative Assessment (EG55T3) - 15 Credit Points

Decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure is becoming a major issue for the North Sea and other mature basins. This course provides students with an insight into the process used to find the best decommissioning option for a particular installation, taking account of the complex interactions between, cost, technical feasibility, environmental and societal considerations and safety.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

1 course from the options below:

  • Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Commercial Aspects
  • Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis*
  • Applied Marine Ecology & Ecosystem Management

* Suitable only for students with Engineering, Math or Physics background

Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Commercial Aspects (LS552S) - 15 Credit Points

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. This course is available to students registering for the online LLM Oil and Gas Law programme (Dissertation or Professional Skills) and also on the MSc in Decommissioning.

View detailed information about this course

Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis (EG55Q2) - 15 Credit Points

The world is full of uncertainties and there is a level of risk in every human activity, including engineering. Many industries require an engineer to manage significant risks and design for high reliability, such as oil and gas, subsea, nuclear, aviation and large civil projects (e.g. bridges and dams). To meet these engineering challenges and make rational decisions in the presence of uncertainty, this course will introduce students to methods and tools used by engineers to analysis risk and reliability.

View detailed information about this course

Applied Marine Ecology & Ecosystem Management (ZO5513) - 15 Credit Points

Decommissioning sciences requires students to have a competent and realistic understanding of both marine ecologic and the wider marine ecosystem. This course allows the impact of perturbations associated with offshore activities to be related to biological responses. This will be done using detailed relevant case studies and engagement with regulators.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

1st Half-session

  • Individual Project
Individual Project In Decommisssioning (EG59T9) - 60 Credit Points

The aim off the course is to permit students to undertake a piece of supervised academic research: to demonstrate critical thinking within a selected research subject; to collect, manage, and interpret data from a variety of sources; to prepare written documentation in a scientific manner appropriate for peer-reviewed publications.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to change. Further information about potential changes can be viewed here.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • E-learning
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessed by a combination of coursework and written examination. The online learning coursework is submitted to the course tutor through the website and marks and comments will be sent back, also via the web.

Why Study Decommissioning?

  • Available completely online, allowing you to work while you study and fit learning around your schedule.
  • Pay by module, giving you the freedom to balance your studies with other financial commitments.
  • Complete your full degree in 27 months or spread out over a longer period of time (up to six years).
  • Broaden your knowledge of the key elements of the decommissioning process. Gain an understanding of specific areas that you may not already be familiar with but would like to learn more about. 
  • Learn from world-class academics, many of whom have worked in industry and/or alongisde industry on research collaboration. 
  • Close consultation has already taken place with those working in industry involved in decommissioning and this level of industry engagement will continue as the degree develops. 
  • This programme completes an impressive sutie of energy related degrees alrerady offered by the University, which now cover all aspects of the oil and gas industry  life-cycle. 
  • The degree will likely attract a huge breadth of indivduals, many of which will be currently working on decommissioning projects around the world. It will be a real opportunity to beocme part of a close knit group of learners. 
  • There are significant opportunities in key regions around the globe where skills and knowledge of the decommissioning process are going to be a huge advantage.
  • Current figures indicate  that the UK will have a major shortage of workers skilled in these activities unless there is a significant increase in production of engineering and technical graduates from schools, colleges and universities as well as sustained retention of experienced workers within the industry. 

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Exact entry requirements are to be finalised but will likely be:

2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree, or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth, in Engineering, Geosciences, Economics, Business, Law, or other science, technology and commercial degrees.

Other degree classifications will be considered if the applicant can demonstrate 3+ years of industry experience.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

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 Physical 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 exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

International Applicants

Should your programme necessitate a visit to the University you may find the following information helpful.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

ISS 5 months Online Learning Part Time January or September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
All Students £1,150
Modular fee programmes - Tuition fees for 2018/19 Academic Year This programme is charged on a modular basis. The fee quoted is per 15 credits.
MSc 27 months Online Learning Part Time September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
All Students £1,150
Modular fee programmes - Tuition fees for 2018/19 Academic Year This programme is charged on a modular basis. The fee quoted is per 15 credit points. Students starting in 2018/19 will be provided a discount of 50% towards the cost of the tuition fees for the project/dissertation course. This will be applied at the time students register for the project/dissertation.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Industry Links

In establishing the programme, industry feedback has included:

"We are very short of competency generally, and it’s good that AU is interested in helping plug that gap."

"The course is very timely. I think there would be interest in it and it offers a good way to encourage people to think about careers in decommissioning rather than viewing it as the end of the cycle with no opportunities."

"Concept is good given there will be a 40 year career in decommissioning ahead . "

Our Experts

A range of academic experts will teach on the programme from across engineering, law, business, economics, environmental science.

Programme Coordinator
Dr Alireza Maheri

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building
King's College
Aberdeen
AB24 3UE