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.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

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

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 2 year, 3 months part time online learning MSc programme which runs in September. You will find information about other ways to study this programme in the next section on this page.

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 36 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 72 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.

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Offshore Structures & Subsea Systems - Credits: 15

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 - Credits: 15

The course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the means by which the law seeks to regulate the decommissioning of offshore installations. The course will approach this issue from the perspective of international, domestic and comparative law and will also involve a critical appraisal of whether the current UK law is appropriate from a policy perspective, or in need of reform.

View detailed information about this course

Marine Environmental Impact Assessment - Credits: 15

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.

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Process Shut Down, Structural Decommissioning and Disposal - Credits: 15

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

Compulsory Courses

Well Plugging and Abandonment - Credits: 15

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.

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Petroleum Economics and Project Evaluation - Credits: 15

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.

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Group Project in Comparative Assessment - Credits: 15

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:

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

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

Law and Decommissioning: Commercial Aspects - Credits: 15

The course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the commercial issues which arise when decommissioning offshore installations. The course will focus in particular upon the UK example and in particular will consider the matter in the light of the MER obligation.&nbsp It will consider key contractual clauses, innovative contracting models, the legal (including tax) issues which arise as a result of decommissioning costs, and the interaction between the law of decommissioning and the law of insolvency.

View detailed information about this course

Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis - Distance Learning - Credits: 15

The Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis course develops knowledge and understanding of the key concepts in technical safety, risk and reliability used in engineering.

The course introduces general risk assessment principles and the application of probabilistic risk modelling schemes. Reliability theory and computation are addressed, using recognised engineering industry reliability methods. Students will also be introduced to safety management and human reliability, including safety management systems.

View detailed information about this course

Applied Marine Ecology & Ecosystem Management - Credits: 15

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

Compulsory Courses

1st Half-session

  • Individual Project
Individual Project In Decommisssioning - Credits: 60

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

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.

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

Fees and Funding

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

Tuition fee rates can be found on our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £588
Modular fee programmes - Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 15 credits. Fee does not include charge for dissertation.
Home / EU / RUK Students £500
Modular fee programmes - Dissertation Stage - Tuition fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £1,600
Modular fee programmes - Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 15 credits. Fee does not include charge for dissertation.
International Students £1,500
Modular fee programmes - Dissertation Stage - Tuition fee for 2017/18 Academic Year

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

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