Introduction

As our LLM in Oil and Gas Law celebrates ten years of producing outstanding energy lawyers we offer a new flexible option to talented students seeking the convenience of studying online to fit with employment or personal commitments.

This programme is studied fully online.

This highly-regarded Master’s degree has proved a passport to career success for our many alumni now working at senior level for government and industry around the world. We now offer this opportunity as an online distance-learning option with dissertation.

Your expertise, contacts and career prospects will grow as you become equipped with the intellectual, critical and practical knowledge and skills fundamental to practising as a trained professional in this field.

The University is at the forefront of researching many novel inceptions of policy and regulation as the industry evolved in the UK and globally. You’ll gain from this depth of expertise, decades of experience and influence in Europe’s energy hub, and strong ongoing links with the industry and its regulators.

You’ll be immersed in the grounding concepts of current oil and gas law and gain a broad education required for the legal management of oil and gas exploration and production, learning from leading experts who advise government and the industry. Studying at a pace that suits you, you’ll gain a comprehensive overview of the range of issues arising within this dynamic and hugely significant area of law.

Our teaching promotes the contextual thinking that enables a deeper, more forward-thinking understanding about the industry and how the law works around it. We explore the many different viewpoints and needs of the industry, from the state discovering the oil or gas, to the industry experts drilling for it, and the ecosystem that needs support and protection.

Through the preparation of a 10,000-word dissertation, you’ll develop the skills of critical analysis and independent research which are relevant to the needs of the legal profession and other areas of employment.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Online Learning
Degree Qualification
LLM
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September

Study Options

You’ll study the different ways in which the state can choose to exploit oil and gas assets within its territory, the legal measures that can be adopted to ensure transparency and good governance, the public law relationship between the state and the private sector oil industry, the regulation of health, safety and environmental matters including decommissioning, and the contracts and dispute resolution mechanisms that govern commercial relationships within the sector.

LLM 12 months or 24 months Online Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Please contact law-pg-enquiries@abdn.ac.uk for more information about this programme.

LLM 12 months or 24 months Online Learning Full Time or Part Time January or September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Please note that in order to gain a full LLM, students must achieve 180 credits.

Compulsory Courses

Students will also be required to complete an intial course on Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (0 credits) before commencing the subject specific courses.

Petroleum Law: Resource Management (LS502R) - 15 Credit Points

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 private sector. Teaching will be by a variety of methods including podcasts, core readings, discussion boards and interactive discussion. The course will cover: 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; the comparison between the differing regimes.

View detailed information about this course

Regulatory Law for Petroleum Operations (LS502S) - 15 Credit Points

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

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

Co - Operative Contracts in the Oil and Gas Industry (LS502U) - 15 Credit Points

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

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Risk Allocation in Oilfield Service Contracts (LS552Q) - 15 Credit Points

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

View detailed information about this course

Governance and Petroleum Developments (LS552R) - 15 Credit Points

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

View detailed information about this course

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

Investment Disputes In the Oil and Gas Context (LS552U) - 15 Credit Points

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

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Students will be required to write a 10,000 word dissertation (60 credits).

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.

Why Study Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation?

  • Our School of Law, considered one the UK’s elite training grounds for lawyers, 10th of 90 law schools in the UK, (The Complete University Guide 2018), highly rated for teaching, research and student care, and scoring highly for student satisfaction and graduate employment.
  • In an LLM exit survey, we carried out in 2016, 98% of students felt that their LLM had added value to their career prospects and 97% would recommend their course to others.

  • There are over 40 nationalities within the School of Law postgraduate community, therefore you will benefit from a programme with a truly international outlook.

  • There is a growing demand for Energy Lawyers globally.
  • Over 500 years of rich academic heritage with 21st century innovation and dynamism to create and deliver world class programmes.
  • One of the largest and most experienced teams of oil and gas experts in any European law school..
  • Focus and profile provided by the University’s Aberdeen Institute of Energy, and the Centre for Energy Law.
  • Breadth of curriculum and depth of expertise at Aberdeen, with teaching and research across all legal fields pertaining to energy, including oil and gas, renewables and environmental law.
  • The online resources of the award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Law Library, with a first-class collection of reference works in law and related subjects.
  • An education in energy from Aberdeen is recognised as among the best in Europe. As well as being a long-established seat of learning we are also a modern, progressive university.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

Normally, a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this programme. Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.

The Programme Director retains sole discretion for any admission decisions.

Applications may be made up until the end of August each year. However, since places are limited, early application is encouraged.

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 Arts and Social 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 exempted 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.

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.

LLM 12 months or 24 months Online Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
All Students £1,000
Modular fee programmes - Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year Fee is charged on a modular basis. Fee quoted is per 15 credits.
All Students £1,000
Modular fee programmes - Tuition fees for 2018/19 Academic Year Fee is charged on a modular basis. Fee quoted is per 15 credits.
LLM 12 months or 24 months Online Learning Full Time or Part Time January or September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
All Students £1,000
Modular fee programmes - Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis. Fee quoted is per 15 credit points.
All Students £1,000
Modular fee programmes - Tuition fees for 2018/19 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis. Fee quoted is per 15 credit points.

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.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out More

Careers

Our online LLM in Oil and Gas Law will build your expertise and grow your contacts. Upon completion, you will be equipped with the intellectual, critical and practical skills that are fundamental to practicing as a trained professional in this field

Previous graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers in this dynamic area of law. These range from positions with oil and gas companies, with international law firms servicing the industry and also with government ministries. Equally, some of our students choose to use the programme as a step towards their PhD and beyond that, to work in the academic world.

Because the Law touches so many parts of public life, it has become well regarded as a stepping stone should you perhaps wish to enter politics, business, international finance or banking. Employers are increasingly valuing the transferable skills law graduates can bring to industry and other international business organisations, skills which include research, critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, and diplomacy.

Our Experts

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; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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.

Useful Fact about this Degree

The combination of track record, location, broad expertise, long experience, teaching and research strength, and industry input makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of education in oil and gas law.

Features

This programme is taught online and interactively, using the University’s Virtual Learning Environment MyAberdeen, and online learning resources, including specialist databases. MyAberdeen ensures that you still feel part of the very special Aberdeen community. You’ll be guided through your programme with online lectures, materials, case studies, projects, videos, access to the wonderful online resources and plenty of support as you gain the skills to take your career to the next level.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Law
University of Aberdeen
Taylor Building
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB