This unique and widely recognised Masters programme combines the core disciplines of Economics and Law to equip you with the essential skills required to pursue a successful career either in the global oil and gas industry or in related governmental organisations.

This programme is studied on campus.

The global oil and gas sector operates in a complex environment characterised by various influential factors such as government-controlled hydrocarbons, financial markets, the global crude oil market, economic uncertainty, licensing, taxation and contracts. These factors have a significant influence on both investment decision-making and government policy-making, so a comprehensive knowledge of related economics and law is essential. On this course, you will gain the real-world knowledge you need to enhance your career opportunities in legal and financial oil and gas contexts.

The University of Aberdeen is a global leader in teaching and research in the field of energy and this MSc builds on our considerable strengths in these areas. Our Business School is home to two relevant and internationally recognised research centres: the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance and the Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law. Studying here, you will benefit from interacting with leading researchers in the field of energy economics and law – including one of the world’s best recognised energy experts, Professor Alex Kemp OBE – and with a broad network of national and multi-national employers through our visiting speaker programme.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Students will have the opportunity to explore a range of themes to broaden their knowledge and sharpen their critical analysis of current global debates and challenges, these include:

· Licensing and upstream taxation

· Investment appraisal techniques and risk analysis

· Health, safety and environmental regulation

· Crude oil market, determinants of oil supply and demand

· Principles of accounting

· Principals and features of oil and gas contracts

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

State Control of Hydrocarbons (LS501E) - 30 Credit Points

With only limited exceptions hydrocarbons lie in the ownership or control of states, but are frequently explored for and produced by commercial actors. This course considers the means by which the state controls exploitation of its oil and gas reserves. Following a number of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics such as: energy security; licensing; upstream taxation; health, safety and environmental regulation; and international maritime boundaries and joint development. This course is available to students registering for the LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes (Dissertation or Professional Skills).

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Introduction to Corporate Finance for Energy (BU5056) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course ensure students understand why companies behave the way they do with respect to financing choices and how this interacts with financial markets, with particular reference to the petroleum and energy industries. The course covers Investment Appraisal Techniques Employed in Petroleum Industry, Risk Analysis, Portfolio Theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

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Introduction to Energy & Petroleum Economics (BU5055) - 7.5 Credit Points

This course discusses the world petroleum market in the context of overall energy markets. The main features of the evolving petroleum market are analysed including examination of the Hotelling model and Hubbert curve. Oil price determination is discussed with detailed consideration of the special characteristics of the demand and supply curves in the industry. The role of OPEC in the market is examined, including discussion of the various models of OPEC behaviour and the determinants of its market power. The economics of climate change and the place of renewable energy in the wider energy market is discussed.

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Accounting (BU5031) - 15 Credit Points

Students will gain an understanding of what financial information is for and how it is controlled by government, the stock exchanges and other institutions. Students will explore financial accounting assumptions and conventions. They will develop their technical knowledge and skills to enable them to record business transactions and prepare financial statements. Finally, students will be introduced to financial statement analysis and the calculation of key metrics. This will allow them to explore how accounting information is used by stock market participants and the impact on users of current developments and issues in accounting practice, governance and standards.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Real Options and Decision Making (BU5556) - 15 Credit Points

The goal of this course is to deepen and broaden students' understanding and develop their analytical skills regarding investment decisions under uncertainty and the value of flexibility and information. The course will introduce relevant concepts from economics and finance such as decision trees, the Black-Scholes equation and the binomial option pricing model and discuss how these concepts may be applied to assess investments with applications related to the energy industry such as the development of an oil lease.

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Issues in Energy & Petroleum Economics (BU5557) - 15 Credit Points

Much of this course is devoted to petroleum policies. Concepts of economic rents from petroleum exploitation and the various mechanisms by which the rents can be collected by the state are discussed, including production sharing and service contracts. Licensing policies, including relinquishment terms, pricing, procurement, domestic market obligations, the role of state oil companies, and depletion policy are examined. The Oil Fund concept and the issue of oil and gas security of supply are discussed. State and private ownership and control of gas acquisition, transmission and distribution to customers are examined. The economics of CO2 capture and storage is discussed.

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Contracting in Hydrocarbon Operations (LS551K) - 30 Credit Points

A good knowledge and understanding of the commercial purpose and key features of the principal contracts used in the oil and gas industry is essential for an oil and gas lawyer. This course will examine the contracts entered into between the state and the commercial actors involved in the exploration for and production of oil an gas and the contracts entered into between the oil companies themselves, and those between oil and gas companies and the contractors making up the supply chain. The course will be taught by means of a mix of lectures, seminars and interactive workshops.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

You will have the opportunity to explore a range of themes to sharpen your critical analysis of key current global challenges and issues. These include Licensing and Upstream Taxation; Investment Appraisal Techniques and Risk Analysis; Health, Safety and Environmental Regulation; Crude Oil Market; Principles of Accounting; and Oil and Gas Contracts. You will take part in a broad range of stimulating lectures, seminars and tutorials with both lecturers and visiting industry practitioners.

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by course work, written examination or through a combination of those, as prescribed for each module.

Why Study Law and Economics of Oil and Gas?

This intellectually challenging programme will equip you with the intellectual, critical and practical skills fundamental to a successful career in this area of oil and gas. You will engage directly with professional practice, multi-nationals and government agencies. You will:

• Acquire the global perspectives essential to professional success
• Develop critical insights into current and emerging approaches
• Gain a well-rounded skillset with the tools to succeed
• Obtain insights into commercially oriented analysis
• Strengthen your capacity for social, geographical and cultural mobility

Entry Requirements


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

The minimum entry requirements for this programme is a degree at 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours level (or a degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth).

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

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

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. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

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.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fees

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

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Postgraduate Open Day

Register to attend our Virtual Open Day on and speak live with academics.
Find out about life at the University of Aberdeen with a live Q&A with current students.

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Career opportunities range from positions within oil and gas companies, international law firms or government ministries. Past graduates have gone on to be Commercial Advisers, Energy Consultants, Investment Analysts, Market Analysts, and Oil and Gas Associates. Others have gone on to complete a PhD, or to pursue careers in politics, business or international finance.

Career Opportunities

  • Commercial Adviser
  • Energy and Business Consultant
  • Investment Analyst
  • Market Analyst
  • Oil and Gas Associates
  • Project Manager

Research Rated Excellent and World Leading

94% of our research is classified as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF, 2014)

Our Experts

Programme Leader
Yakubu Abdul-Salam

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; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

World Class Facilities

Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF)

ACREEF provides a focus for the identification and implementation of high quality research in the areas of energy economics and finance.

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Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law

This research centre promotes the research activities of the many members of the School having an interest in Energy Law matters, as well as fostering an environment for collaborative work.

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

Business School
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
AB24 3QY