Now in its 10th year, this programme is highly regarded in the international oil and gas legal community. The University of Aberdeen was involved from the start in researching many novel inceptions of policy and regulation as the oil and gas industry evolved globally. The University offers you an incredible depth of expertise from its learning and research in the European energy hub and an opportunity to be at the heart of regulation.
Our LLM in Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation 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.
A challenging and rewarding subject to study, you will be immersed in the grounding concepts of current oil and gas law and will gain a broad education required for the legal management of oil & gas exploration and production activity.
Our teaching promotes the kind of contextual thinking that enables you to gain a deeper, more forward-thinking understanding about the industry and how the law works around it. You will have the opportunity to study topics such as State Control of Hydrocarbons, Energy, Innovation and Law and Corporate Environmental Liability.
The programme will provide you with advanced and specialist knowledge in key areas of current oil and gas law. It also helps enhance your key skills of critical analysis and research efficiency. But more than that, we encourage you to think beyond the immediate interest and look towards the long-term benefits and possible threats for the future.
We explore the many different viewpoints and needs of the oil and gas industry, from the state discovering the oil or gas, to the industry experts drilling for it and the ecosystem that needs support and protection.
You will have the opportunity to engage with collaborative and independently-led live projects, providing you with the most engaged and professionally focused experience possible. Through the preparation of a 10,000 word dissertation, you will further develop your research, analytical and argument construction skills.
The LLM Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation provides an intellectual and academic programme. If you wish to pursue a more practical programme of equal intellectual rigour but with more practical testing of your skills, we also offer an LLM Oil and Gas Law with Professional Skills.
The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning LLM programme which runs in September and January.
All candidates must take:
This compulsory course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which would be required to excel in LLM-Taught courses. It commences with a few lectures and progresses to working within smaller groups in a workshop environment and finally to the submission of an individual assignment. It also incorporates elements such as library workshops to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.
Two courses must be selected from the list below and two courses must be selected from the optional courses listed for semester 2.
Alternatively, three courses can be selected from the list below, or in semester 2, and one from another LLM Programme.
Students on this programme may not select LS5076 Oil & Gas Law.
The course examines the relationship between law, energy and natural resources, ethics, governance and development at the national and international levels on the one hand and variable developmental outcomes, particularly the resource curse phenomenon, on the other hand. The course then proceeds to apply advanced academic and experiential knowledge to formulate the fundamentals for overarching legal frameworks that will enable the good exploitation and development of energy and natural resources, thereby producing enduring benefits for all key stakeholders.
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).
Students will explore the law and regulation which is relevant to innovation across the energy sector (taken in its widest sense). We will consider intellectual property, UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, government initiatives, competition, human rights, and oil and gas licensing. We will focus on the impact of these fields on business, reward, sharing, sustainable growth, energy security, and the relationship between private rights, raw materials and the wider public interest. Sessions will be interactive and you need not have studied any of these fields before – although we will move quickly. Assessment is by essay, exam and group presentation.
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.
Corporate environmental liability is a significant area of concern not only for those corporations engaged in activities which exhibit environmental risk but society as whole. An efficient, effective liability regime must be present to ensure that corporations do not shirk their financial liabilities. The course draws attention to the conflicting goals of corporate law (i.e. the limitation of liability) and environmental law (i.e. ensuring that polluters pay for damage caused) and encourages students to consider and develop solutions to this problem. Whilst the course focuses on EU environmental law, many of the concepts covered are relevant to other jurisdictions.
This course undertakes a study of unconventional sources of petroleum. utilising the seminar method of learning, where practical, real-life examples are used, this course will enable students to explore the key legal and environmental issues related to the development and transport of unconventional hydrocarbons.
The complex interaction between investment protection and the sovereign right of states to regulate has been most acute in the energy sector. On the one hand, investors require strong guarantees that states will respect the “rules of the game” that constitute the basis of their investments. On the other, states can be tempted to interfere with foreign energy investments because of their particular strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century.
The legal framework for exploring for and producing hydrocarbons can be dynamic and complex. A number of layers are further added to the complexity through developing systems for ensuring an appropriate flow of revenue to the state. Many of these systems are extremely complex, and often ‘the devil is in the detail’: it is the precise terms of any legal arrangement that determine the balance of revenues between the state and the investor.
The supply of electricity and natural gas – as network-related industries – presents specific regulatory challenges. These challenges are of particular importance in the context of the liberalisation of these sectors, i.e. the restructuring of these industries from monopolies to competitive markets. Will liberalised electricity and gas markets ensure security and reliability of energy supply? Will consumers be adequately protected against potential abusive behaviour of dominant market players? Is liberalisation compatible with the objectives of decarbonisation and environmental protection? The purpose of this course is to explore the law and policy framework governing energy supply in a liberalised market environment.
Between May and mid-August students prepare a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice related to their specialist LLM programme. Students are instructed through the delivery of a preparatory lecture, two supervisory meetings and a two hour dissertation planning workshop in a small group setting. Students are expected to spend considerable time on independent research throughout the course of the dissertation module, including; preparation of dissertation plan, amendment of plan in accordance with supervisory comments, preparation for the dissertation workshop, and, of course, in the final 10,000 word dissertation itself.
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.
Assessment is based on a combination of written examination at the end of the relevant semester and one or more course essays. In addition, students must complete a course in research methods and a dissertation on a topic within the specialism. The dissertation is planned and written between March and August each year. Guidance on the writing of a dissertation is given.
There is an increasing demand for talented professionals within the complex and competitive world of energy. Our programme at Aberdeen has several key strengths, including:
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||Tuition fee for main award||£6,000|
|International Students||Tuition fee for main award||£16,100|
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
Normally a 2:1 honours degree in Law (or another related discipline) or equivalent. Relevant practical experience in the field of commercial law will also be beneficial.
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.
A career in Law can command status, prestige and often has a good or even large income attached.
Over the years, graduates of the LLM Oil and Gas with Dissertation have successfully gone on to enjoy careers in this dynamic area of law. These range from positions with the 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. More and more non-legal employers are valuing the eminently transferable skills law graduates can bring to industry and other international business organisations. These skills include but are not limited to:
Our Advisory Board includes individuals from industry, government, research centres, international organisations and leading research centres in Europe. With direct input from these key players and other guest lecturers from international academic and policy-making institutions, our programme stays relevant in a rapidly changing world. Many of your courses are taught by practioners and leading industry experts so you will benefit from practical real life insights into the industry.
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.