Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation, LLM

Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation, LLM

Introduction

This programme is highly regarded in the international oil and gas legal community, and as such has been a popular course taught at the University of Aberdeen for over 10 years. The University offers you an incredible depth of expertise from its learning and research in the European energy hub and enables you to be at the heart of regulation.

Study Information

Study Options

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

Our LLM in Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation will build your expertise and grow your contacts. Improve your intellectual, critical and practical skills that are fundamental to practicing as a trained professional in this field, whilst engaging with a challenging yet extremely rewarding subject of study.

You will be immersed in the grounding concepts of current oil and gas law, and will gain the advanced, specialist knowledge, critical analysis, and research efficiency 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, whilst also encouraging you to think beyond the immediate interest and look towards long-term benefits and possible threats that the future might present. You will have the opportunity to study topics such as State Control of Hydrocarbons, Energy, Innovation and Law and Corporate Environmental Liability.

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

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.

Available Programmes of Study

Please note: Students staring their LLM programme in January write their Dissertation project during the Summer semester.

Duration: 12 months full-time. 24 months part time.

LLM

Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month  
LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,900
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Semester 1

Please note that all January Start Students must produce their Dissertation Project during the Summer Semester, preparation for which begins in January.

Information for part-time students: This route will run over three academic years. Candidates can take up to 60 credit points in Year 1, 120 credit points in Year 2, and 60 credit points in Year 3. LS551T and PD5506 must be taken in Year 1, and LS5904 must be taken in Year 2. LS501E and LS551K can be taken in either Year 1, Year 2 or Year 3. Candidates must take a remaining 60 credit points. At least 30 credit points must be obtained from the courses listed in the optional sections of semesters 1 and 3. The remaining credit points may be obtained from any Level 5 30 credit on
campus Law course.

Compulsory Courses

All candidates must take the following courses:

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5506)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS551T)

This course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which will be required for LLM-Taught courses. The course is delivered as a series of five interactive lectures with two individual assessments designed to encourage critical thinking and provide opportunities for early feedback. It also incorporates a library workshop to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

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 involved in the exploration for and production of oil and gas. These include and the investment contracts entered into between the oil companies themselves in the form of Joint Operating Agreements, and those between oil and gas companies operators and the contractors making up the service and supply chain. The course will be taught by means of a mix of lectures, seminars and interactive workshops.

Optional Courses

In addition to the above, candidates must take courses to the value of 60 credit points. At least 30 credit points must be obtained from the courses listed below. The remaining credit points may be obtained from any Level 5 30 credit on campus Law courses.

Downstream Energy Law (LS5594)

30 Credit Points

The transport and supply of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) and electricity is essential for modern civilisation. If energy cannot get to the consumer, then energy security is threatened and economic development may be restricted.

These challenges are important in the context of the liberalisation of these sectors, especially the restructuring of these industries from monopolies to competitive markets. This course explores the law and policy framework governing the movement and distribution of energy, particularly within a liberalised market, in an era of climate change. Topics covered include market liberalisation, energy security, gas sales and transport, and market regulation.

International Investment Law and Energy Arbitration (LS555L)

30 Credit Points

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 strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines and international investment protection framework, are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century and how best to avoid disputes and manage them.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Master of Laws Dissertation (LS5904)

60 Credit Points

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.

Semester 3

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 online lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics such as: from energy security to energy trilemma; national oil companies; licensing and production sharing agreements; resource curse and transparency; health, safety and environmental regulation; and decommissioning. This course is available to students registering for the LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes (Dissertation or Professional Skills).

Optional Courses

International Energy and Environmental Law (LS501C)

30 Credit Points

The course deals with the regulation of international activities regarding energy and the environment. The course will consider the international legal framework regarding energy sources, and it will look at the various legal instruments at the global and regional level as well as the key actors that are involved in regulation. It will also examine environmental issues that correspond to the generation and use of energy in the international context and the responses relating to environmental protection of soil, water, air, atmosphere and species.

Oil and Mining Resources for Good and Development (LS504J)

30 Credit Points

The course examines the relationship between development management and utilisation of energy and natural resources, law, ethics, governance, and development at the national and international levels on the one hand and poor/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. The course is multidisciplinary in approach and with some experiential engagement with industry, governments/regulators, and non-governmental perspectives.

LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September More

Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programme(s) above.

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.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • 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.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

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.

Why Study Oil and Gas Law with Dissertation?

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:

  • Our proven academic credentials.
  • The professional distinction and practical experience of our academics.
  • The great success of our alumni and highly employable graduates.
  • Our learning environment is very supportive with a focus on personal development, leading to well-rounded and highly employable graduates.
  • Our Law School is 5th in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022)
  • There is a growing demand for Energy Lawyers globally.
  • There are over 40 nationalities within the School of Law postgraduate community, therefore you will benefit from a programme with a truly international outlook.
  • Law was a founding discipline of the University of Aberdeen, and today our School of Law is considered one the UK’s elite training grounds for lawyers – there’s no substitute for experience.
  • At Aberdeen, you will develop a well-rounded skillset, gaining the tools you will need to succeed in your job search, as well as the communication and professional skills that employers expect.
  • Learn how to think more critically, communicate more effectively and understand society more thoroughly, instilling the cross-cultural skills that can help you succeed in the legal practice.
  • Learn strategies and techniques that will assist you in commercial decision-making.
  • Benefit from learning from one of the largest and most able teams of oil and gas experts and faculty in any European Law School.
  • Benefit from a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning that will enhance your critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • We combine over 500 years of rich academic heritage with 21st century innovation and dynamism to create and deliver world class programmes - all underpinned by our inclusive and welcoming learning environment.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

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

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.

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

TOEFL iBT:

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

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 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
Reference
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships

Careers

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:

  • Research
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Effective communication
  • Diplomacy

Career Opportunities

  • Energy Barrister
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Government Official

Industry Links

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 practitioners and leading industry experts so you will benefit from practical real life insights into the industry.

Accreditation

This degree holds accreditation from

Taught by leading industry experts

Our academics are published authors of significant works used within the industry, and are active members of boards such as Oil and Gas UK and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. 

Oil & Gas capital of Europe

Specialise in Oil & Gas Law in the heart of the industry.

5th in the UK for Law

Our Law School is ranked 5th in the UK of 105 providers for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).

Top 10 UK Law School

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK for Law by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Our Experts

This programme is delivered by experts from our Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law (AUCEL)

Other Experts
Professor Greg Gordon
Professor John Paterson
Programme Coordinator
Daria Shapovalova

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.

Get in Touch