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MSc Petroleum Energy, Economics and Finance is highly regarded for being intellectually challenging and providing career-ready credentials to help increase your employer appeal within an energy economics context.
This highly-distinctive, 1-year Masters programme combines the disciplined study of economic principles with a deep understanding of the dynamic, constantly evolving energy industry.
In the first semester, we will make sure that you are fully versed with the key micro and macroeconomic modelling techniques. And to make financial sense of the data, there will be time spent understanding the critical aspects of financial analysis. You will also gain an in-depth understanding of energy and petroleum economics and explore issues like the Hotelling model and oil price behaviour, the role of OPEC and the issues of global warming and renewables in an economic context.
In semester two, we ramp up your strategic thinking using game theory to demonstrate how businesses interact strategically, globally. We will help to develop your individual analytical skills and judgement surrounding energy industry investment decisions having to be made in an uncertain world.
During the summer term, you will undertake a dissertation project from a range of possible key topics in the petroleum and energy industries. Past subjects have included economic evaluation of oil and gas taxation, energy policy analysis and investments in the petroleum and energy industries.
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.
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.
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)
The course will cover the main
elements of Microeconomic Theory. Consumer theory will be examined by
discussing how consumers choose under the constraint of a budget to generate
demands. This theory will then be extended to include choice under uncertainty
and intertemporal choice. Some basic elements of competitive markets will also
be presented. Producer theory will be examined to understand how firms decide
the quantity to be produced under the constraint of a technology. Other relevant
topics, such as public goods, externalities, and auctions, will be covered.
This course develops a mathematical and
statistical ‘toolbox’ for MSc Petroleum Energy Economics and Finance
students. These tools will useful in understanding and implementing
research in energy economics-related fields both during a student’s academic
career as well as after graduation. The first part of the course covers
basic mathematical models common across these fields. The second part of
the course develops standard data analysis methods, including multivariate
regression. Applications from various energy economic areas are used in order
to illustrate the mathematical and statistical concepts.
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.
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.
The course aims to equip students with the analytical skills required to understand the principles underpinning firms’ business strategies and the nature of the trade-offs that they face in making business decisions in the national and international environment and how these trade-offs are affected by the nature of market competition and by technology. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand and analyse why companies behave the way they do with respect to: (i) the boundaries of the firm, (ii) their positioning in the market, (iii) their interaction with competitors and (iv) their internationalisation strategy.
This course will build on the skills introduced in the first semester Quantitative Methods and develop skills in applying a variety of empirical methods taught across the programme to issues in energy.
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
Assessment: by course work, by written examination or by a combination of those, as prescribed for each course. The degree of MSc(Econ) shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve CGS D3 in the relevant dissertation course, irrespective of their performance in other courses.
Why Study Petroleum, Energy Economics and Finance?
The University of Aberdeen is an established leader in teaching and research in the fields of economics and energy. Our MSc Petroleum Energy, Economics and Finance builds on our considerable strength in these fields.
The Business School is nationally and internationally renowned for its research in Energy and Environment, Finance and Governance, Work, Health and Wellbeing and Property Market Analysis. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 71% of our research was graded as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent’.
With a world expert in Energy Economics, Professor Alexander Kemp OBE, actively teaching on this programme, it is a course of study that is without equivalence.
Students also benefit from the presence of the Aberdeen Institute of Energy, powered by the University.
We draw a highly distinctive mix of students, spanning both nationalities and disciplines. So you will be encouraged to look at energy business challenges from across disciplines, with an integrated perspective
About a third of students come from an economics/finance background, a third have a scientific background and the final third come from the social sciences.
In 2014, in a class of 38 students represented 26 different nationalities - the students referred to themselves as the 'United Nations class'.
It is this diversity of the student cohort that brings a richness of experience. Learning alongside classmates who contribute wide-ranging perspectives will help you acquire skills beyond the Academic and the technical - that cultural intelligence, those soft skills - that employers increasingly seek.
We uniquely offer all of this - and more.
A distinguished department. We are home to two highly-rated relevant research centres - Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF) and Scottish Experimental Economic Laboratory.
Strong links and active engagement with professional practice, multi-nationals and government agencies around the world.
Obtain insights into commercially-oriented analysis.
Develop quantitative skills to better utilize data to inform strategic decisions.
Learn to analyze energy markets and the micro and macro impacts of various stimuli.
Work and network with employers from a range of national and multi-national companies through our visiting speaker programme.
Field trips organised to energy industry sites.
Acquire the global perspectives essential to professional success.
The minimum entry requirement 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), with a strong background in quantitative methods.
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 Business School 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.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Most of our students are aiming to specialise as analysts in the oil or gas industry or perhaps in a government department that deals with industry. The programme has paved the way to success for former students securing roles as Energy and Business Consultants, Strategy Analysts, Market Analysts, Commercial Analysts, Economists, Project Managers and Oil and Gas Associates.
We have had many students going through to successful, rewarding careers with a range of top employers. Let’s name drop a few:
Ernst & Young
Ghanian Petroleum Commission
Oil and Gas UK
UBS Investment Bank
UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
Turkish National Oil Corporation
The list really does go on. And so does the number of posts our past students have successfully applied for. Here’s a small selection:
Energy and Business Consultant
Economist, Project Manager
Oil and Gas Associate
But don't just take our word for it. In the words of efinancialcareers: 'An MSc in petroleum economics - or indeed any qualification in petroleum economics - will help you get into commodities sales and trading if it’s from a top school'.
Energy and Business Consultant
Oil and Gas Associates
The programme incorporates significant input from the Energy industry. Our MSc Petroleum Economics, Energy & Finance has seen former students creating their dissertations in association with specific companies such as BP, Total and the Scottish Government.
We also bring together a range of visiting speaker and mentors from leading industry names such as Wood Mackenzie and Palantir Solutions, who share their knowledge with students of how the economic world of energy works.
What our Alumni Say
Production analyst and PhD student
The MSc programme in Petroleum and Energy Economics was a natural attraction for me because I always wanted to have a career in the energy industry in business strategy, investment analysis and corporate planning.
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.
Study With Energy Alex Kemp OBE
World expert Professor Alexander Kemp OBE is actively teaching on this programme, he wrote the Energy Economics 'rulebook'. Think what you could learn from him.
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.
The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.