The ongoing developments in safety and reliability remains a primary focus for the oil and gas industry. Greater effort is now being put into assessing the safety and reliability of complex engineering systems, and of ensuring that existing facilities can continue to be operated safely and economically.

MSc Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas is also available to study part time online.

OPITO, the skills organisation for oil and gas, is offering two scholarships of £6,000 each towards the students' maintenance costs. Deadline: 22 July 2021. Find out more...

Study 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

This programme provides advanced education and training for graduate engineers in the area of safety engineering, reliability engineering, and loss prevention. There is a continuing demand for individuals with specialist knowledge in these areas, partly a result of the legal requirements to assess and control industrial risks to people and the environment and partly because of the need to create high integrity engineering systems in many industries.

Safety engineering is not a subject which is adequately covered in most undergraduate degrees, so this MSc programme brings together those topics relating to the safety and reliability of engineering products and systems, including the legislative framework, in a unified approach.

The MSc Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas provides an integrated approach to safety and reliability issues across most of the traditional branches of engineering, and will allow you to specialise in offshore engineering, technical safety, reliability, legislations and regulations or human factors. You will be taught by staff from the School of Engineering. In addition, a number of lectures are given by industrially-based practising safety and reliability specialists.

Campus study is fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT).

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Please note: From September 2019 entry onwards EG50T4/EG502Z Process Risk Identification and Management and EG50S1/EG501S Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts will be replaced with EG50S2/EG50S3 Safety and Risk Management.

Safety & Risk Management (EG50S2)

15 Credit Points

The course serves as the entrance to the field of safety and reliability engineering with the introduction of the basic concepts and tools of safety and risk management. Legal frames related to engineering safety are also introduced.

Contents include: Fundamentals of safety engineering; natural and man-made hazards; safety measures; accident and failure statistics; fundamentals of risk management; risk assessment techniques; classical reliability theory; modelling of engineering systems as series and parallel systems; redundancy; fault trees and event trees; availability and maintainability; UK safety legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work Act and its historical, offshore and other regulations.

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Statistics and Probability for Safety, Reliability and Quality (EG5060)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to get an understanding of applied probability and statistics. Students will be able to handle variables of a random nature, deal with parameters of different distributions and data of scattering nature.

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Fire and Explosion Engineering (EG5071)

15 Credit Points

Hydrocarbon fires and explosions produce extreme loading on engineering components. Structural steels lose their strength and stiffness well below the temperatures associated with hydrocarbon fires. Safety-critical elements must be designed to withstand both these temperatures and the blast overpressures that result from hydrocarbon explosions. Simple models are used to assess the loading that results from fires and explosions. Structural elements are analysed to illustrate the design procedures that are required to prevent escalation and to design against major accident scenarios.

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Offshore Structures and Subsea Systems (EG50R1)

15 Credit Points

This course will equip students with the required knowledge of offshore and subsea oil and gas production systems, and to enable them to gain an appreciation of the infrastructure and facilities that need to be removed during decommissioning.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Methods for Risk and Reliability Assessment (EG5511)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to understand and be able to carry out probabilistic modelling of uncertainty in engineering components and systems. Students will be able to obtain a good knowledge and understanding on random variables in probabilistic analysis and be able to carry out approximation and numerical schemes on components and systems.

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Applied Risk Analysis and Management (EG5558)

15 Credit Points

Risk assessment, the common tools used for (and the legal requirement associated with) risk assessment are covered. Students will have a thorough understanding on the components of good assessment and management of risks, and be familiar with the basic requirement for HAZID, HAZOP, SIL, QRA and the Safety Case.

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Process Design, Layout & Materials (EG55P8)

15 Credit Points

Candidates will develop PIDs for major systems applying LOPA and including instrumentation. Inherently safe equipment layout principles for both onshore and offshore applications are addressed. Layouts will be developed for example applications.

The safety critical systems are reviewed and discussed.

Corrosion mechanisms are addressed together with materials for construction properties. Basic corrosion models are presented for a wide range of fluids. The operational modes which present most demand on materials are reviewed. Corrosion in erosive environments is addressed. Effects of temperature deviations in fire & blowdown are illustrated and analysed. Case studies are used to illustrate common issues.

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Human Factors Engineering (EG55P9)

15 Credit Points

Human Factors Engineering (HFE) relates to how people interact with engineering systems. Failures in these areas are involved in all major incidents. Candidates explore them as part of this course. First, a review of major accidents will be undertaken to identify how equipment design, individual behaviours, and organisational behaviours contributed. Equipment/system design and the effect it has on individuals' behaviours is explored. Human Error is addressed. Finally, organisational behaviours will be examined. Leading and Lagging indicators are explored and their strengths/weaknesses considered. Candidates have the opportunity to complete practical assessments led by industry practitioners with specialist expertise in HFE.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Full-time students will be required to undertake a project commencing in June, submitting their work in September. Students will, where possible, undertake this while on an industrial placement. The subject for a student’s dissertation will be chosen following discussion between staff and the student and in the light of placement availability. Part-time students will carry out a project during their final year of study.

Compulsory Courses
Safety Engineering Individual Project (EG5906)

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

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Communication and self-learning skills are enhanced through a series of tutorials, coursework, technical reports and presentations. Coursework involving group projects are designed to develop creativity, leadership and team-building skills and to encourage initiative and personal responsibility in the implementation of the projects.

Why Study Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas?

  • The programme is flexible to suit the range of needs of our students and is available on both a full and part-time basis, and also by part-time online learning.
  • As well as the key technological, operational and engineering elements, crucial human factors are also taught in relation to safety.
  • A number of specific industry scholarships are offered directly as part of this programme annually.
  • The MSc Safety & Reliability Engineering for Oil & Gas programme draws together students from all over the world, making the learning experience a truly international affair and providing world-wide recognition of the programme.
  • Campus study is fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE), the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT), Energy Institute (EI) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST). This means you can be assured that your teaching is recognised by relevant bodies and that you are getting the best possible experience.
  • Our location at the heart of Aberdeen, Europe's energy capital, and leading "World Energy City", brings you closer to the industry. The city is an inspiring place for any future oil and gas and wider energy industry leader.
  • Our graduates move into very successful careers with a large proportion working in senior roles in the industry, even as high as CEO and MD level. 
  • Our close links with industry ensures that you experience lectures taught by industry professionals and have opportunities to undertake MSc projects with leading firms.

Entry Requirements


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

  • 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree, or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth in any branch of Engineering, Mathematics or Physics.
  • Those with a 2:2 Honours degree in Engineering may also be considered if they can demonstrate 2+ years of relevant Oil & Gas Industry experience.
  • Key subjects you must have covered: Mathematics and Mechanical subjects such as stress analysis, strength of materials and thermodynamics.

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 - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

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

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; 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.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
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

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,500
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • 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

OPITO, the skills organisation for oil and gas, is offering two scholarships of £6,000 each towards the students' maintenance costs. Deadline: 22 July 2021. Find out more...


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.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship


Safety will always remain a vital part of the industry. Those with the right level of engineering skills will always be in demand.

Career Opportunities

  • Health and Safety Engineer
  • Risk Analyst
  • Safety and Reliability Engineer
  • Technical Safety Engineer
  • Technical Safety Operator


This degree holds accreditation from

What our Alumni Say

Ifiok Etukudo

Ifiok Etukudo

Ifiok Etukudo

Job Details
Technical Safety Engineer
Graduated 2014

The facilities are world-class with an ultra-modern new library. Academic excellence is key and you must be fully committed, determined & hard working to succeed. Above all, the rewards are huge!

Andrew Allan

Andrew Allan

Andrew Allan

Job Details
Safety and Risk Consultant
Graduated 2014

I believe the university has an excellent reputation, particularly in the oil and gas sector. They also have strong ties with industry allowing you to establish relationships and potentially secure a job prior to completing a course.

Edet Eka

Edet Eka

Edet Eka

Job Details
Project Engineer
Graduated 2014

Choose wisely, University of Aberdeen is unique and one of the best in the world.

Foivos Theofilopoulos

Foivos Theofilopoulos

Foivos Theofilopoulos

Job Details
Safety Engineer
Graduated 2012

The faculty members and external lecturers that taught in my postgrad course were all very open, helpful, and with commendable ethos. I really enjoyed working with them.

Evalyne Cathy Arinaitwe

Evalyne Cathy Arinaitwe

Evalyne Cathy Arinaitwe

Job Details
Business Development Executive
Graduated 2015

The University of Aberdeen offers a good environment for learning, especially in the Energy sector being located in the Oil Capital of Europe. There are a lot of energy companies, both local and international dealing in oil and gas activities.

Prakhar Agrawal

Prakhar Agrawal

Prakhar Agrawal

Graduated 2015

I choose to study this degree because safety is the key priority of any industry, especially the Oil and Gas. This course has enhanced my capability to achieve the industry's safety measures.

Ambrose Ssentongo

Ambrose Ssentongo

Ambrose Ssentongo

Job Details
Health and Safety Engineer
Graduated 2013

A good blend of University and Industry based lecturers guarantee a holistic view of the industry and careers available.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Srinivas Sriramula

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

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX