Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas MSc

Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas, MSc


Safety remains one of the most important areas of focus for the global oil and gas industry. This programme delivers the safey engineers of the future.

Key Facts

1 Year / 2 Years / 2 Years, 3 Months
Study Mode
Full Time / Part Time
Start Month
January / September
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning / Distance Learning

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This programme provides education and training for graduate engineers in the general area of safety engineering, reliability engineering, and loss prevention. 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 aim is to provide an opportunity for graduate engineers to develop a career in safety and reliability engineering and risk management. There is a continuing high demand for people with specialist knowledge in these areas. This is partly a result of the new 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 – for example, in the offshore, nuclear, transport, aerospace and process industries. The needs are global.

This programme provides an integrated approach to safety and reliability issues across most of the traditional branches of engineering, and allows students to specialise in offshore engineering, technical safety, reliability, legislations and regulations or human factors.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September and September. You will find information about other ways to study this programme in the next section on this page.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Fundamental Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts (EG50S1)

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.

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

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.

Fire and Explosion Engineering (EG5071)

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.

Offshore Oil and Gas Production Systems (EG5072)

The course aims to equip students with the required knowledge of offshore oil and gas production systems in order to understand the application of safety and reliability principles in the oil and gas context. A holistic overview is provided on how an oil/gas field is found, developed, managed and decommissioned. The key technical elements on the handling, treatment and production of oil and gas are covered in order to appreciate the safety systems needed in the industry and to understand the role of workforce.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Advanced Methods for Risk and Reliability Assessment (EG5511)

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.

Applied Risk Analysis and Management (EG5558)

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.

Process Design, Layout & Materials (EG55P8)

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.

Human Factors Engineering (EG55P9)

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.

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)

This course is for students studying MSc Safety & Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas. Students may have opportunity to carry out the project as part of an industrial placement. The dissertation is an independent piece of work based on a topic of students’ own choice. The students are encouraged to focus their dissertation on a problem confronting the Safety industry, and to demonstrate how the fundamentals they have learned during the taught programme can be put into practice. The dissertation should contain a degree of original work and demonstrate in-depth the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the MSc programme.

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

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


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 distance 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.
  • It receives advice and support from a Lloyds Register Foundation Advisory Board.
  • 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) and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT). This means you can be assured that your teaching is recognised by relevant bodies and that you are getting the best possible experience.
  • The Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) Centre for Safety and Reliability Engineering builds on existing expertise and track record within the School of Engineering to form a world-class unit for research and teaching in safety and reliability engineering. One of the objectives is to continually develop and deliver a world-class MSc programme in Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil & Gas aimed at educating the leading safety engineering specialists of the future.
  • 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 geographic location puts us in a unique position of being able to offer a curriculum that is highly relevant to the needs of employers, alongside cutting-edge research. A degree from the University of Aberdeen puts you in a unique position to develop crucial business links alongside your learning.
  • 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. 

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition fee for main award £5,200
International Students Tuition fee for main award £19,000
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. 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.


OPITO Piper Alpha Memorial MSc Safety Scholarship - full details available on the funding database.

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Entry Requirements


2:1 (upper second class or above) 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. Degrees in Maths and Physics may also be considered if a high 2:1 has been achieved.

Engineering at 2:2 may be considered with 2-3 years of relevant work experience.

Key subjects you must have covered: Mathematics and Mechanical subjects such as stress analysis, strength of materials and thermodynamics. .

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 College of Physical 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 exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

  • Degree Transcripta full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statementa detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications
  • CVan up-to-date CV/Resumé


LRF Safety & Reliability Centre

LRF Safety & Reliability Centre

Conducting world-class research in the general area of safety & reliabiltiy engineering at the University. To develop the industry focus of safety & reliability engineering research and facilitate the transfer knowledge.

Find out more


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


This Degree is Accredited by

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Srinivas Sriramula

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.

What our Alumni Say

  • Ifiok Etukudo, Technical Safety Engineer at

    Ifiok Etukudo

    Job Details
    Technical Safety Engineer
    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, Safety and Risk Consultant at

    Andrew Allan

    Job Details
    Safety and Risk Consultant
    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, Project Engineer at

    Edet Eka

    Job Details
    Project Engineer
    Choose wisely, University of Aberdeen is unique and one of the best in the world.
  • Foivos Theofilopoulos, Safety Engineer at

    Foivos Theofilopoulos

    Job Details
    Safety Engineer
    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, Business Development Executive at

    Evalyne Cathy Arinaitwe

    Job Details
    Business Development Executive
    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, at

    Prakhar Agrawal

    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, Health and Safey Engineer at

    Ambrose Ssentongo

    Job Details
    Health and Safey Engineer
    A good blend of University and Industry based lecturers guarantee a holistic view of the industry and careers available.


College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building
King's College

AB24 3UE
+44 (0)1224 272515
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