Become a qualified expert in collaborative contracting.

  • Learn to form the legal agreements that make collaboration between oil and gas partners possible.
  • Study with a UK law school with decades of experience and influence in Europe’s energy capital.

Co-operative Contracts in the Oil and Gas Industry is a cornerstone of our celebrated LLM in Oil and Gas Law. You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards this LLM qualification.

Study this core part of our LLM online, wherever you are in the world, with flexible hours that fit around full-time work.

Who is this online course for?

This distance learning course is designed for:

  • practising lawyers interested in oil and gas law, and
  • professionals in the energy industry looking for a route to career progression.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards this postgraduate qualification.

What you’ll study

This course provides a detailed overview of the contracts that govern the commercial relationship between oil and gas companies when they form consortia to bid for and develop oil and gas assets.

The energy industry is a very competitive one – but it’s also highly collaborative. Oil and gas companies increasingly seek collaborative routes to exploration and production. When the costs of failure are so high, companies in this sector tend to spread their risk exposure across projects with a variety of partners.

You’ll learn what it takes to build the contracts necessary for these co-venturing partners to collaborate.

You’ll look at complex joint bids and the purpose and key terms of a range of agreements, including:

  • area of mutual interest agreements
  • confidentiality agreements
  • joint bidding agreements
  • joint operating agreements (JOAs)
  • unitisation and unit operating agreements (UOAs) – an extremely complex legal task, where parties collaborate in an oil or gas field that straddles two or more licensed areas.

JOAs are fundamental to oil and gas operations, both in the UK and globally, so the course covers key JOA issues in depth, including:

  • the entitlement to vote
  • what happens if the parties end up in fundamental disagreement about project development
  • what happens if one of the parties runs out of money and ends up in default.

You will learn from detailed discussion of a whole host of issues and challenges that this specialist area of law must grapple with.

Why study Law online with the University of Aberdeen?

Study at a university with one of the largest and most internationally experienced teams of legal experts in any European law school.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance-learning Co-operative Contracts course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our LLM in Oil and Gas Law, this course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • podcasts of lectures
  • videos
  • case studies
  • projects
  • reading lists
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Law Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from legal professionals at a university home to one of the most experienced teams of oil and gas experts in any European law school.

Your course coordinator

Online learning in the School of Law

Advocates share their experiences of working while studying law online with us.

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Build your learning

We offer a wide range of specialist online Law and Energy short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many are part of existing Masters degrees and can be used to build up credits towards postgraduate qualifications.


The course will give you significant professional benefit as a lawyer with an interest in oil and gas law.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:1 (upper-second-class) Law degree
  • or relevant work experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
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