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Become a qualified expert in collaborative contracting.

Learn to form the legal agreements that make collaboration between oil and gas partners possible.

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 to fit into your schedule.

Whether you’re a practising lawyer interested in oil and gas law, or an ambitious industry professional looking to fast-track your career, you’ll learn from a top 6 UK law school with decades of experience and influence in Europe’s energy capital.

What will I 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?

How will I study?

Co-operative Contracts in the Oil and Gas Industry is a 12-week course that’s delivered entirely online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your own study hours to suit you.

Part of our LLM in Oil and Gas Law, this course is taught at Masters level. You’ll learn from legal professionals at a University that’s home to one of the most experienced teams of oil and gas experts in any European law school.

Your course is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Also available as an app, you can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and mobile device 24/7.

Your course features a range of resources, including:

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

Your course coordinator

Online learning in the School of Law

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

Where will this take me?

Towards a Masters

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

View all our postgraduate Law degrees.

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.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Am I ready?

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
28 September 2020