Drive your career forward with enhanced skills and expertise in decommissioning.
As UK and other offshore basins mature, decommissioning offshore infrastructure is creating new challenges for government and industry – and new career opportunities.
- Gain the knowledge and expertise to address the regulatory aspects of decommissioning.
- Cover international, domestic and comparative law.
- Attain sought-after expertise to advance your career in this rapidly developing sector.
Join a flexible online course that fits around full-time work, and study with a top UK law school at the heart of the European energy sector.
Who can join this online decommissioning course?
This is not just a course for lawyers. Understanding the legal aspects of decommissioning is important for anyone involved in the process.
This distance-learning course is valuable learning for:
- lawyers, engineers, professionals working in the decommissioning field, and those involved in environmental impact assessments.
What you’ll study
This online decommissioning course focuses on the strategic decisions facing government and industry when offshore installations reach the end of their productive life.
The offshore decommissioning process in the North Sea area is governed by the Oslo Paris Convention (OSPAR), with each country contributing its own internal legislation regarding the decommissioning process and the taxation applied to it.
You’ll closely examine OSPAR and how this instrument of international law flows into UK law, the policy and practice of oil companies, and how we implement it.
Of course, it’s not just the UK that’s facing issues of decommissioning, other states are too – and many of them are dealing with this issue in a radically different way. So, you’ll be engaging in comparative study and questioning what this area of law should look like.
OSPAR is noticeably different from most other international law devices. Is it better, is it worse? Is the UK system over-inclusive or the perfect model that should be implemented elsewhere? That’s fundamentally what this course is all about.
Why study Decommissioning online with the University of Aberdeen?
Earn as you learn
We fit around full-time work, so you can earn qualifications while you keep earning a salary.
Home to the National Decommissioning Centre, we’re the first university in the world to offer a Masters in Decommissioning.Visit the Decommissioning Centre website
20% alumni discount
University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning decommissioning course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.
You can study anywhere in the world, with no need for a visa, and manage your own study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
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:
- online lectures
- reading materials
- case studies
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Law Library
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.
You’ll learn from highly experienced lawyers and benefit from their depth of experience working within the energy sector in Aberdeen, nationally, and globally.
You’ll be assessed entirely online via:
- multiple-choice tests throughout your course (15% of your total course grade)
- a baseline survey (0%)
- short essay answers (25%)
- a comparative law essay (25%)
- resubmission of the baseline survey, and reflective essay (35%).
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Professor John Paterson
John is Chair in Law at the University and is co-founder of our Centre for Energy Law. His teaching and research have taken him all over the world, covering systems theory, the regulation of risk, governance in the EU, corporate governance and energy law. John has also provided specialist training in oil and gas law and corporate governance for the corporate sector, expert advice in international arbitration, and consultancy to international organisations.View John’s profile
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:
Masters in Decommissioning
Join the world’s first and only accredited online Masters degree in decommissioning oil rigs, platforms and offshore structures.View MSc Decommissioning
LLM in Oil and Gas Law
Our LLM in Oil and Gas Law has been producing outstanding energy lawyers for over a decade. Join the flexible, online version of this LLM and earn your Masters part-time, without taking a career break.View LLM Oil and Gas Law
Build your learning with more short courses
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.
Decommissioning is now a major industry and creating new career paths all over the globe.
This course has been developed to enhance your career prospects in this sector. It will deliver career benefits for:
- graduate lawyers working in, or keen to move into, the oil and gas sector
- any professional working in decommissioning who needs to understand the legal framework.
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
This course uses our Postgraduate Higher level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
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.