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Develop detailed knowledge and understanding of the issues facing subsea engineers working with the flow of fluids through pipelines and other structures.

A core part of our Masters in Subsea Engineering, this course gives you a thorough grounding in fundamental fluid engineering, with a particular emphasis on system modelling and design.

Enjoy expert teaching, invited lectures from experienced engineers, and direct industry input. Ensure you’re up to speed with new technologies and train in state-of-the-art flow assurance software.

Advance your career as a graduate engineer with a university at the heart of the UK energy sector. Access our expertise and support wherever you’re based, with part-time hours to fit around your existing commitments.

What will I study?

Transport of oil and gas through pipelines poses many challenges for the engineer. These challenges require a real grasp of the fundamentals of:

  • fluid mechanics
  • heat transfer
  • phase changes
  • deposition and/or obstruction
  • erosion.

You’ll study the processes and problems associated with the flow of hydrocarbon product through subsea systems, with a particular emphasis on the fundamentals of system modelling and design.

You’ll gain knowledge and skills in single and multiphase fluid flow, thermodynamics and phase behaviour, including the effects of temperature and pressure, and heat transfer by conduction and natural or forced convection.

Topics you’ll cover include:

  • chemical properties of the principal hydrocarbon fluids
  • methods to assess the phase diagram and thermophysical properties of fluids transported along pipelines
  • techniques to model single-phase and multiphase flow and resulting design implications
  • causes and effects of waxing, hydrate build-up, asphaltenes, scale and other chemical obstacles to fluid flow through pipelines
  • techniques to assess erosion and maintain pipelines free of obstructions
  • mathematical techniques to model flow dynamics
  • mathematical techniques for the thermal modelling of pipelines
  • future design trends.

By the end of this course, you will…

  • Have a non-specialist understanding of the basics of the chemical properties of the principal hydrocarbon fluids.
  • Understand the techniques to model flow and to consider design implications.
  • Know the causes and effects of waxing, hydrate build up, and other chemical obstacles to fluid flow through pipelines.
  • Learn techniques to maintain pipelines that are free from obstructions.
  • Be able to use mathematical techniques to model flow dynamics and the thermal modelling of pipelines.
  • Understand the design criteria for subsea pumps and separation systems and how these differ in deeper water.
  • Possess the expertise needed to contribute to detailed component design for subsea field systems and networks.
  • Be aware of future design trends.

How will I study?

This Flow Assurance course is delivered online, with a final exam that you must sit in person. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you. We’ll help you locate an exam centre in your area for your final exam.

Part of our Masters in Subsea Engineering, this course is taught at Masters level. You’ll learn from academic and industry experts, with invited lectures from highly experienced subsea engineers working in oil and gas today.

You’ll benefit from direct input from an Industry Advisory Board. It constantly reviews course content to ensure you’re gaining the latest industry knowledge and are up to speed with emerging trends, technologies and career opportunities.

Your training is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online 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:

  • online lectures and tutorials
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues, tutors and professional subsea engineers.

Where will this take me?

Flow Assurance is one of a suite of Engineering short courses that we offer online. These can be used to build up credits towards higher qualifications.

Find out more about credits.

Further learning

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

Masters in Subsea Engineering

  • Accredited by The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Energy Institute.
  • Available to study online or on campus.

See our full range of postgraduate Engineering degrees.


This course will help develop your career as a graduate engineer already working in, or with ambitions to work in, the subsea engineering sector.

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

Am I ready?

Applicants for this course are expected to hold a relevant degree. However, alternative/lower qualifications, combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience, may also be considered for entry.

For this course, you’ll apply through our Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents. Our admissions team will then review these and get back to you. Read How to apply through our Applicant Portal for all you need to know.

You need to apply by the course start date to ensure you are enrolled in time.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 January 2021