Develop specialist subsea engineering skills with our online Flow Assurance course.
Study the issues we face as engineers working with the flow of fluids through pipelines and other structures.
Join this flexible online engineering course that fits around full-time work, and:
- gain 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.
Wherever you’re based, you’ll learn with a university at the heart of the European energy sector. And you’ll have access to our expertise and support with no need for a study visa.
Who is this online Flow Assurance course for?
This distance-learning course is aimed at graduate engineers looking to advance their careers in the energy sector.
What you’ll 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
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 you’ll study
This distance-learning Flow Assurance course is delivered flexibly online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
Your training 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 and tutorials
- reading materials
- discussion boards with colleagues, tutors and professional subsea engineers
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
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.
This course usually combines online assessment with a written exam that you attend in person at the end of term.
However, as a result of Covid-19, in-person exams will not take place until the September 2023 term at the earliest.
Until then, we’ll use alternative online assessments.
Online assessment will take place throughout the teaching term.
Types of assessment for this course may include:
- online quizzes
- timed online open-book assessments.
Your assessments will have submission deadlines, either during or at the end of the course. Your course coordinator will let you know when your assessment deadlines are, so you can plan your study time accordingly.
From September 2023 - Return of exams
We may reintroduce in-person exams for this course from the September 2023 term onwards.
If exams are reintroduced, you’ll be assessed via a mix of online assessments and a final, in-person exam. We can help you find an exam centre in your area for this exam if you are not able to attend exams on-campus in Aberdeen.
There may be a fee for sitting an exam at an external examination centre.
We’ll keep you updated as to assessment methods well in advance of any changes.
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 with deadlines
There will be some activities scheduled for fixed times, such as assessments with deadlines or meetings with your tutor. But 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
Dr Dominic Van der A
Dominic is a Lecturer within our School of Engineering who specialises in coastal engineering. His research is aiding our understanding of fundamental processes in the coastal zone and the development of new and improved tools for engineers facing the challenges of climate change and sea-level rise.View Dominic’s profile
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:
Masters in Oil and Gas Engineering
Join an accredited online Masters degree delivered from the Energy Capital of Europe. Master the skills and technologies you need to pursue a career in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry.View MSc Oil and Gas Engineering
Masters in Subsea Engineering
Become a subsea engineer with our accredited online MSc. Train in the fundamental skills and technical knowledge demanded by the subsea sector today.View MSc Subsea Engineering
Build your learning
We offer a range of specialist online Engineering and technology courses you can use to build your skills.
Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters 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.
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.
We welcome students from all over the world.
See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.
English language tests and scores
If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept for this course or degree.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 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, reading and speaking
- 169 for 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 full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
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 contact you.
Documents you’ll need to apply for this course
- Degree transcript
- Personal statement
Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use the Applicant Portal.
Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.
January 2024 intake
Teaching starts on 22 January 2024.
Application deadlines will be announced in due course.
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.
If your course features an in-person exam, you may have to pay a fee depending on where you sit your exam.
It’s free to sit exams on campus at the University of Aberdeen.
If you sit an exam at another university, exam centre or a British Council Office, they may charge you for this service. This is a fee that you pay directly to the service provider when booking your exam with them. It is not a fee that you pay to us.
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.
For entry to this course, we’d expect you to hold a relevant degree.
However, your application will also be considered if you have alternative qualifications combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience.