Help ensure the discovery of oil and gas becomes a positive and productive venture for any new hydrocarbon province.

Study with a university committed to demonstrating social responsibility in the teaching of oil and gas law.

We’re using our acknowledged expertise, experience and influence to do all we can to ensure the discovery of rich natural resources benefits all members of a population fairly and effectively. Having good governance in place from the outset is essential, and this course aims to address that.

Grow your specialist skills in this area as you study part-time online with the support of a top UK law school at the heart of the European energy sector.

Who is this online course for?

This distance-learning energy law course is ideal for:

  • lawyers working in, or keen to move into, the oil and gas industry
  • oil and gas professionals
  • professionals working in government and NGOs, particularly in countries where an industry is beginning and investors are taking an interest.

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 international and domestic law and regulatory regimes pertaining to the governance of petroleum developments.

Examples abound of the potential for newly discovered oil and gas resources to fuel corruption, inequality, and what is known as ‘Dutch disease’ – where growth in national income from natural-resource extraction damages other sectors of a country’s economy.

In this course, you’ll examine these negative forces and how they can be avoided.

You’ll look at:

  • the definition and theory of governance and regulation
  • the state’s role in governance
  • transparency
  • corruption – and the use of law to counter it
  • the role of legal institutions, national and international oil companies.

You’ll also study the Norwegian model, which is considered particularly good, and how it may be adapted to suit very different petroleum provinces in other parts of the world.

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 Governance and Petroleum Developments 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
  • core readings
  • 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 professors and tutors passionate about transferring their knowledge and skills to ensure that hydrocarbon discoveries become a force for good and not a route to economic inequality and corruption.

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 an LLM

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 build your specialist skills as a lawyer or professional in the oil and gas sector, NGOs, and governments across the world.

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
23 January 2023
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