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 can join this online oil and gas law course?

This distance-learning 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 choose the University of Aberdeen for online law courses?

Study at a university with one of the largest and most internationally experienced teams of legal experts in any European law school.

Top 10 UK law school

We’re delighted to be ranked a Top 10 UK Law School by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Earn as you learn

We fit around full-time work, so you can earn qualifications while you keep earning a salary.

20% alumni discount

University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning oil and gas law course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn anywhere, without a study visa, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at LLM 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:

  • podcasts
  • core readings
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Law Library.

Your tutors

This course is delivered by our School of Law.

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.

You’ll be assessed entirely online via:

  • short answer questions (worth 20% of your total course grade)
  • practical written activities (80%).

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 course coordinator 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:

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 online Law courses 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:

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.

Careers

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

Entry requirements

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.

Visa requirements

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

We recommend:

  • 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.

Software

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.

Fee payment

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.

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

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.

Apply for this course

Start date
27 January 2025
Cost
£1,290
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