Get ahead in the decommissioning challenge.
Join an online course delivered from the heart of Europe’s energy capital. It’s designed for anyone in the offshore business who wants to know more about the hardware and technology used in the decommissioning process.
You’ll learn from experts recognised for their quality teaching and impactful research within global oil and gas. As a practising or graduate engineer, you’ll gain career-advancing skills in this hot-topic area.
What you’ll study
The market for decommissioning oil and gas installations is substantial. On the UK continental shelf alone, this market is estimated at £40-100 billion over the next 40 years. Far from being an ‘end’, we view this as the opportunity to develop tools, technology and skills that can be applied in other offshore basins around the world.
This course will give you a thorough overview of offshore and subsea oil and gas production systems, and an appreciation of the infrastructure and facilities that need to be removed when the time arrives for decommissioning.
You’ll be introduced to various aspects of offshore structures and subsea systems, including field architecture, subsea hardware and subsea pipelines. You’ll learn how these systems are maintained and monitored.
You’ll consider the technical and engineering challenges related to oil and gas production in subsea fields around the world, as they relate to end-of-life operations and decommissioning.
- equipment and technology employed underwater, including trees, valves and connectors
- application and architecture on the seabed, including how hardware has been installed
- subsea intervention technologies
- enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
- risk and liability
- standards and operating codes, good practice, and legislation in this area
- emerging technologies and the decommissioning challenge.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Explain how subsea production systems and offshore infrastructure combine to facilitate oil and gas production from subsea reservoirs.
Describe the components of subsea production systems, including their basic function, size and composition, and make hardware selection decisions.
Analyse the project process, safety considerations and the key project stages in a subsea development.
Assess the challenges and activities for subsea operations, subsea decommissioning, and subsea field life extension.
Evaluate how subsea and offshore infrastructure is maintained, supported, monitored, and decommissioned using vessels and ROVs.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning decommissioning 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 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 and tutorials
- reading materials
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
You’ll learn from experienced tutors who have worked at high levels in industry, and by experts from major companies operating in the subsea and wider offshore sector.
You’ll also benefit from the direct input of an Industry Advisory Board. It constantly reviews course content to ensure that you’re gaining the latest knowledge and are up to speed with emerging trends, technologies and career opportunities.
You’ll be assessed 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.
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:
- 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 Antonios Karadimos
Antonios completed his PhD at Heriot-Watt University before entering the oil and gas industry as a riser analysis engineer. He spent over 10 years as a subsea team lead. Antonios worked on numerous projects involving the design and analysis of SURF systems, before becoming a lecturer here in subsea and decommissioning engineering.View Antonios’ 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:
Accredited 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
Accredited Masters in Offshore Engineering
Join our accredited online MSc and gain the skills you need to work in a wide variety of roles in the offshore engineering sector, including marine renewables.View MSc Offshore Engineering
Accredited 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:
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
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Standard 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, 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.
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. For this course, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:1 UK honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Geosciences, Economics, Business, Law, Biological/Environmental Science, or
- another science, technology or commercial degree, or
- three years’ relevant experience that supports this level of study.