Develop your understanding fast, in this short online energy economics course.
The global oil and gas sector remains a key component of the energy industry, and an important part of the economic development strategy for many developing countries.
The way that governments manage these resources has a great influence on the investment decisions of major oil and gas companies.
In this online course, you’ll gain a better understanding of the oil and gas industry by studying the economics behind it.
With guidance from energy economists and researchers, you’ll learn:
- to make sense of petroleum policies
- how governments influence oil and gas developments around the world
- how decisions on taxation and fiscal rules influence private sector investment
- how oil and gas firms make investment decisions, including whether or not to drill an exploration well, or develop an entire gas production project
- how governments can design and implement various fiscal devices to collect tax and rents from the oil and gas sector for the benefit of wider society.
Who can join this online petroleum economics course?
This distance-learning petroleum economics course is ideal learning for:
- energy professionals seeking career progression and enhanced knowledge of the sector
- anyone looking to begin a successful career in the energy industry, or
- those who simply want to understand the issues and how decisions and policies are made in the sector.
What you’ll study
In this course, you’ll cover the following modules.
Supply and Demand
- The Determinants of Price
- Elasticity of Supply and Demand
- Supply and Demand in a Non-Competitive Market
Economic Rents in the Petroleum Industry
Risks in Petroleum Exploitation
Collecting the Economic Rent
- Concessionary Systems – including royalties, and corporate income tax
- Contractual Systems – including production-sharing contracts
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Evidence the unique features of the supply and demand curves in the petroleum industry, including oil price determination, non-competitive market setting, etc.
Use supply and demand analysis to understand the behaviour of the world oil market.
Describe the Hotelling Rule and its limitations as it relates to the depletion rate of petroleum resources.
Identify and analyse the fiscal systems and devices used for resource rent collection in the petroleum industry.
Explain the concept and measurement of economic rents in the petroleum and wider extractive resource industry, using key financial metrics such as Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return.
How you’ll study
This distance learning petroleum economics course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.
You can learn anywhere, with no need for a study visa, and manage your hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters 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.
The materials for this course are developed by active researchers and academics. 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:
- interactive learning materials
- live online webinars with course lecturers
- reading materials
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
In this interactive course, you’ll participate in many discussions with fellow students and course lecturers using online discussion forums.
Live online webinars
Across the course, you’ll have eight one-hour live sessions with academic experts in energy economists. These live online webinars are central to your learning. Your participation in them will count towards your final grades.
Ahead of each live webinar, you’ll be asked to study the online materials provided, post questions to your tutor online, undertake multiple-choice quizzes and other tasks. You may also be asked to work in small groups to prepare for some of the live sessions.
This course is delivered by the University of Aberdeen Business School.
Your tutors are members of the internationally recognised Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF). They are active in research and teaching across energy economics.
This course is assessed online via:
- your engagement in the online discussion forums (worth 5% of your final grade)
- online quizzes that take place during the course (worth 20%)
- an exam-style, open-book assessment at the end of your course (worth 75%).
There will be a one-week window in which you can complete this final exam-style assessment. It will take place at the end of the semester in which the course runs.
Study hours for live online webinars
This course features eight online tutorial webinars. Each webinar is live and scheduled to last for around one hour.
Webinar dates and times will be organised flexibly at the start of the course. Your course coordinator will consider everyone’s circumstances and time zones before setting up live webinar times that best suit the class.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of teaching, private 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
You’ll have live online webinars at fixed times, plus assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through your courses at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your coordinator via email, MyAberdeen and Microsoft Teams. 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
Professor Alex Kemp, OBE
One of the world’s best-known energy experts, Alex has been a specialist adviser to governments and energy companies in the UK and globally for decades.
Alex is Professor of Petroleum Economics and Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance.View Alex’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 online:
Masters in Energy Economics and Finance
Learn to analyse and understand world energy markets. From oil and gas to renewables, prepare for career success with expert economists in this flexible online degree.View MSc Energy Economics and Finance
This course is valuable learning for careers within energy companies, consultancy, government, and environmental or regulatory departments of energy.
Reaching beyond the private sector, it’s also ideal for those looking to progess within governments and NGOs, who need high-quality graduates with an excellent understanding of the energy 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
- or relevant experience that supports this level of study.