Gain focused skills in the design and operation of offshore pipelines.
Develop your understanding of the engineering and scientific concepts that underpin:
- the selection of materials
- pipeline size
- safe installation and operation, and
- environmental impact.
Learn from industry and academic experts, with a university at the forefront of teaching and professional training for ambitious engineers in global oil and gas.
Access our expertise and support wherever you’re based, with no need for a study visa, on a course that fits around full-time work.
Who is this online course for?
This distance-learning course is aimed at graduate engineers. It’s designed to help you advance your engineering career in the offshore industry or move into a career in this sector.
Build credits towards a Masters degree
This online course is part of:
You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards either of these MSc qualifications.
What you’ll study
You’ll study the engineering and scientific concepts that underpin the selection of material and size of seabed pipelines, safe installation and operation, and environmental impact.
You’ll develop your knowledge of materials engineering and selection, and failure and degradation issues in a subsea environment, including life-cycle analysis.
You’ll also examine reasons for failure, and how failure analysis is applied in the design process.
Topics covered on your course include:
- Overview of pipeline design, including commercial and environmental considerations, national and international design codes, and technological challenges.
- Site investigation and pipeline routing, including soil classification, site survey and preparation, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requirements, human and environmental factors.
- Design based on stress analysis.
- Design against failure, including buckling and collapse.
- Pipeline on-bottom stability, hydrodynamic loads on pipelines, pipeline-soil interaction response and modelling, pipeline seabed spanning response and evaluation.
- External corrosion of pipelines and its prevention.
- Pipeline ancillary equipment design, including PLEMs, protection devices, etc.
- Pipeline installation methods and installation analysis techniques.
Throughout the course you’ll develop expertise in the use of pipeline design standards (eg, BSPD8010 and DNV-OS-F101).
And you’ll become proficient in using industry-standard software, with the huge advantage this brings when you step into a real-life industry project as a professional pipeline engineer.
By the end of this course, you will…
Understand the relationship between pipeline manufacturing processes and the evolution of mechanical properties.
Be aware of the different forms of pipeline installation and loading, and be able to calculate the associated stresses and strains.
Understand the fundamentals of soil mechanics and various geophysical and geotechnical survey techniques.
Know the Health and Safety requirements and legislation associated with pipeline design and installation.
Have the skills to carry out detailed subsea pipeline design to industry standards, including modelling and designing support structures like mattresses and berms.
Engage in the development of innovative technologies for continuous improvements of subsea pipeline systems.
Be equipped to design against pipeline failure, including corrosion.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning Pipelines and Soil Mechanics 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:
- video lectures
- online tutorials
- reading materials
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
- discussion boards with colleagues, tutors and professional subsea engineers.
You’ll Learn from academic and industry experts in mechanical and civil engineering, with lectures delivered by highly experienced subsea engineers working in the industry 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 Amir Siddiq
A Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, Amir has over 15 years of research, teaching and management experience. His work has focused on multiscale mechanics of materials and the use of experimental and simulation techniques to improve advanced manufacturing processes.View Amir’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 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
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 is designed to develop the careers of engineers in all sectors of industry, and other professionals involved in the design of systems, processes, buildings, workplaces or products.
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). 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
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 from 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.
Find out more about funding options.
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) honours degree in Engineering, Applied Mathematics or Physics
- or three years’ relevant experience that supports this level of training.
Apply for this course