Join our online energy law course and learn how oil and gas operations are regulated.
- Explore the key issues in the regulation of petroleum operations.
- Gain a detailed understanding of regulatory options for safety in the oil and gas industry, and how these operate worldwide.
- Develop a global perspective on health and safety law and environmental regulation.
Grow your professional skills at a top UK law school with decades of experience at the heart of Europe’s energy capital.
You’ll benefit from:
- our strong ties to industry and its regulators, wherever you’re based
- flexible study hours that fit around full-time work.
Who is this online regulatory law course for?
This online short course will help you develop your career as:
- a senior manager, health and safety specialist, or energy lawyer practising in any petroleum province in the world.
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.
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.
Students love us
Our Law School ranks 5th in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).
Top 10 UK law school
We’re delighted to be ranked Top 10 in the UK for law by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
20% alumni discount
University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.
What you’ll study
For the offshore oil and gas industry, the safety of its people and of our environment is top priority.
On this online short course, you’ll study key issues for the industry in health and safety law and environmental regulation, from getting in a lifeboat to avoiding a major oil spill in a sensitive environment.
- the theory of regulation
- different modes of regulation – including command and control, and goal-setting
- health and safety regimes – focusing on regimes in the UK, US, Norway and Australia
- environmental regulation – public law, private law, prevention, liability, vulnerable areas.
A fundamental issue you’ll look at is the contrasting approach of the two core systems governing regulation today:
- US regime – which is prescriptive, in that the regulator instructs the operator on a course of action.
- North Sea regime – where an objective, principle-based regulatory framework has operated since the loss of 167 lives on Piper Alpha in 1988. The objective is to avoid harm to personnel and a spill of oil, and the operator must decide how best to do that.
You’ll look at these diametrically opposed systems and use both Piper Alpha and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as case studies. These proved to be watershed moments for the industry, and you’ll explore the lessons learned.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning energy law course is delivered flexibly, 100% 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
- videos and podcasts
- core readings
- course notes
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Law Library
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.
You’ll learn from highly skilled lawyers with extensive experience in both international law and the energy industry.
You’ll be assessed entirely online throughout your course via:
- short answer questions (worth 20% of your total course grade)
- two practical written activities (each worth 40%).
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 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 Eddy Wifa
Eddy is a lecturer and active researcher in Energy Law. His expertise includes offshore health, safety and environmental regulation, decommissioning, energy and natural resource governance, energy transition and energy justice. Eddy has advised governments, is a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, and is Director of the African Natural Resource and Energy Law Network (ANREL).View Eddy’s profile
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:
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.
This online energy law course will enhance your skills, experience and connections as a:
- senior manager
- health and safety specialist, or
- other professional working within the oil and gas industry.
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
We welcome students from all over the world.
See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
Do you need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency?
Teaching is delivered in English.
We can assess your English language proficiency through your:
- qualifications, or
- a recognised English language test.
Use our English requirements checklist to find out if we need to see evidence of your English language proficiency when you apply.
English language tests and scores
If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.
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.
Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.
September 2023 intake
Teaching starts on 18 September 2023.
Application deadlines will be announced in due course.
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.
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) Law degree
- or relevant work experience that supports this level of study.
Apply for this course