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.

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.

You’ll cover:

  • 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

Online learning

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.

Your teaching

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.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from highly skilled lawyers with extensive experience in both international law and the energy industry.

Your course coordinator

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:

Build your learning

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:

  • lawyer
  • 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

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • an 2:1 (upper-second-class) Law degree (or equivalent).

Relevant practical experience in a related field is also beneficial.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
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