Learn to evaluate, test and design a range of riser systems.
Riser systems play a key part in the offshore oil and gas industry. They allow us to bring hydrocarbon from the seabed to the offshore installation.
A core part of our Masters in Subsea Engineering, this course gives you a thorough grounding in riser and mooring design, including the effect of dynamic motions.
Enjoy the expertise of our academics, experienced engineers and industry specialists, who we bring in to share their knowledge and the latest technological developments with you.
Advance your career as a graduate engineer with a university at the heart of the UK energy sector. Access our training and support wherever you’re based, with part-time hours to fit around your existing commitments.
What you’ll study
You’ll start the course with an overview of various riser systems, including:
- steel catenary
You’ll examine where these systems are applicable, their components, the service life of these components, and the service life of the entire system.
You’ll then explore the fundamentals of ocean hydrodynamics, measuring stresses in the subsea environment and interactions between vessel, mooring and riser systems.
You’ll focus on the hydrodynamic loads on risers. Deriving equations of motion to describe each system, you’ll calculate displacement and stresses to work out how long a riser system will last in different configurations.
You’ll learn how all of this knowledge informs and impacts on riser and mooring design, and discover the latest design trends in riser technologies.
Other important topics you’ll cover include:
- effective tension
- vessel response characterisation
- regular and irregular wave loading analysis
- time and frequency domain solution techniques
- riser ancillary equipment.
By the end of this course, you will understand…
Different riser designs and their application.
The mechanics of riser systems, and the role of tension, stress, and fatigue.
External dynamic forces and their impact on riser and mooring system design.
The dynamic motion of floating surface facilities and their consequences for riser design.
The methods of riser-installation engineering and planning.
The design and application of ancillary riser technology, including interconnectors, joints and buoyancy aids.
The latest design trends in riser technologies.
The application of riser technologies in deep water.
How you’ll study
Our distance-learning Riser Systems and Hydrodynamics 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, tutors and professional subsea engineers
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
You’ll learn from highly experienced academics and engineers from our School of Engineering, alongside experts from industry brought in to share their knowledge and experience with you.
You’ll also benefit from direct input from an Industry Advisory Board. It constantly reviews the 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 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 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 your career as a graduate engineer already working in, or with ambitions to work in, the subsea engineering sector.
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.
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.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills 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 for this course or degree.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements.
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.
For this course, you’ll apply through our Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents. Our admissions team will then review these and contact you.
Documents you’ll need to apply for this course
- Degree transcript
- Personal statement
Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use the Applicant Portal.
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.
January 2025 intake
Teaching starts on 27 January 2025.
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 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.
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.
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.
For entry to this course, we’d expect you to hold a relevant degree.
However, your application will also be considered if you have alternative qualifications combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience.
This course includes significant mathematical content. Please review our mathematical skills document, which we’ve prepared to give you an indication of the level of mathematics you’ll require.