What you’ll study
How you’ll study
In-person exams will not take place in the September 2022 academic term, due to Covid-19.
In the meantime, you’ll be assessed via alternative online assessments.
From the January 2023 academic term onward, we may reintroduce in-person exams for some online courses.
For courses where exams are reintroduced, you’ll be assessed via a mix of online assessment and in-person exams at the end of term. We’ll keep you updated as to assessment method changes well in advance.
When in-person exams are reintroduced
You can take your exams:
- on campus at the University of Aberdeen
- at another university or exam centre that is closer to you
- at your local British Council Office.
We can help you find a convenient location for your exams. You then make the arrangements and book them yourself.
We contact you six to eight weeks before your exam date to confirm your chosen location. We recommend exploring your options well before then. If you need any help with this, get in touch with our friendly enquiry team.
Exams usually take place at the end of each term, during our official exam periods:
- For courses starting in January, exams usually run in early May.
- For courses starting in September, exams usually run in early December.
Your precise exam dates will be made available nearer the time.
If you fail or miss an exam, you can resit it in the next exam period or during our summer resit period. This is usually at the end of June/start of July.
If you have any disabled access or support needs for your exams, let us know as part of your online application. We will make sure the right support is in place for you. Find out about the wide range of exam support available.
You can contact a disability adviser anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help.
Sitting exams on campus at the University of Aberdeen is free.
Other universities, exam centres and British Council Offices may charge you for this service. This is an additional cost on top of your degree or course fee. You pay this fee to your chosen exam centre, not to us.
Hours for taught courses
If you plan to study part-time, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term. Students typically take one or two 15-credit short courses per term.
- Around 150 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
- You’ll study 8 – 10 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.
- Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
- You’ll study 15 – 20 hours per week per term, plus more at assessment times.
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 will be some activities scheduled at a fixed time, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.
Hours for 60-credit projects and dissertations
A 60-credit project or dissertation is around 600 hours of study time.
This is around one term of full-time study.
You can dedicate a full term to your project or dissertation and work on it full-time. Or you can complete it part-time, spreading the hours you dedicate to it over two terms.
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.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. 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 – including one-to-one advice sessions
- 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 support team
Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.
Where this will take you
Iain Mackenzie, MSc Decommissioning student
I would recommend the course to anybody who harbours an interest in decommissioning. Due to the mature nature of the North Sea oil and gas infrastructure, decommissioning is a growing part of the business within the UK and its North Sea neighbours.
Fees and funding
Pay as you go allows you to spread payments over several terms.
When you pay
You make a payment before the start of each term.
How much you pay
You only pay for the credits you want to study in the upcoming term.
It’s up to you how many credits you take each term. This gives you control over your costs and your workload.
- Taking fewer credits will increase the length of your studies.
We break down the total cost of this qualification into cost per 15-credit course, project, and your dissertation.
This degree is delivered by four different academic schools. Each school sets its own fees, so course fees vary.
Costs for this degree, starting in academic year 2023/24
- £1,230 – £1,410 in academic year 2023/24.
- £1,290 – £1,480 in academic year 2024/25 (provisional).
- £800 in academic year 2023/24.
- £840 in academic year 2024/25 (provisional).
Dissertation (60 credits)
- £3,200 in academic year 2023/24.
- £3,360 in academic year 2024/25 (provisional).
Tuition fees typically rise a little each academic year. The fees quoted for future academic years assume a 5% fee rise each year but are provisional and subject to change.
This is an example payment schedule for tuition fees. It’s based on a typical route through the degree.
You can take more or fewer credits per term than is shown in this example.
Term 1) September – December 2023 | Academic year 2023/24
- Take two 15-credit courses: Offshore Structures and Subsea Systems @£1,230 and Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Regulatory Aspects @£1,230.
- Fee for term = £2,460.
- Payment due in September.
Term 2) January – April 2024
- Take two 15-credit courses: Marine Environmental Impact Assessment @£1,230 and Process Shut Down, Structural Decommissioning and Disposal @£1,230.
- Fee for term = £2,460.
- Payment due in January.
PgCert exit point
With 60 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgCert.
Total fee for this route to your PgCert = £4,920.
Term 3) May – August 2024
- Summer break. There is no teaching in the first summer of your degree.
- No payment due.
Term 4) September – December 2024 | Academic year 2024/25
- Take two 15-credit courses: Well Plugging and Abandonment @£1,290 (provisional) and Petroleum Economics and Project Evaluation @£1,480 (provisional).
- Fee for term = £2,770 (provisional).
- Payment due in September.
Term 5) January – April 2025
- Take one 15-credit project and one elective 15-credit course: Group Project in Comparative Assessment @£840 (provisional) and Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: Commercial Aspects or Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis @£1,290 (provisional).
- Fee for term = £2,130.
- Payment due in January.
PgDip exit point
With 120 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgDip.
Total fee for this route to your PgDip = £9,820.
Term 6) May – August 2025
- Embark on your 60-credit dissertation.
- Fee for dissertation = £3,360.
- Payment due in May.
Term 7) September – December 2025 | Academic year 2025/26
- Complete your dissertation.
- No further payment is due.
On passing your dissertation, you’ll have earned 180 credits and will be awarded an MSc.
Total fee for this route to your MSc = £13,180.
Note: Fees for academic year 2024/25 are provisional and subject to change.
When in-person exams are reintroduced, you may have to pay exam fees depending on where you sit your exams.
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 you pay to us.
All essential lecture notes and resources are included in your tuition fee. They will be available online and you do not have to buy your own copies.
We also provide optional recommended reading lists. Many of these resources are available electronically through our library, although optional purchases may be required if you wish to read the full list.
You may want to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.
There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:
- Employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors
- Student loans
- Scholarships – search our funding database for scholarships
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
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.
20% Alumni discount
You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details and eligibility criteria.
20% University of Aberdeen Community Discount
We’ve introduced our Community Discount to help local people and businesses retrain or upskill in light of the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the local economy and people’s livelihoods.
The discount applies to all our online postgraduate taught degrees, but not our short courses.
You’re eligible for this 20% discount if you:
- plan to apply or have already applied for one of our online Masters degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates starting in September 2022 or January 2023, and
- are a resident of north-east Scotland, including Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray.
How discounts work
Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.
We welcome students from all over the world. You do not need a visa to study online with us.
See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
We accept the following English language qualifications. These are the minimum scores required. You need to provide proof of your qualifications when you apply:
Duolingo English Test (taken from July 2019)
- 115 overall
- 90 in the sub-scores for literacy, conversation, comprehension and production
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator, Written and Spoken – Level 1
- 33 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online
- 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
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
If you hold a degree from a UK university then evidence of proficiency in English may not be required.
For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
You apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.
Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.
What you need to apply for this degree
- Degree transcript
- Personal statement
- Degree certificate
- CV / Resume
Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our 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.
September 2023 intake
Term dates and 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.