Earn an accredited Masters degree in decommissioning oil rigs, platforms and offshore structures.

  • Train in all aspects of decommissioning on a degree accredited by the Energy Institute and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology.
  • Gain a broad range of knowledge and expertise in the physical process of taking offshore platforms out of service.

Through this MSc, you’ll cover engineering, project management, business, law, health and safety, and environmental studies.

Hand-in-hand with industry

This distance-learning Masters in Decommissioning has been designed in collaboration with major industry operators, supply chain companies and regulatory bodies. As a result, you’ll enjoy guest lectures from leading decommissioning industry experts and undertake industry-based projects.

Who can study online MSc Decommissioning

You can apply for this flexible degree if you’re a graduate or experienced professional looking to upskill or move into the growing decommissioning sector.

We welcome applications from students from a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds, including:

  • engineering
  • business
  • law
  • or environmental science.

Online MSc Decommissioning is part-time. You can also study this degree full-time on campus.

Accredited online degree

This online MSc is accredited by the:

National Decommissioning Centre

Join the recognised leader in offshore oil and gas decommissioning. We’re home to the UK’s newly established National Decommissioning Centre (NDC).

It was launched with support from the Scottish Government and Oil & Gas Technology Centre. The NDC partners with companies to develop and deploy innovations in decommissioning technology, including ‘small piece’ decommissioning techniques.

It helps to deliver cost-effective decommissioning at the end of field life and during oil and gas production operations.

Read more about the National Decommissioning Centre.

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for a:

  • Masters (180 credits)
  • exit early with a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
  • exit early with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
  • or start with one of the short courses that make up this degree. You can build your way to a qualification one short course at a time.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance learning MSc Decommissioning is delivered flexibly online.

You can learn with us anywhere, with no need for a study visa, and set your own study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

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 online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from academic experts across engineering, law, business, economics and environmental science. Many of your tutors have worked in industry and alongside industry on research collaborations and major engineering projects. You’ll also enjoy lectures direct from industry professionals working in decommissioning now.


This degree usually combines online assessment with written exams that you attend in person.

However, due to Covid-19, in-person exams will not take place until the January 2023 term at the earliest. Until then, we’ll be using alternative online assessments.

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

Your MSc

You’ll graduate with an accredited MSc in Decommissioning from the University of Aberdeen.

You’ll receive exactly the same degree qualification as you would on campus.

Your qualification and training will be recognised by industry and educational institutions around the world, opening up international career paths.

Opportunities in decommissioning

Around 100 offshore platforms and 5,700km of pipeline are forecast to be decommissioned or reused over the next decade on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) alone.

The Oil and Gas Authority estimates the total cost of this to be £59 billion to 2050. Our National Decommissioning Centre is working to help industry reduce this figure by 35%.

The UKCS is currently the largest decommissioning market in the North Sea. There are also significant opportunities in key regions around the globe, where skills and knowledge of the decommissioning process are a huge advantage for future careers.

Iain Mackenzie

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.

Iain Mackenzie, MSc Decommissioning student

Building your global network

Our online students join us from over 100 countries each year.

This degree will give you the chance to become part of a close-knit group of learners, who could be working on decommissioning projects around the world. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build your network of connections and gain firsthand global insights into energy and engineering.

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Fees and funding

The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2023/24 academic year.

Fees for future academic years are provisional, but our indicative fee assumes a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full degree fee upfront.

You can pay for your degree one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.

Entry requirements


  • A 2:1 (upper-second) UK honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Geosciences, Economics, Business, Law, or other science or technology field.

You can also apply if you have:

  • a different degree classification and at least three years’ industry experience.

These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

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Master of Science

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over three years, starting in September 2023.

Apply for this programme

Start month

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over three years, starting in September 2023.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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