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Join the world’s first and only online Masters degree in decommissioning oil rigs, platforms and offshore structures.

You can also study MSc Decommissioning full-time on campus.

Train in all aspects of decommissioning. Gain a broad range of knowledge and expertise in the physical process of taking offshore platforms out of service. You’ll cover engineering, project management, business, law, health and safety, and environmental studies.

This 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.

You can apply as a graduate or experienced professional looking to upskill or move into the growing decommissioning sector. Applications are welcome from students from a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds, including:

  • engineering
  • business
  • law
  • or environmental science.

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.

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.

What will I 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 will I study?

MSc Decommissioning is delivered part-time online.

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 in 2020. For your September 2020 term, you’ll be assessed entirely online.

From January 2021 onwards, we are planning to reintroduce in-person exams, meaning you’ll be assessed as usual, via a mixture of online assessment and in-person exams at the end of each term. We’ll keep all students updated as to assessment methods well in advance of any changes to this.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Where will this take me?


You’ll graduate with a distinct Masters qualification. Your degree and training will be recognised by industry and educational institutions around the world, opening up international career opportunities.

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.

Free careers advice

You can access our free careers service while you study, and for up to five years after you graduate.

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world. From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

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

Fees and funding

The fees quoted above are based on you starting your studies with us in the 2020/21 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% per year for the next three academic years (2020/21, 2021/22, and 2022/23). The indicative fees above include these 5% fee rises.

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.

Master of Science - 180 Credits

You’ll work through eight 15-credit courses and a 60-credit project to gain your MSc.

Our online awards are flexible, so you can progress at a pace that suits you.


Typically, it takes 27 months to complete the MSc part-time. To study part-time, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term. You can take breaks between courses, as long as you complete your studies within six years.

Elective course

Choose one of these courses.

Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis is suitable only for students with Engineering, Mathematics and Physics background.

We will endeavour to make all these courses available, but they are subject to change. Read our policy on changes to degree programmes and courses.

Start with a short course

Not ready for a full degree? You can start with a short course that’s part of the degree instead.

You’ll earn credits for each course you complete. Your credits will count towards the MSc if you want to complete the rest of the degree at a later stage.

Master of Science

180 Credits

Indicative cost


This indicative cost is calculated on the basis of 180 credits of study over three years.

Apply for this programme

Start month

This indicative cost is calculated on the basis of 180 credits of study over three years.

Apply via our Applicant Portal