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Masters Degree Course

Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil & Gas

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Aberdeen University
1 year F/T, 2 or 3 years P/T
Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a UK Honours degree (or an honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) in any branch of Engineering at a 2:1 (upper second) class or above. Applicants with slightly lower qualifications (e.g. a UK equivalent 2.:2 (lower second) class honours degree) may be considered if they can demonstrate they have 5, or more, years of professional experience judged by the University to be of direct relevance to the programme.
MSc, PgDip
Graduate School Admissions Unit
Masters study type: Full time Masters study type: Part time

Fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT).

The MSc Safety Engineering for Oil & Gas programme aims to provide education and training at postgraduate level for graduate engineers in the general area of safety engineering, reliability engineering, and loss prevention. Safety engineering is not a subject which is adequately covered in most undergraduate courses and so this MSc Programme brings together those topics relating to the safety and reliability of engineering products and systems, including the legislative framework, in a unified approach. There is a continuing high demand for people with specialist knowledge in these areas, partly a result of the legal requirements to assess and control industrial risks to people and the environment, and partly because of the need to create high integrity engineering systems in many industries – for example, in the offshore, nuclear, transport, aerospace and process industries. The needs are global.

The programme draws together students from all over the world, making the learning experience a truly international affair. The high regard the programme enjoys and the wide geographic spread of our graduates results in a world-wide recognition and acceptance of the degree.

Students can study on a full-time or part-time basis. For full-time students the duration of the Programme is 12 months, starting in mid September. Part-time students attend for the equivalent of one or two days per week over a period of two to three years, also starting in September.

The Programme provides an integrated approach to safety and reliability issues across most of the traditional branches of engineering, and allows students to specialise in offshore engineering, technical safety, reliability, legislations and regulations or human factors. The Programme also requires a final individual project, providing an opportunity for personal research and giving a deeper insight into particular safety and reliability problems. Each year, a large number of projects are carried out in industry placements or being supervised by industrial specialists.

The taught part of the Programme consists of two half-sessions: the first running from September to January and the second from February to May. A number of industrially based external lecturers contribute to the Programme to give examples of how theoretical concepts are currently being applied in industry.

Topics covered include:
Fundamental Safety Engineering & Risk Management Concepts
Statistics & Probability for Safety, Reliability & Quality
Fire & Explosion Engineering
Offshore Oil & Gas Production Systems
Advanced Methods for Risk & Reliability Assessment
Applied Risk Analysis & Management
Process Safety & Reliability
Human Factors

Individual Project
For full-time students taking the MSc Programme over 12 months, a dissertation is to be prepared on work undertaken during the final individual project, which will normally be specified in collaboration with industrial partners, supervised either in the School of Engineering or in the companies, and carried out from June to September. Please note that an industry placement is not compulsory and cannot be guaranteed.

For part-time students who are sponsored by their company or who are working for a company approved by the University, a dissertation is to be prepared on approved project work carried out within that company during the second or third year of the programme.

Guest Lectures
In addition to the above, a number of lectures are given by practising safety and reliability specialists.

Assessment is by continuous assessment and/or written assignment.

Students are taught by staff from the Departments of Engineering, Mathematics, Psychology and Environmental and Occupational Medicine of The University of Aberdeen, and from the School of Mechanical and Offshore Engineering at The Robert Gordon University. In addition, a number of industrially based external lecturers contribute to the Programme to give examples of how theoretical concepts are currently being applied in industry.

There is a large demand for people with qualifications in safety and reliability engineering - in almost all branches of industry and within the regulatory bodies. This demand is likely to continue, and indeed increase, as more effort is put into assessing the safety and reliability of advanced and complex engineering systems and of ensuring that existing facilities can continue to be operated safely and economically.

People with research experience in safety engineering are also in demand and there are good opportunities for subsequent study leading to the award of MPhil or PhD, both in Aberdeen and at other Universities.

It is worthy of note that most graduates from this MSc Programme have found immediate employment, and at salaries well above average for engineering graduates, allowing for age and experience.

Funding exists for this programme (dependent on eligibility). Please visit

More Information
More information about this programme can be found on our Postgraduate Prospectus:

Visit the Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil & Gas page on the Aberdeen University web site for more details!

Subject Area(s):

General Engineering

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