MSc Oil and Gas Law

Oil and Gas

Course duration: 1 year full-time/2 years part-time     Course starts: September/January

GlassOil and gas activities involve a combination of legal, economic and environmental issues, all of which it is necessary for individuals involved in these sectors to have a thorough understanding. In these sectors there is a gap in the combination of legal and economic expertise as well as a gap in the contribution of environmental/geography science. The MSc Oil and Gas programme is a multi-disciplinary programme designed to address the cross-border elements of the oil and gas industry but also respond to the demand for highly qualified professionals.

Oil and gas activities involve a combination of legal, economic and environmental issues, all of which are necessary for individuals involved in these sectors to have a thorough understanding of. In these sectors there is a gap in the combination of legal and economic expertise as well as a gap in the contribution of environmental/geography science. In order to understand their needs and to counsel their clients effectively, Law graduates working in these industries need a wider knowledge than merely the specific regulations applicable. A familiarity with the economic and environmental perspectives is indispensable and this programme is, therefore, suitable for these professionals who seek to upgrade their skills whilst at the same time providing formal academic recognition for doing so.

Similarly, economics and business students involved in the oil and gas industry will benefit from an accurate understanding of the institutional legal framework of oil and gas economies as well as of the environmental issues fundamental to such economies. Finally, students focusing on environmental issues related to the oil and gas industry need to be familiar with legal and economic issues relevant to the oil and gas industry. Through lectures, case study group work and other exercises the programme will aim to provide students with the theoretical and practical building blocks and conceptual tools necessary for some of the more advanced intellectual tasks they will be called upon throughout the course.

The aims of the program are to:

  • train a critical pool of professionals so as to develop their knowledge of the key issues in the emerging oil and gas industry
  • increase the analytical and research skills of students in terms of their ability to collect and analyse information relating to legal, economic and environmental problems related to the oil and gas industry
  • enable students to tackle complicated legal problems and provide solutions
  • expose students to a multidisciplinary learning environment
  • help students develop an array of both analytical and critical skills, through independent study and working with others
  • provide students with the knowledge and skills for professional life and further academic study

Programme content

The programme consists of 180 credits. Students on the MSc programme may choose either to take taught modules totalling 180 credits or can allocate 40 credits to a Project, in which case they must also follow the Project Skills module (10 credits).

The project must be written on a topic that has a meaningful relationship to issues of Oil and Gas law.

Students on the MSc Oil and Gas programme:

  • either take Project Skills (LWMTPS, 10 credits), write a Project in Oil and Gas law (LWMTPR, 40 credits) and choose optional modules totalling 130 credits
  • or take optional taught modules totalling 180 credits.

This is subject to the requirement that students choose at least 20 credits from the Law School optional modules list.

Permission to take unlisted modules will only be granted in exceptional circumstances; for example, where a student has work experience in a field, then permission may be granted to take a module relevant to that field. Note that, as with all modules, any pre-requisites or co-requisites will also need to be satisfied.

Students must normally be enrolled in a minimum of 50 credits in each of the Autumn and Spring terms. (For this purpose, when a module is taught across two terms, half of its credits will be allocated to the first term and half to the second.)

Students on the MSc programme are given the option to take taught optional modules in lieu of writing LWMTPR Project and taking LWMTPS Project Skills, because the programme was developed in response to a market demand for a relatively practically-oriented programme that would train a pool of professionals in the oil and gas industry. For this reason, requiring the completion of a dissertation-like component is not necessarily appropriate for all candidates on this programme. The MSc programme's flexible design means that those MSc students who find that writing a project fits well with their needs (in terms of career advancement and skills development) will choose to do so.

All module selections are subject to availability in any given year and to timetabling requirements.

A note for full-time January entrants choosing to do the Project: Please note that the Project submission date falls at the end of the Summer, whereas you will study some of your taught modules in the (subsequent) Autumn term. You may wish to bear that in mind when choosing a Project topic.

MSc in Oil and Gas Project-related Modules

MSc students who choose to write a Project must take all modules from this group

Code Title Credits
LWMTPRProject40
LWMTPSProject Skills10

At least 20 credits must be taken from the Law School optional modules list.

A range of optional modules are available from the School of Law, ICMA/Henley Business School, the School of Agriculture, the School of Economics and the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences.

The full optional modules lists are available from the Programme Director.

Part-time or modular arrangements

The MSc Oil and Gas programme can be taken part-time over two years. In the first year of study, a student will normally be required to complete 20 credits from each of the School of Law module list and the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development module list (above, subject to the availability of these modules in any given year) and further optional modules totalling not less than 20 credits and not more than 50 credits. In the second year of study a student will normally be required to complete any remaining modules. For MSc Oil and Gas students who choose to write a Project, this includes the Project-related modules LWMTPS Project Skills, and LWMTPR Project. The programme may not be completed over more than two years.

Progression requirements

A part-time candidate may only proceed into his or her second year if he or she has achieved 2 marks of at least 50% in his or her first year. A part-time candidate who chooses not to proceed to his or her second year may be considered for the award of Certificate if he or she gains an average mark of 50 or more in modules worth 60 credits and has no mark below 40.

Summary of Teaching and Assessment

Teaching methods will vary from module to module but teaching will primarily be by means of seminars.

Certain modules may be partially taught by means of lectures and tutorials. All modules other than the Project will be assessed by one or a combination of: a timed, unseen examination; a timed, seen examination; assessed written work; and other forms of assessment (such as participation in class or an oral class presentation).

The University's taught postgraduate marks classification is as follows:

Mark Interpretation
70100% Distinction
6069% Merit
5059% Good standard (Pass)

Failing categories:

4049% Work below threshold standard
039% Unsatisfactory Work

Further information on the classification conventions, including borderline criteria, are available here.

For Masters Degree

To qualify for Distinction, students must gain an overall average of 70 or more over 180 credits and a mark of 60 or more for the project. In addition, the total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits and students must not have any mark below 40.

To qualify for Merit, students must gain an overall average of 60 or more over 180 credits and a mark of 50 or more for the project; In addition, the total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits and students must not have any mark below 40.

To qualify for Passed, students must gain an overall average of 50 or more over 180 credits and a mark of 50 or more for the project. In addition, the total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits and students must not have any mark below 40.

For PG Diploma

To qualify for Distinction, students must gain an overall average of 70 or more over 120 credits. In addition, the total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits and students must not have any mark below 40.

To qualify for Merit, students must gain an overall average of 60 or more over 120 credits. In addition, the total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits and students must not have any mark below 40.

To qualify for Passed, students must gain an overall average of 50 or more over 120 credits. In addition, the total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits and students must not have any mark below 40.

For PG Certificate

To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, students must gain an overall average of 50 or more over 60 credits and must not have any mark below 40.

Entry requirements

Entrants to this programme are normally required to have obtained a degree in law or a degree in economics or a degree in environmental science with a first or upper second class honours (or an equivalent classification if they graduated overseas). Applicants who do not reach these requirements may be considered if they have other qualifications or appropriate work experience. All applicants are considered on their individual merits, and the School may vary these requirements if it sees fit.

Admissions tutor: Dr Stavroula Karapapa

Staff teaching on this MSc course

Career prospects

Our graduates have undertaken positions in leading management consulting firms, law firms, major accounting firms, oil service firms, oil and gas companies and in the renewable energy sector. Our graduates have also received job offers and undertaken opportunities all across the world, in good as well as challenging times for the industry. Our interdisciplinary focus allows graduates to understand legal, regulatory, commercial, governance, and financial challenges in order to link them together and help employers forge intelligent solutions to a range of complex real world problems.

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LLM & MSc in Oil and Gas

Testimonial...

'I chose to study this course at the University of Reading because the course modules are designed to easily bridge the gap between the legal and economic aspects of oil and gas. The oil and gas industry not only needs a strict application of the law but also needs an alertness to the realities of a volatile market and the ever-changing oil and gas policies of diverse nations. No faculty delivers this better than the University of Reading. Students are given real-life case studies which provoke negotiations, deal-making, constructive arguments and counter-arguments... challenges that an ordinary oil and gas lawyer goes through in the course of duty.'

Mohamed Ruwange, LLM Oil and Gas Law

 

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