A new certificate programme by the Robert Gordon University in Scotland will start next January. Reema Saffarini reports

There is more to the oil and gas industry than digging wells, extracting crude oil and working with rotary drills. You do not have to put on a yellow helmet and work in the sun as a pipe fitter, or work on technical drawings of machines as a draughtsman, or even study for four years in college for an engineering degree.

In fact, you have pretty good chances of getting a good job that pays well, remain within an air-conditioned cubicle and still be part of the oil and gas industry.

Well, have you ever considered a career in gas and oil law? If not, it is worth looking into.

The Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Scotland in association with the Dubai-based Hugh Fraser International (HFI) Legal Consultancy and HFI Ventures International Business Consultants is offering a postgraduate certificate in oil and gas law to commence in January in the UAE. It would be the first such degree programme offered in the Middle East.

Focus on legal and business aspects
"Oil and gas law is about contracts and everything that falls under creating gas and oil ventures and licensing. The programme concentrates on the legal and business aspect of the industry," said Angel Adrian, course leader of the oil and gas programme at RGU.

"The programme graduates better contract and business managers and gives them a better understanding of ventures, contracts and negotiations."

The one-year programme consists of two semesters, 10 weeks each. The first semester is set to start in January 2007, and the second will commence in September.

"The programme is very important because it will enable you to understand what is happening around the world within the industry and learn about the industry here in the UAE," said Adrian.

Hugh Fraser, HFI-VI managing partner, added that the introduction of this programme in the UAE reflects the country's development in the field. "This is a very innovative step for the UAE, which is now expanding internationally," he said.

So if you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, we provide below all the information you need to know about the new programme.

How you can join the programme?


  • A first degree in a relevant discipline is preferred, but it is not essential.
  • Relevant experience in the oil and gas industry may offer an acceptable substitute for a formal undergraduate degree.
  • Proficiency in English to the level of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent is required.

Who can join?

  • Commercial managers in the oil and gas sector looking to improve their contract negotiation skills and overall commercial performance.
  • Insurance and risk managers looking to reduce the legal and contract risks for their companies.
  • Lawyers in the oil and gas sector looking to increase their knowledge.
  • Lawyers in private practice looking to specialise in oil and gas law.
  • Anyone with an interest in the field of gas and oil law provided that they meet admission criteria.

How to apply?
Log on to: www.rgu.ac.uk/applyonline

Deadline: December 1

Course break down:

  • Duration of programme: One year.
  • Number of semesters: Two - 10 weeks each.
  • Courses: Four modules- two in each semester.
  • Study mode: It will be predominantly through distance learning.

    Classes will be conducted face-to-face for a week in each semester at the Dubai Knowledge Village in association with Interactive University - a joint initiative between Heriot-Watt University and Scottish Enterprise, the national economic development agency of Scotland.

    Instructors will be professors from Robert Gordon University and professionals from HFI-VI.

Robert Gordon University

  • The Robert Gordon University offers undergraduate to PhD level programmes.
  • It has a diverse range of degree programmes in business, law, engineering, computing, design, architecture, pharmacy and health sciences.
  • In 2006 The Times named RGU as the top university in Scotland for graduate employment and 10th in the whole of the UK.
  • The majority of the courses enable part-time study, and more than 8,000 students from 113 countries study via its Virtual Campus that offers internet access to a wide range of courses.

For more information log on to: www.rgu.ac.uk