A new degree course has been launched by the University of Aberdeen to tackle the widely reported skills gap in structural engineering in the oil and gas sector.

After forming links with a number of oil service sector companies the university is offering the new Master of Science course in oil and gas structural engineering, in partnership with Aberdeen-headquartered Wood Group Engineering, Atkins, and Production Services Network, who will provide input to the course through industrial expertise.

Experts from the three service companies will teach elements of the course, which is being made available on a three-year part-time basis, with all of it delivered online without any requirement to attend lectures at the university.

“The skills gap which exists in the field of structural engineering is a global issue and in recognition of this the programme has been designed as a distance learning course where students are not required to attend classes on campus,” said Dr Paul Davidson, of the university’s School of Engineering. “This opens up the course to prospective scholars from across the globe whilst also meeting the needs of students who wish to continue in full time employment, whilst undertaking their studies.”

He added“The MSc in Oil and Gas Structural Engineering has been created with the aim of generating a fresh pool of talented graduates with the skills and knowledge which meet both the current and future demands of this crucial sector.”

New students are due to start the course in September.