The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment

Commercial Practice for the Energy Sectors

CPD | PgCert | PgDip | MSc

Applications Now Open

PgCert | PgDip | MSc Commercial Practice for the Energy Sectors
This flexible course will instil invaluable working knowledge, understanding and application of key business and commercial skills which are transferable across all energy disciplines. It has been designed in close collaboration with industry experts from all parts of the supply chain to ensure it is directly applicable to the workplace and meets your CPD requirements.

The course has been designed to meet your own individual needs. You can enrol on an individual module to meet a specific CPD need, add further modules to ‘build’ short courses or achieve flexible awards such as a PG Certificate. By passing all 8 modules and a dissertation you will be awarded the MSc. 



It is suitable for if you are looking to enter the energy sector or have relevant industry experience, but your role has changed to involve aspects of commercial practice.

This course has multiple study options
View study options
Mode of Attendance
Mode of Study
Start Date
Course Length
Mode of Attendance
  • Online Learning
Mode of Study
  • Part Time
Start Month
Course Length
24 - 30 months

Mode of Attendance
  • Online Learning
Mode of Study
  • Part Time
Start Month
Course Length
24 - 30 months

The course is designed around the competency framework required by industry and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), offering you a highly contextualised, skill-based master's award.

stages 1 and 2 - full MSc

You will develop core commercial competencies through a blend of theory and practical experience across eight taught modules, of which you will be able to choose one elective module. Subjects include commercial value creation, contract performance management and contractual approaches to procurement.

stage 3 - Full MSc

You will undertake an industry-based research dissertation of 12-15,000 words which will normally be undertaken in conjunction with an appropriate organisation within the energy industry. The dissertation will develop your skills and intellectual abilities in the investigation, assessment, evaluation and interpretation of a variety of relevant source materials.


Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

This online course is taught through CampusMoodle, the university’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which offers you flexibility of where and when you can study.

CampusMoodle provides you with full open access to tutors and other class members. You will have the benefit of being part of a group of learners with the invaluable opportunity to participate in active, group-related learning within a supportive online community setting. 

The interactive virtual learning environment provides you with lecture and course materials including:

  • Virtual tutorials
  • Live chats
  • Discussion forums - student and tutor led
  • Up-to-date web technology for delivery methods
  • User friendly material 
Activity Summary
  • Lectures - variable students per group, 6 hours per week
  • Webinar - variable students per group, 1 hour per week
  • Tutorial - variable students per group, 1 hour per week
  • Independent Study - variable students per group, 8 hours per week
Independent Study

Individual research will involve the use of numeric and written communication skills, as well as presentation and discussion in module coursework and in the dissertation module.


The course is delivered by industry experts, respected researchers and academics with relevant industry experience across the energy sector. Other teaching staff include partners, staff and associate staff in Aberdeen Business School and the School of Applied Social Studies.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 12 written assignments, including essay

Year 2

  • 12 written assignments, including essay

Year 3

  • 1 dissertation

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.



All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.



The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support


Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

University Library


The energy sector has a specific demand for managers in high risk commercial areas which includes upstream oil and gas, decommissioning, utilities, nuclear and the quickly emerging renewable sector.

On successful completion of this course, you will be equipped with the necessary competency led education and transferable skills that are needed to enter and progress in the energy sector.

Recent graduates have included surveyors, engineers, business professionals and lawyers.


In an article written by Prof. Norman K. McLennan, find out how RGU not only recognises the importance of the developing and established global energy sectors, but also equips professionals with the necessary competency led education and transferable skills that are desired by the sectors.

Portability of commercial skills is key for the energy sectors

Prof. McLennan is an industry expert with over 30 years’ experience in the Energy, Engineering and Construction sectors both in the UK and internationally. Also a Visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Prof. McLennan’s extensive supply chain management and commercial project management experience has developed his total understanding of the importance of transferable commercial skills to the Energy Sector and the need to support this need through teaching and learning.

  • Applicants normally hold a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree or its equivalent. 
  • Applicants with a lower degree classification and / or relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis.
English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Pre-Sessional English Programme at RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Distance Learning All Students 

  • £4,800 for year 1
  • £4,800 for year 2
  • £3,200 for year 3
Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:


Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.


Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.


Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:



For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:



Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Team and we'll do our best to help.

+44 (0) 1224 262728

The course offered brilliant flexibility, combined with a manageable structure which meant I was able to achieve a balance between working full-time and studying. It generated lots of team interaction with continual support from RGU’s lecturers and supervisors.


This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Upon successful completion of the course, you will be eligible to enrol for the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), the final step to becoming a Chartered Surveyor.

The course is also accredited by the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).





Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities.

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities


We’ve got a few options for applying to our postgraduate courses for UK, EU and international applicants.

All applicants to postgraduate courses can apply direct to the university using our online application form.

All applicants can apply direct to the University with our PDF form.