Common Data Access Ltd (CDA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK. The company was established by industry in 1995 with the aim of sharing the costs and importantly also the benefits associated with managing subsurface Exploration and Production data through collaborative working.

CDA is funded from annual subscription income received from more than 55 operating companies. Other participating organisations include government agencies, academia and several service companies. They take a global lead in developing the building blocks to promote and support the professionalization agenda of the petroleum data management domain and the development of this new academic award will make a significant contribution to this effort.

As the oil and gas industry continues to be a major provider of energy and employment globally and needs fresh talent to maximise current and future opportunities, CDA is offering two industry-funded scholarships for the pioneering Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Management course, which will welcome its third cohort of students in September.

The online distance learning course will develop students’ understanding of subsurface exploration and production data management, emphasising its importance to upstream oil and gas businesses. It provides an access route to education in the field of petroleum data management, but has also been designed for those with relevant work experience in the energy sector who would like to have their skills and knowledge developed and recognised with a qualification.

The Scholarship

The CDA Scholarships will be open to any student, worldwide, who has been accepted onto the course and who is in genuine financial need. Women, and people from the Americas, Asia and Australasia are particularly encouraged to apply.

Scholarships will be awarded based on selection criteria with more weight placed upon academic merit for new entrants but on an applicant’s employment history and career development for those with industry experience. An awarding panel made up of representatives from RGU and CDA will assess the applications.

The Student Experience

RGU’s virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle offers students flexibility of where and when they can study, offering full and open access to tutors and other class members. Students 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 online campus provides students with lectures and course materials and it also includes:

  • Virtual tutorials
  • Live chat
  • Discussion forums - student and tutor led
  • Up-to-date web technology for delivery methods
  • User friendly material
  • Access to our online library

As online learners, students are part of a 'virtual cohort' and the communication and interaction amongst members of the cohort is a significant aspect of the learning process.

CDA’s Commitment

CDA has committed to providing two fully funded scholarship places to provide finance for the academic year 2018/19.

Zubai Abu Bakar, currently working at Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia, is a previous recipient of the scholarship and believes this course is vital to her company and her career as an Exploration Database Specialist. She has a Bachelor Technology in Information Communications Technology from University Teknologi Petronas and has over ten years’ experience as a Petroleum Data Manager. She enrolled on this course to expand her knowledge in the area and to broaden her knowledge of Petroleum Data Management.

Zubai said: “I feel very privileged to have been chosen for the scholarship, it has given me the opportunity to study a subject which is showing me the ‘big picture’ in a structured way and to understand the full PDM lifecycle altogether."

Jo Royle, Head of the School of Creative and Cultural Business, said: “We have been delighted with the success of the Graduate Certificate PDM. Feedback tells us that the course has been well received by students and employers. Students can use their new knowledge to better understand customer needs which translates into real business value.

“It is therefore fantastic news that CDA is offering two fully funded scholarship places for the 2018/2019 intake. The overall objective of the course remains the same, which is to support the industry by providing it with a steady stream of qualified data managers with specific knowledge of the subsurface environment.”

Katy Heidenreich, Oil & Gas UK Operations Optimisation Manager and CDA Board Director, added: “Cutting edge technologies are generating not only new data but new insights from existing data, so it’s vital we have the right skills to preserve and realise its full potential through effective data management.

We are delighted to be able to offer scholarships for this course which was developed in partnership with industry and offers career development benefits to current practitioners as well as to new entrants. I would particularly encourage women to explore this opportunity as successful operations depend on industry’s ability to access and attract talent from the widest pool available.”

Eligibility criteria

The CDA Scholarships will be open to any student, worldwide, who has been offered and has formally accepted the offer of a place on the Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management course at Robert Gordon University and who meets the criteria outlined.

The award of a scholarship will provide full funding of course fees for the Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Management to the value of £3,120 for the academic year 2018/19.

The scholarships will be awarded by an Awards Committee made up of CDA and RGU representatives. Selection criteria for the award will be based on academic merit, personal characteristics and financial hardship.

How to apply

You must first submit an application to the course itself. The selection process then begins with students completing a Scholarship application form which will be reviewed by the Awards Committee who will then shortlist.

In making this shortlist, attention will be given to the student’s background and achievements, their interest in the chosen field of study and other relevant information from their personal statement. Suitable candidates will then be chosen.

Completed application forms should be submitted to 
The closing date for scholarship applications is 6 July 2018. All applications must be received by that date to be considered for the scholarship.  

The Course will begin on 10 September 2018

CDA Scholarship - Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management Scholarship Application form (DOC 95KB)