Royal Institution approval for new course addressing energy sector skills gap

A new Masters degree at Robert Gordon University’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment in Aberdeen has become the first of its kind to receive accreditation from a leading professional standards body. 

The MSc Commercial Practice for the Energy Sectors has been officially recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for its relevance in addressing the needs of the energy industry. The only course in the UK to fully focus on commercial practice and management activities in the sector, the MSc is also unique in that it has introduced expert industry input into every module of the curriculum.

As the UK oil and gas, renewables and decommissioning industries continue to grow, many technically skilled employees are now moving up the career ladder to management positions that involve co-ordinating the commercial aspects of various key projects. Despite their valued expertise in the sector, many professionals are keen to expand their knowledge of commercial business practices.

The world’s leading institution when it comes to professional standards and ethics in land, property and construction, RICS provides impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society.

Sarah Speirs, Director of RICS Scotland, comments:

“The MSc in Commercial Practice for the Energy Sectors is an exciting opportunity for professional education in the industry. RICS were particularly delighted to see that this course was designed in such a collaborative way between the University and relevant industry bodies which adds depth and real value to the course. The MSc programme will provide an excellent platform to bring surveying standards to the energy sector.”

The new MSc course is designed to equip technical specialists, engineers and surveyors to work within the oil and gas industries with the skills to progress to a senior commercial level and oversee projects and important contracts.

Due to commence in September 2012, the programme has been structured in collaboration with representatives from industry bodies including Energy North and the Oil and Gas UK Supply Chain Directorate.

Gerard Buda, Postgraduate Programme Leader at the School, comments:

“The relevance of surveying and commercial management skills to the heavy engineering, petrochemical and offshore industries has increased in recent years. Many energy professionals with relevant technical industry experience are looking to develop essential commercial skills including risk management and supply chain vulnerability in order to enhance their current careers or following a change in job role.

“It is vital that leading educational institutions such as Robert Gordon University teach the skills and expertise that are highly relevant to an industry that is set to continue as the leading source of energy in the UK.”

The MSc Commercial Practice for the Energy Sectors is delivered over 2 years via distance learning. Individual modules can also be undertaken to meet the specific CPD needs of individuals. For more information, please visit

Notes to Editors:


Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

  • In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.
  • Over 100 000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.
  • RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
  • RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.


Issued by:
Sarah Grieve
Communications Officer (Design & Technology)

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206