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A subsea engineer generally designs and installs underwater structures, including

oil well rigging, wellheads, and pipelines. Typically, subsea engineers have working
knowledge of underwater procedures, vehicles, and equipment. Some of this
equipment may include imaging equipment, robotic tools and vehicles, as well as
traditional construction tools

Some subsea engineers own or work for consultation businesses. They help
companies plan projects, maintain underwater equipment, or analyze potential
problems through risk management and may be required to work in other regions of
the world. Another job that often requires travel is freelance subsea engineering,
which normally involves structure repair and upkeep.

Subsea engineering focuses on the deepwater issues of oil and gas exploitation.
Operations have moved from relatively shallow water to depths that now demand
totally different engineering solutions. The Subsea Engineering option addresses
both the hardware used subsea, such as wellheads and separators, as well as
important issues such as field layout, flow assurance and installation/maintenance.

As oil is required to be extracted in deeper and rougher seas new demands continue
to be imposed on design development as well as new installation and inspection

The programme seeks to best address the needs of the industry today in terms of subject areas of
fundamental importance. The programme objectives are to provide students with:

• Increased technical depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding of the

development and operation of subsea technologies and systems, from wellhead to topside
structure interconnections.

• Intellectual and practical skills so that they can apply sound engineering principles and
analysis methods to the design and installation of subsea systems, and can use and adapt
appropriate analysis tools and techniques, specialist design software and Standards for
design improvements and performance optimisation.

• The opportunity to further enhance their transferable and personal skills in self-study,
communication, report writing, project and time management, and problem solving.

• An awareness of the roles and challenges of a practising subsea engineer based on course
contents which are tailored to the current and future needs of industry, and therefore
provides students with the knowledge and understanding and skills necessary for
technical leadership and managerial responsibility.
The Master of Science in Subsea Engineering seeks to prepare highly-trained,
highly-qualified, business-aware graduates that can make an immediate impact in
their chosen career, and who can address the need for key skills in the subsea
industry. Subsea Engineering at the University of Aberdeen has a unique
relationship with the subsea industry both locally and internationally, and the
programme receives contributions from local industrial organisations in terms of
relevant and up-to-the minute contributions to teaching, and support in the
specification of group and individual projects.

Developing your career

Developing your career is important at all stages of your working life. Whether you’re starting
out and need to gain new skills to enter a profession, or are an experienced professional who
needs to remain up-to-date with skills in their job, developing your career is vital to being
successful in your particular line of work. Career development has various meanings; acquiring
new skills, carrying out further study or undertaking an internship, to name but a few. There are
four things that employers take into account when looking to recruit candidates: academic
achievements, practical experience, international experience and extracurricular activities.
Higher Education admissions officers will do the same; they will want evidence of your
enthusiasm for a particular course demonstrated through relevant work experience or
extracurricular activities. Contrary to popular belief, employers and Higher Education
admissions officers are not just interested in your academic ability – they will look at your
personality, social skills, ambitions and attitude too when deciding if you are a suitable

Academic achievements

Academic achievements are evidence not only of your intellectual capacity but also your
determination and individual strengths. They show employers and Higher Education admissions
officers where your interests lie and how committed you are to achieving success.

For students aiming to access a Higher Education course, admission officers will be looking to
see that you have excelled in subjects related to the course you wish to study. For example, if
you want to study journalism, then good grades in subjects such as English, Politics, Media
studies and Foreign Languages will be highly regarded. Admissions officers will also favor
students with additional qualifications gained outside of the classroom, for example, through
night classes or online courses.

For experienced professionals, academic achievements are equally important. It may be the case
that your qualifications are somewhat outdated and you have not acquired any extra
qualifications at work. It may therefore be worthwhile taking a night class or enrolling on a
distance learning course to update your skills. For graduates, depending on which career you
choose, you may need to undertake further studying or specialize in a particular subject. If you
want to move into a new field in which you are not qualified, a postgraduate course may be
necessary. For example, in some well-paid careers such as law, a conversion course or a certain
amount of postgraduate study is needed whereas in others, such as environmental work, further
study could give you the edge over the competition. People generally choose further study to:

• Continue with a subject of interest to gain more specialist knowledge

• Convert to a new area of work or add vocational (professional) skills to a non-vocation
first degree, e.g. IT, law or journalism
• Gain a professional qualification needed to enter a profession, such as teaching (PGCE)
• Gain practical skills, e.g., teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) or basic

No matter which stage you are at in your career there are various study programs to help you
acquire new skills, experience and training – please read on to find out more.

A Bachelor's degree, also known as a Baccalaureate degree in many countries, is the first-level
academic degree (often called an undergraduate degree) undertaken at university and usually
lasting three or four years, but more in some medical subjects. There are several types of
Bachelor's degrees but the most common are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science
(BS). The Bachelor of Science degree is tailored to those who want to branch out into the world
of science, while the Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded to those studying humanities and the
arts. Some other popular Bachelor's degrees include the Bachelor of Applied Science, the
Bachelor of Economics, the Bachelor of Business and the Bachelor of Medicine degrees.

A Master's degree follows a Bachelor's degree and is therefore referred to as a postgraduate

qualification. A Master’s degree allows you to develop expertise in a new area and people
usually study a Master’s degree to advance in their career fields or in order to change careers.
The Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) are the most common Master’s degrees
but Master’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields and some subjects have special degrees,
like the MBA (Master of Business Administration) for business. Most Master’s programs require
students to complete a thesis or an extended research paper but some offer alternatives to the
thesis, such as written comprehensive exams or other written projects that are less thorough. In
service-oriented fields like social work Master’s degrees usually involve an internship.

A Doctorate (Ph.D.) is the highest level of academic achievement. It is awarded to students who
have completed at least three years of graduate study beyond the Bachelor's and Master's degrees
and who have demonstrated their academic ability in examinations and through original research
presented in the form of a dissertation.

Executive Education is the term used for programs delivered at graduate level business schools
to Chief Executives and managers. Executive Education involves working with clients to identify
their exact needs and learning objectives, and then developing the appropriate content and
delivery format to suit their requirements. Such programs do not usually end in a degree but
many Executive MBA programs offer a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) upon
completion of the coursework. Executive Education aids business people in both their
professional and personal growth and such programs ultimately contribute to the overall success
of business schools, as Executives go on to share their knowledge with the younger MBAs and
help them to find jobs.

Distance Learning is learning through printed or electronic media, outside of a classroom. For
example, teachers and students may correspond via the internet, with the student submitting
work and receiving feedback online. Other types of distance learning courses include:

• Broadcast – where content is delivered via radio or television

• CD-ROM – where students interact with computer content stored on a CD-ROM
• Mobile Learning – where students access course content stored on a mobile device or
through a wireless server

Radio learning is particularly popular in developing countries because of its reach. Furthermore,
the increasing popularity of mp3 players and other similar devices has provided an additional
medium for the distribution of distance education content.

Further study allows you to open new doors in your career and to boost your CV. Moving up the
career ladder will always be easier with more qualifications and extra study is just one way of
setting yourself apart from the competition. As mentioned above, certain professions demand a
particular degree before you are even considered for a job. Yet, before deciding to carry out
further studies, you need to be sure that you are willing to spend on acquiring more advanced or
new skills – if a career holds all the qualities you find appealing but demands a great deal of time
in terms of training/studying, would you be willing to make this time commitment? Also, further
study often means extra debt so there’s a financial commitment too. It’s worth investigating all
possible sources of funding, such as grants and scholarships to help you. Always think carefully
before committing to further study – make sure it’s the right thing for you in terms of career
path, time and budget.

Practical experience

Work experience is just one way of broadening your career skills, gaining insight into
particular industries and getting on the graduate job ladder. It is valued by employers and
Higher Education admission officers because it shows that you can apply your skills within a
business environment, you are motivated to find out more about your chosen field and want to
develop your skills within a professional setting. If you proactively sought a placement and
arranged it independently, this also shows potential employers that you are tenacious, focused
and able to use initiative.

There are many benefits to carrying out a work experience placement and these include:

• Meeting people during your placement who could be useful contacts in the future, either
as referees, providers of career advice or can inform you of vacancies
• Interviews for work placements will improve your interview technique
• Gaining experience of different workplaces will help you to decide which kind of
employer is right for you
• An opportunity to try out different industries and develop your transferable skills at the
same time
• Earn money, as many forms of work experience are paid

Practical experience is hands-on training in a particular field and is often referred to as

vocational training – training that prepares learners for manual and traditionally non-academic
occupations, such as carpentry and plumbing. This is sometimes called technical education as the
learner develops expertise in a particular field, and this can be at the high-school or post-high-
school level. Apprenticeships are one of the most common forms of vocational training and are
becoming increasingly popular in countries like England as they allow students to train on-the-
job. As well as on-the-job training, vocational education is also provided by institutes of
technology as well as local community colleges.

Traineeships are very similar to apprenticeships in that students learn on-the-job through
practical work. Traineeships can be full or part-time and students can start a traineeship whilst at
school. The length of a traineeship depends on the industry, the specific job and the needs of the
individual trainee. Graduate training schemes are usually run by large corporations and
designed to provide graduates with experience of both a particular job and the organization as a
whole. Formal graduate training schemes generally last one year but again, it depends on the
specific employer program. Some of the benefits of graduate training schemes include:

• Intensive training, development and support

• Fast-track to more responsible roles within the organization
• Opportunities to network and make contacts not only within the organization but in other
companies, which will serve you well in the future
• An excellent platform to start your career
• Access to a mentor to discuss your personal development
• Rotation around different departments within the company, providing insight into
different company functions
• Opportunities to study for a professional qualification that may be funded by your

Internships are another way of gaining practical experience and distinguishing yourself from the
competition. An internship often takes the form of a vacation placement, lasting between 4 to 10
weeks over the summer and is a great way of gaining insight into a particular industry and
finding out how a particular company operates. Like with entry-level jobs, by making a good
impression you stand a good chance of being asked back, most probably to complete a graduate
placement. Longer internships are available and can last up to six months, but these are not so
common and if they exist, there is fierce competition for places. Normally, the length and scope
of an internship depends on the industry you will be working in and the requirements of the
individual company.

A gap year (also known as a "year out", "year off", "deferred year" or "time out") is a term that
refers to a period of time – usually one year – that is taken either before starting university in
order to travel and gain life experience or taken as a ‘career break’. Many people take a gap year
to figure out which career is right for them and some take it much later in life, even after retiring.
Lots of people use their gap year to travel, see the world and explore other cultures while others
see it as a time to give something back to society, often in the form of volunteer work. Volunteer
work can be very rewarding in that it allows travelers to help out in developing countries and not
only explore the local culture but also engage in it and live as the locals do. There is a vast
selection of programs available – from healthcare work and cricket coaching to journalism and
conservation projects, and programs can last anywhere between 1 week and 1 year. Click here to
find out more: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
(TEFL) is one of the most popular volunteer programs.

Night classes are another way of acquiring additional skills and experience in a particular field,
and the subjects you can study range from painting and photography to learning foreign
languages – there’s something for everyone! Night classes are held pretty much everywhere –
from schools, colleges, universities and church halls to community centers and youth clubs.

You should weigh up the pros and cons of carrying out further study before you decide it’s the
right thing for you. Not only is it a huge commitment in terms of both time and money but
acquiring lots of qualifications and skills without gaining supporting experience may not be as
good for your CV as you think. You need to ensure that further study will enable to you to access
your desired career more easily and it’s important to work out what career doors a course or
extra training will close, as well as open before you start. Most importantly, further study should
not be seen as an alternative to starting your career but a means of making you better suited to
your desired job.

International experience

Working or studying overseas not only allows you to gain experience of new cultures and
working practices but also to develop a range of skills which are highly regarded by both
universities and prospective employers. If you have studied abroad or have experience of
traveling or working in a different country then you’re on the right road to distinguishing
yourself from the competition. Working internationally impresses potential employers because it
demonstrates the employee’s initiative in finding a job abroad and shows that the candidate has
developed cross-cultural communication skills through interacting with people from a different
culture and in a different language. It also proves that the candidate is flexible and open to new
ways of thinking and living, which encourages personal development and resilience. Living
abroad is a challenge and allows you to be more independent than you ever thought possible. It is
also an opportunity to learn about yourself; you will develop a variety of skills and discover
talents and traits you didn’t know you had!

An international career is employment in another country or a job that allows a great deal of
overseas travel. You may wish to work abroad to learn new skills or languages or to gain
experience of a new culture. It is possible that working overseas will provide more job
opportunities or a better salary, or you may be relocating with your current employer, your
family or are simply looking to change your career.
The benefits of an international career:

• Travelling overseas
• Networking abroad
• Utilizing and expanding your skills within an international environment, particularly your
communication skills
• Experiencing a new culture/way of life
• Gaining insight into different working practices

It’s never too early to start preparing for an international career. The key to gaining relevant
experience is to immerse yourself in all things international – learning new languages, school
and university exchanges and volunteering abroad are all ways of improving your CV and
chances of finding a job abroad.

As well as learning languages at school, it might be worth investing in a night class, online
course or a language school course abroad because acquiring foreign language skills increases
opportunities in the job market. Moreover, if you are competent in foreign languages then once
you are working it’s likely that there will be more opportunities to travel and that you will be
involved in more international projects too. Click here for more information about studying a
foreign language: Also refer to our country profiles and the language
schools listed there!

It is also possible take part in a formal exchange program through your school, college or
university whereby you study in another country and (often) experience living with a local
family. Your careers adviser/tutor will be able to tell you more about this and help with your
application. Studying overseas is the best way to gain in-depth knowledge of another country,
its culture, customs, people and language, and having international education experience looks
great on your CV. Yet, like further study, studying abroad often requires a significant personal
and financial commitment so it’s important to think carefully about why you want to study
overseas and what you expect to gain from it. You should look at all of your options carefully
and assess the quality of programs available – course titles, content, entry requirements and
duration can vary and institutions within a single country may have differing reputations and
academic standards. Visit our country profiles for information about education structures and
standards in specific countries.

There are various schemes and awards available if you’re considering enrolling on a course
overseas. They vary from country to country and region to region and also in terms of what they
offer you but our country profiles provide you with more detailed information. Your local High
Commission and Ministry of Education will also be able to help you with your research and
application. Some of the more well-known schemes are listed here:

• ERASMUS (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University

Students) was introduced to increase student mobility within Europe. The ERASMUS
Program counts towards the final degree and is open to a wide range of students, not just
those studying languages. Individual universities will be able to tell you more about their
participation in the ERASMUS scheme. For more information about the ERASMUS
program generally click here:

• Global Xchange is a program run by the British Council, Voluntary Service Overseas,
and a number of local partners worldwide. Its purpose is to develop international
volunteer exchanges and other global projects:

• The Training and Work Experience scheme or TWES visa service allows
organizations to recruit a non-EU citizen and provide training towards a professional or
specialist qualification, or practical work experience, on the basis that the candidate will
return to the organization's office in their home country to utilize the experience gained
while working in the UK:

• The Open Society Institute (OSI) and SOROS Foundation Network is a private
foundation which works both locally and internationally to promote human rights and
economic, legal, and social reform:

Once you feel prepared and are ready to start your international career then many questions will
naturally come to mind. If you have no preference about where you want to live then a good
starting point is:

• Where you have friends/family

• Where you speak the language
• A country you’re familiar with
• A country with vast opportunities in your sector
• If you have a particular skill or area of expertise a country where this is most in demand

Other important things to consider before relocating abroad are:

• How will a move abroad affect your long-term career plans?

• Is it wise to relocate now or should you gain more experience at home first?
• Have you discussed moving abroad with family and friends? What do they think?
• Will you be able to cope with a change in culture? This includes things such as diet,
climate, housing and transport
• Will English be the primary language of your new country? Do you know enough to get
• Is it possible for your partner/children to relocate too? What does this move mean for
• If you own property what will you do with it? Rent it? Sell it?
• Is your salary likely to be the same? Can you survive on a lower salary?

When starting a career abroad, be ready to deal with differences in management culture
between your home country and your new work environment as specific customs and ways of
working vary considerably. To read about the working culture in the country you plan to move,
please visit the "live" section of our country profiles.

Once the final decision of moving abroad has been taken, finding a full-time job overseas is the
crucial last step. As mentioned above, there are various resources available. Among them are:

• Entrypark’s job board –

• Your university's careers service – your university library will provide information about
graduate schemes and jobs and a career adviser can offer more specialist advice
• National newspapers – typically, jobs are advertized in individual newspapers on specific
days of the week
• Trade magazines – these normally advertize jobs for experienced professionals but can
provide you with useful information about developments within a particular industry
• Contacts – as mentioned earlier, speak to family, friends, and colleagues and network as
much as possible
• Employment/recruitment agencies – companies that match workers to jobs. Such
agencies specialize in both full-time and part-time work and can tailor the job search to
your skills and needs
• Speculative applications – applications that you send even though there is no job being
advertized. In this case, you should target your letter and send it to the correct person
whose details you can find in directories and/or online

Extracurricular activities

Other ways to stand out from the crowd include participating in extracurricular activities, which
are activities you perform outside of the classroom/workplace, in your free time. These are
particularly important to employers as they not only reveal more about your personality but also
prove that you are driven, committed and have developed strong social skills. Extracurricular
activities tend to be heavily promoted at high schools and are usually social or sporty in nature,
for example student governments and sports competitions. Other examples include:

• Writing for the student newspaper/magazine

• Learning a foreign language
• Membership to a specific club, such as a drama club
• University organizations – most universities have a huge array of organizations you can
join, ranging from religious clubs and political clubs to sports and arts clubs