Postgraduate study

Global Environment and Climate Change Law LLM

Awards: LLM

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Environmental law is a dynamic, fast-developing and globally important area of law that requires not only specialist legal knowledge but also an understanding of underpinning political, economic and scientific issues.

This programme is designed to equip you with an advanced, multidisciplinary knowledge of the legal issues and techniques related to environmental protection and the management of natural resources, with special emphasis on climate change.

You will analyse and evaluate the historic and ongoing development of international, European and national law for environmental protection, the interrelations between these different levels of law-making and the interactions between environmental law and other areas of law. You will also choose option courses to complement your legal studies with an analysis of the scientific and socioeconomic aspects of environmental protection.

This programme is affiliated with the University’s Global Environment & Society Academy:

You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses.

You will experience a range of teaching styles on these courses, led by members of Edinburgh Law School academic community and experienced legal and industry practitioners.

You are expected to prepare in advance by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed, and your participation in classes will be assessed.

For the dissertation you will have a supervisor from whom you can expect guidance and support, but the purpose of the dissertation is to allow you to independently design and conduct a piece of research and analysis.

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLMGlobal Environment and Climate Change Law1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
LLMGlobal Environment and Climate Change Law2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

By the end of the programme, students will have acquired an in-depth understanding of concepts, innovations and challenges characterising the law on environmental protection, natural resource management and responses to climate change, at the international, European and national level.

Students will also develop the critical skills necessary to carry out independent analysis of the activity of international and supranational legal and political institutions, national governments and domestic courts, NGOs and the private sector in this field.

Openness to different scholarly approaches within law will be encouraged, by offering the opportunity to complement specialised law courses with courses offered by the School of Social and Political Science, the Business School and the School of Geosciences addressing questions related to the scientific and socio-economic aspects of environmental protection.

The programme is suitable to prepare students for the increasingly broad range of specialised job opportunities offered at the national and international level by the public and private sector, as well as for advanced research.

The Global Environment & Climate Change Law programme is a gateway to graduates finding careers as specialised legal drafters, government advisers, international negotiators, legal advisers to private companies and NGOs, international civil servants, specialised researchers in academic and think-tank institutions and independent consultants.

Teaching staff will be available to support students in identifying internship opportunities in international and non-governmental organisations, academia and think-tanks. Recent graduates are now working in legal roles internationally, including in India, Mexico and the Netherlands, and for the European Commission.

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in law.

We will also consider candidates with a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a social science subject.

Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLMGlobal Environment and Climate Change Law1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
LLMGlobal Environment and Climate Change Law2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 30 June 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL