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, with special emphases on climate change and the marine environment.

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
LLM1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
LLM2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

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.

Supporting Your Application

Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.

Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.

Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.

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

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 or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other module)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
LLM1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
LLM2 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

Due to high demand, the School operates a number of selection deadlines.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2021-2022 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded
1 04 December 2020 28 January 2021
2 26 February 2021 31 March 2021
3 07 May 2021 18 June 2021
4 30 June 2021 27 July 2021

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