We are facing environmental challenges and addressing these needs effective legal and policy tools. Develop your skills to pursue a career in this exciting area.
The Earth today is facing major environmental challenges: climate change, loss of biodiversity and over-exploitation of natural resources. Addressing these requires effective legal and policy tools, internationally, nationally and locally. Dundee has the expertise to enable you to develop the key skills and knowledge to pursue a career in this exciting area of law and policy.
The University of Dundee has one of the largest groups of environmental and resource management lawyers on its staff in the UK. Staff have advised at the highest levels, practised, published and taught widely in a broad range of areas of law including: environmental regulation, energy, sustainable development, land use planning, nature conservation, forestry, water, arctic governance, and law of the sea.
Besides being taught by leading experts, the Dundee programme gives you a conceptual understanding of the main legal issues related to environmental protection and more widely, sustainable development. This is coupled with knowledge of the subject sufficient to enable and encourage the critical evaluation of current and future research and practice in the field. The choice of modules and dissertation topic allows you to focus on the environmental and sustainability issues that are important to you.
What our students say...
“Having spent time travelling after completing my LLB and Diploma at Dundee, I decided to apply for a Masters in Environmental Law. I had worked with both Professor Ross and Professor Reid during my undergraduate degree, and was aware of Dundee’s expertise in this field. I was also interested in learning more about a growing area of law, with a significant international element that I had not focused on during my previous studies.
While the Masters was, at times, incredibly challenging, it also allowed me the freedom to look at areas of law I became interested in. I was able to use my experiences travelling to research the legal state of the Great Barrier Reef and learnt from my Thai classmates about the practicalities of planning law and the use of renewable energy in a different country. My classmates all had different experiences and knowledge to share - whether they were from Croatia, Norway or just outside Dundee.
While writing my dissertation, I applied to and was accepted on the Civil Service Fast Stream. The skills I learnt during the Masters have been relevant through my placements in different government departments, helping me to learn quickly about new subjects and summarise large amounts of information quickly.“Katie Hood, 2013, now Civil Service Fast Stream, London
Top in Scotland
Law is ranked number 1 in Scotland and number 3 in the UK by the Guardian University Guide (2019). We’re also in the UK Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Complete University Guides, 2019.
Dundee Law School
Dundee Law School is widely recognised as an excellent place to study. We have been ranked as the top Law School in Scotland (Guardian University Guide 2019) and in the top 10 in the UK (Times and Sunday Times Complete University Guides, 2019). This builds on particularly strong results in the National Student Survey, which has repeatedly ranked Dundee as first in Scotland. Over the last two national reviews of research, Dundee is the only institution in the UK to have had all of its submissions rated as “internationally excellent” or “world-leading”.
Our commitment is to provide high-quality instruction, with a focus on practical relevance, to prepare you for a successful career, at home or abroad. We offer an induction programme at the start of each semester, to ensure that you have the necessary understanding of the UK and European legal systems and of what is required of you in a study environment seeking to develop independent learning
We seek to integrate you into the life of the School, with invitations to guest lectures and seminars. We also have an annual reading party in a beautiful country house, where you are joined by staff to work on academic skills and relax with fellow students.
Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
How you will be taught
In your six taught modules you will learn through preparation for and participation in a weekly two-hour seminar. All are taught by way of small group seminar discussion. You will be given reading to prepare in advance of seminars and will engage in discussions with lecturers and fellow students during the seminars. This mode of teaching will help you gain confidence in your ability to read, understand and analyse materials and in presenting your ideas in front of your peers.
How you will be assessed
Substantive modules: continuous assessment plus end of semester examinations in December and March/April. Compulsory dissertation: 15,000 words.
What you will study
You can choose from a range of modules designed to develop their knowledge and understanding of issues connected with the environment and the law.
To provide an overview of the main concepts and legal mechanisms used in regulating human impact on the environment.
Examples of content
- introduction and regulation
- market mechanisms
- integration and environmental governance
And at least three of:
The aim of this module is to ground students in the principles of sustainability and sustainable development, to explore the linkages between theory and practice, and examine how more sustainable futures can be achieved in practice.
The educational aims are to provide an overview of sustainability principles within an international context – including key theories, concepts and appreciation of the contested nature of discourses in this area; develop critical interdisciplinary skills enabling linkages to be made across disciplinary boundaries and professional sectors and to emphasise the cross-cutting nature of sustainability issues and develop skills to examine how individuals and society move towards more sustainable practices.
Legal Frameworks for Water Resource Management
The aim of this module is to develop a critical understanding of the fundamental legal principles that govern the management of national freshwaters and the factors that influence their application.
Examples of content
- relevance of fresh water management to global policy agendas, and the role of law.
- examination of demands made on governance of water resources management by global change.
- water use rights allocation mechanisms with respect to surface and ground waters around the world.
- management of pollution control with respect to surface and ground waters from point and diffuse sources.
- legal aspects of flood management, including disaster response, land use management, interface with broader water management issues, and institutional issues.
- key factors influencing effectiveness of legal frameworks relating to freshwater and dependent ecosystems.
- use of case studies.
Governance and Regulation of Water Services
The aim of the module is to develop a critical understanding of the options for ownership and structure of water services, the importance of good governance and the role of economic regulation in both the public and the private sectors.
Examples of content
- global policy agendas surrounding water resources and water services
- broad options for ownership and structure of water services (public, private, PSP)
- comparative legal frameworks for water services regulation
- the role of economic regulation, its relationship to economic and social goals and models for regulation
- regulatory frameworks for drinking water quality and service standards; waste water treatment; on-site sanitation
- the role of governance in water services delivery
- the human right to water
The aim of the module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the international legal framework on climate change.
Examples of content:
- Community interests and common concerns of humankind: the development of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol
- Protecting the climate through international law: the Paris Agreement
- The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
- Multiple reduction pathways, carbon technologies and the carbon market
- Human Rights Instruments to protect the right to a healthy environment
- The role of scientific evidence and climate modelling in climate litigation
The remaining credits from this list of modules:
The main objective of the course is to provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts and specific legal and jurisdictional issues in the field of international and transboundary natural resources.
The emphasis is on ensuring a proper understanding of the existing legal mechanisms and international regimes applicable to various types of natural resources located beyond States’ jurisdiction or control.
Module leaderDr Sergei Vinogradov
The aim of the module is to develop a critical understanding of objectives and implementation of the law and policy that is based on energy and climate science. The student will master the different legal actions of government to ensure it meets its climate targets.
The aim of the module is to develop a critical understanding of objectives and implementation of the law and policy countries will need to create towards guaranteeing a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
The aim of the module is to provide students with a critical understanding of the objectives and implementation of the law and policy around sustainability for the mining sector. The student will master how the mining sector contributes to global supply chains and their effect on international commerce.
The aim of the module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the policy and legal problems of renewable energy sources (RES) and technologies, including scientific background, investment and regulation, and integration into the electricity grid and legal underpinnings at the international, European and domestic level. It aims at providing the necessary knowledge and skills to address these problems and hence climate change effectively and timely.
The course deals with selected issues central to understanding international and national environmental policy and law related to production and consumption of natural resources and power generation. It addresses, in particular, environmental problems arising in connection with production and transportation of petroleum (both on-land and offshore), mining activities, use of nuclear energy, including production of uranium and disposal of radioactive wastes, and use of fossil fuels, including transboundary air pollution and global climate effects. A special emphasis is placed on the solutions for environmental problems provided by various national regulatory systems, in particular British and North American.
The main objective of this course is to help the students to understand the int’l environments and of the interaction between international relations (IR) and energy and natural resources industry. This module, together with International Political Economy, is being introduced in order to provide an important political element to the MBA, LLM and MSc Programmes in general, and to form an important part of the specification of Geopolitics of Energy in particular.
The objective of the module is to enhance students" understanding of the interplay of climate change politics at the international and domestic levels. Employing the Two-Levels game theory as an analytical framework, the module, on the one hand, attempts to reveal the power struggles between the major powers under the Kyoto Protocol, together with the flawed Kyoto system. On the other hand, it looks into domestic factors of the major CO2 emitters, in order to explain the difficult choices facing their leaderships, and the complexity involved in climate change governance.
Global Human Rights
The aim of this module is to examine the concept of human rights as a global phenomenon, to examine and compare theoretical or philosophical insights that support the articulation of human rights in a variety of international, regional and national instruments, and to assess the contributions of a selection of writers from the Global South to global human rights discourse.
Examples of content
This module will consider the human rights debate from the perspective of the Global South. Specific themes to be covered include:
- the history and concept of human rights
- universality against relativism
- human rights in Africa
- human rights in the Muslim world
- human rights in Asia
Public International Law
To introduce students to public international law and to familiarise students with the framework and mechanisms of the international legal system and provide them with knowledge of the core international law topics and a solid understanding of the theoretical and practical issues attached to public international law.
Also aims to facilitate the development of transferable analytical, research and communication skills, and to promote a critical approach to public international law.
Examples of content
- subjects of international law
- sources of international law
- peaceful settlement of disputes
- the use of force in international law
- state responsibility
UN Human Rights Law
To examine critically the law, institutions and procedures relating to the promotion and protection human rights by the United Nations
Examples of content
- The development of human rights in the UN
- Treaties, and non-treaty based UN institutions and procedures
- Civil and political rights
- Economic and social rights
- Specialist areas including Discrimination, Torture
Graduates of the environmental law programme have gone on to work in environmental law practices, central Government, environmental agencies, non-governmental organisations and several have moved on to doctoral research and academic careers.
What our students say...
“My reason for undertaking the LLM programme in Environmental Law was to deepen my knowledge of both domestic and international environmental law, which I had initially encountered during my time as an undergraduate at the University of Dundee. As a University of Dundee graduate, I knew that the academic staff would ensure that I would experience, analyse and debate a wide range of environmental issues at Masters level. The Land Use Planning and Environmental Regulation modules provided an in-depth look at the policy considerations and practicalities of legislating for environmental matters at a domestic level, while the Sustainable Development and Ecosystems and International Law modules introduced me to legal theories and ideas which now feature in my doctoral research.
After completing the LLM at Dundee, I secured funding from the Irish Research Council to undertake a PhD at University College Cork, Ireland under the supervision of Dr A?ine Ryall. The PhD examines how the right to access environmental information is guaranteed and the application of legal transplant theory. The overall goal is to identify strategies to improve how this right is guaranteed in domestic legal regimes. As part of the doctoral programme, I have recently returned from a research visit at Vermont Law School and I have been invited to present my research at international conferences and workshops in Europe and the United States. This success was possible thanks to the support and assistance I received from the Faculty at Dundee during the LLM programme. While challenging, the knowledge and skills I obtained and developed have proven vital for my doctoral studies and my career development more generally.“Sean Whittaker, 2013, now PhD candidate, University College Cork
Applicants must have, or expect to receive in the anticipated year of entry, a good honours degree in law. Exceptionally, non-law graduates with relevant legal experience may be considered. If you are concerned that your qualifications do not meet our normal expectation then please contact us.
English Language Requirement
English Language Programmes
We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.
The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.
|Fee status||Fees for students starting academic year 2019-20|
|Scottish and EU students||£7,300 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
|Rest of UK students||£7,300 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£16,450 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants
You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.
Examples of additional costs:
|One off cost||Ongoing cost||Incidental cost|
|Graduation fee||Studio fee||Field trips|
*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.
- may be mandatory or optional expenses
- may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
- vary depending on your programme of study
- are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable
Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.
For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.
You apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below
|Apply now||Environmental Law LLM||P035703|
Professor Peter McEleavy
Dundee Law School
+44 (0)1382 384452