LLM/PgDip/PgCert Global Environmental Law and Governance


Program Description

Why this course?

Understanding the development and functioning of environmental law across different levels of environmental governance is an important issue of our time. This requires moving beyond the traditional approach to teaching international, regional, EU and national environmental law in isolation from one other.

There's also a growing need to understand the relevance for environmental governance of the legal practices of indigenous peoples and local communities, business entities, local administrations, and transnational environmental practitioners.

The programme aims to help students critically appraise and creatively contribute to environmental regulation and governance at the international, transnational, national and local levels.

Studying this course, you'll be equipped with a wide range of expertise in environmental law, in areas like:

  • biodiversity
  • land
  • food and agriculture
  • climate change and energy
  • corporate accountability
  • environmental justice
  • water and oceans
  • human rights
  • sustainable development

You'll focus on the global dynamics of environmental law. In particular, you'll look at the mutual influences and interactions among different regulatory levels.

The programme draws both on cutting-edge academic research on global environmental law, and on first-hand professional experience in environmental law and governance at different levels.


Your ability to gain international employment is at the heart of this course. It'll equip you with the skills and expertise you need to pursue a career in:

  • international organizations
  • national governments involved in international, EU and/or transnational law matters
  • non-government organizations that operate at a regional, sub-national, national or international level
  • private companies concerned with international, EU and/or transnational environmental law

Work experience

We have a successful track record of helping LLM students obtain competitive international internships with United Nations organizations. These are optional, and their duration and conditions vary depending on the host organization. They usually start towards the end of the course.

Our programme directors are currently concluding formal agreements with selected international organizations to secure a number of internships for LLM students each year.

Career advice

Our course directors will provide advice on international careers. They can give you some insider tips on how to apply for jobs with, for example, the United Nations and will be available to review job applications.

Network with other professionals

LLM students will become part of a closed alumni group on LinkedIn. This will give you the opportunity to network with other professionals in environmental law and governance. It'll also ensure you're updated on selected job opportunities.

Global Practitioners among teaching staff

This course is taught by one of the most wide-ranging groups of environmental law experts in the UK. Our staff has expertise in:

  • biodiversity
  • climate change
  • forests
  • oceans and fisheries
  • land
  • water
  • human rights and the environment
  • environmental justice
  • corporate accountability and more

They'll not only draw from their own cutting-edge academic research, but also their involvement in multilateral environmental negotiations, consultancies for the United Nations and regional organizations, legal advice to developing countries on reforms of natural resource laws, and collaborations with non-government organizations and indigenous and local communities’ organizations.

Some of your classes will also include input from many of our external experts and practitioners. This includes those from

  • the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
  • the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • the European Commission

Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance

The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) aims to identify and shape emerging areas of legal research in environmental governance.

Our students are an integral part of the center, together with academic staff, PhD students, and visiting scholars. You'll have the chance to take part in the research and consultancy work carried out by the center. You can put your new skills and knowledge into practice, strengthening your CV.

The BENELEX project

The BeneLex project aims to investigate the conceptual and practical dimensions of benefit-sharing.

You'll be involved in ongoing research on fair and equitable benefit-sharing, in the areas of:

  • international biodiversity
  • climate
  • land
  • oceans
  • human rights law


You'll take part in SCELG events, and will be responsible for organizing the annual Festival of Environmental Law and Governance. There, you'll present your LLM dissertation project, and network with other students and a wide range of experts already working in the area.

Residential sessions

Climate Change Law & Policy (LLM) is taught via distance learning with the exception of two residential weeks. Students on the course come to Scotland and stay for one week per semester to attend masterclasses and workshops with their peers. You'll be given the opportunity to take part in these residential sessions for learning and networking purposes.


Our library has a wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs. It also has duplicate sets of key law report series and houses extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.

You'll have access to a wide range of electronic information which you can access from home. This includes all major legal databases.

Student Competitions

You'll be invited to take part in a selection process to participate in the Climate & Sustainability Project (CASP). It's an annual student-run project that explores a particular area of law and policy related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project culminates every year in an interactive workshop led by students and contributed to by a range of sustainable development experts.

Entry requirements

Normally a first class or second-class honors degree, or equivalent, in law or environment-related discipline (some law content recommended). Entry may be possible with other qualifications, upon approval by the course director, if the applicant has accrued substantial professional experience in the area of environmental law, policy and/or management.

English language requirements

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you're a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigration (please check the most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognized as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English language requirements before making your application.

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year (2016/17) unless stated otherwise.


  • LLM: £4,800
  • PgDip: £4,000
  • PgCert: £2,000

Rest of UK

  • LLM: £4,800
  • PgDip: £4,000
  • PgCert: £2,000


  • LLM: £13,500
  • PgDip: £9,000
Last updated Feb 2018

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About the School

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation across a wide spectrum of disciplines. We aspire to generate new ideas, knowledge and skills to increase our understandin ... Read More

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation across a wide spectrum of disciplines. We aspire to generate new ideas, knowledge and skills to increase our understanding of the world and strive to make a significant contribution to the economy, society and culture of Scotland and beyond. With one of Scotland’s top law schools, and as the country’s largest provider to teacher education, we also have significant expertise in developing the professional practice needed to equip modern societies at all levels. Read less