LLM/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate
Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
This course is open for applications.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Bristol Law School
- One year full-time; two or three years part-time
- Full-time, part-time both start September or January
- Programme leader:
- Lachmi Singh
- Key fact:
- Through the wide range of LLMs we offer, we are attracting the next generation of leading practitioners and academics to study specialised law with us.
Page last updated 20 January 2017
Part of our comprehensive range of LLM programmes, the LLM in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development allows you to deepen your understanding of law relating to the environment and associated development issues.
You will engage with the legal and ethical challenges posed by sustainable development, and explore global environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity protection, water management and renewable energy, from the perspective of both developed and developing countries. By encouraging innovation in assessing current environmental problems, the course will prepare you to work in legal practice, whether you choose to go into a commercial organisation, the public sector or a non-governmental organisation.
Diverse choice of modules
Pursuing an LLM allows you to focus in on a particular area of law by delving deep into the subject and undertaking independent research and learning. The modules available cover a diverse range of legal topics, making it possible to tailor the course towards the specific areas of law you wish to explore further.
Teaching backed by the latest research
The School has a thriving research culture and most tutors on our LLMs are active researchers, publishing in leading journals. At the same time, the quality of teaching at Bristol Law School has been recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency as 'excellent'. You can therefore expect to participate in carefully-planned, lively and highly informative sessions designed to give you a deep and thorough grounding in your chosen area of law.
Flexible study options
There are two intakes to the LLMs, one in September and one in January, and you can study with us full or part time.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The LLM in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development consists of nine modules in total, including a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.
To gain the Postgraduate Certificate, you will study two compulsory modules (Research Methodsand International Environmental Law) and two optional modules.
To gain the Postgraduate Diploma, you will complete the necessary modules to gain the Certificate (as above), one further compulsory module (Natural Resources Law) and another three optional modules.
To achieve the LLM, you will complete the necessary modules to gain the Diploma (as above) and also write a dissertation.
- Research Methods we will develop your approach to legal research by introducing you to key skills and concepts.
- International Environmental Law covers international legal principles and concepts relating to environmental protection in the context of wider political, ecological and economic issues.
You will choose two modules from the following options:*
- Globalisation and the Law - introduces you to what globalisation means in economic, political, cultural and social terms, and the legal consequences that derive there from. You will assess whether international law is equipped with instruments and institutions to regulate the consequences of globalisation.
- International Human Rights Law - examines the development of human rights protection in international law. We will consider the philosophical origins, as well as the international and regional legal instruments and institutions that provide support for human rights.
- International Environmental Law - covers international legal principles and concepts relating to environmental protection in the context of wider political, ecological and economic issues.
If you are continuing onto the Diploma or LLM, you will then take the following compulsory module:
- Natural Resources Law - examines the legal regulation related to natural resources, looking at the sources and legal concepts applicable to natural resource activities, with a particular focus on the oil, gas, water and forestry sectors.
You will also choose three option modules from the list below:*
- World Trade Organisation Law - examines the laws, law-making and adjudicative institutions of the World Trade Organisation. Particular attention is given to the procedures for dispute resolution and other 'covered agreements' relating to international economic law.
- European Environmental Law and Policy - looks at how EU environmental law has developed alongside international environmental law and how it has influenced national environmental laws within the EU.
- Shipping Law - gives you an understanding of the issues, constraints, interests and risks involved in the shipping industry and the role that sea transportation plays in international trade.
- Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility - focuses on the difference between the concepts of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, enabling you to assess the effectiveness of corporate governance and self-regulatory schemes.
- International Employment Law - centres on employment law in an international context. The module relates to many of the themes explored in the materials of the International Labour Office (ILO), in particular globalisation, flexicurity (flexibility v security), human rights and sustainability.
Or one option*, not listed above, offered on any of the other LLM courses.
Finally, if you are undertaking the full LLM, you will need to write a 15,000 word dissertation. This needs to be an original piece of work. You can satisfy this requirement by:
- carrying out empirical work that has not been done before
- synthesising issues not put together before
- looking at topics that people in the discipline have not looked at before
- examining existing knowledge in an original way, or
- bringing new evidence to bear on an old issue.
You don't need to meet all of these criteria. Your dissertation topic must broadly relate to your LLM award.
* Option modules are dependent on numbers so may not all run every year.
Please also note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
The flexible nature of the course allows you to study with us full or part time. The course involves both extensive independent research and discussion in the context of workshops, designed to encourage the development of your critical, analytical and reflective skills. You will be expected to prepare for each workshop and to participate actively in discussion with your tutors and peers.
You will also have access to course and module information through our online Blackboard system.
For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
The full-time course takes one year, with approximately six to nine contact hours a week. However, as independent study is fundamental to the course, the total study time should be around 36 hours a week.
The flexible part-time route takes two to three years. You will usually have around three hours of contact with your tutors a week, depending on the route you are following, and you should spend between 12 and 18 hours a week studying independently.
You will receive a high level of support both during your studies and after you have graduated. You will be allocated an LLM academic tutor to support you throughout the course. We also organise events to help you plan your career after the LLM.
Taught modules on the LLM Environmental Law and Sustainable Development course are assessed through a combination of written coursework assignments and oral presentations. The culmination of the course is a dissertation of up to 15,000 words, which constitutes an original contribution to the corpus of legal knowledge within an area of environmental law.
For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.
Pro Bono Unit
The UWE Bristol Law Court Clinic has developed a comprehensive programme to provide opportunities for you to undertake legal pro bono work in and around the Bristol area. The unit (which includes its free Community Legal Advice and Representation Service (CLARS)) has received national recognition through the various awards it has achieved.
Bristol Law School has excellent, state-of-the-art facilities, including a dedicated LLM study room and mock law courtrooms, where you can put your learning into practice.
The Frenchay library offers students 24-hour access with computer room facilities, as well as a wide range of legal resources, including Hein Online, LexisNexis, Westlaw and iLaw. The library is well stocked with electronic and print books, newspapers, journals, government publications, statistics, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, company information, market reports and DVDs.
A £50m project is also underway to build the new Faculty of Business and Law building, which will provide innovative teaching and learning spaces, including two showcase law courts.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Environmental Law Research Unit (in association with Burges Salmon)
Our specialist Environmental Law Research Unit is a collaboration between the Law Schools at UWE Bristol and Bristol University, and Bristol-based solicitors Burges Salmon (who specialise in environmental law). The unit delivers cutting-edge research into issues affecting environmental law, with particular expertise in the fields of pollution control, nature conservation, international environmental governance and licensing law.
UWE-Münster Referral Scheme
Students admitted under this scheme are exempted three modules by virtue of their prior studies and are offered a flexible pathway studying for a part or the whole of an academic year in Bristol.
Most students choose to study in Bristol in semester one, taking four modules and returning to Münster for semester two. Or students may wish to study in Bristol for the whole academic year, taking five modules spread over two semesters. Alternatively, the Research Methods compulsory module may be studied by distance learning before joining the taught modules in Bristol in semester two.
We have a student representation system, supported by UWE Students' Union. LLM student representatives are elected by LLM students to represent them, which means you will have the opportunity to raise any issues and help to shape the course by sharing your views.
Careers / Further study
Studying for an LLM provides an ideal opportunity to develop specialist skills that will be favoured by employers, both in the legal world and beyond. It opens up a range of career opportunities and gives our students the edge over other graduates.
The in-depth knowledge you will acquire in a particular area of law will give you a thorough grounding in the subject area and raise your employability prospects, enabling you to become a specialist within your organisation. It is for this reason that many of our LLM graduates choose to go on to complete a PhD or go into teaching and research.
Recent graduates from Bristol Law School have gained positions in local government, solicitors firms, the Ministry of Defence and other organisations including Marks and Spencer plc, Direct Line and Lloyds TSB.
Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
Full Time (September start)
|Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee||5750|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||479|
|International - Full Time - Module Fee (15 Credit)||1042|
|International-Full Time-Award Fee||12500|
Part Time (September Start)
|Home/EU-Part Time - Module Fee (15 Credit)||479|
Supplementary fee information
More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.
For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.
- You should hold a law honours degree (minimum 2:2) from a recognised Higher Education institution or equivalent from a recognised overseas institution.
- Candidates who have successfully completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or the Common Professional Examination (CPE) will also be considered for admission onto the course.
- Non law graduates will also be considered for admission if they have relevant experience or if they have a degree in a related area of study such as business, politics or international relations.
- If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency.
You should have:
- IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all components
See further details of our English Language requirements.
UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
How to apply
Please apply online. Applications for the LLM course may be submitted at any time of year and the deadline for applications is 1 September for study that same academic year.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333