Introduction

Our innovative Masters programme allows students the opportunity to develop the relevant skills and knowledge in managing natural energy resources for future generations. This programme will equip students with the knowledge, and skills, to develop sound governance regimes within areas that raise the most fundamental issues for humanity.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
LLM
Duration
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen
Subject marketing image

The University of Aberdeen has long held a reputation as a leader in teaching, and research, in the energy resources sector and this programme will give students a competitive advantage in highly relevant and rapidly developing sector. Our growing population has a major impact on the world’s natural resources. Indeed, this issue will only grow as the pressure to meet humanity’s developing demands. Hence, international and domestic law must address the legal implications of ownership, extraction distribution and management of natural resources. This unique programme focuses on the legal and regulatory issues associated with society’s use of and exploitation of the natural world.

Available Programmes of Study

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of extracting natural resources, ocean law, food law, and water law. Students must complete the Introduction to Natural Resources Law and Policy and Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship. Students must then choose an additional 4 courses, taking 2 in semester 1 and 2 in semester 3.

Please note: Students staring their LLM programme in January write their Dissertation project during the Summer semester.

Natural Resources Law

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
LLM 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

In additional to Critical legal Thinking all students must take Introduction to Natural Resources Law (This course provides a series of lectures on the fundamental concepts relating to natural resources law and policy. The aim of the course is to ensure that all students are equipped with the necessary conceptual framework and knowledge to be able to undertake study of the various and diverse courses offered within the LLM in Natural Resources Law. It will also assure that all students commence the degree on an equal knowledge footing.

  1. What are natural resources?
  2. Law and policy relating to Renewable vs non-renewable resources
  3. Sovereignty over natural resources and Principles of Resource ownership
  4. Resource governance and transparency
  5. Role of the state in resource development
  6. Resource curse and theories of resource governance
  7. Resources, indigenous populations and local communities
Optional Courses

Students must choose 4 additional courses taking 2 in semester 1 and 2 in semester 2 completing the programme with the dissertation in semester 3.
These will include those listed below,

From September 2020 students will also be able to choose from the following courses:

Oceans Law covering the following topics: Introduction to oceans law, maritime spaces, management of seabed activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction, conservation of marine living resources, environmental regulation of offshore energy activities, peaceful settlement of disputes, maritime delimitation and disputed seabed resource.

Extractive Industries Law and Policies covering the following topics: Artisanal mining and regulation, largescale mining in host states, indigenous issues in mining, local content/impact benefit agreement, land access and compensation, extractive industries wealth management, health, safety and environment in extractive industries.

Oil and Mining Resources for Good (LS502Z)

30 Credit Points

The course examines the relationship between law, energy and natural resources, ethics, governance and development at the national and international levels on the one hand and variable developmental outcomes, particularly the resource curse phenomenon, on the other hand. The course then proceeds to apply advanced academic and experiential knowledge to formulate the fundamentals for overarching legal frameworks that will enable the good exploitation and development of energy and natural resources, thereby producing enduring benefits for all key stakeholders.

View detailed information about this course
International Energy and Environmental Law (LS501C)

30 Credit Points

The course deals with the regulation of international activities regarding energy and the environment. The course will consider the international legal framework regarding energy sources, and it will look at the various legal instruments at the global and regional level as well as the key actors that are involved in regulation. It will also examine environmental issues that correspond to the generation and use of energy in the international context and the responses relating to environmental protection of soil, water, air, atmosphere and species.

View detailed information about this course
State Control of Hydrocarbons (LS501E)

30 Credit Points

With only limited exceptions hydrocarbons lie in the ownership or control of states, but are frequently explored for and produced by commercial actors. This course considers the means by which the state controls exploitation of its oil and gas reserves. Following a number of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics such as: energy security; licensing; upstream taxation; health, safety ,and environmental regulation;. This course is available to students registering for the LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes (Dissertation or Professional Skills).

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses

Students must choose 2 courses from those listed below.

Food Law covering the following topics: Food systems and law, food and intellectual property , food and science, food safety, food waste , the food, water, land and energy nexus, and food sovereignty and the right to food.

From January 2021 students will be able to study the following course: Water Law, covering the following topics: Legal issues relating to water, the land water interface, aquaculture, spatial Planning and water, property in relation to water, international water disputes – (surface water resources) , water Underground water resource use and disputes – the Great Artesian Basin.

Principles of Environmental Regulation (LS551A)

30 Credit Points

The purpose of this course is to introduce the main principles of environmental law. The course analyses the challenges of environmental protection from the perspective of international, European and national law. Besides the conceptual analysis of the main principles of environmental law and methods of regulation, the course focuses on the delicate interaction between the principles of economic law (e.g. the right to property, the protection of investments, free trade) and environmental protection. Is there a conflict between economic law and environmental law or are these fields of law mutually reinforcing?

View detailed information about this course
Corporate Environmental Liability (LS551L)

30 Credit Points

Corporate environmental liability is a significant area of concern not only for those corporations engaged in activities which exhibit environmental risk but society as whole. An efficient, effective liability regime must be present to ensure that corporations do not shirk their financial liabilities. The course draws attention to the conflicting goals of corporate law (i.e. the limitation of liability) and environmental law (i.e. ensuring that polluters pay for damage caused) and encourages students to consider and develop solutions to this problem. Whilst the course focuses on EU environmental law, many of the concepts covered are relevant to other jurisdictions.

View detailed information about this course
International Arbitration: Energy & Natural Resources (LS552Z)

30 Credit Points

The complex interaction between investment protection and the sovereign right of states to regulate has been most acute in the energy sector. On the one hand, investors require strong guarantees that states will respect the “rules of the game” that constitute the basis of their investments. On the other, states can be tempted to interfere with foreign energy investments because of their particular strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century.

View detailed information about this course
Food Law (LS553J)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the diversity of laws and policies that shape our food system. It considers crucial legal issues applicable to the access, production, processing, packaging, marketing, consumption and disposal of food such as food sovereignty, food security, right to food, intellectual property rights relating to food, food safety, food waste as well as the food -water -energy- land nexus. The course, delivered through seminars, encourages debates, critical thinking and formulation of opinions on the complex and often controversial issues covered. Seasoned guest speakers are invited to enrich the student’s knowledge and experience. Whilst the course focuses on the international and UK systems, relevant examples from other jurisdictions are employed.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Students must undertake the dissertation involving research in a specific area of natural resources law of their choice.

Master of Law Dissertation (LS5904)

60 Credit Points

Between May and mid-August students prepare a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice related to their specialist LLM programme. Students are instructed through the delivery of a preparatory lecture, two supervisory meetings and a two hour dissertation planning workshop in a small group setting. Students are expected to spend considerable time on independent research throughout the course of the dissertation module, including; preparation of dissertation plan, amendment of plan in accordance with supervisory comments, preparation for the dissertation workshop, and, of course, in the final 10,000 word dissertation itself.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
LLM 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

In additional to Critical legal Thinking all students must take Introduction to Natural Resources Law . This course provides a series of lectures on the fundamental concepts relating to natural resources law and policy. The aim of the course is to ensure that all students are equipped with the necessary conceptual framework and knowledge to be able to undertake study of the various and diverse courses offered within the LLM in Natural Resources Law. It will also assure that all students commence the degree on an equal knowledge footing.

  1. What are natural resources?
  2. Law and policy relating to Renewable vs non-renewable resources
  3. Sovereignty over natural resources and Principles of Resource ownership
  4. Resource governance and transparency
  5. Role of the state in resource development
  6. Resource curse and theories of resource governance
  7. Resources, indigenous populations and local communities
Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS551T)

This compulsory course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which would be required to excel in LLM-Taught courses. It commences with a few lectures and progresses to working in a workshop environment and finally to the submission of an individual assignment. It also incorporates elements such as library workshops to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Four optional courses must be selected. Two should be selected from semester 1 and two from semester 3 .

These will include those listed below, plus Food Law covering the following topics: Food systems and law, food and intellectual property , food and science, food safety, food waste , the food, water, land and energy nexus, and food sovereignty and the right to food.

From January 2021 students will be able to study the following course: Water Law, covering the following topics: Legal issues relating to water, the land water interface, aquaculture, spatial Planning and water, property in relation to water, international water disputes – (surface water resources) , water Underground water resource use and disputes – the Great Artesian Basin (TSH)

Principles of Environmental Regulation (LS551A)

30 Credit Points

The purpose of this course is to introduce the main principles of environmental law. The course analyses the challenges of environmental protection from the perspective of international, European and national law. Besides the conceptual analysis of the main principles of environmental law and methods of regulation, the course focuses on the delicate interaction between the principles of economic law (e.g. the right to property, the protection of investments, free trade) and environmental protection. Is there a conflict between economic law and environmental law or are these fields of law mutually reinforcing?

View detailed information about this course
Corporate Environmental Liability (LS551L)

30 Credit Points

Corporate environmental liability is a significant area of concern not only for those corporations engaged in activities which exhibit environmental risk but society as whole. An efficient, effective liability regime must be present to ensure that corporations do not shirk their financial liabilities. The course draws attention to the conflicting goals of corporate law (i.e. the limitation of liability) and environmental law (i.e. ensuring that polluters pay for damage caused) and encourages students to consider and develop solutions to this problem. Whilst the course focuses on EU environmental law, many of the concepts covered are relevant to other jurisdictions.

View detailed information about this course
International Arbitration: Energy & Natural Resources (LS552Z)

30 Credit Points

The complex interaction between investment protection and the sovereign right of states to regulate has been most acute in the energy sector. On the one hand, investors require strong guarantees that states will respect the “rules of the game” that constitute the basis of their investments. On the other, states can be tempted to interfere with foreign energy investments because of their particular strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century.

View detailed information about this course
Food Law (LS553J)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the diversity of laws and policies that shape our food system. It considers crucial legal issues applicable to the access, production, processing, packaging, marketing, consumption and disposal of food such as food sovereignty, food security, right to food, intellectual property rights relating to food, food safety, food waste as well as the food -water -energy- land nexus. The course, delivered through seminars, encourages debates, critical thinking and formulation of opinions on the complex and often controversial issues covered. Seasoned guest speakers are invited to enrich the student’s knowledge and experience. Whilst the course focuses on the international and UK systems, relevant examples from other jurisdictions are employed.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Students must undertake the dissertation involving research in a specific area of natural resources law of their choice.

Master of Law Dissertation (LS5904)

60 Credit Points

Between May and mid-August students prepare a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice related to their specialist LLM programme. Students are instructed through the delivery of a preparatory lecture, two supervisory meetings and a two hour dissertation planning workshop in a small group setting. Students are expected to spend considerable time on independent research throughout the course of the dissertation module, including; preparation of dissertation plan, amendment of plan in accordance with supervisory comments, preparation for the dissertation workshop, and, of course, in the final 10,000 word dissertation itself.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

As in semester 1 students must choose 2 courses from those listed below


Optional Courses

From September 2020 students will also be able to choose from the additional following courses:

Oceans Law covering the following topics: Introduction to oceans law, maritime spaces, management of seabed activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction, conservation of marine living resources, environmental regulation of offshore energy activities, peaceful settlement of disputes, maritime delimitation and disputed seabed resource.

Extractive Industries Law and Policies covering the following topics: Artisanal mining and regulation, largescale mining in host states, indigenous issues in mining, local content/impact benefit agreement, land access and compensation, extractive industries wealth management, health, safety and environment in extractive industries.

Oil and Mining Resources for Good (LS502Z)

30 Credit Points

The course examines the relationship between law, energy and natural resources, ethics, governance and development at the national and international levels on the one hand and variable developmental outcomes, particularly the resource curse phenomenon, on the other hand. The course then proceeds to apply advanced academic and experiential knowledge to formulate the fundamentals for overarching legal frameworks that will enable the good exploitation and development of energy and natural resources, thereby producing enduring benefits for all key stakeholders.

View detailed information about this course
International Energy and Environmental Law (LS501C)

30 Credit Points

The course deals with the regulation of international activities regarding energy and the environment. The course will consider the international legal framework regarding energy sources, and it will look at the various legal instruments at the global and regional level as well as the key actors that are involved in regulation. It will also examine environmental issues that correspond to the generation and use of energy in the international context and the responses relating to environmental protection of soil, water, air, atmosphere and species.

View detailed information about this course
State Control of Hydrocarbons (LS501E)

30 Credit Points

With only limited exceptions hydrocarbons lie in the ownership or control of states, but are frequently explored for and produced by commercial actors. This course considers the means by which the state controls exploitation of its oil and gas reserves. Following a number of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics such as: energy security; licensing; upstream taxation; health, safety ,and environmental regulation;. This course is available to students registering for the LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes (Dissertation or Professional Skills).

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,600
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
International Students £17,900
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Teaching is organised on a modular basis. There are two eleven-week semesters. Examinations are held at the end of each semester in December and May. The dissertation is submitted in August. The variety of assessments in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practical situations in order to become expert at being able to analyse and reason issues thoroughly. Moreover, students will gain transferrable skills including: enhanced ability to undertake advanced research in the field; an opportunity to undertake group work activities; ability to synthesise ideas and present work in oral and written assignments, plus students will undertake critical analysis.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment is a combination of coursework during the semester and an examination at the end of the relevant semester. In addition, students must complete research skills course and a dissertation on a topic within the specialism. All full time students who begin in January commence work on the dissertation in May with a final submission date in the beginning of August.

Why Study Natural Resources Law?

  • Our School of Law has occupied a central role since the University’s inception in 1495 and is considered to be one of the UK’s elite training ground for lawyers.
  • The School of Law is ranked 5th in the UK for Law (The Times Good University Guide 2019), and based on the Times ranking is the highest ranked Scottish Law School.
  • You will achieve an internationally recognised and respected postgraduate degree in one of the fastest growing and most dynamic areas of law.
  • Learn from top academics, responsible for shaping energy policy and providing thought leadership to governments on key pervasive and emerging issues.
  • Gain transferable skills in research, presentations, group work and conflict resolution - all of which are highly sought after in today's competitive job market

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Normally, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this programme. Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Careers

As the Law has an impact on many parts of public life and, thus, is beneficial should you wish to enter politics, business, international finance or banking. More and more non-legal employers are valuing the eminently transferable skills law graduates can bring to industry and other international business organisations. These skills include but are not limited to:

  • Research
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Effective communication
  • Diplomacy

This programme would equip graduates interested in a career in the following industries and sectors: policy, planning, NGOs, civil service, energy and extraction.

Accreditation

This degree holds accreditation from

1st In Scotland for Law*

The School of Law is Scotland's highest ranked university in the Times Good University Guide 2019, the School is ranked 5th in the UK for Law.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator Professor Tina Soliman Hunter, course academics Dr Titilayo Adebola Professor Zeray Yihedgo Dr Constantinos Yiallourides

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Law
University of Aberdeen
Taylor Building
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB