Introduction

In a master's unlike any other, examine both energy and environmental law - a pairing that reflects the significant overlap in these related topics - at Aberdeen, the leading institution in energy law among the UK's top Law Schools.

This programme is studied on campus.

Tapping into the growing need for lawyers with interdisciplinary knowledge, this programme will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate effectively at the intersection of energy and environmental matters. Our programme produces lawyers that understand how environmental law affects the energy industry in its physical, technical, economic and political context.

As growing energy demand coincides with the need to move away from fossil fuel dependence, law has a central role to play in enabling the shift to low carbon energy whilst maintaining energy security and the transition to environmentally sustainable economic development.

With a unique choice of energy and environment courses from Corporate Environmental Liability to Oil and Minerals for Good, you will benefit from an advanced understanding and sharpened critical analysis across many key areas.

You will acquire detailed and cutting edge knowledge about the current position of energy and environmental law and an understanding of how this is likely to change.

The programme covers matters of core interest for policy-makers, not only from an energy and environmental perspective but in all fields that provide the foundation for socio-economic functionality and corporate policy.

This programme was designed in consultation with a range of external contacts within the field as well as teaching staff from the University. This additional input ensures that the Master’s degree is aligned to industry competencies and needs. You will benefit from the programme’s specific focus on intensive professional skills courses, including a professional communication component.

The main difference with the LLM Energy and Environmental Law is the replacement of the dissertation with two intensive professional skills exercises.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
LLM
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September

Study Options

LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January
Semester 1

Semester 1

For January students, the first semester covers courses with the prefix LS55 and there is the compulsory course LS551T Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship.

Compulsory Courses

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 within smaller groups 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.

Alternatively, one of your four choices could be selected from another LLM programme (excluding LS501E, and LS551K).

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

Low Carbon Energy Transition: Nuclear Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (LS551J) - 30 Credit Points

Nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage are seen by some governments as key contributors alongside renewable energy to the decarbonisation of energy supplies. However, significant risks of harm to the environment and human health and challenges with securing investment and overcoming public concerns are associated with the use of both technologies. The seven seminar course examines legal responses to these risks and challenges at international, European Union and national levels, critically considering their adequacy for tackling the difficulties with employing nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage as part of a low carbon energy transition.

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

Downstream Energy Law (LS5594) - 30 Credit Points

The transport and supply of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) and electricioty is essential for modern civilisation. IF energy cannot get to the consumer, then energy security is threatened and economic development may be restricted.

These challenges are impotant in the context of the liberalisation of these sectors, especially the restructuring of these industries from monopolies to competitive markets. This course explores the law and policy framework governing the movement and distrtibution of energy, particulalry within a liberalised market, in an era of climate change. Topics covered include market liberalisation, energy security, gas sales and transport, and market regulation.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Students will need to take the Professional Skills module during the summer.

Compulsory Courses

Energy and Environmental Law Professional Skills (LS5908) - 60 Credit Points

This course allows students the opportunity to deploy the knowledge they have gained in the taught courses on the LLM Energy and Environmental Law with Professional Skills programme in intensive exercises designed to develop their professional skills. It aims to provide students with an insight into specific processes which form the practical context for the legal and regulatory knowledge and skills gained during the taught courses. It also informs them about how the environmental regulatory context affects the planning of projects and the conduct of processes leading to their authorisation and implementation.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

For January starts semester 3 is the September semester with courses starting with LS50.

Optional Courses

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

Oil and Minerals for Good (LS501D) - 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

Low Carbon Energy Transition: Renewable Energy Law (LS501H) - 30 Credit Points

A transition from reliance on fossil fuels to low-carbon renewable energy is essential for mitigating climate change and for making energy supplies more sustainable. The course considers the challenges and concerns that this fundamental change in the nature of energy supplies gives rise to, and explores laws role in addressing them. The course examines the legal regimes for promoting renewable energy at international, EU and UK levels, and considers how law can be used to address significant constraints on the growth of renewable energy including difficulties with grid access and public opposition to wind energy development.

View detailed information about this course

LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January or September
Semester 1

Semester 1

The information listed below is for September start students. Information for January starts can be found under "Other Ways to Study".

All students must take two LS50xx courses and two LS55xx courses.

Compulsory Courses

All candidates must take:

Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS501T)

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 within smaller groups 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 2.

Alternatively, one of your four choices could be selected from another LLM programme (excluding LS501E, and LS551K).

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

Oil and Minerals for Good (LS501D) - 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

Low Carbon Energy Transition: Renewable Energy Law (LS501H) - 30 Credit Points

A transition from reliance on fossil fuels to low-carbon renewable energy is essential for mitigating climate change and for making energy supplies more sustainable. The course considers the challenges and concerns that this fundamental change in the nature of energy supplies gives rise to, and explores laws role in addressing them. The course examines the legal regimes for promoting renewable energy at international, EU and UK levels, and considers how law can be used to address significant constraints on the growth of renewable energy including difficulties with grid access and public opposition to wind energy development.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses

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

Low Carbon Energy Transition: Nuclear Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (LS551J) - 30 Credit Points

Nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage are seen by some governments as key contributors alongside renewable energy to the decarbonisation of energy supplies. However, significant risks of harm to the environment and human health and challenges with securing investment and overcoming public concerns are associated with the use of both technologies. The seven seminar course examines legal responses to these risks and challenges at international, European Union and national levels, critically considering their adequacy for tackling the difficulties with employing nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage as part of a low carbon energy transition.

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

Downstream Energy Law (LS5594) - 30 Credit Points

The transport and supply of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) and electricioty is essential for modern civilisation. IF energy cannot get to the consumer, then energy security is threatened and economic development may be restricted.

These challenges are impotant in the context of the liberalisation of these sectors, especially the restructuring of these industries from monopolies to competitive markets. This course explores the law and policy framework governing the movement and distrtibution of energy, particulalry within a liberalised market, in an era of climate change. Topics covered include market liberalisation, energy security, gas sales and transport, and market regulation.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Energy and Environmental Law Professional Skills (LS5908) - 60 Credit Points

This course allows students the opportunity to deploy the knowledge they have gained in the taught courses on the LLM Energy and Environmental Law with Professional Skills programme in intensive exercises designed to develop their professional skills. It aims to provide students with an insight into specific processes which form the practical context for the legal and regulatory knowledge and skills gained during the taught courses. It also informs them about how the environmental regulatory context affects the planning of projects and the conduct of processes leading to their authorisation and implementation.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

  • Assessment is based on a combination of continuous assessment and written examination at the end of the relevant semester.
  • The variety of assessment in the programme - through essays, presentations, group and project work ensures that students apply theory to practise and become expert communicators and team players.

Why Study Energy and Environmental Law with Professional Skills?

Repeatedly ranked as one of the UK’s top Law Schools, we pride ourselves on delivering high quality, engaging and academically challenging programmes. But don't just take our word for it - we let the facts speak for themselves.

  • Our Law School is ranked 10th in the UK, out of more than 90 law schools (The Complete University Guide 2018).
  • In an LLM exit survey, we carried out in 2016, 98% of students felt that their LLM had added value to their career prospects and 97% would recommend their course to others.
  • There are over 40 nationalities within the School of Law postgraduate community, therefore you will benefit from a programme with a truly international outlook.

Law at Aberdeen has been at the heart of legal education for over 500 years. At our university, you will:

  • Gain interdisciplinary exposure, which is very important to practising lawyers.
  • Understand the crucial interaction between energy and environmental law, particularly in relation to low carbon energy, which is a highly-prized topic today.
  • Have the opportunity to study a programme that has been designed by experts in their field. The programme provides the ideal opportunity for professional development in specialist areas of law.
  • Gain first-hand experience of aspects of professional practice in the field of your academic specialisation.
  • Be part of a programme that has a focus on tangible, marketable employability skills that will enable you to get ahead in your career.
  • Take advantage of real-world interactions and assignments that simulate what lawyers do day-to-day.
  • Be taught by professionals, researchers and consultants with direct experience of mitigating against environmental harm in the North Sea oil and gas industry and beyond.

The programme is set against the background of Aberdeen’s reputation and knowledge as the Energy capital of Europe.

To help align your knowledge with a career path beyond, you’ll be supported by a comprehensive range of bespoke careers services and events, focused on providing you with the tools and additional skills you need to advance and transform your career potential.

What Our Students Say

  • Gurnish Sidhu
    Gurnish Sidhu

    Gurnish Sidhu

    Obviously doing Energy here, there’s nowhere else better to do it than Aberdeen. A lot of the lecturers are all over the world – they know so much about it. They are some of the best. They’ve written the books!

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 in Law (or another related discipline) or equivalent.
Relevant practical experience will also be beneficial.

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

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

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.

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

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £7,400
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £18,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £7,800
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £18,900
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January or September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £7,400
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £18,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £7,800
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £18,900
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

The CB Davidson Fund provides limited financial support for postgraduate students within the Law School. It offers financial support to graduates in law from outside the UK to study in Aberdeen and to students and graduates of the University of Aberdeen who wish to travel outside of the UK for research purposes. Awards will not exceed £2,500 and in most instances will be less.

The closing dates for applications are 31 March and 30 September each year.

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programe. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

The LLM in Energy and Environmental Law is more than a qualification - it’s potentially a passport to greater opportunity for both practising and aspiring lawyers and to those who want to pursue a career within national or multi-national energy companies. It provides the skills needed for those who might want to work within governmental or non-governmental organisations. The programme may also serve to engage those seeking a more academic career – perhaps forming part of the journey towards gaining a PhD.

Whatever drives you and on whichever side of the energy and environment debate you stand, it’s clear that both energy and environment have to work together. There’s no plan B. The whole world will have to invest in making this happen. So if you want a sustainable career, like we all want a sustainable world, here’s the place to start.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Olivia Woolley

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.

Growing Demand for Energy Lawyers Globally

Energy and Envronmental Law consultants are in demand globally due to the high growth in legal and commercial risk associated with climate impact and constantly evolving EU legislation.

Facilities

Taylor Library

The School of Law has its own dedicated law library, Taylor Library, which is located within the Law School building, offering access to the Law collection, Official Publications and the European Documentation Centre.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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