Introduction

Led by renowned academics operating at the heart of Energy Law globally, this is a master's without equivalence in an increasingly topical area.

This programme is studied on campus.

In energy terms, we live in times of great flux. The demand for energy keeps on rising especially as newly developing nations seek new energy and new wealth.

Yet, the paradox is that this explosion of activity is happening precisely at the point in world history when we’re also trying to seriously reduce our carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. How to reconcile these two often opposing demands is where energy law becomes pivotal. Our market-leading LLM Energy Law is designed to help you specialise and stand out, gaining new insights and new ways forward, in this challenging global arena.

The programme is designed for students with a degree in law or in a related discipline, who want to gain a greater knowledge of how energy law works - and crucially how it is developing over time - providing students with a robust and industry-ready knowledge for a successful career.

The University of Aberdeen attracts world-class expertise in energy law . It’s this unrivalled depth and breadth of experience which informs our outstanding level of teaching to give you the knowledge the world values.

We focus on the key areas of the Energy sector from a policy and problem-solving perspective.

Our core programme will examine the area from a comparative, international and inter-disciplinary perspective. The programme features a carefully chosen series of course options. including Oil and Gas, Renewables, Nuclear Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage.

Alongside these subjects, we explore the principles of environmental regulation and corporate environmental liability for an in-depth understanding of the regulatory and competitive framework in which the industry operates.

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.

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

Compulsory Courses

All candidates must take the following 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 three 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

International Investment Law and Arbitration In the Energy Sector (LS552P) - 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

Semester 2

Semester 2

Semester 2 for January starts is the summer period during which time students write their dissertation.

Compulsory Courses

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

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

Optional Courses

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

Oil and Gas Law (LS5076) - 30 Credit Points

The petroleum industry brings together the most powerful public and private actors in the form of states and trans-national corporations. Oil and gas law has the task of arranging the resultant relationships and of ensuring that the legitimate interests of each side are protected. Following a series of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics drawn from the state control, contracting and regulatory aspects of oil and gas law. This course is available to LLM students on programmes other than the specialist LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes.

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

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 the following course:

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 three choices could be selected from another LLM programme (excluding LS501E, and LS551K).

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

Oil and Gas Law (LS5076) - 30 Credit Points

The petroleum industry brings together the most powerful public and private actors in the form of states and trans-national corporations. Oil and gas law has the task of arranging the resultant relationships and of ensuring that the legitimate interests of each side are protected. Following a series of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics drawn from the state control, contracting and regulatory aspects of oil and gas law. This course is available to LLM students on programmes other than the specialist LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes.

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

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

International Investment Law and Arbitration In the Energy Sector (LS552P) - 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

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

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

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

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. Students can join either in September or January.

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.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment is based on 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, both those who begin in January as well as those who begin in September, commence work on the dissertation in May, with a final submission date in the beginning of August each year.

Why Study Energy Law with Dissertation?

Considered one the UK’s elite training grounds for lawyers, our School of Law has occupied a central role in the Aberdeen experience since the University’s opening in 1495.

  • 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.
  • There is a growing demand for Energy Lawyers globally.

 At Aberdeen, you will:

  • Achieve an internationally recognised and respected postgraduate degree in one of the fastest growing and most dynamic areas of law.
  • Accelerate your career, completing your LLM within 12 months - there's great growth in the energy law divisions of medium and large legal practices.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of energy Law and policy, as well as knowledge of corporate governance and responsibility.
  • Benefit from a combination of academic challenge and practical, professional focus with a strong emphasis on the practical application of theory.
  • Learn from the best by engaging with top academics, responsible for shaping energy policy and providing thought leadership to governments on key pervasive and emerging issues.
  • Learn transferable skills in research, presentations, group work and conflict resolution, all of which are highly sought after in today's competitive job market.

The programme is set against the background of Aberdeen’s reputation and knowledge as the Energy capital of Europe. As you’d expect of a University located here, we’ve assembled substantial legal expertise in energy and the environment and we play a major role in this industry through research, consultancy, training and development.

What Our Students Say

  • Ayibaemi (Emi) Abule
    Ayibaemi (Emi) Abule

    Ayibaemi (Emi) Abule

    Studying here is one of the highlights of an academic career. You have all the support you need. The staff are very welcoming. You can walk into anyone’s office and ask anything. The feedback is great.

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

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 £6,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £16,100
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £16,900
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 £6,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £16,100
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £16,900
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 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

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

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.

Aberdeen - The Energy Capital of Europe

Aberdeen is a major research centre of the energy industry in all aspects of regulation, engineering, and innovation and the university has been leading that innovation in the Energy Capital of Europe

Growing Demand for Energy Lawyers Globally

Energy and Environmental 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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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