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

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
1 Year / 2 Years
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning LLM programme which runs in September and January. You will find information about other ways to study this programme in the next section on this page.

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) - Credits: 30

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.

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Energy, Innovation and Law (LS501F) - Credits: 30

Students will explore the law and regulation which is relevant to innovation across the energy sector (taken in its widest sense). We will consider intellectual property, UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, government initiatives, competition, human rights, and oil and gas licensing. We will focus on the impact of these fields on business, reward, sharing, sustainable growth, energy security, and the relationship between private rights, raw materials and the wider public interest. Sessions will be interactive and you need not have studied any of these fields before – although we will move quickly. Assessment is by essay, exam and group presentation.

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

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.

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Oil and Gas Law (LS5076) - Credits: 30

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.

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Semester 2

Optional Courses

Principles of Environmental Regulation (LS551A) - Credits: 30

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?

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

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.

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Corporate Environmental Liability (LS551L) - Credits: 30

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.

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Legal and Environmental Issues for Unconventional Hydrocarbon (LS551U) - Credits: 30

This course undertakes a study of unconventional sources of petroleum. utilising the seminar method of learning, where practical, real-life examples are used, this course will enable students to explore the key legal and environmental issues related to the development and transport of unconventional hydrocarbons.

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International Investment Arbitration In the Energy Sector (LS5585) - Credits: 30

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.

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Downstream Energy Law (LS5594) - Credits: 30

The supply of electricity and natural gas – as network-related industries – presents specific regulatory challenges. These challenges are of particular importance in the context of the liberalisation of these sectors, i.e. the restructuring of these industries from monopolies to competitive markets. Will liberalised electricity and gas markets ensure security and reliability of energy supply? Will consumers be adequately protected against potential abusive behaviour of dominant market players? Is liberalisation compatible with the objectives of decarbonisation and environmental protection? The purpose of this course is to explore the law and policy framework governing energy supply in a liberalised market environment.

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Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Master of Law Dissertation (LS5904) - Credits: 60

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 11th in the UK, out of more than 90 law schools (The Guardian, The Times Good University Guide 2015).
  • We are ranked in the Top 10 for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014 - with a 95% student satisfaction rating.
  • We are one of the top 5 universities for graduate prospects (National Student Survey 2014) and 96% of our students enter directly into employment, research or further study within six months of graduation.
  • In an LLM exit survey, we carried out in 2015, 95% of students felt the programme met their expectations and 94% would recommend the University 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.

 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

    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


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.

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
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability

Fees and Funding

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

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

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.


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

Contact Us

School of Law
University of Aberdeen
Taylor Building

AB24 3UB