Law - Environmental & Natural Resources Law - LLM

University College Cork

Law - Environmental & Natural Resources Law - LLM

Our LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at University College Cork takes advantage of a concentration of legal expertise in the field at the School of Law where our staff have held advisory roles with a wide range of Irish and international agencies and organisations, including, for example, the European Environment Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an Bord Pleanála (Irish Planning Board), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The LLM programme at UCC offers you a wide variety of legal topics ranging across traditional areas of environmental law, policy regulation, and governance, as well as planning and land-use law, heritage protection, international environmental law, marine environmental law, natural resources law, and human rights law. It aims to prepare our graduates for a variety of careers in the broader environmental regulatory space, including in the legal professions, governmental and regulatory agencies, environmental NGOs, compliance and sustainability roles in industry, academia, and environmental consultancy.

Environmental and Natural Resources Law offers you a wide choice of options, allowing you to take a broad and diverse range of specialist modules. We seek to integrate theoretical and practical aspects of the application of environmental and natural resources law, and to connect module content with legal and regulatory frameworks operating locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. As far as possible we facilitate flexible workload arrangements, to suit recent law graduates and environmental professionals alike.

Exposure to the more technical aspects of environmental and natural resources law is also available through optional science-based, non-law modules on GIS and Remote Sensing for example. In addition, students have access to selected non-programme but complementary law modules, covering such areas as Law of the Sea, International Human Rights Law, Corporate Insolvency Law, International Refugee Law, and International Criminal Law, etc.

Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Applicants for the LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) Programme also have the option of registering for a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Diploma students opt only to take 60 credits of taught masters' modules from those on offer for the LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law). The Postgraduate Diploma can be completed over 9 months full-time or 18 months part-time. Those who wish to apply for the Diploma should contact for application details.

This shorter programme may be attractive to legal professionals and others who may prefer not to make an initial commitment to a full master's programme. Graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma may further progress their studies by completing a 15,000-word research dissertation and graduating with a Masters in Law (LLM).

Course Practicalities
The course involves a combination of lectures and directed study. Some programme modules (those offered in conjunction with the LLM Marine and Maritime Law, i.e. Marine Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, International Environmental Law) are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays, in order to facilitate a flexible workload programme to students, particularly those with a professional career. Others will run on various days of the week throughout the Semester, but will employ Panopto lecture-capture technology (digital recordings made available via Blackboard) in order to maximise workload flexibility and accessibility to students, particularly those with a professional career. Non-programme modules will mainly run throughout the semester and, where possible, will be available through digital recording.

Subjects taught

Full-time: 90 credits including 70 credits of core modules and 20 credits of elective modules on offer.

Part-time: 40 credits in Year 1, including a minimum of 25 credits of core modules; 50 credits in Year 2, including LW6631 and any core modules not already taken in Year 1. The part-time option is taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Core Modules (70 credits)
LW6581 Method in Environmental Law (5 credits)
LW6617 International Biodiversity and Ecosystems Law and Policy (5 credits)
LW6618 Climate Change Law and Policy (5 credits)
LW6627 International Environmental Law (5 credits)
LW6631 LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) Dissertation (30 credits)
LW6645 Marine Environmental and Natural Resources Law (10 credits)
LW6649 Environmental Law in Practice (10 credits)

Elective Modules (20 credits)
Students must take at least 10 credits from List A. It may be that not all modules listed below will be offered each year and/or other options may become available.

List A

GG6501 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
GG6502 Introduction to Remote Sensing (5 credits)
LW6550 International Criminal Law (10 credits)
LW6566 Contemporary Issues in International Law (5 credits)
LW6606 International Human Rights Law (10 credits)
LW6619 Alternative Dispute Resolution: Processes and Practice (5 credits)
LW6620 Introduction to the Law of the Sea (10 credits)
LW6623 Global Maritime Security (5 credits)
LW6624 Port Law (5 credits)
LW6633 Public International Law (5 credits)
LW6634 Refugee and Forced Displacement Law (10 credits)
LW6636 European Corporate Restructuring, Insolvency and Rescue (5 credits)
LW6642* Environmental Law Clinic (10 credits)
LW6643 Negotiation and Mediation (10 credits)
LW6644 Managing Complex Disputes (10 credits)
LW6642* Environmental Law Clinic (10 credits)

List B: Undergraduate Modules*

LW2216 Humanitarianism and the Law (5 credits)
LW3371 Sources and Foundations of Environmental Law (5 credits)
LW3372 Environmental Law: Contemporary Issues in Governance, Regulation, and Enforcement (5 credits)
*Registration for these modules requires the permission of the Programme Director. Where appropriate, the Programme Director will identify, in consultation with the candidate, whether any undergraduate modules must be taken.


Full details of regulations governing Examinations for each programme is contained in the Marks and Standards Book and for each module in the Book of Modules.

Presentation of Dissertation/Submission Dates

The dissertation must be submitted for examination at the Winter Board, on a date in September to be specified by the School of Law at the commencement of the programme.

Exit award: Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)

Upon successful completion of modules to the value of 60 credits, registered LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) students may opt not to proceed with the programme and exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Environmental and Natural Resources Law).


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Candidates must be approved by the School of Law. Candidates must normally hold a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours Law degree (NFQ, Level 8). Candidates with other third-level qualifications and/or relevant professional experience are also encouraged to apply.

Applications from overseas candidates are welcome, and their qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Non-EU applicants should contact the International Office by email at for application details. The number of places available in any given year is dependent on resources and all qualified candidates may not be admitted.

International Master's Pathway – Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills
There is an alternative entry route for international applicants via the International Master's Pathway (IMP) – Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills (NFQ, Level 8). See the IMP page for more information.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. (We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.)

In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

Please enter the names and email addresses of 2 referees.

Assessment Info

Individual module assessments can be viewed in the Book of Modules. Most programme and non-programme modules are assessed by way of continuous assessment (essays).


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

What can I do after I graduate with an LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) degree?

The LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) degree will prepare you for a variety of careers in legal practice, regulation and compliance, including the legal professions, governmental and regulatory agencies, international institutions, and compliance roles in industry. It also provides a strong basis for careers in the broader environmental regulatory and policy space encompassing environmental advocacy and campaigning, environmental consultancy, environmental policy advice and research, and academia. It is relevant for those of you interested in careers in the energy, infrastructure, utilities, natural resources, and project finance sectors. The degree provides a valuable opportunity for those already working in these fields to further develop their knowledge and skills and to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and emerging trends in this rapidly developing area.

Occupations associated with the LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law):

Legal professions
Governmental and regulatory agencies
Local government
Infrastructure developers
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Environmental consultancy
International organisations / secretariats

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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