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 12,500-word research dissertation and graduating with a Masters in Law (LLM).

Subjects taught

Full-time: 90 credits including 70 credits of core/taught modules and 20 credits of elective modules.
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 two years.

Core Modules
LW6652 Legal Research Methods and Writing (5 credits)
LW6659 LLM Dissertation (25 credits)

Taught Modules
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)
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)
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)
LW6642* Environmental Law Clinic (10 credits)
LW6643 Negotiation and Mediation (10 credits)

LW6644 Managing Complex Disputes (10 credits)List B: Undergraduate Modules* (Max. 10 credits)
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.

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.

Entry requirements

Applicants must be approved by the School of Law. Applicants must normally hold a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours Law degree (NFQ, Level 8). Applicants 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.

Application dates

Closing Date
Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.

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: 9 September 2024

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
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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