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Degree type


Course length

1 year full-time


Durham City

Program code


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Course details

Our LLM in International Environmental Law equips you with the skills and knowledge you need to tackle major global challenges such as environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change.

Our LLM in International Environmental Law encompasses various multilateral treaty regimes on environmental protection and the science behind legal developments. It provides in-depth learning on foundational principles and concepts of international environmental law, and addresses the intersection of legal regimes and the role of science in the development of international environmental law.

You will also learn about renewable energy and the role of carbon markets and trading regimes. As well as climate litigation, the human rights dimension in the protection of the environment and the role of the law and of lawyers in governing transformational change.

On completing the programme, you will be equipped to:

  • Consider environmental degradation as a continuous and increasing challenge for effective and inclusive international treaty-making.
  • Discuss regional approaches of environmental governance.
  • Understand how legal orders must interact in implementing internationally agreed global goals.

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement represents a key milestone within the international climate change regime. It sets forth a novel approach to law-making at the international level. Our LLM International Environmental Law evaluates the objectives and concepts of the Paris Agreement in the context of societal change, equity, and the role of science as driver for legal developments at the level of international and domestic law.

Global Environmental Challenges and Climate Change

The LLM in International Environmental Law covers a broad range of legal instruments that address global environmental challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, ozone depletion and plastic pollution. Expertise in international environmental law and understanding the global response to climate change in particular, are increasingly important for a broad range of careers.

Our LLM course is designed to equip you with profound knowledge and the skills to assess the relevant legal techniques and developments. Teaching in the course will be embedded in the wider context of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

You'll develop new research and analytical skills through investigating a range of international treaties, including the role of States, political institutions, NGOs and the private sector for managing environmental issues and natural resources. The course is designed to address how international environmental law is constantly evolving, how it has shaped legal principles, and how it intersects with other areas of law, such as human rights law. For example, you'll assess the objectives and concepts of the international law on climate change in the context of sustainable development, equity and fairness, and in the light of science as driver for legal developments. You'll learn about the role of the judiciary, and we'll discuss climate lawsuits from a global perspective.

Course Structure

Core modules:

  • Applied Research Methods in Law
  • International Law on Climate Change
  • Global Environmental Law
  • Dissertation

Candidates shall also study and be assessed in modules from List B to the value of (when added to the modules chosen in accordance with Regulations 3 and 4 above) at least 120 credits. Candidates shall choose any remaining modules from List C in order to provide a total number of 180 credits for their programme of study avoiding any duplication:

List B

  • Advanced Issues in Human Rights
  • Advanced Issues in International Intellectual Property Law
  • Advanced Issue in International Economic Law
  • Frontiers in Biolaw
  • Fundamentals of International Law
  • Law of the Sea
  • Protection of Human Rights in Europe
  • Renewable Energy

List C (remaining credits)

  • Advanced Issues in Corporate Law
  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law *
  • China and the International Legal Order
  • Comparative Corporate Governance *
  • Consumption Tax Law and Policy
  • International Investment Law
  • International Perspectives on Law and Gender
  • Introduction to EU Law
  • Protection of Human Rights in Europe


Modules at this level will often be delivered through seminars, however, some colleagues include lectures or divide the time between lecture-style teaching and seminar teaching.

There will be support through regular office hours and contact hours. Students will be invited to join the activities of the new Sustainable Development Research Centre and additional events will be offered to them through this centre. Students will further be supported in their learning through lectures provided by Justice B Preston who will join the SDRC/DLS as Visiting Professor from September 2022 (for a period for three years initially).

Entry requirements

A good 2:1 degree (or its equivalent) in law, or in a degree in which law is a major component.

  • Students whose native language is not English must show evidence of general proficiency in the English language by normally achieving 7.0 or higher in IELTS with a minimum of 7.0 in the writing component and a minimum of 6.5 in all other components.
  • Students from EU member states whose native language is not English may show evidence of general proficiency in the English language by normally achieving 102 or higher in TOEFL with a minimum of 27 in the writing component and a minimum of 25 in all other components.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £12,100 per year
EU students £24,900 per year
Island students £12,100 per year
International students £24,900 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Law School

Our graduates enjoy highly successful careers across a diverse range of sectors as solicitors, barristers, consultants and more. Current graduates are on the Supreme Court, and in government, the Court of Appeal and Parliament.

Department information

Law School

We are a leading centre of legal research in the UK with an equally strong commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. We have modern, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities. Featuring a moot court, the Harvard-style Hogan Lovells lecture theatre, spacious dedicated work suites with superb views of Durham Cathedral, attractive social areas, and modern wireless and audiovideo-enabled research spaces, this is one of the most striking and best-equipped law buildings in the UK.

For more information visit our department pages.


  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2023
  • 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2023
  • 7th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the Law School pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 5th in the UK for research environment
  • 100% of our research impact and environment was rated world-leading or internationally excellent


By choosing to read Law at Durham you will be studying in one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Certainly, there are few places that can match its dramatic setting on a rocky horseshoe bend in the River Wear. The Law School is located in Durham University’s flagship Palatine Centre, part of a £48.4m sustainable building development and winner of the 2013 Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Northern Award for best education building. Facilities include a Moot Court, dedicated workroom, academic offices, and a Pro Bono Room, as well as a Harvard Style lecture theatre and many seminar and tutorial rooms.

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 08/02/2023
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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Postgraduate Open Days - Online
  • Date: 13/02/2023
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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