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Environmental and Natural Resources Law - LLM

The LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) is a new programme which takes advantage of a concentration of legal expertise in the field at the School of Law, University College Cork. Academic staff at the Law School currently hold advisory roles with a wide range of Irish and international agencies and organisations, including the European Environment Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an Bord Pleanála (Irish Planning Board), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board, etc. The LLM programme offers a wide variety of legal topics ranging across traditional areas of environmental law, policy and regulation, 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 graduates for a variety of careers in the broader environmental regulatory space, including in the legal professions, governmental and regulatory agencies, environmental NGOs, compliance roles in industry, academia and environmental consultancy. The LLM seeks 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. To the greatest degree possible, the programme is based on flexible workload arrangements, to suit recent law graduates and environmental professionals alike. 

Applicants for the LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) Degree also have the option of registering for a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental and Natural Resources Law.  Students 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). 

The LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) offers a wide choice of options, allowing students to take a broad range of diverse modules.  

Students must take 60 credits of taught modules, and complete a dissertation of 15,000 words worth 30 credits. 

The programme modules include:

  • Climate Change and Energy Law
  • Method in Environmental Law
  • Environmental Law in Practice
  • International Environmental Law
  • Introduction to Planning Law
  • Legal Concepts for Heritage and Environment
  • Marine Environmental Law
  • Natural Resources Law 

Exposure to technical aspects of the application of environmental and natural resources law to marine law is also available to students through optional science-based, non-law modules on GIS, Remote Sensing and Characteristics of the Marine Environment. 

In addition, students will have access to selected non-programme but complementary modules, covering such areas as Law of the Sea, International and European Human Rights Law, Corporate Insolvency Law, EU Competition Law, International Refugee Law, International Criminal Law, etc. 

The LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) builds on the expertise and reputation of a cohort of dedicated academic researchers in Cork to offer a world-class education in this field. Whether students are (recent) law graduates or other environmental professionals, the programme will provide them with a critical, in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of the key issues arising in environmental and natural resources law, policy and regulation. 

Please visit the School of Law website here for up to date information on the programme.

Programme regulations are available in the College Calendar 

Please see the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

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.

Assessment

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).

Who teaches this course

The teaching staff at UCC specialising in environmental and natural resources law is one of the programmes key strengths. UCC teaching staff on the LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) include: Prof Owen McIntyre, Dr Áine Ryall, Dr Bénédicte Sage-Fuller, Dr Phyllis Comerford, Dr Anne-Marie O’Hagan, Prof Irene Lynch-Fannon, Dr. Bjorn-Oliver Magsig and Dr. Eva Barrett. As a national programme, modules will also have contributions from other Irish academics in the field. UCC School of Law benefits from strong links with key environmental agencies and organisations at the national and international levels, upon which we expect to rely for a full programme of guest speakers. For a full list of school members see the School of Law website here  

Why choose this course

This programme aims to equip graduates to participate and excel in any aspect of professional engagement with environmental and natural resources law, policy or regulation, and to develop a rewarding career in this field with, for example, the legal professions, governmental and regulatory agencies, industry, NGOs or academia. The programme adopts a global perspective, with a focus on international and comparative law and on the techniques of environmental regulation, which are universal in their application and relevance.    


Visit the Environmental and Natural Resources Law - LLM page on the University College Cork website for more details!

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