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Global Environmental Law & Governance LLM/PGDip/PGCert

Course content

Why this course?

Understanding the development and functioning of environmental law across different levels of environmental governance is an important issue of our time. This requires moving beyond the traditional approach to teaching international, regional, EU and national environmental law in isolation from one other.

There's also a growing need to understand the relevance for environmental governance of the legal practices of indigenous peoples and local communities, business entities, local administrations, and transnational environmental practitioners.

The programme aims to help students critically appraise and creatively contribute to environmental regulation and governance at the international, transnational, national and local levels.

Studying this course, you'll be equipped with a wide range of expertise in environmental law, in areas like:

  • biodiversity
  • land
  • food and agriculture
  • climate change and energy
  • corporate accountability
  • environmental justice
  • water and oceans
  • human rights
  • sustainable development

You'll focus on the global dynamics of environmental law. In particular, you'll look at the mutual influences and interactions among different regulatory levels.

The programme draws both on cutting-edge academic research on global environmental law, and on first-hand professional experience in environmental law and governance at different levels.


Your ability to gain international employment is at the heart of this course. It'll equip you with the skills and expertise you need to pursue a career in:

  • international organisations
  • national governments involved in international, EU and/or transnational law matters
  • non-government organisations that operate at a regional, sub-national, national or international level
  • private companies concerned with international, EU and/or transnational environmental law

The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to establish a collaboration on innovative teaching of international environmental law, as well as to arrange for internships at UNITAR for students on the LLM in Global Environmental Law & Governance.

Distinctive features of course

  • specialisation in a range of thematic areas in environmental law
  • innovative focus on the interactions between different levels of environmental regulation & governance (international, EU, national, transnational & sub-national)
  • live for a year in Glasgow, taking part in the research events, activities & projects at the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance
  • open to law & non-law graduates
  • tailored advice on international careers

Work experience

We have a successful track record of helping LLM students obtain competitive international internships with United Nations organisations. These are optional, and their duration and conditions vary depending on the host organisation. They usually start towards the end of the course. 

Our programme directors are currently concluding formal agreements with selected international organisations to secure a number of internships for LLM students each year. 

Career advice

Our course directors will provide advice on international careers. They can give you some insider tips on how to apply for jobs with, for example, the United Nations and will be available to review job applications. 

Network with other professionals

LLM students will become part of a closed alumni group on LinkedIn. This will give you the opportunity to network with other professionals in environmental law and governance. It'll also ensure you're updated on selected job opportunities.

Global Practitioners among teaching staff

This course is taught by one of the most wide-ranging groups of environmental law experts in the UK. Our staff have expertise in: 

  • biodiversity
  • climate change
  • forests
  • oceans and fisheries
  • land
  • water
  • human rights and the environment
  • environmental justice
  • corporate accountability and more

They'll not only draw from their own cutting-edge academic research, but also their involvement in multilateral environmental negotiations, consultancies for the United Nations and regional organisations, legal advice to developing countries on reforms of natural resource laws, and collaborations with non-government organisations and indigenous and local communities’ organisations.

Some of your classes will also include input from many of our external experts and practitioners. This includes those from

  • the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
  • the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  •  the European Commission

Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance

The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) aims to identify and shape emerging areas of legal research in environmental governance. 

Our students are an integral part of the centre, together with academic staff, PhD students and visiting scholars. You'll have the chance to take part in the research and consultancy work carried out by the centre. You can put your new skills and knowledge into practice, strengthening your CV. 

The BENELEX project

The BeneLex project aims to investigate the conceptual and practical dimensions of benefit-sharing.

You'll be involved in ongoing research on fair and equitable benefit-sharing, in the areas of:

  • international biodiversity
  • climate
  • land
  • oceans 
  • human rights law


You'll take part in SCELG events, and will be responsible for organising the annual Festival of Environmental Law and Governance. There, you'll present your LLM dissertation project, and network with other students and a wide range of experts already working in the area.

Residential sessions

Climate Change Law & Policy (LLM) is taught via distance learning with the exception of two residential weeks. Students on the course come to Scotland and stay for one week per semester to attend masterclasses and workshops with their peers. You'll be given the opportunity to take part in these residential sessions for learning and networking purposes.


Our library has a wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs. It also has duplicate sets of key law report series and houses extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.

You'll have access to a wide range of electronic information which you can access from home. This includes all major legal databases.

Visit the Global Environmental Law & Governance LLM/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!




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