The MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development provides a unique specialisation in one of the most rapidly developing areas of law. Environmental law is one of the most challenging fields that has grown very rapidly over the past four decades and is now one of the key areas of both domestic and international law. At SOAS, we understand the environment in a broad sense which includes not only environmental issues strictly speaking but also all the links that they have with other areas such as natural resources, human rights, economic development trade or intellectual property rights.
The SOAS degree offers a distinct mix of modules that covers all the main areas of environmental law in their international and national dimensions. The international and global nature of many environmental issues makes the international law component a key part of the MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development. We offer all the general topics that make up the core of international environmental law. Additionally, we focus specifically on the North-South dimension of international environmental issues given the key role this plays in most international environmental negotiations.
The MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development specifically seeks to put international environmental law in its national context and examines the broad legal frameworks negotiated at the international level in the context of their implementation in selected countries of the South. It thus provides a much more grounded context to the study of environmental law.
Further, we also study the legal regimes of individual countries of the South to provide much more specific analysis of the discipline at the level of its implementation in specific contexts. The MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development gives specific emphasis to different regions of the South, including South Asia, China and sub-Saharan Africa.
To facilitate the study of law, all MA students are required to attend a two-week Preliminary Law, Legal Reasoning and Legal Methods in the September before beginning the MA programme.
Every student will be required to take modules equivalent to four (4.0) full units including the dissertation. Students who wish to graduate with a specialised MA are required to take at least two (2.0) of the three (3.0) taught units within their chosen specialism. The third unit can be chosen from either the general Law Postgraduate Modules List or the following courses associated with the Environmental Law and Sustainable Development specialisation:
Please note: Not all modules listed will be available every year. Please see the individual module page for information.
Full Module Units (1.0): - Climate Change and Energy Law and Policy - 15PLAC154 (1 Unit) - Law, Environment and Sustainable Development in a Global Context - 15PLAC118 (1 Unit) - Law and Natural Resources - 15PLAC126 (1 Unit) - Water Law and Development: Conflicts, Governance and Justice - 15PLAC177 (1 Unit)
Half Module Units (0.5): - Water and Development: Conflict and Governance - 15PDSH049 (0.5 Unit) - Water Law: Justice and Governance - 15PLAH044 (0.5 Unit)
Examples of non-Law module options: - Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific - 15PFFH011 (0.5 Unit) - Global Energy & Climate Policy - 15PFFC017 (1 Unit)
Dissertation (1.0): - Dissertation in Law - 15PLAC999 - (1 Unit)
Key facts: - LLB (QLD), BA (joint honours), LLM, MA & research degrees
- unique focus on both the developed and developing world
- research and teaching strengths in comparative, regional, international & global law
School of Law in UK top 5 for proportion of publications judged to be 'world-leading': 18 December 2014: the School was also graded in the top 20 nationally for its research environment. Find out more...
Our strengths: We have unrivalled expertise in comparative law (China, Africa, South/South-East Asia, the Middle East), complemented by specialists in international and transnational law, human rights, transnational commercial law, environmental law and socio-legal method.
Facts and figures
- We are introducing student exchange programmes with leading universities in the US and China
- We achieve one of the highest percentages of training contracts with Magic Circle Law firms awarded to UK Law Schools
Teaching: - 91% satisfaction for teaching (National Student Survey 2012/13): 96% of law students agreed that our staff are good at explaining things and 91% said their course was ‘intellectually stimulating’
- Excellent staff/student ratio
- Ranked 10th in UK (Guardian University Guide 2015)
Research: - Thriving research culture with a packed schedule of seminars and conferences across our research centres and specialisms
- Close links with the internationally-renowned Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) and the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University
- Each year a number of distinguished Lawyers join SOAS as Research Fellows