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UCC Postgraduate courses

Law LLM (Environmental & Natural Resources Law)

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

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). 


  • 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.


Full details of regulations governing Examinations for each programme are contained in the Marks and Standards Book and for each module in the Book of Modules.

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.

Exit Award

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)

Upon successful completion of modules to the value of 60 credits, registered LLM (Environmental and Natural Resources Law) students may opt not to proceed with the programme and exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Environmental and Natural Resources Law).

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

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.


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 programme's key strengths. Please see the School of Law page for a full list of school members.

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.

Why Choose This Course

This programme aims to equip you with the skills to participate and excel in any aspect of professional engagement with environmental and natural resources law, policy, or regulation. Upon graduation you can develop a rewarding career in, 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.     

Top 100 Ranking

UCC School of Law has been ranked among the world’s best Law Schools in the latest QS World University Rankings by subject, placing 59th in the World and 1st in Ireland.

Skills and Careers Information

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
  • Industry
  • Utilities
  • Infrastructure developers
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Environmental consultancy
  • International organisations / secretariats
  • Academia


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.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. (We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.)
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please enter the names and email addresses of two referees.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact