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University of Essex: Law, Environment and Sustainability

Institution University of Essex
Department Law
Telephone 01206 872719
Study type Taught


The international community faces considerable challenges in achieving sustainability relating to all aspects of the environment and development. These goals include the need to achieve social justice and economic resilience, and as such pose complex legal and policy questions.

Law plays an integral role in these processes as its development affects and influences the decision-making of governments and businesses, and impacts directly upon communities and the environments in which they live.

Our LLM Law, Environment and Sustainability course offers the opportunity to study across a wide range of modules in the areas of environmental law, development law, international law, corporate and commercial law, human rights, corporate responsibility, trade and investment law to enable you to become technically capable in these areas and to enhance your analytical, communication and advocacy skills needed to operate effectively within these spheres.

You will learn about the legal and non-mandatory obligations that relate to different national and international actors, and the tensions that exist within different legal systems and frameworks of law that sometimes represent competing environmental, political, economic, social and developmental priorities.

Throughout the degree you will have the opportunity to study key areas, including but not limited to:

  • International Environmental Law and Sustainability

  • Human Rights, Development and the Environment

  • Trade, Investment, Environment and Human Rights

  • Corporate Responsibility and Business Law

  • International Law of the Sea

  • Business and Human Rights

  • Public International Law

The degree also uniquely enables students to study other optional subjects that include specific components that relate directly to the environment and sustainability. These include:

  • Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

  • Acute Crises and Displacement

  • Human Rights, Global Diversity and Global Challenges

  • Competition Law

  • Conflict and the United Nations: The Law Related to the Use of Force, Sanctions and Peacekeeping

  • Corporate Governance Models and Principles

  • International Trade and Maritime Law

  • Law of Armed Conflict

  • Maritime Law and Wet Shipping

  • Therefore you will be able to tailor your LLM to your own specific interests and requirements.

The degree will develop your intellectual and critical faculties, encourage you to think independently and teach you to present rational, coherent and accurate arguments orally and in writing. It will provide you with an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers.

We are ranked 3rd in the UK for research power in Law (THE research power measure, REF2021) and are 47th for Law in the THE World University Rankings (2023).

As part of the degree, you will be required to research and write dissertation which is normally between 12-15,000 words. Supervision and guidance is provided.


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