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Climate Change and Energy Law LLM


This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024

6 January 2025


1 year full-time

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. You'll follow a curriculum tailored for the global marketplace of the 21st Century. 
  2. You’ll benefit from the use of our mock court room to gain real world experience in presenting legal cases.
  3. You’ll be taught by internationally experienced staff from a variety of legal backgrounds, who will draw on their experience in your teaching.

The LLM in Climate Change and Energy Law offers you the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in the field of energy and climate change issues at the domestic and international levels. You will study key legal issues underpinning the global response to the climate change problem and the intersection between energy exploitation, sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

As the world’s energy demand and consumption continue to outpace supply, there are growing concerns about the impact of energy exploitation on the climate and the focus is shifting towards sustainable energy resources that will satisfy the growing energy demand while maintaining a clean environment and having minimal impact on the climate. This LLM will equip you with the tools relevant for a successful career in climate change mitigation, climate financing, energy justice, sustainable energy, human rights and green capitalism.

Course detail

Core modules

Legal and Academic Skills

This module will provide you with an introduction to legal and academic skills covering research approaches, critical evaluation skills, analysis of both primary and secondary sources of law and an introduction to English and International legal systems. Compulsory for all students joining the LLM programmes and particularly useful if you have not previously studied law or come from a non-common law background, the module will equip you with knowledge of sources and institutions of law, which is essential to allow you to successfully complete the LLM.

Climate Change Law

This module is designed to critically analyse the various legal perspectives to the global climate change problem and its regulation at the national and international levels. You will study the legal and institutional regulation of climate change mitigation and adaptation, judicial approach to climate change through climate litigation, and the impact of climate change on other important areas of law such as human rights under international law. You will also explore the role of corporations in climate change mitigation, climate financing of mitigation projects and regulatory frameworks for climate change mitigation including market regulation through the emissions trading scheme. The module will conduct an in-depth analysis of key international legal instruments on climate change focusing on the UN Climate Change Framework Convention of 1992, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement 2015; and selected national legislation on climate change focusing on the UK Climate Change Act and the climate change regime in the EU. The module will expose you to contemporary discussions on the global climate change problem and innovative perspectives and solutions.

LLM Dissertation Climate Change and Energy Law

The LLM Dissertation will enable you to explore the field of Climate Change and Energy Law deepening your understanding of current problems and exploring new insights in the field. By applying legal research skills and methods acquired during the course of the LLM, you will be able identify and define theoretical concepts, principles and rules relevant to your area of research and the broader social, political, environmental or economic context in which the law operates. You will be expected to select and research an area of law specifically related to Climate Change and Energy Law. The work undertaken must demonstrate appropriate design, methods and techniques along with interpretation and evaluation of the findings reported to a high professional standard and also within a defined word limit. Your project will be either a literature review of a focused topic using a systematic approach or an empirical study that draws on and makes a contribution to knowledge.

Option modules may include

International Human Rights Law

In this module, you will explore not only legal standards for human rights protection but also the various mechanisms established under international human rights law. You will study the conceptual, historical, and normative developments within this field since the creation of the UN. Besides focusing on the core human rights treaties and their corresponding human rights obligations imposed on States Parties, you will examine the way in which human rights are being understood and monitored by UN treaty bodies as well as the Human Rights Council and Special Rapporteurs. You will not only have the opportunity to apply knowledge of international human rights law to concrete situations of human rights violations but also engage in key debates in the field of international human rights law in light of on-going discussions on improvements and reform.

International Law

International Law is one of the most vibrant, interesting, and topical fields of study influencing personal, national and global perspectives on how the world works. In this module, you will study where International Law has come from, why the law is constructed the way it is and the rules around how states should engage with each other. Essential to how International Law operates in the Twenty-first Century are questions of power, politics and dominance and the ideological separation of the global North and South and of the East and West. Along with the foundational doctrines in International Law, you will examine how peoples can self-determine, how states are formed and when states can use force against other states or individuals, as well as learning about landmark international court cases and their outcomes and effects in today’s world.

International Environmental Law

The effective management and regulation of the use and consumption of environmental goods and natural resources is a global concern as it is vital to sustainable development and energy justice. In this module, you will critically examine the various legal perspectives of environmental law, natural resources management, energy transitions, net-zero goals and sustainability issues at the domestic, regional and international levels. You will analyse key legal concepts in environmental law, discuss essential elements of environmental protection and sustainable development and consider important issues in global environmental law and regulation. You will also study the concept of environmental rights, the constitutionalisation of environmental rights and the global adoption of environmental rights protection. Lastly, you will examine key stakeholders in environmental protection including the judiciary and corporations and will discuss transnational environmental litigation, its impact on environmental protection and the role of corporations in promoting environmental goals through inclusive capitalism.

International Commercial Arbitration

Commercial transactions are complex in their nature and stretch beyond the national borders. Since the emergence of disputes from these transactions is normal, the stakeholders rely on arbitration to decide these disputes conclusively and this is due to so many very obvious reasons including, skilled and neutral arbitrator, flexible and speedy procedure, privacy and confidentiality, and enforcement of arbitrator’s decision worldwide due to the New York Convention. London is one the most popular seats of arbitration which hosts a large number of arbitrations and its courts entertain a good deal of foreign awards for enforcement. In this module, you will be introduced to all the major legal issues pertaining to arbitration agreement, arbitrator, arbitral procedure and arbitral award which London seated arbitral tribunal and the English courts face. To that end, you will explore the relevant provisions of English Arbitration Act 1996 along with UNCITRAL Model Law and the New York Convention which have made a great impact on the Arbitration Act 1996. Furthermore, you will also evaluate the ICSID regime for the resolution of investment disputes arising between a state and foreign investor.

Intellectual Property Law and Global Markets

In this module you will explore key legal mechanisms which protect the results of intellectual endeavour through patents, trademarks and copyrights in the context of modern technology. The focus is upon how regional (EU) and national (UK) law regulating territorial rights comply with a global framework of governance and respond to competitive trading practices in global markets. Major themes underpinning legal rights are the basis for critically analysis (such as: property theory; commercial and philosophical justifications; and regulatory theories such as ‘nudge’) and you are encouraged to contextualise the law to consider evolving trends in regulation and the scope for legal reform.

International Banking Law

In this module you will study aspects of the regulatory and institutional framework governing international banking and finance. The syllabus will encompass the main areas of the international financial system such as banking, capital markets and stock markets. This module is designed to provide students with a broad but exhaustive understanding of the legal framework (both common law and civil law) governing international banking and securities law, as well as considering related legal issues in international, EU and UK banking. The following economic themes will underpin the syllabus for this module: financial markets; banking and financial institutions; financial transactions; and governance of the banking and financial institutions. You will also be able to reflect on the problems and challenges posed by international money laundering and other cross-border financial crimes to the integrity of the international financial system, and the regulatory responses of international anti-money laundering regimes.

Equality, Law and Justice

In this module, you will study the requirements of just societies and the ability of the law to achieve greater equality. You will not only analyse the legal framework of non-discrimination, both nationally and internationally, but also its strengths and weaknesses as well as the different approaches to the principle of equality itself (i.e. formal, substantive and transformative). You will also explore how gender, race, disability and so on interact with law, whether alone or in intersection. You will furthermore engage with contemporary debates, including the disruptive effects of Covid 19 pandemic, and evaluate the impact of globalisation on economic inequalities as well as the limits of what the law can offer in this regard.

International Business Law and Practice

In this module you will examine the legal framework which governs international business transactions. The syllabus will be divided into two main parts: the law applicable to the international sales; and the law which governs the international carriage of goods, with particular emphasis on the international carriage of goods by sea. You will have the opportunity to evaluate the historical development and evolution of the legal principles which govern international business transactions through time, from the law merchant to special trade terms. You will also be able to reflect on the transition from common law governance to the modern era of codification, as well as the impact of new technologies and globalisation on the current legal framework governing international business transactions.

International Corporate Governance

In this module, you will explore the different rules, policies and controls put in place to determine the behaviour, objectives and policies of international corporations, and the internal and external controls over corporate activities by cultural, legal and political institutions. You will also analyse the different theories, models and pillars of corporate governance, harmonisation of corporate governance codes and the future of global corporate governance. You will analyse the role of key members of corporations - the company secretary and the board of directors- and the relationship between the board of directors and its shareholders, and important obligations of disclosure and accountability for corporate managers. The module will expose you to the practical contexts of corporate management in the global economy and transnational corporate influence on global environmental, social and economic goals. The module will utilise real-life case studies of major transnational corporations, their internal corporate structures and the international legal regulation of their activities, objectives and impacts.

International Criminal Law

International criminal law is a relatively new and dynamic area of law. The governance of international criminal law is complex, involving the interaction of global and regional bodies in an effort to hold individuals accountable for global atrocities. In this module you will examine the foundations of international criminal law and how it is prosecuted, exploring the relationship between the International Criminal Court and national criminal courts. You will consider a number of specific international crimes such as genocide and war crimes. You will also evaluate international punishments, such as the use of the death penalty, as well as defences to international crimes. You will explore the challenges of international criminal law, and how this area of law may continue to evolve and develop in the future.

Law of the World Trade Organisation

In this module, you will learn about the development of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in world trade, its remit and how it operates procedurally, further understanding its notable successes and failures as well as criticisms of the WTO. The module will equip you with an understanding of the concepts behind the WTO and the opportunity to critically analyse the effectiveness of the WTO and the law governing international trade agreements. You will gain an in-depth knowledge of world trade through the agreements and procedures of the WTO.

Cross-border Insolvency Law

In this module, you will gain the essential knowledge and critical understanding of the rules, principles and norms which underpin insolvency proceedings taking place in multiple countries. You will learn the general principles of cross-border insolvency law, including the underlying concepts of universalism, territorialism and ‘centre of main interest’. You will also analyse European Insolvency Regulation as well as UNCITRAL Module Law on cross-border insolvency and their implementation in different countries.

Corporate Social Responsibility

In this module you will examine the theoretical paradigms, concepts, and models of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a major mechanism for businesses and its challenges for business law and practice. Within the context of social, labour and environmental impact of corporate activities in domestic and international environments, the course will investigate the role of CSR as a business policy, the corporate objective, accountability, and the legal frameworks in human rights protection. You will examine the function and obligation of the corporation from broad perspectives beyond the traditional paradigm of enlightened shareholder primacy, to furthering human rights and social benefits.

International Protection of Refugees and Forced Migration

In this module you will examine the international law which underpins the global governance of refugees and others who are forced to migrate away from their country of nationality or place of usual residence. You will begin with study of the Refugee Convention 1951 before considering the protection gaps in the Convention, and the attempts to fill these on national, regional, and international levels.

Renewable Energy Law

Renewable energy covers a vast array of systems, policies, projects and mechanisms geared towards achieving a sustainable energy sector that satisfies global energy needs while promoting climate change goals. You will study the legal framework and policies for achieving the energy transition towards a net-zero economy. Further, issues relating to sustainability and the currenty energy transition will be addressed. You will also learn the various types of renewable energy. In this module you will critically analyse the various legal mechanisms, systems and policies for the decarbonisation of energy systems and renewable energy legal frameworks at the domestic and international levels towards globalising sustainable energy policies. The module further analyses the legal framework for renewable energy and regulatory issues in net-zero targets, carbon storage, pricing and sustainable energy projects including Nuclear power. In line with the Paris Agreement, and the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy you will also learn about ‘Just Transition’ and the financial implication of the present energy transition. In addition, you will look at the critical legal issues in funding the renewable energy transition; ascertaining beneficiaries of the renewable energy economy and procedural issues in decision-making in renewable energy.

Oil and Gas Law

This module offers you the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of legal and regulatory framework governing transnational oil and gas exploration and production ventures. As part of the syllabus, you will study the historical background to the development of the international petroleum industry, and the role and function of legal concepts in regulating the contractual relationship between multinational petroleum enterprises and host states with reference to licensing, leases, titles, and ownership rights. The evolution of oil and gas contracts from traditional concession agreements to present-day service contracts will be examined. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal character of international oil and gas exploration covering the three sectors of the oil and gas production chain (upstream, midstream, and downstream). You will also be able to critically reflect on the contemporary problems of the oil and gas industry, together with the controversies surrounding investment arbitration as a mechanism for the resolution of international petroleum investment disputes.

International Humanitarian Law

New emerging global powers and the changing landscape of armed conflict present new and complex challenges to the customary nature of international humanitarian law and its protection framework. Rules that were designed to protect vulnerable groups not taking part in hostilities, as well as defining combatants and non-combatants have become stretched and challenged. Building on the foundational principles laid down in the Geneva Conventions, you will learn about the laws of war and the use of force between states as well as non-state actors, the implementation of international humanitarian law and consider the essential questions around belligerent occupation.

International Children’s Rights

Based on the near universal ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, international children’s rights law has changed the landscape globally as regards the position of children in society and in the family. A growing scholarship on diverse areas of specialisation within the broad remit of children’s rights now exists, in fields as specialised as juvenile justice, child protection, children’s rights in the digital era, and children’s rights and climate change. The field intersects with international criminal law (children as victims and offenders at the ICC), humanitarian law (children and migration), and the International Labour system (child labour and business principles and children’s rights). There is hence considerable scope for developing a module with substantial international focus on these themes.

Additional information

Tutors are experts in their field and with many having practical experience in industry and the professions which helps combine your academic knowledge with practical application. Many aspects of teaching and assessment are grounded in real life situations.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in any subject.
  • Other experience or qualifications that demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at graduate level may be acceptable. Suitability for acceptance onto the course will be assessed through interview.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages. If you have alternative qualifications or do not meet the IELTS requirement we also offer a range of Pre-Sessional English Programmes.

Study at the Law School

Why study at Huddersfield Law School?

Dr Naila Anwar, acting Head of Department at the Law School, talks about why studying one of our undergraduate or postgraduate Law degrees is a great choice for home and international students. Naila introduces the courses on offer in the department, and talks about the support and guidance given to our Law students.

Watch our video to find out more. 

Student support

Learning, Innovation and Development Centre : Our Learning, Innovation and Development Centre (LID) provides academic support to all students within Huddersfield Business School. Our academic skills tutors have taught at all levels including Master’s who can work closely with you to help you achieve your full potential throughout your time at the University of Huddersfield.

They can help with a wide range of academic skills including referencing, academic writing (such as essays, reports and coursework), research, reading, note-taking, dissertations and presentations as well as all other skills and issues relating to academia. As well as this, they also offer advice on dyslexia and can provide information on accessing disability support.

The team also provides support for international students. We recognise that there are many differences between studying here and in your home country. This is why we have dedicated academic skills tutors who can help you with both your study as well as your language skills.

International Student Development: We understand that settling into a new country and environment can be very stressful. So, if you are an international student, the International Student Development (ISD) team can help provide support in understanding and adapting to the UK Higher Education environment as well as settling into life in the UK.

In addition, we can also help you develop the essential academic skills needed to ensure you achieve your full potential throughout your time at Huddersfield. We provide help and guidance to students at all levels (both undergraduate and postgraduate) with timetabled academic skills sessions. These sessions are delivered in same-course groups by our experienced tutors. In addition, English language sessions are available at foundation, intermediate or upper intermediate level. The number of weekly sessions and support you receive will vary depending on the level you are currently working at.

Student Support & Guidance: Huddersfield Business School has a Student Support & Guidance service which aims to ensure that you are fully supported whilst studying here with us at The University of Huddersfield. They are able to offer you help, advice, support and guidance on a wide range of matters that may be having an impact on your general well-being or university life and studies.

The team can offer one to one pre-booked appointments or drop-In sessions to discuss or give advice on anything that concerns you which may include; attendance, disabilities, timetable Issues, welfare and any personal issues that may be impacting upon your studies.

Library services and online study support: Students at the University of Huddersfield have access to a wide range of study resources through the library and additional online study support resources. Our modern, professionally organised library provides a wide range of books, cds, dvds and additional online resources such as company reports, market research reports and academic and professional journal archives. At key times in the academic year the library is open 24-7 and our students also borrow laptops, reserve study rooms for group working and access computer software programmes.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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