LLM International Law and Sustainable Development


Program Description

Why this course?

In a world facing unique economic, environmental and social challenges of a scale not seen before, promoting sustainable development has become a pressing priority.

The course will give you a solid grounding in the structures, rules, and principles of aspects of the public international law that impact on sustainable development.

This programme is designed specifically for graduates who want to work in the international development sector in management, planning or policy-related areas.

The course has a flexible structure. You’ll have the opportunity to pursue your own interests and tailor your degree to your chosen career path. You can select elective classes from other Masters Programmes in Law as well as related programmes across the University.

It is not necessary that you hold a law degree before embarking on this course of study however law content in your previous course may be useful.

You’ll study

This programme is available full-time and part-time with three potential exit points. You can choose to study for a:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
  • Master’s degree (LLM)

Core classes

  • Research Methods (compulsory for LLM)
  • The World Trading System: Law & Policy
  • International Environmental Law

Elective classes

Choices may include:

  • Comparative Law of Obligations
  • Business & Human Rights
  • Comparative Company Law & Regulation
  • Competition Law & Policy in the EU
  • Legal Process & the Law of Contract & Other Obligations (for non-lawyers)
  • UK & EU Environmental Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Global Water Policy
  • International Trade Theory, Policy and Institutions
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Forensics
  • Energy Resources and Policy

Please note that the classes offered may change from year to year.

A limited number of students will be given the opportunity to choose elective classes from the optional modules offered in the LLM in Climate Change Law and Policy. This allows those students to combines sustainable development law and policy with climate change. The programme is delivered off-campus on an intensive three-day basis in January. For further information, please contact the Law School.

Field dissertation

A unique aspect of this programme is the opportunity for you to undertake a field dissertation within a governmental or non-governmental organization with an international focus. It can be either in the UK or more likely, overseas.

This opportunity is offered on a competitive basis. It lasts for up to 12 weeks between July and September. Work completed for the placement will focus on a specific area of law and will form the subject of your dissertation.

Previous students have undertaken placements in countries including Sri Lanka, Tanzania, South Africa, India, and Kenya. Examples of projects which our students have undertaken include:

  • assessing the extent to which Indian environmental and energy laws promote the development of micro-renewables
  • an analysis of whether Tanzanian land law discriminates against women and what reforms would be needed to address the discrimination
  • an exploration of the low take-up of Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] in Sub-Saharan Africa and how the situation could be improved
  • an assessment of environmental justice in Nigeria and South Africa

The project/field work is organized and supported by Challenges Worldwide. Challenges Worldwide is an innovative, award-winning, social enterprise working in international development.

The University of Strathclyde provides comprehensive travel and health insurance for all participants in the Field Dissertation. We also pay for the costs of your placement. Students are responsible for the costs of flights, visas, and accommodation and living expenses while overseas. Such costs have tended to be in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 per student.


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

You will have access to a wide range of electronic information sources which can be accessed from home, including all the major legal databases.

The Law School is home to Scotland’s first Law Clinic. It provides a ‘real life’ learning experience for students and an invaluable service to members of the public who do not qualify for legal aid and cannot otherwise afford legal advice.

Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance

You're encouraged to engage in the activities of the center. These include guest lectures and international conferences. The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance is a center of excellence in environmental law and governance and boasts a vibrant research community.

You'll also have the opportunity to participate in the organization of the annual postgraduate Colloquium on Environmental Law and Governance. This has a session devoted to the presentations of highly qualified LLM students.

Entry requirements

Normally a first class or second-class honors degree, or equivalent, in a related discipline (some law content recommended). Entry may be possible with other qualifications, especially where your work experience is relevant to the course.

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.



  • LLM/PgDip - £6,300
  • PgCert - £3,150

Rest of UK


  • LLM/PgDip - £6,300
  • PgCert - £3,150



LLM/PgDip - £13,000

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation across a wide spectrum of disciplines. We aspire to generate new ideas, knowledge and skills to increase our understandin ... Read More

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation across a wide spectrum of disciplines. We aspire to generate new ideas, knowledge and skills to increase our understanding of the world and strive to make a significant contribution to the economy, society and culture of Scotland and beyond. With one of Scotland’s top law schools, and as the country’s largest provider to teacher education, we also have significant expertise in developing the professional practice needed to equip modern societies at all levels. Read less