melting ice in the sea

LLM/PgDip/PgCertClimate Change Law & Policy

Why this course?

Climate change effects are far reaching and omnipresent. Mitigating and adapting to climate change requires a tremendous effort from states, non-state actors and individuals.

This programme, taught by leading experts and practitioners, will give you a strong understanding of the complex web of rules, principles and institutions relating to climate change law and policy. You’ll better understand the relationship between global and national efforts dealing with climate change. Throughout the programme, you’ll also have the opportunity to take classes that will deal with climate finance, sustainable energy and litigation.

Setting it apart from other postgraduate degree programmes, the Strathclyde LLM in Climate Change Law and Policy does not require candidates to relocate or interrupt their current occupation. Instead, it's based on attendance during limited teaching periods.

The programme's flexibility will make it attractive to anyone working in government, international organisations, law firms and consultancies, the banking and insurance sector, energy companies, and research, educational and advocacy organisations who wish to obtain a timely qualification and specialist knowledge in climate change law and policy. It also provides an excellent opportunity for recent graduates in law and other relevant disciplines to start out their careers in an exciting growth area with a competitive edge.

To apply you do not need to have a formal legal background, but having worked in a policy environment will prove useful.

Expert teaching staff

The LLM is delivered by leading experts in the field of climate change law and policy coming from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds. They'll provide you with practical insights and inside knowledge.

  • Dr Francesco Sindico has been working on climate change legal related matters for over a decade now. Together with publications on the Paris Agreement, carbon markets, climate and trade and climate and security, Dr Sindico has collaborated in international projects on climate change adaptation and transboundary water where he interacted with policy makers from Latin America and Central America.
  • Professor Michael Mehling is a Professor of Practice at the University of Strathclyde and Deputy Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has provided policy advice on environmental, energy and transport policy to government agencies, companies and civil society organisations in North America, Europe, and the developing world. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Carbon & Climate Law Review (CCLR) and a member of the Boards of Directors of the Ecologic Institute and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN-US) in Washington DC.
  • Professor Elisa Morgera has conducted research on the intersection between international climate change law and international biodiversity law, including with regard to the human rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, the global role of the European Union, and corporate accountability. Elisa was invited to act as independent expert in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Liaison Group on the international legal framework on geo-engineering (2011) and as an international consultant for IUCN on climate change and forests, and on national biodiversity and climate change adaptation legislation.
  • Dr Kim Bouwer teaches and researches climate change and energy law. Her research interrogates the potential for multiscalar governance of climate change, and she has particular expertise in climate change litigation and the regulation of energy efficiency. Dr Bouwer’s approach to teaching is informed by her diverse background: she has practiced in human rights and public interest law in South Africa and England, and taught in both these countries, as well as in Australia.
  • Dr Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann’s work focuses the role that the EU plays in global environmental governance. His recent research deals with the specific understanding of sustainable development that the EU promotes in order to lead the field towards an ecological modernization of market economy towards a low carbon economy. Dr Cardesa-Salzmann is currently involved in advising policy-makers on the implications of Brexit for environmental standard stability in Scotland, having contributed to several position papers.
  • Dr Daniela Diz has researched the interaction between international climate change, biodiversity and oceans law. She has an inter-disciplinary background in international environmental law, marine science and technology and ecosystem-based management, and first-hand experience of international environmental law-making processes. She was invited to contribute to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s international expert group on acidification in cold-water areas (2016).
  • Dr Achala Chandani Abeysinghe is an expert on legal issues in international climate change negotiations. She is currently legal and technical adviser to the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Achala is principal researcher and team leader of global climate law, policy and governance team at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). In 2015, Achala was nominated as one of the top 15 female climate champions in the world in a list compiled by the University of Massachusetts. She was also recognised as one of the 'good 100' of 2015 by the good100 magazine that captured 100 individuals in the world who are improving the world through their work.
  • Dr Annalisa Savaresi is a Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Stirling Law School. Her research focuses on climate change, biodiversity, forestry, environmental liability, renewable energy and the interplay between environmental and human rights law. Annalisa has served as a consultant for numerous international organisations, including working as writer for the Earth Negotiation Bulletin published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She is member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Environmental Law, and associate editor of the Review of European, Comparative and International Law.
  • Professor Harro Van Asselt is Professor of Climate Law and Policy at University of Eastern Finland. Harro is also Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Oxford, UK and the Editor of the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL) and Associate Editor of the Carbon and Climate Law Review. Harro’s main research interests include international climate change law and policy, trade and environment interactions, international environmental governance, and the implementation of European environmental law and policy.
The programme benefits from close collaboration with a distinguished LLM Advisory Boardwhich comprises leading experts and practitioners from a wide range of different fields and countries.

Our students

Students on the programme have come from a wide range of geographical backgrounds. Every continent has been represented with students coming from the UK, Croatia, Germany, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Fiji, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, the US, Canada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica and Brazil.

Alumni have moved on to exciting positions in leading organisations such as the Global Green Growth Institute, Milieu, World Bank, Stawiri or have consolidated their positions in leading law firms, research institutes and consultancy firms. Our current cohort boasts students from the private sector, international organisations, civil society and government.

Find out more about our students.

Course content


Semester 1

Climate Change & International Law (taught)

With the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 and its entry into force in 2016, the international community is now turning towards practical implementation. In this class you'll explore the genesis of the Paris Agreement and its international context, and have the opportunity to discuss the history of the climate regime and upcoming challenges for its implementation with climate negotiators. You'll also look at how other areas of international law are dealing (or should deal) with climate change. You'll benefit from the wider environmental law and governance expertise of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance.

Class coordinator: Francesco Sindico

Comparative Climate Change Law (taught)

Dealing effectively with climate change mitigation and adaptation requires action at the domestic level. In this class, you'll look at how different countries are implementing national and sub-national climate policies, including Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) registered under the Paris Agreement. In the process, you'll gain an insight into efforts undertaken in different regions in the world, and be introduced to the policy and regulatory options available to jurisdictions as they operationalise their climate strategies. The module will be delivered by experts who work closely with governments in developing and implementing national climate change policies.

Class coordinator: Michael Mehling

Semester 2

Carbon Markets & Climate Finance (taught)

Significant financial flows will be required to decarbonise the global economy. One instrument to channel investment towards mitigation are carbon markets, which have seen recent proliferation at the regional, national and sub-national level. They form part of a broader institutional framework on climate finance that is seeing considerable expansion under the Paris Agreement. In this class, you'll benefit from the first-hand experience of experts who have personally advised governments on how to design and implement their frameworks for carbon markets and climate finance.

Class coordinator: Mr Michael Mehling

Sustainable Energy Governance (taught)

Energy production and consumption patterns are both part of the cause and part of the solution to climate change. Building on the strengths within the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, students will be given an overview of barriers and opportunities for sustainable energy, the policies used in different jurisdictions to promote a sustainable energy transition, and insight into how such a shift towards sustainable energy can be framed in the context of environmental justice and the role of non-State actors.

Class coordinator: Prof Aileen McHarg

Climate Change & Litigation (online)

The "Urgenda" case and other recent case law relevant to climate change have shown that even national governments can be pushed to accelerate their climate change agendas by the Courts. But any issue with such widespread causes and far-reaching impacts as climate change raises the prospect of litigation, along with questions about the nature of damages, causality, and liability. This online class will explore the role of litigation in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The possibilities and challenges of recurring to international and domestic litigation will be discussed.

Class coordinator: Francesco Sindico

Learning & teaching

The LLM is delivered through a combination of distance learning using the University’s virtual learning environment and two compulsory weeks of seminar-based learning.

Each module can also be taken as a specialised course.


You’ll attend an intensive one-week (Monday to Saturday) residential session from 11 to 16 September 2017 where you’ll follow two core modules:

  • Climate Change & International Law
  • Comparative Climate Change Law

September to December 

You’ll work from home on the assignments for the two above-mentioned modules and on a third module – Research Methods & Skills.


You’ll attend a second intensive one-week residential session in January (8 to 13 January 2018) where you’ll follow:

  • Carbon Markets & Climate Finance
  • Sustainable Energy Governance

December to March 

You’ll work from home preparing yourself for the January residential session and, completed the session on the assignments for the two above-mentioned modules and you will complete Research Methods & Skills.

March to May 

You’ll follow Climate Change & Litigation, which will be delivered entirely online.

May to September

You’ll work on a dissertation, provided you’ve passed the necessary credits.


If you’ve accrued the necessary amount of credits, you’ll be awarded the LLM in Climate Change Law & Policy.


The course will be assessed mainly by written assignments.

Entry requirements

Normally a first class or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in any discipline related to Climate Change Law & Policy, although previous study with some law content would be useful.

Other qualifications may be recognised, especially where the applicant’s work experience is relevant to the course.

For the Strathclyde LLM in Climate Change Law & Policy we're in a position to waiver the official University post-graduate English language proficiency requirements. If you do not have a IELTS certificate, we will gauge your level of English on an ad-hoc basis in order to determine whether your level of English is sufficient. Since participating on the Strathclyde LLM in Climate Change Law and Policy does not require students to stay in the UK permanently, participants will be required to gain a visitor’s Visa, and not a student Visa (Tier 4). 

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

The fee includes the course tuition during each of the two seminar weeks. The fee does not include accommodation and meals during the two residential sessions. The Law School will provide support in identifying suitable accommodation options, should a student require such service.

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



  • PgDip/PgCert Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning £5,500
  • LLM Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning (12 months) £11,000
  • LLM Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning (24 months) £5,500

Rest of UK


  • PgDip/PgCert Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning £5,500
  • LLM Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning (12 months) £11,000
  • LLM Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning (24 months) £5,500



  • PgDip/PgCert Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning £6,750
  • LLM Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning (12 months) £13,500
  • LLM Climate Change Law & Policy, distance learning (24 months) £6,750

How can I fund my course?

There are several scholarship opportunities available for students applying for the Strathclyde LLM in Climate Change Law and Policy. Opportunities include:

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £3,000 for entry onto a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish students

Students living in Scotland can find out more about funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

English students

Students ordinarily resident in England may be eligible to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

Student testimonial

Tashina Esteves, LLM Climate Change Law & Policy student

The LLM Climate Change Law and Policy course offered by the University of Strathclyde is the first of its kind. The uniqueness of the course content and its relevance in today’s world was too exciting to pass up and I had to be a part of it. I was ecstatic to learn that I had been accepted for the course and even more so when the Goa Education Trust, through the British Council, made an exception and offered me a scholarship to pursue a distance learning course. It's courses like these that equip a person to make a difference in the world and I cannot wait to be a part of the solution to the seemingly insurmountable problem that is climate change.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


The skills that you’ll acquire through the LLM in Climate Change Law & Policy will allow you to confidently move into the ever-growing field of climate change law and policy.

The course may be of interest to: 

  • professionals within the public sector already working in or interested to move into the energy/climate change field in national governments
  • professionals within the private sector already working in or interested to move into the energy/climate change field within electricity utilities, in specialised law firms, in consultancy firms or in the banking and insurance sector
  • professionals already working in or interested to move into the energy/climate change field within non-governmental organisations, research centres and academia
  • recent graduates from relevant subjects keen to move into the climate change/energy legal and policy field

Students on the course have moved on to take the following positions:

  • Special Advisor Office of the Director General at the Global Green Growth Institute in Korea
  • Legal Researcher at Milieu in Bruxelles
  • Climate Resilient Agriculture Consultant to the World Bank
  • Principal Consultant at Stawiri in Nairobi

Contact us


Climate Change Law and Policy - Distance Learning (24 months)

Qualification: LLM, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

Climate Change Law and Policy - Distance Learning (12 months)

Qualification: LLM, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

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