Master of Laws (LL.M.) (60 credits) in Environmental Law
60 credits cr.
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Our newly established LL.M. in environmental law (EL) aims to provide students with the scientific, methodological and practical skills necessary to the understanding of environmental law in a transboundary context.
Since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – the first major UN conference on environmental matters – which was held in Stockholm in 1972, new environmental issues have emerged, and have expanded in scale and scope. The way environmental matters interconnect with other issue areas such as human rights, trade and investments, social rights and development, armed conflicts and corporate responsibility, only emphasises the importance of environmental law in transboundary contexts.
In the LL.M. in Environmental Law, students will acquire in-depth knowledge of material environmental law, as well as be provided the necessary theoretical and methodological foundations to be able to work independently with research, development or other qualified work in the area of environmental law. Our LL.M. centres on transboundary dimensions and cross-cutting issues, and refer to cases and contexts where the legal approaches, principles and concepts to protect the environment integrate, collide or clash with other areas of law.
Check out our FAQ for LL.M. studies
How intensive are our LL.M.s? Can you apply for a deferral of study commencement? Are there any scholarships available? Read our FAQ and find out!
The programme consists of four courses of 15 credits. All courses are mandatory. The general structure of the programme is as follows :
- Methods, Theory and Practice in Environmental Law, 15 credits, half time, in parallel with:
- Master Thesis in Environmental Law, 15 credits, half time.
The programme is based on a progression in both scientific and methodological specialisation throughout the courses, at the same as some course elements will provide practical skills in environmental law. The programme includes several instances of group work.
The programme starts with a broad advanced introduction to transboundary environmental law, then gives in-depth studies in four cross-cutting areas with transboundary features, relating environmental law to:
- trade and corporate responsibility,
- climate and energy,
- human rights, and
- social-ecological resilience.
The first course, "Transboundary Environmental Law" (15 credits), lays the foundation for the programme and ensures that all students have achieved a certain level of knowledge and skills prior to the advanced courses. The course addresses environmental issues in a transboundary context, through international environmental law in particular, but also through EU environmental law, as well as other legal structures and situations (e.g. extraterritorial law enforcement).
The second course, "Cross-cutting Issues in Environmental Law" (15 credits), is an advanced course that focuses on four themes where environmental law in a transboundary context is integrated with or challenged by other legal perspectives and issues. The course thus prepares students for the master thesis, which must relate to one of these areas of specialisation.
The third course, "Methods, Theory and Practice in Environmental Law" (15 credits), is given at half-time during the second semester in parallel with the students writing their master thesis. The course consists of seminars on methodology and theory, which are largely beneficial to the students' master thesis. In addition, the course includes a mock negotiation, in which students are divided into groups and are to negotiate a multilateral, intergovernmental environmental agreement. The mock negotiation gives students the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they have acquired during previous courses.
The fourth course is the Master Thesis in Environmental Law (15 credits). The master thesis will address environmental law issues in a transboundary context or from a perspective within the framework of one of the four specialised themes included in the course "Cross-cutting Issues in Environmental Law". The thesis shall be written in English.
The courses involve lectures, seminars, short essays, mock trial and practical assignments, teaching by external lecturers and experts, and the writing of a Master thesis. All forms of teaching require active participation by the students.
How to apply
Note that there is only one application round every year. The application period opens in mid-October with a deadline in mid-January for commencement the following autumn. Our LL.M. only starts in the autumn.
All prospective students, regardless of their country of origin, must apply via the national Swedish application system website called University Admissions. For general information about applications, check the university’s step-by-step guide.
In order to be eligible for our LL.M., you have to fulfil both the general entry requirements for master studies in Sweden and the specific entry requirement for the programme.
General entry requirement
- You must have been awarded an undergraduate degree in law from an internationally recognised university or hold an equivalent degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS in law. Applicants on the last year of such a degree can also apply.
- Support your proficiency in English
Specific entry requirement for LL.M. in Environmental Law
To be eligible for the programme, students must have previously completed one or several course(s) in environmental law for a total of at least 6 ECTS, or have acquired equivalent knowledge through e.g. other relevant academic, professional or extra-curriculum merits.
Required supporting documentation
In order to document your eligibility, you must provide University Admissions with copies of:
- your previous study information (diploma and transcript of record, including grading scale and, where possible, grade distribution)
- a document supporting your English proficiency
- a document supporting how you fulfil the specific entry requirement (if not clearly specified on the transcripts of records)
In addition, applicants must also submit the following documents in English to fulfil the selection criteria:
- a personal statement (please use the following template: SULaw Personal statement template 2022-2023 (69 Kb)
- two letters of recommendation, max. 1A4 page each (e.g. from academics, employers, internships providers etc). Make sure they are duly signed and include contact information and preferably these should be written on paper with an official letter head
- a CV
Incomplete applications, i.e. where one or several documents mentioned above are missing, will be assessed accordingly.
Eligible applicants are selected on the basis of a weighted assessment of grades from earlier legal studies, relevant extra-curricular/professional experiences, one personal statement and two letters of recommendation. Typically, grades from legal studies and extra-curricular/professional experiences carry most weight. If applicants have similar academic qualifications, the statement of purpose will be of key importance. Strong letters of recommendations can also become decisive on occasion.
For detailed information regarding admissions, including conditional admissions, waiting lists, tuition fees, costs, scholarships, please check the university’s central pages:
Meet our teachers
Prof. Jonas Ebbesson is the programme director for our LL.M. in Environmental Law. He is also the Director of Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, here at Stockholm University and former Dean of the Faculty of Law. He originally created our LL.M. in Environmental Law and directed it between 2011 and 2014, and is now pleased to be able to offer it again starting in the autumn 2021.
Meet Prof. Ebbesson!
You can also watch the video below in which our programme director present EL!