School of Law

MSc Law and Environmental Science

This interdisciplinary programme is designed to provide an opportunity to explore the interplay between scientific knowledge and law. You may take courses that address the international legal response to the growing number of pressures on the global environment, and complement these by studying a variety of courses designed to give an introduction to physical and/or biological sciences.

Take courses that address the international legal response to the growing climate change, acid rain, biodiversity conservation, species extinction, contaminated land - these are but a few of the environmental issues that constitute headline news today. 

Course Outline

Modules offered by the School of Law are designed to give a wider understanding of EC and international law perspectives on environmental problems that frequently can only be addressed through regional or international regulation. How has international environmental law evolved historically? Who are the main actors in the field? What key principles underpin regulation? What do we mean by the pursuit of “sustainable development”? How is the law in this area enforced?

Treaty regimes explored include those relating to acid deposition, climate change, ozone layer depletion, nuclear contamination and freshwater pollution. In addition, an insight will be given to the various treaty regimes that seek to address the continuing pressures on the world’s biodiversity. For example,

  • How is commercial whaling now regulated?
  • What system is in place to regulate trade in endangered species?
  • What of the protection of wetlands, Antarctica, world heritage and of migratory species?

The scientific element of the programme is designed to provide a background in biological and/or physical sciences, and also an understanding of relevant mathematical and computer science to facilitate a quantitative understanding of environmental issues.

Addressing these issues to ensure a clean and healthy environment for the enjoyment of future generations is one of the greatest challenges for environmental science and law. 

Details of other Nottingham postgraduate courses on the environment can be found at the University of Nottingham's Centre for the Environment.


  • Arctic Ecology Field Course
  • Biodiversity and International Law
  • Contaminant Fate and Impact in the Environment
  • Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing
  • Environmental Law Coursework
  • Environmental Management in Practice
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Foundations of Environmental Management
  • General Themes and Principles of International Environmental Law
  • Global Climate Change
  • International Law of The Sea
  • International Law of Transboundary Pollution
  • International Law of Treaties
  • Law, Development and the International Community
  • Plants and the Light Environment
  • Plants and the Soil Environment
  • Project Management and Environmental Legislation
  • Rights, Humans and Other Animals
  • Soil and Water Pollution and Reclamation


A scholarship to the sum of £4000 is available from the School of Law’s Treaty Centre to support the completion of either the LLM in Environmental Law or the MSc Law with Environmental Science. The scholarship will be awarded to the most deserving candidate.

All applications for these two degrees received by 1 July 2015 for a place in the 2015/16 academic year will automatically be considered for the scholarship. Applications received after that date will not be considered for this award.

I was drawn to Nottingham because it has a great reputation, especially the Law department and I really liked the course that I chose there, which enabled me to combine science and law studies across faculties. This offered be a more rounded understanding of environmental issues and understanding the drivers behind law and policy.   

Victoria Bland, MSc Law & Environmental Science graduate


School of Law

Law and Social Sciences Building
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5700
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5696
email: law@nottingham.ac.uk