Environmental Policy and Governance



The LLM/MSc in Environmental Policy & Governance is a one-year course which combines the study of different fields with an interdisciplinary perspective offering a greater understanding of local, national and international environmental policies and governance.

Environmental issues are of major interest across the globe. Whether in relation to climate change, biodiversity loss or environmental harm, solutions are urgently needed in policy and governance to mitigate, adapt, reduce or prevent significant impacts. This programme addresses these concerns and canvasses potential solutions, providing graduates with the skills and expertise needed for the 21st Century.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: LLM, MSc
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Period of Study – full-time LLM/MSc: 12 months Period of Study – part-time LLM/MSc: 24 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Thomas Muinzer/Dr Annalisa Savaresi
Download postgraduate prospectus

Thomas Muinzer/Annalisa Savaresi

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK

  1. You will have the opportunity to focus on the identification of effective environmental policy and governance solutions.
  2. You will be studying at the University of Stirling, an institution ranked number one in Scotland and eighth in the UK in The Times Higher Education ranking of the world’s best 100 universities under 50 years old.
  3. You will benefit from the knowledge and guidance of our expert Environmental Policy and Governance lecturers and practitioners.
  4. You will acquire a unique insight from this programme’s interdisciplinary learning approach.
  5. You will have access to a wide range of funding possibilities and scholarships.

Course objectives

This course will:

  • introduce students to the topic of environmental policy and governance, and to develop students' understanding and awareness of contemporary issues in the area
  • provide a rigorous and intellectually challenging training at an advanced level in environmental issues as preparation for, or as an enhancement to, a career in this area.
  • develop independent critical thought, research and writing skills to Master's level

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email graduate.admissions@stir.ac.uk to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £6,300

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship »

Financial information

Find out more about funding your studies and meeting your living costs while working towards another degree.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The course is multi-disciplinary and consists of six taught modules which are delivered by staff in the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Management and Natural Sciences. A combination of specialist modules is taken in both Semesters and students will also complete a 10,000-word dissertation over the period 1 June to the middle of August.


The academics involved in teaching the degree are renowned for international and world leading research in their subject areas. Their work is well represented in national and international journals, at academic conferences around the world and in the media.

Delivery and assessment

  • All modules are delivered by small group learning and teaching which aims to provide opportunity for interaction with staff and to develop communication skills through discussion and presentation of key issues.
  • Students are encouraged and expected to undertake independent study and to read widely from a variety of sources. The necessity of independent study culminates in the dissertation written in the summer. This piece of work provides students with opportunity to produce independent research in their chosen area.
  • Modules are assessed typically by a combination of coursework and examination with the weighting varying dependent on the nature of the material taught. An integrated assessment strategy is adopted.
  • Students must pass all six modules and achieve a pass grade in the dissertation to be awarded the Master of Law (LLM) or MSc.


Academic Year 2017/18


SemesterModule 1Module 2Module 3
Semester 1 LAWPP13 –
Energy Law and Policy (Law)
core ENMPG04 –
Environmental Policy and Management (Environmental Sciences)
core ENMPG05 –
Environmental Economics (Environmental Sciences)
Semester 2 LAWPP09 –
Law (Law)
core ARTPL02 –
Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities 

Select 1 module from:
ICCPP10 – Climate Change, Human Security and Resource Conflict (Politics)

ENMPG22 – Environmental Impact Assessment (Environmental Sciences)

ENHPP24 - Heritage, Identity and Place (History)

Semester 3

LAWPPLD - Dissertation



SemesterModule 1Module 2
Semester 1 LAWPP13 –
Energy Law and Policy (Law)
core ENMPG04 –
Environmental Policy and Management (Environmental Sciences)
Semester 2 LAWPP09 –
Law (Law)

Select 1 module from:
Climate Change, Human Security and Resource Conflict (Politics)

ENMPG22 – Environmental Impact Assessment (Environmental Sciences)

ENHPP24 - Heritage, Identity and Place (History)

Semester 3 ENMPG05 –
Environmental Economics (Environmental Sciences)
core ARTPP01 –
Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities 1
Semester 4 LAWPPDP - Dissertation core


This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. Module information for 2017/18 will be made available in due course. 

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

The teaching of core modules will be based on materials from a range of disciplines, including:

  • Fisher, Lange and Scotford, Environmental Law (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Hanley, Shogren and White, An Introduction to Environmental Economics (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Heffron, Energy Law: An Introduction (SpringerBriefs in Law, 2015)
  • Nathanail and Bardos, Reclamation of Contaminated Land (Wiley, 2004)
  • Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivary, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees and Elen Stokes, Environmental Law 9th (OUP: Oxford, 2017) 

Modes of study

For the modules on this course, students are required to attend weekly two-hour seminars for which reading will be circulated in advance. Active participation will be encouraged in class and students may be required to prepare a short presentation which is not assessed on a topic of their choice within the individual modules. Assessment will be in the form of essays and/or exams. 

Study method


Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.



Energy Law and Policy

THU, 12:30 - 14:30


Environmental Policy and Management 


Environmental Economics



Environmental Law


TUE, 10:00 - 12:00





One of:

Climate Change, Human Security and Resource Conflicts


TUE,  18:00 - 20:00



Environmental Impact Assessment

FRI, 09:00 – 17:00



Heritage, Identity and Place

TUE, evening

Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities


TUE, 11:00 - 13:00





Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


The Stirling Law School has a strong reputation for excellence in research. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, five percent of our research was judged to be world leading, 35 percent of international excellence, 30 percent of international quality, with the remaining 30 percent of at least national quality.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


The University of Stirling was founded on the site of the historic Airthrey Estate by Royal Charter in 1967;  the first genuinely new university in Scotland for over 400 years. Nestling beneath the Ochil Hills, our campus covers 330 acres and has a beautiful loch and 18th-century Airthrey Castle at its heart. We retain our pioneering spirit and passion for innovation and excellence in all we do. We aim to be at the forefront of research and learning that helps to improve lives. Staff are highly motivated and are experts in their field of research. There is a particular emphasis on inter-disciplinary research drawing on the strengths across the campus.

Our staff

The programme’s teaching staff includes a pool of experts from a variety of disciplines.


Dr Annalisa Savaresi specialises in international, comparative and European environmental law. Her research focuses on climate change, biodiversity, forestry, renewable energy and the interplay between environmental and human rights law. She sits on the board of established academic journals and acts as consultant for a variety of international organisations.

Further information on Annalisa’s research may be accessed here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/people/32901


Dr Thomas Muinzer has specialist expertise in environmental law and constitutional law; he teaches and researches in these areas. He has been involved in an advisory capacity with a broad range of environmental and other actors, including NGOs, is active in the voluntary sector, and is co-founder and co-editor of Freckle, an environmentally-focused magazine that celebrates people and place in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Further information on Thomas’s research may be accessed here: https://www.stir.ac.uk/people/32900


Prof Gavin Little teaches and researches environmental and public law and coordinates the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network in the Arts and Humanities ‘Connecting with a low-carbon Scotland’.

Further information on Gavin’s research may be accessed here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/people/11919


Prof Simon Marsden specialises in international, comparative and national environmental and energy law, and the relationship between law and politics. He has a keen interest in global governance, constitutionalism and regions and sub-regions, particularly in Asia, Europe and at the Poles.

Further information on Simon’s research may be accessed here http://www.stir.ac.uk/people/34021


Prof David Copplestone has over 20 years’ experience studying the behaviour, effects and fate of radionuclides in the environment and has led the development of the Environment Agency’s approach to wildlife risk assessment from ionising radiation. 

Further information on David’s research may be accessed here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/people/10829


Prof Nigel Wilby researches in the field of ecology and management of freshwater ecosystems, principally in the areas of biomonitoring, ecosystem restoration, ecosystem processes and macroecology.

Further information on Nigel’s  research may be accessed here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/people/10921

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The specialist knowledge acquired in this rapidly growing sector will be invaluable in enhancing employability. This postgraduate degree also provides an excellent starting point for careers in international organisations, local and national government bodies, NGOs, 'green' businesses as well as in the field of further academic research. 


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16

One of the main focuses of this new course is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to compete effectively for employment opportunities in the ever-growing environmental sector.

As the course is multi-disciplinary, it addresses the economic, scientific, political and legal challenges facing society and the environment and provides graduates with broad-based yet specialised knowledge and understanding. Accordingly, graduates will be equipped with a distinctive and integrated appreciation of the relevant issues which will significantly enhance their employability.

In addition to that, there are different workshop and talks offered by the University to postgraduate students in order to develop new skills and improve job prospects.

Through this course students will:

  • Acquire a better understanding of key environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • Develop skills to analyse and evaluate environmental policies and solve legal problems
  • Be able to conduct multi-disciplinary research in environmental studies topics
  • Demonstrate the ability to present effective and structured arguments in writing and oral presentations
  • Develop the ability to meet deadlines, prioritize work and complete assignments accurately either independently or as part of a team

Industry connections

Graduates of the LLM/MSc in Environmental Policy & Governance will be well placed to pursue jobs offered in the sector, including local and national government, regulatory authorities, international bodies, non-governmental organisations, private sector businesses, pressure groups and charities.

It is expected that representatives from environmental NGOs and international organisations focusing on environmental issues will deliver presentations to the students. The course will be included in the "Making the Most of Masters", a platform which provides students with the opportunity to work on specific projects with different organisations (www.mastersprojects.ac.uk).

This course prepares our graduates for different career options. If you are interested in continuing in education you may apply for a doctoral programme. If you are focused on practice, you will be well placed to pursue a career in law firms, government sector, environmental advocacy, companies, environmental consulting and international organisations.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon