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Utrecht University Master in Law and Sustainability in Europe
Utrecht University

Master in Law and Sustainability in Europe

Utrecht, Netherlands

1 Years


Full time

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EUR 2,209 / per year



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Paving the Way to a Sustainable Future

Today’s complex world raises some pressing questions. Why do we need a European Green Deal? How is it put to use in the EU and its Member States? What does the legal framework to foster the transition to a climate-neutral Europe look like? How can you ensure the green transition will be socially fair? What role do human rights play in environmental law?

Law fostering sustainability and sustainable development is one of the fastest-developing, most challenging legal disciplines, and the EU has become a key global actor in this field. This Master’s programme on Law and Sustainability in Europe discusses how the EU and its Member States respond to challenges related to the sustainability transition. It approaches the role of Europe and its legal regimes, especially EU law, in an international setting. But it also teaches students how national law can play an essential role in implementing European law on sustainability. This unique dual approach is the core feature of this new Master’s programme.

Do you want to gain knowledge about legal principles and instruments to create truly sustainable economies and societies at the European and national levels? Are you interested in how liability law is used in climate litigation and which new legal concepts are being discussed to stop biodiversity loss? Do you want to become a legal expert who contributes to saving the planet and improving the quality of life for current and future generations? If so, our one-year Master’s in Law and Sustainability in Europe sounds right for you!

Content of the Programme

During this Master’s in Law and Sustainability in Europe, you will:

  • Study one of the fastest-developing and most challenging legal disciplines;
  • Acquire essential knowledge on EU sustainability policy and law, and learn from the Member States’ experiences in implementing EU and international regulatory instruments;
  • Gain a solid understanding of the implications and effects of the legal framework on policy goals;
  • Gain the knowledge to approach sustainability in a multi-dimensional way to become a ‘sustainable’ regulator and enforcer or the sustainability law expert of a company or law firm; and
  • Acquire insight into the European legal regimes of climate protection, natural resources law and sustainable water management.

Our elective modules (Capita Selecta) offer you the opportunity to specialise further. During the programme, we will train you to apply your skills to topics such as sustainability in EU procurement law, green crimes, sustainable strategic litigation, philosophy and ethics of sustainability, and comparative regional and national approaches to sustainability. During the Research and Thesis Trajectory, you will write a thesis on something you find interesting with support and supervision from our expert staff.

Programme Objectives

This Master’s programme equips you with knowledge and skills that will benefit you in your professional and personal life. During the year, you will:

  • Understand how sustainability in Europe can be a game-changer, and the limits of legal instruments;
  • Conduct your own research and learn to report it clearly and understandably in written and oral form;
  • Learn to quickly deepen your knowledge of specific areas of EU law on sustainability and related matters, and develop the skills for lifelong learning;
  • Acquire a critical, reflective attitude, including the ability to give and receive feedback; and;
  • Develop interpersonal and social skills by working with fellow students in an international classroom and joining a network of graduates working on similar challenges.

Why in Utrecht

The LLM in Law and Sustainability in Europe is an English-taught programme consisting of small-scale, interactive and intensive courses. As a student of this Master’s programme at Utrecht University, you will:

  • Be part of a small-scale international programme with intensive personal contact between staff and students;
  • Develop your argumentation skills, for example in Moot Court courses;
  • Deepen your knowledge of topical legal issues through elective modules (Capita Selecta);
  • Examine real-life legal cases as part of engaging group assignments;
  • Work with staff who maintain a large network of international contacts with courts and organisations; and
  • Enjoy excursions, study trips and expert guest lectures.

Experts in the Field

Faculty researchers such as Professor Seline Trevisanut, Professor Chris Backes, Professor Ton van den Brink, Professor Elbert de Jong and Professor Marleen van Rijswick will share their knowledge and might invite you to assist in their research. Moreover, our teaching staff will use their network to help you connect with organisations and institutions you might be interested in.

A Leading University

Established in 1636, the Utrecht University School of Law is the oldest law school in the Netherlands and is still one of Europe’s leading centres of excellence. Today, our beautiful and historical faculty buildings provide a supportive and inspiring work environment to about 500 lecturers and almost 4,000 students. Many of our alumni hold prestigious positions with leading companies and institutions around the world. Based on the internationally recognised Shanghai Ranking, Utrecht University has been the best ranking Dutch university since the first ARWU ranking was published in 2003. Utrecht University is now ranked 50th worldwide. Utrecht University aims to be at the forefront of open science because open science promotes transparency and enhances the scientific and social impact of research. Our place in the rankings mentioned above is often based on other values than these. Utrecht University also works closely with more than 80 international universities and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU): an association of 22 like-minded leading research institutes working together to influence European policy regarding research, education and innovation.

The Perfect Location

Utrecht is more than a well-established classical university town: it is a vibrant community where Dutch history comes together with a cosmopolitan population and an active student network. Every year, students from all over the world find their way to Utrecht and enjoy the experience of a lifetime. Why not join them?

What about Tomorrow?

Law touches everything. It is in constant motion, evolving even as it stimulates major societal and industrial changes. Every day, lawyers around the world discover answers to entirely new questions. Working with others, they are building tomorrow’s society, today. With its prestigious 380-year history, the Utrecht University School of Law guides its teaching and research activities by asking: “What about tomorrow?”.

The School of Law aims to play an active role in solving the world’s major issues by facilitating innovative, multi-dimensional legal research. Through challenging teaching programmes, the school trains its students to become outstanding lawyers who take the lead in driving justice and societal change.


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