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LLM Energy and Natural Resources Law

Course overview

Start date

Subject area

Business and Law





On campus

Course summary

The exploration, extraction, sale and distribution of natural resources, including fossil fuels and minerals, is a massive undertaking. It is a highly regulated industry with legal implications at every stage of the process. This new course gives a comparative, socio-legal approach.

This distinctive master’s course examines upstream and downstream regulatory trends in oil, gas and minerals in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, placing this in the context of the broader economic, technological and environmental and sustainability issues that have an impact on the industry.

You will learn how the law interacts with business, politics and finance in a sector that is under constant scrutiny.
If you are a law graduate, legal professional, or graduate in another subject who works in – or is hoping to work in – the mining, energy or natural resource sector or a related field, this master’s degree will be a wise choice.

If you want to keep on working and earn while you learn, you can do so, as all of our classes take place in the evening and lectures are also made available as podcasts and posted online.

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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A unique course

You will study a distinctive and innovative combination of relevant modules that are not available at any other university.


satisfied with teaching

Ninety-six per cent of students on our law courses course are satisfied with the teaching (compared to an 83 per cent average for postgraduate law across the UK)


internationally recognised research

Ninety-nine per cent of our law research was rated of 'international standing' with 57 per cent classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework

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Entry requirements

Minimum 2:2 Honours degree in any subject.

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

Overall IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll study

  • Oil and Gas Law Policy (core)
  • Regulation and Governance of Energy (core)
  • Dissertation (core)

Students also choose to take two modules from the list below;

  • International Law and Business (option)
  • Law of International Finance (option)
  • International Corporate Governance (option)
  • International Environmental Law (option)
  • Law of the World Trade Organization (option)
  • Regulation of Transnational Corporations (option)
  • International Human Rights (option)
  • Law and Development (option)
  • Portfolio Theory and Investment Management (option) 
  • International Finance and Security Analysis (option)   
  • Financial Risk Management (option)
  • Strategy, leadership and change management in international businesses (option)

How you'll be assessed

All modules are research-based, involving coursework. You will take four modules of 30 credits each for which you will submit coursework of approximately 7,000 words at the end of the term. The LLM dissertation, accounting for 60 credits, involves a 15,000-word essay. Full-time students normally complete the 180 credits requirements in one academic year while part-time students complete the same in two years.

Course specification

How you'll learn

As a master’s student you will be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study and research using archives, libraries and databases such as JSTOR. You will need to be motivated and disciplined, but you will be taught and supported by leading academics throughout the course.

You will be based in the home of our law department, University Square Stratford (USS), which provides state-of-the-art study facilities.

Our brand-new Stratford library is open 24/7 in term time and, as one of our postgraduate students, you will have access to the prestigious library of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Russell Square, with its unrivalled collection of law books and documentation.

A lot of your formal learning will take place in workshops, seminars and lectures, where you will discuss and debate issues with your fellow students with the support of our dedicated, research-active staff.

You will also benefit from our guest lecturer programme, with the chance to network with leading legal minds and business management experts through regular seminars and events which we host in our centres, research groups and forums.

As a research-based course you will be completing coursework rather than doing exams. This will include essays, reports and presentations, culminating in your dissertation.

Many of our students undertake a placement with a legal practice or a regulatory body while they are here – and we will encourage and help you to find somewhere suitable.

What you'll learn

The global energy business is valuable, essential and sometimes controversial, with a huge role for legal professionals in regulation, commercial transactions, dispute resolution, policy formulation and legal research.

On this course you will study energy law within the broader context of international trade and regulation, the environment, renewables and energy technology, covering areas that are of big interest to firms, governments, consumer groups, lobbyists, and environmentalists.

You will assess how, for example, energy and environmental policy translates into practice, how the energy market operates and the legal implications of carbon emissions, sustainability and climate change.

You will study two core modules, which will give you a solid grounding in oil and gas policy and law and the regulation and governance of energy markets.

You can then choose two further modules from a choice of 12, including International Environmental Law, International Law and Business, International Corporate Governance and Financial Risk Management.

A 15,000-word dissertation is a compulsory element of the course, and you will be able to develop your own ideas by researching a relevant topic of most interest to you.

Your future career

This specialist LLM is a very useful and sought-after qualification if you have studied law before and want to take the next step in becoming a solicitor or barrister. 

If after taking this master’s course you decide that a legal career is for you but you did not study law as an undergraduate, you will have to take a law conversion course to embark on your journey. This LLM course is not a qualifying law degree.

As a graduate in LLM Energy and Natural Resources you will be well placed for a career in the energy or minerals industry. Your options include oil or mining corporations, law firms, regulatory or standards bodies, finance or research institutions or environmental groups. 

You could help to draw up contracts, advise on mergers and acquisitions, ensure regulatory compliance – or take an associated role in the industry, such as structuring of projects or operations management.

As a graduate from this course, you will have strong research skills and the ability to analyse and apply critical thinking to any legal or business problem.

You will have high-level communication skills, be able to work as part of a team, debate, make a case and deliver a presentation.

To enhance your career prospects, we run a dedicated employability programme for students in the School of Business and Law. Called 'Employ', it includes employability workshops, skills training sessions, guest speaker events, voluntary work, student ambassador roles and work experience opportunities.

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Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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