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Foundations of Environmental Law Micro-credential


Subject Area Law
Credits 10
Start Date 09 September 2024
Duration 12 weeks
Time Friday 09:00 - 10:50 (Subject to change.)
Mode of Delivery Online
Course Leader (opens in a new window)Dr. Andrew Jackson
Fee €1500 - 20% UCD Alumni Discount.
80% Learner Fee Subsidy
Application Deadline

26 August 2024

Register your interest at (opens in a new window)microcredentials@ucd.ie

Environmental law forms a fundamental part of how our society interacts with its surroundings. This micro-credential comprises a practical, in-depth examination of the foundations of environmental law, with a focus on European and international perspectives. It traces the development of EU and international environmental law to date and analyses the legal principles applied to environmental protection. Learners will gain foundational knowledge relating to environmental law and policy, including for example, key institutions, principles of environmental law, regulatory techniques, legal enforcement, human rights and the environment, and sustainable development. Throughout this micro-credential, there is a strong emphasis on environmental law in practice.

This micro-credential will be of particular interest to those looking to develop a foundational understanding of key aspects of environmental law. For individuals who already possess foundational knowledge and are seeking to deepen their knowledge in this area, LAW42230 Natural Resources Law effectively builds on the content covered in LAW40120 Foundations of Environmental Law. 

This micro-credential is taught by leading experts in environmental law, with extensive experience in academia and in practice.

Key Features

This micro-credential has been designed for anyone working, or interested in, the fields of environmental law, policy, or science. For example, those working in the legal sector; environmental consultants (including ecologists); environmental policy-makers and regulators at an EU level, and in central and local government; natural resource managers (e.g. Natura 2000 or national park managers/rangers); planners, and those working for environmental NGOs.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this micro-credential, you will:

  • Have a good overview of the principles, techniques and regulatory framework of environmental law at national, European and international levels.
  • Have an in-depth knowledge of current challenges in environmental law and be able to engage in a high level of debate on these challenges.
  • Be able to critically assess potential ways in which environmental law might be changed to improve environmental protection.
  • Have a good understanding of environmental law in practice.

Due to the breadth of the environmental law field, several key substantive areas will be selected for particular focus. Topics vary from year to year but may include:

  • Who governs the environment? International and European institutions.
  • Principles of environmental law.
  • Techniques of governing the environment.
  • Enforcing environmental law at international and EU levels.
  • Human rights and the environment.
  • Sustainable development.

Individuals and their employers will benefit by way of the foundational knowledge and skills gained, allowing environmental law to be better applied and enforced in practice via those working in (or hoping to work in) the public, private, and NGO sectors. 

Taking this UCD micro-credential will give you the opportunity to learn from leading environmental law experts, with extensive experience in academia and in practice.

This micro-credential is delivered through the UCD online learning platform (Brightspace) and will consist of lectures/seminars, critical writing, and learner presentations. Students are encouraged to attend the lectures during the class times stated above. However, classes will be recorded for occasions where attending live is not possible.

A repository of resources will be available to support your learning, and as a UCD student you will have full access to the library. 

This is a 10 ECTS micro-credential and involves approximately 200 hours of learner effort.

Applicants must hold a degree in law or another relevant discipline, including the social and natural sciences. An upper second-class honours Level 8 degree (GPA 3.08), or international equivalent is required.

Applications will also be accepted from those with significant, relevant, practical experience or those with a graduate qualification relevant to the micro-credential.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proof of English proficiency as per UCD's minimum English language requirements.

All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • 3000 word essay – 70%

  • Presentation – 30%

Written feedback will be provided for essays. Group/class feedback will be provided for presentations.

Learners seeking to deepen their knowledge gained via this micro-credential may be interested in taking LAW42230 Natural Resources Law.

This micro-credential, and LAW42230 Natural Resources Law, are also modules on the UCD Sutherland School of Law's MSc Environmental & Climate Law programme.

Please note: Learners can avail of only one form of funding per application. 

Micro-Credentials Learner Fee Subsidy-Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3

The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy has been introduced to enable more learners to address critical skills gaps and engage with lifelong learning through micro-credentials. The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy is funded by Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 

HCI Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidies are available on identified micro-credentials only and in fixed numbers from March 2024 until October 2025.  

Please see Eligibility Criteria for further information.