Master of Environmental Law

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Master of Environmental Law (MEL) has been designed to meet the needs of both Australian environmental specialists and those from other countries. You can select from a wide range of units of study, including international and comparative environmental law, which focuses on the Asia-Pacific region.

As the provider of Australia’s largest postgraduate environmental law course, Sydney Law School offers candidates the opportunity to study their chosen areas of specialisation in the format that suits them best. This includes intensive units of study that are taught over a period of four to five days and the opportunity to take units from other related disciplines. The depth and innovation of the course is complemented by its well-reputed academic staff and visiting lecturers. The course includes an International Faculty which brings experts from various countries to lecture in specialist units.

Course outline

'Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan


Master of Environmental Law candidates will complete 48 credit points, which is equivalent to 8 units of study. There is one compulsory unit of study, Environmental Law & Policy and students without a law degree must also complete the unit, Legal Reasoning & the Common Law System. You are then able to choose from a wide range of relevant electives on offer.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Master of Environmental Law (MEL) is designed for those working in Environmental Law and Policy who wish to upgrade their qualification(s) for the purposes of career advancement or professional and academic interest.

Course accreditation

Sydney Law School offers Professional Development seminars, courses and units of study in a range of subjects and modes, including intensive programs, seminar series and individual evening presentations. Seminars, courses and postgraduate units of study are available to anyone with an interest in the area of study.

Continuing Legal Education is a requirement of the Law Society of New South Wales. Practising solicitors are required to obtain 10 units of MCLE annually in order to maintain registration as a legal practitioner. Continuing Professional Development is also a requirement of the New South Wales Bar Association. Barristers are required to accrue 10 points each practising certificate year. Seminars, courses and units of study offered under Sydney Law School’s LPD Program meet the necessary requirements of both the Law Society of New South Wales and the New South Wales Bar Association in relation to their individual members.

Further study

Sydney Law School is a major international centre for legal research. The faculty has internationally renowned academic staff members whose expertise range across a wide variety of fields. The faculty also has the largest postgraduate research program in Australia with more than 100 research students, many from interstate or overseas, currently enrolled in doctoral or masters programs. Sydney Law School offers four higher degrees by research: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Juridical Studies (SJD), Master of Laws by research (LLM) and Master of Criminology by research (MCrim).

Other study options

Participants in our Single Unit Enrolment (SUE) program are able to audit postgraduate units of study, attending lectures and receiving copies of lecture notes. SUE students do not undertake assignments or examinations. Courses are offered by one of two methods, either attendance one night per week for 13 weeks, or by intensive mode. Courses offered as intensive units are normally conducted over four or five days. Courses are worth 24 MCLE/CPD points unless advertised otherwise. Individual units of study within the program may be undertaken by suitably qualified candidates who do not wish to commit to the study of an award course. Non-award candidates are students of the University; on satisfactory completion of unit of study requirements, candidates receive an academic transcript showing the details of the unit or units of study undertaken, with results and grades. Subject to approval, completed non-award study may be credited to an award course. You may undertake units in postgraduate programs in other faculties at the University of Sydney or at other universities subject to approval by the Associate Dean (Postgraduate Coursework) on a cross-institutional basis. A formal application, detailing the academic content, attendance and assessment requirements of the unit(s) proposed to be completed should be made to the Law School first before applying to the other faculty or institution. If you are from another institution, you can also apply to study units at Sydney Law School upon approval from your home institution and the Law School.

Admission

Admission requirements

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admissions criteria.

Admission to candidature for the Master of Environmental Law requires:
(a) a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit average from the University of Sydney in environmental studies, law or other appropriate discipline as determined by the Faculty, or an equivalent qualification; or
(b) a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification; and the applicant provides evidence of professional experience or of a period of service (normally of several years in duration) which in the opinion of the Dean adequately prepares the applicant to undertake the course of study; or
(c) completion of the requirements of the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law with a minimum credit average, or an equivalent qualification.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty. On-time applications for the March Semester close on the last working day of October. On-time applications for the July Semester close on the last working day in April. Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Environmental Law.

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Environmental Law.

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents

Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.