Environmental Policy and Law

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 8.61 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 13, 2024
StudyQA ranking:2252 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Master's Degree Programme in Environmental Policy and Law is a multidisciplinary two-year programme that combines group teaching and independent research with the objective of providing participants with professional skills in environmental law and policy. The programme consists of advanced study of law and policy in relation to the environment, climate change and natural resources.

All students will complete basic courses on environmental law and environmental policy. They will choose between two alternative majors: Natural Resources Governance or Environmental and Climate Change Law.

1) Natural Resources Governance: The scientific background for the major is environmental policy which offers the social scientific perspective to current environmental problems and their solutions. Within the major, you can specialise in global and local governance issues and in policy formulation and implementation. Your target degree will be Master in Social Sciences (MSocSc).

2) Environmental and Climate Change Law: Environmental law includes a number of specialiced areas of legal practice, such as climate change law and natural resources law.  Environmental lawyers can also specialize in international legal issues, EU law or national environmental legislation. Your target degree will be Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL).

Students successfully completing the programme are awarded with one of the following degrees, depending on their previous degrees and major:

1) Master in Social Sciences (MSocSc)
2) Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL)
3) Finnish Master of Laws (OTM) in accordance with specified criteria*

  • Master's degree comprises 120 ECTS credits (cp) and takes approx 2 years of full-time studying.
  • The degree consists of a major subject (100 cp) and elective studies (20 cp). Also some orientation studies and a Master's thesis are included.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the maximum amount of credits.
  • The language of the programme is English. Students are required to complete at least 80 % of the courses in English.

Students whose right to study commences on 1 August 2014 will be awarded a Master's Degree in Social Sciences (MSocSc) after successful completion of the Programme.

Students whose right to study commences on 1 August 2015 and who major in Environmental and Climate Change Law will be awarded the degree of Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL) after successful completion of the Programme.

Students whose right to study commences on 1 August 2015 and who major in Natural Resources Governance will be awarded the degree of Master's in Social Sciences (MSocSc) after successful completion of the Programme.

In Finland, the MICL degree does not qualify for positions in the judiciary or to practice law (e.g. as a judge or a lawyer). For such positions, a Finnish Master of Laws degree (oikeustieteen maisteri, OTM) is required.  

*If the student has completed a Finnish Bachelor of Laws degree (ON, oikeusnotaari) the student completes a Finnish Master of Laws (OTM, oikeustieteen maisteri) degree.


A previous Bachelor's degree corresponding to at least 3 year's of full time academic studies from an institution for higher education is required from all Master's degree applicants. The degree should entitle the applicant to apply to Master's studies in the country where the degree has been awarded and it should be from the same or similar field of study as the studies the applicant is applying to.

Some programmes accept a temporary degree certificate if it was awarded no more than five years earlier. The five-year validity period begins from the date on which the degree was conferred and must not expire prior to the application deadline. In other words, a temporary degree certificate is not accepted if it was awarded more than five years ago. In such cases, the applicant must present his or her final degree certificate.

It is possible to apply to some programmes even if you have not yet graduated. This depends on the programme so always check the website and the admission requirements of each programme. If you have not graduated by the time the application period for the programme begins, you are required to submit an officially certified copy of your latest transcript of records (please also note Country-specific requirements). If you receive the degree certificate and the final transcript of records during the application period, it is recommended that you submit them as well.

In most cases, a conditional acceptance is possible if the applicant finishes the Bachelor's degree and submits the officially certified copy of the Bachelor's or Master's degree certificate (in original language and as translations, if applicable) by August 15, 2017.

The University of Eastern Finland will have a substantial number of scholarships available for students who are required to pay tuition fees in Master’s degree programmes offered in English. The scholarships will be available for the most talented fee-paying students. The scholarship can cover the tuition fee either in full (100%) or partially (80%).

Scholarships are awarded for two academic years on the condition of completing 55 ECTS credits per academic year. Students who were not awarded a scholarship when applying for admission to the university may still be eligible for a scholarship in their second year, provided that they have applied for a scholarship and completed the required 55 ECTS credits during the first academic year as detailed in the personal study plan.

In addition to the scholarship for studies, the faculties can grant an annual scholarship to cover the student’s living expenses during the two-year Master’s degree programme. In Finland students must be able to cover all their own living costs. Own finances are also one of the requirements for the Finnish residence permit, and finances need to be available permanently on the student's bank account for the whole period the permit is applied for. Financing one's stay and studies in Finland by working is not possible. For more information about residence permit, please see Migri.fi.

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