The law is both a driver of the contemporary environmental, natural resource, and sustainability challenges which humanity faces today, and a critical tool for addressing them. From climate change and biodiversity loss to water scarcity and energy efficiency, the law plays a critical role in society’s ability to mobilise an effective response. This course surveys the most pressing sustainability issues and the existing and emerging legal frameworks that may address them across a range of jurisdictions.


Eight weeks (3-5 hours of study per week recommended)


May, August, October 2024

Next start date:

3 August 2024 (deadline 1pm (GMT) on 2 August 2024)


£1,500 (including VAT)*

*Discounts are available to alumni, those working in the public sector and certain geographical regions. Register your interest to learn more.


Online short course


Certificate of completion

CPD logo that reads: CPD CERTIFIED - The CPD Certification Service

Entry requirements

This course does not have any specific entry requirements. However, although a legal background for the course is not critical, it may be useful for learners to have an understanding of legal systems and processes.

A certain level of commitment will be expected – we recommend dedicating 3-5 hours a week to your studies. All activities and tasks will take place online, so make sure you have a stable internet connection and suitable equipment to participate in group discussions.

About this course

Delivered over eight weeks, entirely online, our course will address sustainable development and the law, environmental protection and climate change, and opportunities for intervention within health and food law and corporate and securities law.

Participants will be introduced to a range of definitions, concepts and themes which provide foundational knowledge in sustainability, with both theoretical and practical applications for how law can be used to mediate, prevent, and redress sustainability challenges.

Learners should leave the course empowered with confidence in their understanding of sustainability and equipped with tools and perspectives to act both as individuals and within their professional roles.

“This course has enabled me to bring a unique perspective to my workplace, especially when dealing with cases that have environmental or sustainability implications.”

Bienvendio G. Garcia III
Clerk of Court V at the Supreme Court of the Philippines

Learning outcomes

During this law and sustainability course, students will examine and develop an understanding of:

  • the key sustainability challenges domestically and globally;
  • legal principles and frameworks for environment and sustainability;
  • the key international treaties developed to address sustainability issues like climate change and the loss of biodiversity;
  • the relationships between science and the law;
  • systemic lawyering for sustainability;
  • the role of non-legal actors including NGOs, think tanks, and civil society; how corporate and securities law can address sustainability challenges.

Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate that will enhance your resume and support your career progression.

This programme is also certified by CPD UK. Learners will be able to request their CPD certificate after successfully finishing the course, using their certificate of completion as proof of eligibility. The course has an estimated 40 hours of learning, equating to 40 CPD points.

Note, the onus is on students to request these CPD certificates at the end of their studies. The University and partners accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

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This course will allow you to effectively engage with or bring legal challenges in current and future environmental and sustainability disputes. Legal frameworks will cover regulation and governance outside of the courtroom.

Each week your assessment tasks will vary but each module gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge, ensuring you’re on track with your learning targets. You will be able to join discussions specific to your interests with peers and the Facilitator. In your final assignment, you will demonstrate your understanding of the various concepts that have been considered during this course and use them to develop a memorandum and video pitch to introduce sustainability challenges in relation to the law.

Learning experience

This course, including all activities and assessments, will be delivered flexibly and entirely online without any need to come to the university.

In addition to learning from our expert world-leading academics, you will also benefit from a course Facilitator who will provide academic guidance throughout your learning journey – from beginning to end.

The Facilitator will be present during weekly discussions on specific topics relating to law and sustainability and provide guidance and feedback on project tasks and assessments.


Fees and funding

The total cost of this short course is £1,500 (inclusive of VAT), with discounts available to Oxford University alumni and those working in a public sector role (evidence is required).

It is possible to pay your fees in two instalments, laying down a deposit (and reserving a space) before settling the final balance and securing your place on the course ahead of its start.

For more information about our deposit scheme or discounts you may be entitled to, please feel free to email us.

Academic expertise

Dr Aisha Saad Lead academic, Law and Sustainability

Dr Aisha Saad

Honorary Research Associate

Dr Aisha Saad is a Fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance, and was previously the inaugural Bartlett Fellow at Yale Law School. Her current research focuses on ownership and its attendant rights and liabilities in the context of the modern corporation, and on the role of the corporation as a public actor. Aisha’s work has been published in the Berkeley Business Law Journal, the Boston College Law Review, the New England Law Review, and the Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law.

She holds a JD from Yale Law School and a DPhil and MPhil from Oxford University where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Aisha’s doctoral dissertation focused on public challenges to the modern corporation and the development of contemporary corporate responsibility regimes. Aisha was an extern for Judge William Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Judge Edward Chen on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. She is a member of the New York and California Bars.


Frequently asked questions

What are the entry requirements for Oxford’s Law and Sustainability course?

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