Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact


The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
University College Cork

Primary Contact
Dr Áine Ryall

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


Based in the Centre for Law and the Environment at UCC, this T&L initiative will involve the design, development and testing of a series of innovative models of experiential learning in the field of environmental law and policy. The models are intended to be transferable to other areas of law and beyond the discipline of law.

The climate and biodiversity crisis confirms the importance of this project. There is a pressing need to improve students’ capacity for critical thinking in response to complex societal challenges.

The overarching aim is to transform the learning experience while, at the same time, producing specific student-generated outputs that contribute to policy development and support community engagement.

Designing innovative assessment methods around the student-generated outputs is a key element of the project.

The Centre currently delivers one clinical module at postgraduate level. The project will build on and expand this initiative significantly by developing new experiential learning opportunities with a particular focus on the undergraduate curriculum.

Drawing on our close working relationship with the Environmental Research Institute at UCC, we will, where appropriate, integrate knowledge and methods from other disciplines into our new models.

Key deliverables:

1) The development and implementation of innovative experiential learning opportunities suitable to feed directly into the Irish law and policy context and aligned with the priorities articulated in UCC’s Academic Strategy
2) An end of project report and conference to communicate findings to colleagues across all disciplines.