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Talking to Elders

Photo description: Talking to Elders in Udon Thani, Thailand. Source Caroline Garaway


Camel transporting Tuareg

Photo description: Camel transporting Tuareg tent in Inner Niger delta, Mali . Source, Sara Randall


Large lift-net

Photo description: Large lift-net in Pabna, Bangladesh. Source Caroline Garaway


Comparing dive sites

Photo description: Comparing dive sites in Jamaica, Source . Caroline Garaway


Frequently Asked Questions



I have never studied natural/biological sciences, can I still apply?

Yes. The course does not require such a pre-requisite. Every year we get students from a range of disciplines and we find that students from the biological/natural sciences are able to help those from social science backgrounds and vice versa.

My degree is not in anthropology or a related discipline. Can I still apply?

The entry requirements for this degree can be found in the Applying section of our web page. If you are still not sure whether you should apply, please contact the Masters Tutor (Caroline Garaway, c.garaway@ucl.ac.uk) directly.

What do people usually do when leaving the course?

The course equips students with a knowledge base and skill set well suited for research , training, advocacy or policy work in the fields of environment and development. For details of the career destinations of our alumni, visit the Careers section of our web page.

What geographical regions to people conduct fieldwork in?

Projects can and have been conducted all around the world. Recent fieldwork has been conducted in South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. For details of past projects visit this section of our web page

Can I do the course part time ?

Yes, the course can be done over 2 years and tailored, to a certain extent, to suit individual needs. Teaching all happens within the daytime (there are no evening classes or distant learning opportunities) and a block of time will need to be given over to fieldwork at some point in the 2 years. Otherwise students can pick courses and when they do them to fit their other commitments. Please contact the Masters tutor if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Is there a time limit on applying ?

Applications are accepted until August in the same year as you wish to take the course. However, to ensure that there is time to process your application and there are still places available on the course, we advise that you apply as soon as possible.

Can I speak to past or present students on the course?

Yes, please contact the Masters Tutor and she can arrange this for you. Visits to the department and talks with staff teaching on the course can also be arranged.

How can I best prepare for the course?

There is no textbook for this course and no single work adequately covers the range of issues the course addresses. The following is a brief list of relatively general works that
cover some of the issues.

Adger N et al (2001) Advancing a political ecology of global environmental discourses. Development and Change 32, 681-715

Angelsen, A et al. (eds.) 2011. Measuring Livelihoods and Environmental Dependence. Methods for Research and Fieldwork London: Earthscan

Blaikie, P. (2006) Is small really beautiful? Community-based natural resource management in Malawi and Botswana. World Development 34, 11:1942-1957 (Community Based Natural Resources Management)

De Schutter, O. (2011). How not to think of land-grabbing: three critiques of large-scale investments in farmland. Journal of Peasant Studies 38(2): 249-279. (Small scale farmers/Land tenure and access)

DFID Poverty Analysis Discussion Group April (2012). Understanding poverty and well-being. A note with implications for research and policy

Ellis, F (2000) Rural livelihoods and diversification in developing countries. Oxford UP

Homewood, K (ed.) (2005) Rural resources and local livelihoods in Africa. James Currey

Lambin,E., et al. (2001). Our Emerging Understanding of the Causes of Land Use and Cover Change. Global Environmental Change, 11 (4), 261-269.

Leach, M & Mearns, R (eds.) (1996) The lie of the land: challenging received wisdom in African Environmental Change and Policy. James Currey/IAI

Livi-Bacci M (2007 4th ed’n) A Concise History of World Population Blackwell

Mortimore, M (2000) Roots in the African Dust: Sustaining the sub-Saharan drylands. Cambridge University Press

Newing, H. C.M. Eagle, R.K. Puri and C.W. Watson. (2011) Conducting Research in Conservation : social science methods and practice. Routledge

Peet, Richard and Michael Watts (2004). Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, Social Movements (2nd edition). London: Routledge. (Political ecology)

Peters P (2009) Challenges in Land Tenure and Land Reform in Africa:
Anthropological Contributions. World Development 37 (8), 1317-1325 (Tenure and access)

Richards, P. (1985) Indigenous agricultural revolution Hutchinson

Sayers, J. (ed) (2005) The Earthscan Reader in Forestry and Development London: Earthscan (Tropical forest livelihoods and resource management)


In addition to one or more of these works, incoming students are advised to complement them with examples of more conventional approaches from the large and growing literature on “sustainable development”, “environment” and “conservation with development”. Suitable sources might include back issues of campaigning magazines (The Ecologist for example) or catalogues of publishers such as Earthscan or the International Institute for Environment and Development. On development and environment, you might usefully consult the websites of the Department for International Development and World Bank, and NGOs such as Oxfam, Actionaid, or Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Page last modified on 26 jan 13 23:12