PDF version of Environment, Science and Society MSc

Contact details

Ms Fiona Mannion

Email: masters@geog.ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0575/7579

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,250 (FT)

ESRC funding exists for eligible students who wish to take the MSc as a prelude to a three-year PhD.

Overseas students may be eligible for: British Chevening Scholarships, Shell Centenary Scholarships and Karim Rida Said Foundation.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

65% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Environment, Science and Society MSc

The Environment, Science and Society MSc is an innovative, interdisciplinary programme which offers the opportunity to explore the way scientific, political and cultural practices shape our understanding of the society-environmental relationship, and introduces current thinking on, and methods for, understanding the challenges that environmental change offers experts, institutions and individuals.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

The programme evaluates the different discourses at the centre of environmental politics through the theories and concepts underpinning social science research. These are then applied critically to debates about, for example, sustainability, corporate environmentalism and the politics of environmental science. Students develop an understanding of the changing context, process and politics of environmental decision-making and of the connections between theory, research and policy in debates about environmental change.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The Environment, Science & Society MSc programme is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

The programme is taught within newly refurbished accommodation, with dedicated seminar rooms, computer facilities, laboratories and common rooms.

UCL Geography is closely associated with the UCL Environment Institute, enabling interdisciplinary links and contact with key national figures in environmental policy debates. The department hosts the Thames Estuary Partnership, an organisation who work to bring together stakeholders concerned about the habitat and biodiversity in the tidal Thames.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme offers two routes: standard and research. Standard: Four core modules (60 credits), options (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits). Research: Four core modules (75 credits), options (45 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Sustainable Development, Environmental Governance, and Institutional Reform
  • Environmental Knowledges
  • Social Science Methodologies course (15 credits standard route or 30 for research route)
  • Thinking Space
  • OR
  • Conservation and Environmental Management: Critical Perspectives


  • Natural Hazards
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Marine Conservation
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature, Culture and Politics
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature Conservation
  • Environmental GIS
  • Globalisation and Security
  • Scales of Inequality
  • Community Participation in City Strategies
  • Postcolonial Theory and the Multi-cultural City
  • Modern Cities: Representing Modernity, 1850–1920
  • Comparative Urbanism
  • Asian Cities in a Globalising South
  • Coastal Change
  • Creative Cities
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydroecological Systems


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, discussions, workshops, practical classes and field trips. Assessment is through coursework and the research dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013. Applicants who require a student visa should submit their programme application before 31 July. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This MSc will appeal to individuals wishing to undertake higher-level work as a prelude to a PhD; to those interested in developing a research training while acquiring relevant ideas for work in this field; and to individuals currently employed in an environmental policy context who wish to enhance their skills.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Environment, Science and Society
  • why you want to study Environment, Science and Society at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The programme is fundamentally academic in character rather than vocational, but many of our graduates have gone on to work for governments, environmental non-governmental organisations and consultancies, multi-lateral bodies, the media and think-tanks; often in policy, research or communication roles. The MSc also provides an excellent foundation for PhD research and is recognised as a research training route by the ESRC.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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