Environment, Science and Society MSc
Options: PG Diploma
The Environment, Science & Society MSc programme explores the way scientific, political and cultural practices shape our understanding of the society-environmental relationship. It is an academic rather than vocational programme with most students pursuing further education or careers in international organisations, the public sector, NGOs or charities.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
- Overseas Full-time: £16,750
- Overseas Part-time: £8,500
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
The programme evaluates the different discourses in 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 and 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. London itself provides many opportunities to attend seminars, debates and discussions with eminent international speakers.
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.
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. 2-3 dissertation seminars provide opportunities to neet previous MSc students to disucss their dissertations and subsequent career. Assessment is through coursework and the research dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
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.
Scholarships available for this department
Selection based solely on financial need.
For a prospective UK Master's student from under-represented background enrolling on a participating programme . Selection based solely on financial need.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
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.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Good
How to apply
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.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
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
The programme is fundamentally academic in character rather than vocational, but many of our graduates og 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. It is less common for our graduates to work in corporate environmental management and consultancy. The MSc also provides an excellent foundation for PhD research and is recognised as a research training route by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Careers advice is primarily provided through the UCL Careers Service, which offers excellent support to students wanting general career guidance, help writing applications and CVs, and practical preparing for interviews. There are also a series of themes career weeks during the academic year including one on the environmental sector and another on NGOs and charities.
Top career destinations for this programme
- World Bank, Planning Consultant, 2011
- Lewisham Council, Environmental Assessor, 2011
- Greenstone Carbon Management, Carbon Analyst, 2010
- Mediterranean SOS Network, Volunteer Actions Co-Ordinator, 2010
- Greenpeace, Environmental Intern, 2010
The programme's combination of core social science methodological training, detailed exploration of contemporary environmental issues and critical engagement with environmental science, policies and politics, provides a distinctive skill set for those wanting careers in the environmental sector that do not simply replicate current governance approaches. This holistic experience is different from more technical, managerial environmental programmes and encourages access to careers in international organisations (UNDP, World Bank), government (UK DECC, UK Home Office, Lewisham Council), NGOs (WWF, Greenpeace), education (recent PhD at Open University and UCL, teaching assistant University of Hong Kong) and a wide varity of charitable organisations.
"UCL provides its students with the opportunity to enrich their networks in the academic and business world. I have attended many career open day events organised either by UCL itself or by companies outside UCL."
"I made contacts at other universities and was encouraged to take part in conferences, receiving financial support to do so, which was great for getting general research experience and networking skills."
Research Associate, Loughborough University, 2012