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Anthropology, Environment and Development MSc

The MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development integrates natural and social science approaches to address issues of sustainability and resilience in the Anthropocene. It serves as a foundation for higher level research and professional work, offering a rare opportunity to learn in an interdisciplinary setting with staff who collaborate with outside organisations while also pursuing independent research.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,470 (FT)
£5,770 (PT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)
£11,830 (PT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

Drawing on staff expertise in human ecology, social anthropology, medical anthropology and demography, the MSc equips graduates with an interdisciplinary perspective on topics relating to global environmental change, sustainable resource use, and development, in both rural and urban contexts. Through a supervised field project and dissertation, students gain demonstrable skills in research design, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three compulsory modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

All students must take the following three modules:

  • Research Methods and Skills
  • Resource Use and Impacts
  • Introduction to Statistics

If you can provide evidence of A level (or equivalent) statistics or a named statistics unit in your degree transcript, you may choose to take another optional module (15 credits) from the list below instead of the statistics module.

Optional modules

Students must take 30 credits in total from the optional modules below. Out of the total, up to 15 credits can be taken from other modules available within the department or appropriate options in other departments (with approval from the programme tutor and host department).

  • Anthropological Demography, Population and Development
  • Anthropology of Development
  • Ecology of Human Groups

For a complete list of modules available within the department or in other departments, please see UCL's Module Catalogue

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/research project

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

Fieldwork

The third term is given over to the dissertation project. Students conduct fieldwork for approximately two months, ideally returning from the field by the end of July to allow time for writing the dissertation. Fieldwork is self-funded and it is usual for students to find their own fieldwork site.


Covid-19 field trip updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned field trips for this programme. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. Your department will keep you updated if field trips are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, group presentations, tutorials, interactive teamwork, video, and film and web based courses. It includes a non-examined compulsory weekly seminar series with both internal and invited speakers (the Human Ecology Research Group seminar). Assessment is through essays, seen and unseen examinations, and the research dissertation.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

Students need to secure their own funding for fieldwork, assisted by teaching staff who will help identify potential funders, and review draft proposals. Recent students have secured funds from, among others, the Tropical Agriculture Award Fund, Chadwick Trust, Parkes Foundation, and departmental bursaries. There is no obligation to travel abroad, with other students conducting fieldwork in the UK.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme have gone on to a wide range of relevant careers in research, teaching, consultancy, policy and advocacy work in universities, governmental bodies, national and international NGOs and international research organisations. A number of our graduates have chosen to pursue PhD studies with AED MSc staff as well.

Employability

The MSc integrates natural and social science approaches to answer real-world research problems, culminating in a fieldwork project that develops students’ skills in research design, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and academic writing. The interdisciplinary perspective and research experience are an ideal foundation for future work with governmental or non-governmental organisations, or as a step towards PhD research. Other skills acquired include presentation and IT, project management, team building and leadership, fundraising and critical analysis and evaluation. Many students carry out their work in conjunction with an NGO, with some going on to work for their host organisation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology ranks fifth in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, making it the top ranked institution in London, and third in the UK and Europe for the subject. Our Human Ecology group’s pioneering work in integrating social and natural science approaches to address environment and development issues is internationally recognised, including winning awards for innovations, such as in citizen science (UCL Institutional Leadership Award 2018, NT100 List 2014). Our expertise in the interplay of conservation, development and wellbeing in different social-ecological systems, and in population and disease, promote understanding of alternative pathways for meeting global challenges.

Our academic staff are actively engaged in research or consultancy work in the fields of environment and development, and also maintain strong links with former students now working in academia, governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations in the UK and abroad. MSc students become part of this alumni network as members of the Human Ecology Research Group, learning directly from active researchers and practitioners through a weekly seminar series and developing contacts for their research and career development. Many of our graduates go on to become leaders in academic, international agency, government and third sector organisations.

During their time in London, students are also encouraged to take advantage of the wider anthropological and environment/development community, including through attendance at the many relevant seminar series offered at UCL and by neighbouring institutions, such as the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics, the Zoological Society of London, the Overseas Development Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development.

Department: Anthropology

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students who wish to gain a training and qualification integrating natural and social science approaches to environment and development as a foundation for higher-level research and professional work, and for graduates from other fields or careers wishing to supplement their existing knowledge and experience.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Anthropology, Environment and Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Anthropology, Environment and Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020