The Environment, Politics and Society MSc programme explores the way scientific, political and cultural practices shape our understanding of the relationship between society and the environment. 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.
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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
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.
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: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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
The programme explores the social, economic, cultural and political processes through which expert and lay knowledges of environmental and political changes is acquired, communicated and incorporated in decision-making. It equips students with a range of social science methods and personal transferable skills which are essential for social and environmental politics, practices and policy.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme offers two routes: standard and research. Standard consists of four core modules (60 credits), options (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits). Research consists of five core modules to include both qualitative and quantitative methods modules (75 credits), options (45 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Environment, Politics and Society.
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.
- Environmental Knowledges
- Environment, Politics and Practice
- Social Science Research Methodologies (qualitative methods)
- Research route only: Social Science Research Methodologies (quantitative methods)
All modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.
- Conservation and Environment Management
- Politics of Climate Change
- Advanced Geopolitics
- Cities and Climate Change
- Postcolonial Cultural Geographies
- Marine Conservation
- Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing
- Social Science Research Methodologies (quantitative methods)
Students may also select one module outside the department with the permission of the programme convenor.
Module availability is dependent on staff sabbaticals.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
The Changing Landscapes optional modules have additional costs related to fieldwork.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, discussions, workshops, practical classes and field trips. Dissertation seminars provide opportunities to meet previous MSc students to discuss their dissertations and subsequent career. Assessment is through coursework and the research dissertation.
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.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The first cohort of students on the Environment, Politics and Society MSc graduate in 2017. The programme is fundamentally academic in character rather than vocational and we anticipate careers destinations to be broadly similar to the Environment, Science and Society programme which preceded it. Graduates of Environment, Science and Society 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.
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 facilitates access to careers in international organisations (UNDP, World Bank), government (UK DECC, UK Home Office, Lewisham Council), NGOs (WWF, Greenpeace), education (the Open University, UCL, and the University of Hong Kong) and a wide varity of charitable organisations.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The MSc offers core conceptual training and the ability to specialise your degree through optional modules and the dissertation. You will have the opportunity to learn from previous graduates and other academics and practitioners in seminars
The programme encourages small-group discussions of conceptual debates about practices of environment and geo-politics, drawing on fellow students' diversity of nationalities and academic and work backgrounds.
The MSc offers core conceptual training and the ability to specialise your degree through optional modules and the dissertation. You will have the opportunity to learn from previous graduates and other academics and practitioners in seminars.
Application and next steps
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?
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 or intending to be employed in an environmental career who wish to enhance their skills.
- 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 Environment, Politics and Society
- why you want to study Environment, Politics 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.