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Nature, Society and Environmental Governance MSc

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    OCT

  • Duration

    12 months

Course summary

About the course

The rate and complexity of environmental change poses profound economic, social and political challenges for contemporary society. Developing ways to address these challenges demands intellectual rigour, innovation and flexibility, as well as the capacity to think across existing disciplinary boundaries.

This course is grounded in the conviction that responses to global challenges requires researchers and practitioners trained in the social sciences, with the ability to think flexibly across disciplinary and sectorial boundaries. It will enable you to develop a theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded understanding of the dynamic relations between environment, society and policy. This course intensively engages with ongoing theoretical debates in human geography, political geography, political ecology and science and technology studies. Students should expect to engage with theoretical material and deconstruct some of the basic assumptions underpinning terms like ‘society’, ‘governance’, ‘territory’, ‘politics’ and ‘nature’ in order to develop conceptual tools to understand contemporary global change. This is not an ‘environmental policy’ programme - it is a programme that will prepare you to grapple with contemporary global challenges from the perspectives of critical social theory informed by a range of disciplines.

To this end, the course draws on the methods and approaches from across the social sciences, including fields such as human geography, anthropology, environmental economics, science and technology studies, and environmental management. It also facilitates dialogue between researchers and practitioners concerning contemporary issues of environmental policy and politics.

The specific objectives of the course are.

  • to provide broad and critical engagements with key debates in human geography, political ecology and the environmental social sciences, focussing on the relations between nature and society, science and politics, and urban natures
  • to foster an understanding of conceptual tools in human geography and how to apply them to the challenges of real-world environmental governance
  • to develop your conceptions of, and skills in, the research design and methods in the contemporary environmental social sciences, providing critical foundations for further study by research
  • to integrate you into world-leading research in the School of Geography and the Environment by providing core teaching and supervision by research-active staff
  • to enhance your personal and professional development.

Assessment

In addition to the dissertation, assessment is through written examination as well as an additional policy brief assignment for the core modules. The two electives are each assessed through a 4,000 word essay.

Graduate destinations

NSEG alumni are pursuing careers with a wide range of organisations, with a third or more entering MPhil or doctoral programmes in Oxford and elsewhere.

Examples of the organisations include government departments (eg US Department of Energy, National Water Services Agency Singapore), non-governmental organisations (eg OXFAM, Birdlife International), business organisations (eg Confederation of British Industry, Financial Services Authority) and international agencies (eg Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations Environment Programme).

The department's Alumni Office helps alumni keep in touch with each other and organises alumni events.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 25,900per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table

    1st

  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 71 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    186 93%

    4th

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    94.0 94%

    1st

    13
  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    n/a

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