Postgraduate Course

MA Environment, Society and Culture

MA Environment, Society and Culture

Overview

The details
Environment, Society and Culture
October 2023
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

How do we as human beings shape and impact the environment? What are the implications of legal and business practices, public policy and cultural production on our surroundings? What is the connection between local actions and global outcomes, and vice versa?

Environmental challenges, such as climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss, are the defining crises of our time. We’re committed to helping you build the vital skills and knowledge you need to think critically about environmental issues and to respond to them sensitively. We’re interested in studying how diverse cultures and societies interact with the environment locally and globally. From the use of technology, to consumer habits and political conflicts, we examine the influence human activities have on the environment past, present and future.

Throughout the course we cover topics including but not limited to:

  • Sustainability
  • Cultural diversity and human rights
  • Environmental philosophy and ethics
  • Environmental policy and activism
  • Psychogeography
  • Nature writing and the arts

Understanding our impacts on the environment requires a diverse skillset. Based in our Interdisciplinary Studies Centre, you will be taught by experts from a range of disciplines across the humanities, social sciences and science and health, giving you a true interdisciplinary approach to the issue.

Why we're great.
  • Our range of optional modules means our students will become versatile and intellectually imaginative graduates, able to respond sensibly to the current environmental crisis.
  • We value an all-round approach and have an extraordinary range of teaching and research expertise.
  • You have the opportunity to participate in field trips throughout your studies.

Our expert staff

Our staff are among world leaders in their field, and our common interest in the environment is key to our research. Our current research interests include: environmental policy; nature writing and ecocriticism; biodiversity; sustainable development; environmental philosophy; nature writing; environmental aesthetics; sustainability and community engagement; environmental law and activism; ecoliteracy; green exercise; and green criminology.

Our flexible course is combined with a supportive structure which helps you to pursue the modules best-suited to your interests. We take the time to get to know you as an individual, welcome you into our scholarly community, and value your views.

Specialist facilities

Your future

You will be ready to tackle climate change and environmental issues. We expect our graduates will be qualified to work in a number of fields and roles, including at NGOs, local and national governments, community-lead roles, the charitable sector, research facilities, at environment agencies, in human rights roles and in education.

We also work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in any discipline.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 and 6.0 in writing

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Interdisciplinary MA Dissertation
(80 CREDITS)

Each student chooses an area of interdisciplinary research in which to write a dissertation of 12,000 words. Topics have to be agreed by an appropriate supervisor.

View Interdisciplinary MA Dissertation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Global Challenges in Interdisciplinary Perspective: Water Conflicts, Water Cultures
(20 CREDITS)

Access to water is one of the most urgent global challenges facing us today. Vital for health and well-being, as well as integral to indigenous cultures and industrial processes, water is a threatened commons and contested commodity. In this module, we will explore global and local case studies that highlight challenges of scarcity, contamination, privatization, and climate change, and the cultural importance of bodies of water for diverse communities. We will examine water-related problems, such as economic and urban development, grassroots activism, political conflict, community relations, heritage and public health.

View Global Challenges in Interdisciplinary Perspective: Water Conflicts, Water Cultures on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Environmental Philosophy
(20 CREDITS)

This module introduces students to key debates within environmental ethics, looking at the history of environmental ethics as well as at contemporary debates within animal ethics, environmental injustice and racism, environmental activism, the rights of future generations and apocalyptic ethics. Throughout the course, we will actively engage with recent news stories and developments in environmental science, finding and discussing the ethical dilemmas these give rise to. We will consider the strengths and weaknesses of applying traditional ethical frameworks like deontology, virtue ethics and utilitarianism to these problems, and look at more recent attempts at attributing value and agency to our non-human environment.

View Environmental Philosophy on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(40 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

Teaching

  • Modules include introductions to the topic by your tutor, presentations by you and discussions based on a programme of reading.
  • We run a number of mini-courses, seminars and conferences that our postgraduates are encouraged to attend.
  • Some modules include field trips, giving real understanding and context of the topic.

Assessment

  • Assessment is normally on the basis of coursework and your supervised dissertation.

Dissertation

  • Your dissertation allows you to focus in depth on your chosen topic from April onwards. This enables you to gain an in depth knowledge of an area that interests you

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,660

International fee

£20,700

What's next

Open Days

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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