Postgraduate Course

MA Environment, Society and Culture

MA Environment, Society and Culture

Overview

The details
Environment, Society and Culture
October 2020
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. We’re ranked top 5 in the UK for social science research (REF 2014).

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.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

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.

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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

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.

Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)

Get valuable real-life experience from inside the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America’s (ESCALA) dedicated teaching museum space. As well as discussing and analysing artworks from the collection, take on the exciting challenge of proposing a new acquisition for ESCALA. Whilst the task is hypothetical, if the committee decides to pursue the acquisition, you could be credited for your contribution.

View Collecting Art From Latin America (optional) on our Module Directory

Managing for Ethics and Sustainability (optional)

Explore issues ranging from environmental disasters to corporate greed and from executive pay to ethical bottled water. You discover the relationship between management and corporations on the one hand, and society and nature on the other, engaging in debates around ecological sustainability, governance and corporate ethics and responsibility.

View Managing for Ethics and Sustainability (optional) on our Module Directory

Environmental Politics (optional)

Study one of the most important contemporary aspects of political action: the natural environment. You consider the state of the environment and possible paths along which it might change, before exploring environmental policies from the level of individual values, to the environmental movement, to political parties, and finally to the level of the EU.

View Environmental Politics (optional) on our Module Directory

The New Nature Writing (optional)

On this module, you approach writing about the natural world through a series of three-week units on subjects such as trees, marshes, coasts, and birds. Each unit will begin with a focus on the local – the wild east of Essex and Suffolk – before moving outwards to larger perspectives. Several of the units will involve field trips led by the writers being studied, which will include such figures as Richard Mabey and Robert Macfarlane.

View The New Nature Writing (optional) on our Module Directory

Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography (optional)

A new genre of literature has been emerging: moving between fiction, history, traveller's tales, and memoir, it explores the spirit of place. This tradition of “psychogeography” has been most vividly taken up and given a new contemporary twist by writers in the eastern stretches of England, in the work of writers such as Ronald Blythe, W.G. Sebald and Iain Sinclair. This module is concerned with writing on the landscape of this region – the ways the wilder reaches of Essex and Suffolk have been depicted – and allows you to develop your critical and creative writing about place. This module usually involves a walking tour around Colchester where we will have the chance to explore these literary landscapes and experience these worlds for ourselves. Students will incur travel costs of approximately £2.50 for this trip.

View Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography (optional) on our Module Directory

Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose (optional)

Wilderness. Activism. Extinction. What is the relationship between literature and the environment, and how has it changed over time? How does imaginative thought connect with scientific understanding? Study leading environmental theorists alongside literary works from the Romantic period to postmodernity, while optional film screenings enhance your study of written texts.

View Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose (optional) on our Module Directory

Colonialism, Cultural Diversity and Human Rights (optional)

How has colonialism created human rights problems, now and in the past? And what part did mandates for free markets, industrialism and state sovereignty play? Study thinkers like Cesaire, Fanon, Arendt, Agamben and Taussig. Discuss specific international situations like Palestine, forced removal of Aboriginal children and the war on terror.

View Colonialism, Cultural Diversity and Human Rights (optional) on our Module Directory

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/EU fee

£8,340

International fee

£17,900

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

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.

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

If you are applying to a masters course in Philosophy you must provide a piece of critical academic writing (2,500 words) on a topic relevant to your application.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 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.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

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Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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