Postgraduate study

Global Environment, Politics & Society

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

This is a truly interdisciplinary degree, combining environmental politics and environmental sociology with normative philosophy.

This programme provides a social science-based, practice-oriented understanding of global environmental challenges and solutions. Understanding issues such as climate change, sustainable development and biodiversity requires knowledge about the political, moral and societal dimensions of environmental problems and solutions.

This programme will provide you with knowledge and analytical tools to address questions such as:

  • Are meaningful environmental agreements possible in a system of sovereign states?
  • Is the environment more than an economic resource for human exploitation?
  • What drives groups, individuals or institutions to take action on environmental issues?
  • What is the effect of such mobilisation?

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Teaching methods will include seminars, group work, lectures, presentations and guided independent study. Students will be assessed through coursework, seminar assessment and presentations.

Students will also undertake a supervised research dissertation, or may apply to complete a project-based report with an NGO, government department, political party, or business over the spring and summer.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Environment, Politics and Society1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScGlobal Environment, Politics and Society2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

Students on this programme will:

  • develop a critical understanding of the key concepts, actors and dynamics characterising global environmental problems and solutions
  • engage critically with different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives on environmental issues
  • assess competing claims and make informed judgements about current global environmental problems
  • develop their ability to present - in written and verbal form - coherent, balanced arguments
  • use a range of research skills to plan and execute a significant project of research on a major global environmental challenge

You will acquire an advanced, multidisciplinary understanding of the major contemporary environmental challenges facing the world, and the different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives (from politics, international relations, ethics and sociology) used to explain them.

You will graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to assess competing claims and make informed judgements about current global environmental problems and possible solutions.

Such knowledge and skills are sought after by a wide range of public and private employers in the fields of environmental policy, consultancy and advocacy.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in social science, humanities or environmental science, or relevant work experience in the environmental field.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD