Postgraduate study

Environment, Culture and Society MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Welcoming students from a variety of backgrounds, this exciting MSc will enable you to bridge disciplinary divides and tackle the environmental issues that face us all.

The MSc in Environment, Culture and Society provides you with up-to-date knowledge of the contemporary issues and debates on the relationships between the environment, nature, culture and society. Taught by world-leading experts and drawing on expertise from across the University, especially from social and political studies, landscape architecture, literature, archaeology, geography, philosophy, theology, science and technology studies, and development studies, the programme provides a unique critical perspective.

You will develop the skills and abilities to assess the importance and implications of geographical and other conceptual debates which shape environmental policy and practice. Our graduates are equipped to think critically, to generate new knowledge related to the environment, and to use this knowledge effectively to address urgent environmental challenges across a range of specialities such as policy, conservation, education, public consultation and the arts.

This programme is affiliated with a variety of University networks including the School of GeoSciences’ Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group, the Global Environment and Society Academy and the Energy and Society Network.

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student blog, where our students share their experiences of postgraduate study, living in Edinburgh and everything in-between.

This MSc programme is comprised of:

  • 2 Compulsory courses
  • 4 Option courses
  • Dissertation

Although we endeavour to provide a wide range of optional courses to choose from, these can be subject to change or cancellation at short notice. Places on optional courses can be restricted on the basis of numbers, room capacity and timetabling constraints. It may not be possible to guarantee every offer holder their top choice of optional courses*.

*(Revised 11 December 2019 to include information on optional courses.)

You will experience a range of teaching styles while you are studying, depending on the subject matter and courses you are taking. Courses can be delivered through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, practicals, short field trips and longer field courses.

Part-time study

As we are committed to helping people into education whilst continuing to work or managing family and personal commitments, you may study this programme part-time.

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
MScEnvironment, Culture and Society1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScEnvironment, Culture and Society2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

You will be equipped to think critically across disciplinary divides, to generate new knowledge related to the environment and use this knowledge to address urgent environmental challenges. You will be encouraged and supported to develop your interests at an advanced level in an area you are most passionate about.

Our graduates have been successful in pursuing a variety of careers including environmental policy, conservation, animal welfare, corporate social responsibility, education, business communications and research. Due to the diversity of the topics within the programme, you can work in a range of sectors including government, NGO’s (such as environmental charities and development organisations), the private sector and academia.

An example of the organisations our graduates have gained employment include Conservation International, the National Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Climate Group, European Commission, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the Provincial Ministry of Environmental and Climate Change (Canada), KPMG Sustainability (Japan), Environmental Law Institute (America), Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Regen, and Clean Up Australia.

The programme provides various day trips and workshop opportunities in locations across southern Scotland. Previous locations have included the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Jupiter Artland.

  • We are pleased to advise that we do not charge extra fees for compulsory field trips and excursions.
  • Locations may change for a variety of reasons. In any given academic year, the destination will be announced as soon as possible.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant industry experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fee deposit

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 to secure your place on the programme.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Field trips and field courses

We do not charge extra fees for compulsory field trips or field courses. Costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence on compulsory field trips will be covered by the programme fees. However incidental/ personal expenses are to be met by the student.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEnvironment, Culture and Society1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEnvironment, Culture and Society2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

School of GeoSciences Scholarships

Browse funding opportunities

You are also encouraged to undertake your own research into the range of potential scholarships and other funding for which you may be eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP

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.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP