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Course content

Contemporary concerns with environment and development require a combination of biological and social anthropological approaches to examine the ecology of resource use in developing societies. This MSc evaluates the environmental implications and outcomes of these activities in terms of human subsistence and welfare via a systematic, theoretical and methodological training.

About this degree

Drawing on the strengths of our broad-based department and expertise in human ecology, social anthropology and demography, key areas of investigation include: the implications of changing environments for production systems and human welfare, the sustainable use of natural resources in developing countries and the environmental and welfare impacts of changing patterns of resource use with development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Resource Use and Impacts
  • Anthropological Research Methods
  • Statistics

Optional modules

Choose two options from within the department - and in some cases outside the department - including at least one of the following that have been designed specifically for this programme:

  • The Ecology of Human Groups
  • Population and Development
  • Anthropology of Development
  • Biosocial Anthropology, Health and Environment
  • Social Construction of the Landscape
  • Anthropology of the Built Environment

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, group presentations, tutorials, interactive teamwork, video, and film and web based courses. It includes a non-examined weekly seminar series with both internal and invited speakers. Assessment is through essays, seen and unseen examinations, and the research dissertation.

Fieldwork

The third term is given over to the dissertation project. Students conduct fieldwork for approximately two months. Fieldwork is self-funded and it is usual for students to find their own fieldwork site. 

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Anthropology, Environment and Development MSc

Careers

Graduates of this programme have gone on to a wide range of relevant careers in research, teaching, consultancy, policy and advocacy work in universities, governmental bodies, national and international NGOs and international research organisations such as the CGIAR.

Employability

The Master's integrates both natural and social science approaches and combines this with training in the methodological and practical dimensions of field work. The interdisciplinary perspective and demonstrable research skills obtained are an ideal training ground for students wishing to work with government, national or international NGOs or conduct further PhD research in the fields of environment and/or development. In addition to specialist knowledge and fieldwork experience, other skills graduates acquire include presentation and IT, research design and development, qualitative and quantitative analysis, project management, team building and leadership, fundraising and critical analysis and evaluation

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. Our results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Teaching staff are all actively engaged in research or consultancy work in the area of environment and development. A strong alumni network within the Human Ecology Research Group and dedicated programmes of invited speakers allow for significant networking opportunities.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the wider anthropological community in London.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Anthropology, Environment and Development (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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