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The Environment and Development MA/MSc course is designed to provide you with an advanced theoretical understanding of the relationship between development problems and environmental issues, grounded in differing regional contexts across the global South.

The course provides a framework for appraising the understanding of environmental issues and development problems in Asia, Africa and Latin America and encourages you to look beyond conventional North-originated perspectives and assumptions through regional case studies.

Key benefits

  • Academic staff have first-hand experience of environmental and developmental issues in the world’s underdeveloped countries.
  • Opportunities to carry out original fieldwork either in the UK or overseas for your dissertation.
  • Excellent tutorial support, extensive course specific interactive teaching and regular classroom discussions.


The Environment & Development MA, MSc course offers a demanding and stimulating programme of study, with an emphasis on developing your analytical and research skills and on breaking free of conventional ‘North-originated’ paradigms on development. You will study modules covering Livelihoods and Development and Environmentalism in the ‘South’, as well as choosing from a wide range of optional modules. If you choose to follow the MSc research pathway, you will also study Advanced Quantitative & Spatial Methods in Human Geography.

The course is made up of optional and required modules. You must take the minimum of 180 credits to complete the course, 60 of which will come from a dissertation of around 12,000 words. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete. You will take the combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Per 20-credit taught module you can typically expect 20 hours worth of lectures, seminars and feedback. You can also expect 180 hours worth of self study (some modules in the Geography Department may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning).

For the Dissertation module you can typically expect four dissertation workshops/ tutorials and five contact hours of one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors. In addition to this you will have 587 hours worth of self-study and project work.


Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

MSc students are also required to take the following module:

If you are a part-time student, during your first year you should plan to take the required modules Practising Social Research, Development and Environmentalism in the ‘South’ and Environment, Livelihoods and Development in the ‘South’. During the second year you will take Dissertation in Environment & Development.

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 20 credits from a range of optional modules. Modules may typically include:

You will then take enough credits to bring your total for the degree to a minimum of 180 from a wide range of optional modules that may typically include:

  • any of the modules listed above
  • any Level 7 (Master’s) modules offered in the Department of Geography
  • any Level 7 (Master’s) modules offered in the India, China and Brazil Institutes. 

Career prospects

Many of our graduates have gone on to undertake further graduate study and work as research assistants for international development agencies. There are also good career opportunities with government agencies, international and national non-governmental organisations and academic research institutes.

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Visit the Environment and Development MA/MSc page on the King’s College London website for more details!