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    School of Social and Political Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Environmental Sciences

    Politics & Government

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    03 October 2019

Programme description

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.

Programme structure

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.

Learning outcomes

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

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the Global Environment, Politics and Society (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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