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Course content

Studying for your Master of Environment and Society (MEnvSoc) at the University of Waikato gives you the chance to build on the skills and knowledge you've already gained during your undergraduate degree. You'll learn how to critically analyse the various points of view relating to environmental challenges. You'll develop your understanding of these different perspectives, and learn how to use your insights to deal with those challenges.

During your MEnvSoc, you'll do a combination of studying essential papers and preparing a dissertation or thesis. You'll be able to complete up to 120 points worth of papers and either a 60-point dissertation or a 90-point thesis. Your dissertation or thesis will be based on your own research, and you'll choose a topic relating to environmental and societal inter-relationships.

You might also like to include some relevant papers from other areas, such as environmental science, law and management. Taking this approach to structuring your degree helps you strengthen the connection between understanding issues at a theoretical level and applying the theory in practice.

The Faculty's links with groups working in local government, education and the community provide a range of opportunities for students studying towards a MEnvSoc. You'll benefit from guest lectures, workshops and field trips that have had input from members of the community or professional contributors . The teaching staff themselves are active researchers with national or global reputations in their specialist areas. You'll have the chance to benefit from their knowledge and expertise. Working with the staff, you'll be able to take advantage of, and directly access, global research ideas and communities.

Course structure

For candidates entering with a bachelors degree, the normal minimum period of enrolment for completion of the MEnvSoc is 18 months. It requires completion of 180 points at 500 level comprising at least 90 points of taught papers (List A and List B papers below) and a maximum of a 90-point research thesis. At the discretion of the programme convenors, students may also include up to 30 points in relevant papers outside of List A or List B.

Candidates must choose a minimum of 60 points from a select list of core papers (List A), including any compulsory papers. This will be complemented by 30 to 60 points from taught elective papers from a select list of papers (List A or List B), and a 60-point dissertation or a 90 point thesis in an approved topic relevant to environment and society.

For students entering with an honours degree or postgraduate diploma, the normal minimum period of enrolment for completion of the MEnvSoc is 12 months. It requires completion of 120 points at 500 level, comprising at least 30 points of taught papers from List A, including any compulsory papers, and either a 60-point dissertation or a 90-point research thesis.

List A

  • ANTH521 Environmental Anthropology (15 points)
  • ECON515 Economics and the Environment (30 points)
  • ENVP505 Māori Environmental Management (15 points)
  • ENVP510 Planning Theory (15 points)
  • GEOG520 Human Dimensions of Environmental Change (30 points)
  • HIST512 Themes in Environmental and World Garden History (30 points)
  • POLS537 Environmental Politics and Public Policy (30 points)
  • POLS504 Gender, Justice and the Environment (15 points)

List B

  • ACCT507 Accounting, Sustainability and a Changing Environment (30 points)
  • ANTH512 Anthropology and Development (15 points)
  • BIOL560 Freshwater Ecology (15 points)
  • BIOL562 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (15 points)
  • BIOL570 Plant Ecology (15 points)
  • DEVS502 Sustainable Resource Issues (30 points)
  • ECON539 Environmental and Resource Economics (15 points)
  • ENVS524 Environmental Evaluation (15 points)
  • GEOG515 Māori Geography (30 points)
  • GEOG521 Advanced Tourism and Development (30 points)
  • LAWS570 Comparative Environmental Law and Politics(30 points)
  • MCOM584 Sustainable Futures (30 points)
  • STER513 Environmental and Sustainability Education (30 points)
  • STMG580 Strategies for Sustainability (30 points)
  • TOMG502 Tourism Development and the Environment (30 points)

Career opportunities

Once you've completed your MEnvSoc, you'll be able to choose a career path that uses your skills. You might be interested in moving into policy work, whether that be at the local, regional or national level. Perhaps instead you'd prefer to work with the Waitangi Tribunal or local iwis. The MEnvSoc's interdisciplinary environmental focus provides the skills and knowledge for graduates to be able to work in those areas.


Visit the Master of Environment and Society (MEnvSoc) page on the University of Waikato website for more details!

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