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You study with leading anthropologists to understand a range of human-environment relations in contemporary environmental areas with options of studying broad areas of historical reference or planning and decision making. There has never been a more suitable time to study the relationship between humans and environment.

The programme gives you the benefit of choosing from several areas of understanding and study in your options. You may decide to go down an anthropological route to understand how we related to our environment in the past and how we have recorded our past to understand the relationship with environment previously. If you decided to take these options you would study anthropology, museums and curation which are all valuable skills within a range of heritage careers. You may decide to choose to study courses relating to environment and planning. There is a very great tension between environmental concerns and economic benefit, human rights, landscape value, the rights of species to survive and management of natural resources. These options will only grow in relevance, especially in light of 20th century environmental issues. You can really see the holistic view of challenges that affect our life on the planet at global scale, and fundamental changes to our communities which can then affect all living species on earth including human beings.

Human beings now live in what an increasing number of environmental scientists call the Anthropocene – a stage in the Earth’s geological and climate development that is dominated by the activities of humankind. Whether in the realm of conservation, biodiversity, evolution or climatology, no effective study of environmental issues can proceed without an understanding of human behaviour on both a large and the small scale.

You have quite a number of options available to you in terms of value to your career. You may be interested in working for conservation and activism organisations to promote understanding of the environment and threats to it, you may want to work in nature conservation or human centred environmental consultancy work to improve quality of life or change situations before they affect people and the environment or you may want to provide further research and study for a PhD. From here you may be able to either teach or influence policy, understanding and behaviour which may then lead to innovations for further.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Understanding People and Environment

Optional Courses

  • Researching Museum Collections
  • Museum Practice
  • Reviewing Museums
  • The Museum Idea
  • Research Skills in Anthropology
  • Supervised Reading
  • Anthropological Theory for MSc
  • Planning Land and Environmental Law
  • Forestry and Game Management
  • Collaboratoin and Partnership 1: Principles
  • Contemporary Environmental Challanges

Semester 2

Compulsory courses

  • Reading Environment Ethnography
  • Field Trips for People and Environment

Optional Courses

  • Roads, Mobility, Movement, Migration
  • Roads: Mobility, Movement, Migration
  • Supervised Reading
  • Curating an Exhibition
  • Work Placement for MSc in People and Environment
  • Research Design and Practice in Anthropology
  • Culture and Society in Latin America
  • Anthropology and Landscape
  • Culture and Society in Latin America (Extended)
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Governance and Political Economy of Sustainability

Semester 3

  • Dissertation in People and Environment

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Visit Us – Aberdeen, Online In Your Country

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You are taught by experts in a long established department which explores the interrelationship between human environment and anthropological field research
  • You can take a work placement within an environmental organisation as part of your degree.

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • September

International Student Fees


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Entry Requirements and Study Support

Short Courses

Living in Aberdeen

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Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

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Visit the People and The Environment MSc page on the Aberdeen University website for more details!





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