This course enables students to learn how anthropological ideas and approaches are vital for understanding the environmental, social and economic crises of the contemporary world. It teaches how to engage with local knowledge and community-based approaches, rather than rely on global blueprints for sustainable development. The programme is taught by an active, interdisciplinary team involved in world-class research on development issues. We offer comparative knowledge about achieving environmental and social sustainability through participatory approaches and active collaborations with projects for empowerment in the Global South. Geographical areas of expertise include Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Melanesia. Staff also help students connect with Durham’s excellent research communities such as the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, and the Durham Energy Institute.
The MSc is based around core modules focusing on the challenges of pro-poor transitions to sustainability, aided by culturally informed perspectives on new themes in development such as resilience, and energy justice. Options allow you to pursue subject interests with specialist guidance. The dissertation enables you to conduct independent research under the supervision of an expert, and become a master of your chosen topic.
Please see the website for further information on modules.
The MSc in Sustainability, Culture and Development (full-time) consists of two terms of teaching, during which students are introduced to the range of research questions and methods, and a dissertation, involving the design, development and implementation of an independent research project. Students work closely with academic staff, and have the opportunity to become involved in active research networks and projects.
The programme is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, film showings and discussion, workshops, and optional fieldtrips, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lecture formats deliver key concepts and case study comparisons on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in modules and gathered from independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. They give students an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research in Anthropology, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues.
Full-time students have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, and are also expected to attend weekly departmental research seminars, often given by prominent visiting speakers, as well as relevant seminars at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience and the Durham Energy Institute. Students also have the opportunity to present their work at the Department’s annual postgraduate conference. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work. Throughout the programme, all students meet fortnightly with the degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Furthermore, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis, or can be e-mailed to arrange a mutually agreeable time. Students work closely with leading academics to develop an original piece of research for their dissertation, and guidance on the dissertation is also provided by the dissertation leader. Before the academic year starts, we make contact with incoming students via the postgraduate office. On arrival, we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff. The Programme Tutor will also lead local excursions, to orient students with important, beautiful, interesting and fun places around Durham. Students also attend an 'Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology'.
Students with a postgraduate qualification in Anthropology pursue a diverse array of careers in areas such as conservation, tourism, public health, health research and management, captive primate care and zoological research management, local government research and management, education (secondary, further and higher), social care, social research, in addition to academia.
Visit the Sustainability, Culture and Development - MSc page on the Durham University website for more details!