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Anthropology, Environment and Development - MSc

Course Description

Contemporary concerns with environment and development require a combination of biological and social anthropological approaches to examine the ecology of resource use in developing societies. This MSc evaluates the environmental implications and outcomes of these activities in terms of human subsistence and welfare via a systematic, theoretical and methodological training.

Degree information

Drawing on the strengths of our broad-based department and expertise in human ecology, social anthropology and demography, key areas of investigation include: the implications of changing environments for production systems and human welfare, the sustainable use of natural resources in developing countries and the environmental and welfare impacts of changing patterns of resource use with development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules:
-Resource Use and Impacts
-Anthropological Research Methods

Optional modules - choose two options from within the department - and in some cases outside the department - including at least one of the following that have been designed specifically for this programme:
-The Ecology of Human Groups
-Population and Development
-Anthropology of Development

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, group presentations, tutorials, interactive teamwork, video, and film and web based courses. It includes a non-examined weekly seminar series with both internal and invited speakers. Assessment is through essays, seen and unseen examinations, and the research dissertation.


Graduates of this programme have gone on to a wide range of relevant careers in research, teaching, consultancy, policy and advocacy work in universities, governmental bodies, national and international NGOs and international research organisations such as the CGIAR.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Public Researcher and Administrator, Global Canopy Program
-Education for Sustainable Development Researcher, Change Agents
-Anthropologist, Fundación Etnollano
-International Health Programme Officer, Royal College of General Practitioners
-Volunteer Co-Ordinator, Marine Research and Education Fund of Andenes (MAREFA)

The Master's integrates both natural and social science approaches and combines this with training in the methodological and practical dimensions of field work. The interdisciplinary perspective and demonstrable research skills obtained are an ideal training ground for students wishing to work with government, national or international NGOs or conduct further PhD research in the fields of environment and/or development. In addition to specialist knowledge and fieldwork experience, other skills graduates acquire include presentation and IT, research design and development, qualitative and quantitative analysis, project management, team building and leadership, fundraising and critical analysis and evaluation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. Our results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Teaching staff are all actively engaged in research or consultancy work in the area of environment and development. A strong alumni network within the Human Ecology Research Group and dedicated programmes of invited speakers allow for significant networking opportunities.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the wider anthropological community in London.

Visit the Anthropology, Environment and Development - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Lily Rubino

"I think the most valuable aspect of my degree programme has been the helpfulness of my dissertation supervisor and the departmental community. My supervisor has been invaluable with regards to shaping my research and challenging me to push the bounds of my academic inquiry. My fellow students along with the departmental staff and faculty have also created a safe and academically stimulating space centered around the communcal room provided for student use in the building."


Masters bursary - 3 Awards

The Department is offering three bursaries of £1000 each for Masters students applying for the academic year 2013-14. All those who have submitted an application by 30 June will automatically be considered and no additional application form is necessary. Awards will be awarded based on academic merit.

Value of Scholarship(s)



All applicants are considered.

Application Procedure

All those who have submitted an application by June 20th will be considered.


UCL Graduate Support Bursary - 20+ Awards

UCL is making 93 individual bursary awards available. Each bursary will cover the full tuition fee cost for the programme and provide £10,000 in maintenance funding per year.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The scheme is aimed at supporting traditionally under-represented groups to progress on to graduate study at UCL. All applicants will be required to demonstrate that their annual household income is currently under £42,611. This scheme is open to prospective students domiciled in the UK (that is, UK is your country of "ordinary residence”) who have "Home" tuition fee status.

Application Procedure

This initiative is funded through the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme. The UCL Graduate Support Bursary scheme forms part of UCL’s wider initiative to support graduate Master’s students.

Further Information



Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - 5 Awards

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.Awards are for taught Master's programmes only, subjects must be related to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate's country. UCL expects to be able to allocate five awards this academic year.Applicants must:
- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;
- Be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme;
- Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;
- Not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable);
- Be themselves, or through families, unable to pay for the proposed programme of study in the UK;
- Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)


Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries); Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;

Application Procedure

You must separately apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes through the standard admissions procedure.
You must apply for the scholarship on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online following the procedures described on their website.
In order to be considered for this scholarship at UCL, you must complete the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online: by the deadline of T23:59 (UCT) Sunday, 21 February 2016.All applications received before the deadline will be considered. If an application is received after this deadline it will not be deemed eligible and cannot be considered.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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