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MA in Environment, Development and Policy

Course Description

Can the world combat poverty and environmental degradation at the same time? How do we deliver a green economy? Is continued economic growth compatible with sustainability? Answers to these key questions facing the world require a deep understanding of the relationship between environment, development and the world of politics and policy which shapes how sustainable development is.

From climate to energy, from food to biodiversity, this MA highlights a range of pressing environmental issues and developmental challenges.You gain a critical understanding of how far policy has sought to address them. You are exposed to a range of conceptual tools for understanding the role of knowledge, institutions, social relations and power that shape societal responses to these issues.

This course attracts a vibrant mix of practitioners and students from around the world. Sussex has one of the largest concentrations of researchers from the natural and social sciences working on issues of environment and development in applied, engaged and theoretically interesting ways. Our campus is also home to an active student body hosting frequent debates, lectures, films and social events on these issues.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

This MA is built around a number of core modules and options. However, it is also possible for you to choose an option from other courses within the School of Global Studies, subject to the fulfilment of any prerequisites and the availability of places. Note that not all options run in any one year.

Autumn term: Political Economy of the Environment • Theories of Development and Underdevelopment.

Spring term: you choose two from Activism for Development and Social Justice • Anthropology of Reconciliation and Reconstruction • Anthropology of Childhood • Critical Debates in Environment and Development • Cultural Understandings of Health and Healing • Embodiment and Institutionalisation of Violence • Fair Trade, Ethical Business and New Moral Economies • Globalisation and Rural Change • Knowledge, Power and Resistance • Migration, Inequality and Social Change • Poverty, Marginality and Everyday Lives • Refugees and Development • The Architecture of Aid • Transnational Migration and Diaspora. Other options may also be available.

You also take a Research Methods and Professional Skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops, including one that prepares you for your dissertation.

Summer term: you work on your dissertation, or on a dissertation with a placement.


Most modules are assessed through 3,000-5,000-word term papers. You also write a 10,000-word dissertation.


The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Visit the MA in Environment, Development and Policy page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in the social or natural sciences. Applicants with other degrees or relevant practical work experience will also be considered. Overseas entrance requirements: View Website

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