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Energy and Society (MSc)

Course Description

The MSc in Energy and Society is an innovative postgraduate programme designed to appeal across the disciplines. It will be of interest to engineers seeking to understand how and why innovations succeed or fail, to social scientists who want to improve their understanding of energy developments and to a broad range of graduates with an interest in today’s energy issues.

The full-time course 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 projects.

The programme draws on leading experts in energy studies at Durham from Anthropology, Engineering, Geography and other departments. The two core taught modules are delivered via intensive block-teaching, and there is also a field study.

Compulsory modules

-Energy in Practice (Field Study)
-Context and Challenges in Energy
-Society Energy, Society and Energy Practices

Previous optional modules have included:

-Academic and Professional Skills in Anthropology
-Fieldwork and Interpretation
-Group Renewable Energy Design Project
-Key Issues in Sociocultural Theory
-Society, Energy, Environment and Resilience
-Computational Methods for Social Sciences
-Anthropology and Development
-Negotiating the Human
-Statistical Analysis in Anthropology
-Energy, Markets and Risk
-Renewable Energy and the Environment
-Risk Frontiers

Please see http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/postgraduatestudy/taughtprogrammes/mscenergyandsociety for further information on modules.

Learning and Teaching

We place an emphasis on independent learning. This is supported by the University’s virtual learning environment, extensive library collections and informal contact with tutors and research staff. We consider the development of independent learning and research skills to be one of the key elements of our postgraduate taught curriculum and one which helps our students cultivate initiative, originality and critical thinking.

Students take required taught modules worth a total of 75 credits, and optional modules totaling 45 credits. On the full-time course they have on average 6 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, with two weeks of full-time teaching: one week for Context and Challenges in Energy and Society and one week for Energy, Society and Energy Practices. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.

Following the May assessment period, students undertake their 60 credit dissertation. This crucial piece of work is a significant piece of independent research that constitutes a synthesis of theory, method and practice in anthropology and is supported by an individual supervisor and the dissertation coordinator.

Throughout the programme, all students meet regularly 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. In term time, the department also has an extensive programme of departmental and research group seminars which postgraduate students are encouraged and expected to attend. The undergraduate Anthropology Society also organises its own visiting lecturer programme. We ensure that we advertise any other relevant seminars and lectures in Durham, Newcastle and further afield, and encourage students to attend relevant conferences.

Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff. Students also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.

Visit the Energy and Society (MSc) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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