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1 year full time, 2 years part time


Durham City

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Course details

The MA in Environmental Humanities is an exciting new interdisciplinary programme that aims to explore how the methods and insights of humanities disciplines can contribute to developing a response to the environmental crisis. It enables you to cross disciplinary boundaries, working across the humanities and engaging with approaches from the social and natural sciences. It provides you with a foundation for further research at PhD level as well as for more practical or activist forms of engagement.

The programme draws on modules from many departments including Anthropology, English Studies, Geography, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, and Theology and Religion, and offers you the flexibility to tailor your choice of modules to your interests. You will also have the opportunity to meet other postgraduates working in the area of environmental sustainability, through shared teaching and social events with students from the MSc in Sustainability, Energy and Development (Anthropology) and the MSc in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (Economics).

All students on the MA in Environmental Humanities take two core modules. The first, Environmental Humanities: Frameworks and Debates (30 credits), introduces you to the methodological approaches embraced by the environmental humanities. The second, Climate and Energy: Intensive Study (15 credits), gives you an overview of current climate science and an introduction to the social, political and economic dimensions of energy usage.

You will also write an interdisciplinary dissertation in any area of the environmental humanities (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows you to explore your own areas of interest in depth. Finally, optional modules from participating Departments will bring your course total to 180 credits. All elements of the MA have embedded within them a range of interdisciplinary content and skills.

Course Structure

In addition to the core modules and the dissertation, you take 75 credits of optional modules. Examples of optional modules (either 15 credits or 30 credits) include:

  • The Nature of History: Approaches to Environmental History (History)
  • Ecology, Colonialism/Imperialism and Literature (Modern Languages and Cultures)
  • Environmental Posthumanities (English Studies)
  • Environmental Philosophy (Philosophy)
  • Advanced Studies in Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival (Anthropology)
  • Climate, Risk and Society (Geography)
  • Theology, Nature and Environment (Theology and Religion)
  • Science, Technology and The Remaking of 'Nature' (Modern Languages and Cultures)
  • The Four Horsemen: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death (History)
  • Risk, Science and Communication (Geography)
  • Society, Energy, Environment & Resilience: Applied Environmental Anthropology (Anthropology)
  • Global Environmental Law (Law)
  • Advanced Studies in Development, Conflict, and Crisis in the Lower Omo Valley (Anthropology)
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques (Geography)
  • Advanced Studies in Poison, Pollution, and the Chemical Anthropocene (Anthropology)
  • Understanding Risk (Geography)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (Geography)
  • Risk Frontiers (Geography)
  • Strategic Leadership (Management and Marketing)

The optional modules on offer change each year, as they reflect the research interests of staff, so we cannot guarantee in advance that a particular module will be running in any particular year.


The MA in Environmental Humanities is delivered through a variety of means, including seminars, discussion classes, lectures, and tutorials. You will also receive regular one-to-one supervision from a subject specialist while you are working on your dissertation. The Programme Director is readily available to provide academic support and advice, and to point you to further forms of support as needed.

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have an upper-second class degree, normally with an average of 65% or more, or the equivalent from a recognised national or international university.

Two positive academic or equivalent professional references are required.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £11,300 per year
EU students £23,900 per year
Island students £11,300 per year
International students £23,900 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £6,300 per year
EU students £13,200 per year
Island students £6,300 per year
International students £13,200 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

There is an array of career options possible that include professions in national, international and local government agencies, sustainability management, policy research, corporate responsibility and sustainability, environmental journalism and writing, environmental tourism, environmentally-oriented NGOs and charities and conservation work. The MA in Environmental Humanities also offers enhanced suitability for business graduate programmes in sustainability.

An optional module in Durham University Business School on strategic leadership offers opportunities for those wishing to develop their organizational leadership skills.

Employers often value Masters graduates in arts and humanities for their understanding and ability to communicate, flexibility, as well as their analytical and synthetic competence.

Department information

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

This programme is led from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, bringing in modules from that Faculty but also building on modules from other Faculties that will serve the wider suite of programmes. We are proud that our Faculty of Arts & Humanities is recognised as a world leading Faculty, and our work is intended to enrich, shape and transform lives. We nurture thoughtful, critical and engaged citizens for a rapidly changing and complex world.

For more information on our Faculty and the Departments within it, see our webpages: Faculty of Arts and Humanities - Durham University


Arts & Humanities subjects ranked 33rd in the World top 50 in the Times Higher Education Rankings by Subject 2023

  • English Department – 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023 and Guardian University Guide 2023
  • History Department – 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023
  • Philosophy Department – 8th in the Complete University Guide 2023
  • Geography Department - 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023
  • Anthropology Department – 4th in the Complete University Guide 2023


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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