Skip to main content
Start Dates
Degree type

MA

Course length

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Location

Durham City

Program code

V8K907

Ready to Apply?
1

Course details

The MA in Environmental Humanities explores how research in the study of the humanities disciplines can be applied to make a difference and boost the effectiveness of our response to the ever-growing global environmental crisis.

The course takes up elements from modules in departments including Anthropology, English Studies, Geography, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, and Theology and Religion to provide you with a firm grounding for either carrying out further research at a higher level or making a game-changing contribution to tackling environmental and climate issues.

The course is centred around two core modules. Environmental Humanities: Frameworks and Debates introduces the relevant methodological approaches and explores the innovative ways in which the arts and humanities are able to join or challenge scientific and technological responses. The second module, Climate and Energy: Intensive Study gives you an overview of current climate science and the social, political and economic aspects of energy usage.

You can structure the remainder of your course around your areas of interest. This includes an interdisciplinary dissertation and further modules chosen from topics as varied as environmental philosophy, approaches to environmental history, cross-cultural understandings of nature, and religious understandings of living in a time of crisis, as well as the opportunity to take a language module.

Our intention is to serve the societies in which we all live by producing thoughtful, critical and engaged citizens who will contribute positively in a rapidly changing and complex world. We will provide you with the tools for analysis, interpretation and expression, tools to discuss and compare models of human life and its flourishing, and tools for imagining the future.

Course structure

Core modules:

Environmental Humanities: Frameworks and Debates introduces current, cutting-edge and emergent topics and debates within interdisciplinary research in the environmental humanities. It also enables you to understand how the histories of environmental degradation and climate change are interlinked with inequalities around gender, race and class.

Climate and Energy – Intensive Study provides an overview of current issues in climate and energy, with the emphasis on energy and sustainability and an update on key energy technologies and infrastructures. It also enables you to consider the relationship between energy and society through time and explore the socio-politics of energy today from a variety of perspectives, including social, political, economic, and the use of energy in global geopolitics.

The Interdisciplinary Dissertation is carried out on a substantial topic in any discipline or disciplines represented in your programme of study. You will choose the topic under expert guidance, bringing together theories and concepts from modules across the course.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Environmental Posthumanities
  • The Four Horsemen: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death
  • The Nature of History: Approaches to Environmental History
  • Science, Technology and The Remaking of 'Nature'
  • Ecology, Colonialism/Imperialism and Literature
  • Environmental Philosophy
  • Theology, Nature and Environment
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience
  • Understanding Risk
  • Society, Energy, Environment and Resilience: Applied Environmental Anthropology
  • Advanced Studies in Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival
  • Advanced Studies in Development, Conflict, and Crisis in the Lower Omo Valley
  • Advanced Studies in Poison, Pollution, and the Chemical Anthropocene
  • Risk, Science and Communication
  • Risk Frontiers
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques
  • Global Environmental Law
  • Up to two relevant Level 3 modules (including language options from the Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning

The course is delivered through a mixture of seminars, discussion classes, lectures and tutorials, with formal teaching sessions supported by your own preparatory study and independent reading outside the set contact hours.

Core subject matter is delivered through the lectures with the subsequent group sessions all giving you the opportunity for further discussion and understanding.

The academic environment for your learning experience is supportive and relaxed with the programme director available to offer academic advice and guidance.

The course culminates in the interdisciplinary dissertation on a subject of your own choice. You will receive regular one-to-one guidance from a supervisor with subject expertise as you make progress.

Assessment

Assessment involves a variety of evaluation methods that will measure your progress through the course.

The methods used will depend on the modules you choose but will reflect the flexible nature of the course: for example, assessment may include group presentations, essays, short pieces of writing aimed at a public audience, or a short podcast. You will also be required to produce a dissertation of 15,000 words on a subject of interest to you.

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have an upper-second class degree, or the equivalent from a recognised national or international university; normally this will need to have a strong essay component.

You will also need to provide a personal statement of no more than 500 words. In your personal statement you should indicate why you are interested in this programme, include any relevant background experience you may have, and tell us anything else you think it would be helpful for us to know as we consider your application.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £11,700 per year
EU students £24,700 per year
Island students £11,700 per year
International students £24,700 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £6,500 per year
EU students £13,600 per year
Island students £6,500 per year
International students £13,600 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.

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.

No information is available at present - please consider using our Ask Us facility for assistance.

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

Rankings

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

  • English Department – 4th in The Complete University Guide 2024 and 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • History Department – 4th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Philosophy Department – 8th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Geography Department – 5th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Anthropology Department – 8th in The Complete University Guide 2024

No information is available at present - please consider using our Ask Us facility for assistance.

Apply

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
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

Similar courses

Medical Humanities - MA

Program Code: Q3KG07
Start: September 2024
Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities (Online) - MA

Program Code: Q3KF07
Start: September 2024
Medical Humanities (Online)

Medical Humanities (Online) - PCert

Program Code: Q3KF14
Start: September 2024
Medical Humanities (Online)

Medical Humanities (Online) - PGDip

Program Code: Q3KF12
Start: September 2024
Medical Humanities (Online)