MSc Environment and Global Development
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Science
- Course Length
- 1 year
- Course Start Date
- September 2023
Are you a natural resource specialist? Are you interested in understanding how environmental issues affect poverty alleviation? Do you want to make development more sustainable? Seize your chance to take an MSc that offers a unique interdisciplinary approach. You’ll consider natural processes, social issues and political implications, giving you a unique viewpoint.
The interaction between environment and development is studied through analysing policy processes at local, national and international levels. You’ll look at a large cast of actors – including policy makers, politicians, business administrators, rural and urban resource users, to see how these interactions play out. Plus you’ll use a wide range of critical and constructive skills, analytical techniques and contextual knowledge to advance your understanding of these processes.
A key focus of our MSc is on the political ecology approach to understanding debates and policy processes underpinning responses to environmental and natural resource problems.
Please note we are changing our name to the School of Global Development from 1 August 2023, as we mark our 50th Anniversary.
Interest in the global environment and development has never been so intense. Environmental issues and problems have long been on local and national agendas, but increasingly over the last 30 years, on international agendas too.
All environmental issues derive from natural processes, but at the same time they are influenced by social and political factors. This is reflected in the uniquely interdisciplinary approach of this MSc.
You’ll study the interaction between environment and development through analysing policy processes at local, national and international levels. You’ll look at policy makers, politicians, business administrators, and rural and urban resource users.
And you’ll focus on the political ecology approach to understanding debates and policy processes underpinning responses to environmental and natural resource problems.
Study and Modules
The programme is made up of 180 credits:
Compulsory modules (60 credits)
As one of your compulsory modules, you’ll take Political Ecology, which seeks to provide you with a solid understanding of political ecology theory and will enable you to apply this theory for analysing environment and development problems.
After a brief introduction to key theoretical concepts in political ecology, you’ll review key contributions to major policy fields in environment and development. You’ll do this in a series of reading seminars, covering agriculture and biotechnology, climate change, conservation, fisheries, forestry, water management and other fields. The course ends with a workshop on the role of policy in political ecology.
Research Techniques and Analysis, a recommended optional module, includes development research and research ethics, research design and method, sampling, questionnaire design, interviews, the role of qualitative methods in quantitative research and mixed methods, participatory and action research, design and implementation of household surveys on various topics (e.g. income, consumption, employment, health, nutrition and education). Basic data processing and statistical analysis and presentation are shown based on tools such as Excel, SPSS and STATA.
You’ll also take “Tools and Skills in Environment and Development”, which looks at how sustainable development can be achieved in a way that both protects the environment whilst pursuing development that benefits the poorest. Often those who benefit least from development projects are most vulnerable to the costs of development, such as pollution of rivers and loss of land, yet they have little say in development decisions. This module introduces you to important tools and frameworks used by researchers, government agencies, businesses and non-governmental organisations for managing environmental and natural resources for sustainable development.
You’ll learn to critique and apply a range of the most widely used tools. Examples that have been covered in this module previously include:
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Livelihoods Analysis
- Climate Vulnerability Assessment
- Geographical Information Systems
- Participatory Decision-making
- Scenarios Methods.
The module is taught through workshops and practical sessions, lectures and, travel restrictions allowing, study visits within Norfolk. There's an emphasis on putting concepts and tools into practice and understanding how environmental assessments guide management actions. Both individual and team projects will be important. You’ll gain confidence and skills in applying and critiquing the leading tools and frameworks used by sustainable development professionals.
Understanding Global Environmental Change provides you with an interdisciplinary introduction to environmental change, and its relationships with development. You’ll gain a critical understanding of social constructions of cause and effect relationships in environment and development issues, including an understanding of scientific assessments.
A range of optional seminars and workshops are offered during your Master’s programme for the teaching and strengthening of your skills. Sessions to support learning – in particular essay and dissertation writing – occur throughout the year. Development practice training is also provided.
Students have the option to research a 60 credit dissertation or the 60 credit Development Work Placement.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 60)
Optional B Modules(Credits: 40)
Optional C Modules(Credits: 20)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching methods include mainly lectures and seminars. Your lectures will include a range of interactive tasks and activities. The creative use of technology is also widespread, for example through visual representation of empirical evidence in international development (e.g. through statistical programs). Other examples include the use of online reading materials and lecture screencasts.
Through seminar group work and presentations you’ll also be able to develop transferable skills such as articulating an argument both orally and in writing and presenting academic information in a lucid and cogent manner.
You’ll read suggested academic articles and books, submitting assignments as specified for each module. Your independent study gives you the chance to prepare for in-class sessions and assignments, and to concentrate on the areas that interest you the most.
You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, including presentations, essays, exams and an optional dissertation. Further assessment methods will also differ depending on the optional modules you choose.
You’ll also receive oral feedback on your arguments and ideas during seminars, which will help you develop skills in articulating an argument orally.
You’ll be encouraged to prepare essay plans or outlines in advance of essay deadlines, and to discuss these with the relevant lecturer during their office hours or via email. In addition, you’ll typically receive oral and/or written feedback on an initial coursework assignment well in advance of your deadline for the main coursework assignment.
Finally, the dissertation enables you to develop specific research skills such as conducting research using primary and secondary data, researching specific topics and questions, thinking critically, and linking theoretical concepts to practical issues.
- Degree Classification
- UK 2.1 or equivalent
- Degree Subject
- Social Science
- English Foreign Language
We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:
IELTS: 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in only two components with 6.0 in the others)
PTE (Pearson): 64 (minimum 59 in only two components with 64 in the others)
Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.
Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests
INTO University of East Anglia
If you do not meet the academic requirements for this course, you may be able to study one of the International Graduate Diploma programmes offered by our partner INTO UEA. These programmes guarantee progression to selected masters degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details please click here:
International Graduate Diploma in International Development.
INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2023/24 are:
UK Students: £9,650 (full time)
International Students: £19,800 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
Upon completing your MSc, you’ll be equipped with a range of transferable skills, which means you can pursue a variety of exciting careers both in and beyond international development.
You’ll also be well qualified to enter a PhD programme with a view to continuing to an academic career both in the UK and overseas.
Previous graduates have gone on to work for IUCN, the British High Commission in Ghana, UNITAR in Japan, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and PhD studies in related fields.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
A career in international development can take you in all kinds of directions such as:
- International organisations
- Governmental and non-governmental organisations
- Local governments
- Private sector
- PhD programmes