What Will You Study

The need for sustainable development is a global concern. This flexible Masters degree prepares you to address the challenges faced in safeguarding the planet’s ecosystems in a fast developing world.

This programme is ideal if you want a career in the environmental field, in the private, public, or not-for-profit sectors. It can be taken as an MA or MSc depending on your dissertation topic.

You will be based within one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK and will be taught by world-leading researchers from our three internationally-renowned partner organisations: Lancaster Environment Centre, Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, which has a government laboratory at Lancaster. Their expertise spans a wide range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences including the sustainable use of resources, food security, energy, water and soil science, political ecology and environmental pollution.

You will complete six taught modules and a dissertation research project, with individual supervision from a research active expert. There are two core modules which give you a solid foundation in the key theoretical issues around the environment and development and you will develop the social science research skills needed to explore them.

We offer great flexibility with over 30 modules to choose from, spanning the natural and social sciences. This enables you to construct a degree that fits your interests and career ambitions and to put your learning in a wider cultural context.

You can gain key practical skills that are valued by employers, such as environmental modelling, data analysis and programming, geo-informatics and environmental auditing. There are opportunities to gain work experience through one of our many business and research partners and to carry out fieldwork in the UK and internationally

Your dissertation project forms a substantial part of your Masters degree. It will enhance your practical and analytical skills and give you the opportunity to apply your learning to a real-world challenge. Dissertation topics are available in both environmental and development themes: our many research projects and partners across the globe provide exciting possibilities when you are choosing your dissertation topic.

Examples of previous dissertation topics are:

  • The IPCC and the Production of Environmental Knowledge
  • The Spirituality of Climate Change
  • Responsible Mining: Oxymoron or Development Opportunity
  • Soil Quality and Soil Management in China
  • An international comparison of food sovereignty
  • Informal Settlements in Dar Es Salaam: Using PGIS to Map Out Community Voices
  • Ecosystems in Venezuela
  • The intersection of aesthetics and design in urban agriculture
  • Sustainable flower sourcing for retail
  • Towards a cultural political ecology of ecotourism in Madagascar