One year full-time or two years part-time
Four evenings a week full-time or two evenings a week part-time
This interdisciplinary Master's programme in environment and politics combines critical social theory and detailed empirical analyses to explore contemporary global environmental politics and policy.
It draws together the research and teaching expertise of two departments at Birkbeck - the Department of Politics and the Department of Geography - to deliver an ambitious curriculum, addressing conceptual and practical issues of climate change, resources, global scarcity, violence, demographic change and environmental crisis, together with an in-depth examination of key areas in contemporary environmental policy. The cross-disciplinary content of the programme means you can choose from a wide variety of specialised option modules across the two departments.
The core modules explore the relationship between population, environment, economy and human values, as well as key areas of environmental policy and law, and introduce you to recent public policy, empirical data and case studies. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study environment, global politics and policy at postgraduate level.
You can then choose two option modules from a wide variety of topics, including climate change, gender, development, global governance, nationalism, population change, war and conflict, and public policy. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.
You will develop the skills to engage with and analyse demographic and environmental change and to appreciate the tensions and contradictions they generate in the geopolitical realm, through the relationships between and across states and regions. You will learn about the principles, instruments and ethics of international environmental policy, governance and legislation, as well as acquiring detailed knowledge of environmental policies in relation to natural environment, water, waste, energy, low carbon, and resources on a local, national, regional and global scale.
- This Master's degree will equip you with the theoretical and analytical knowledge and tools to analyse environmental change and its global political impact and implications.
- The programme is taught across two departments - Politics and Geography - giving you access to a wealth of world-class teaching and research. You will be taught by research-active academics who are internationally recognised specialists in their fields.
- Our Department of Politics is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research. Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK and Sociology was ranked 13th in the UK.
- One of the unique strengths of our Department of Geography is the breadth of research interests of our staff. Subsequently, we offer a very wide range of courses that reflect the disciplinary breadth of development and globalisation, while also allowing you to engage with other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology.
- Birkbeck Library has a large politics and environment collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.
- You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is five minutes' walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
The programme cvomprises two core modules, two option modules and a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words.
- Climate Change
- Energy and Climate Change
- Environmental Reporting and Management Systems
- Gender and Development
- Global Conflict, Security and Humanitarianism
- Global Politics, Governance and Security
- Nationalism and Ethno-Religious Conflict
- Public Policy: Interests, Ideas, Institutions
- Sustainable Business Practice
- The Politics of Population Change: Immigration, Aging and Conflict
- War, Conflict and Development
MSc Global Environmental Politics and Policy dissertation
Sample timetableSample for Web Timetable.pdf — PDF document, 273 KB (279653 bytes)
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
A good undergraduate degree (minimum 2:2) in the social sciences or humanities.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
Fees (2017/8)Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
A mix of lectures and seminars for taught modules, employing a variety of formats.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Modules are assessed by coursework and written examinations. You will also write a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in local government, policy-making, journalism, campaigning, or work with environmental NGOs and charities. Possible future roles could include social researcher, government research officer, and teacher. This degree is also useful in becoming a local government officer or applying to the Civil Service fast stream.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
We welcome applications at any time before the start of the programme.
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