Wetlands, Laos. Photo: Fernando Jaramillo
Wetlands, Laos. Photo: Fernando Jaramillo

Environmental social science is the interdisciplinary study of what governs people’s behaviour, beliefs and ways of organising themselves in relation to the natural environment. It focuses on understanding the social processes that either lead to environmental change or are a reaction or adaptation to such change.

The field of research explores how, where and at what levels of society decisions relating to the environment are made. How can various types of political, financial, social and cultural control of social processes affecting the environment be achieved at the local, national and global levels?

The program in environmental social science discusses how science, policies and practices interact with power relations. How are environmental issues and their solutions defined and understood, and how does vulnerability create unequal conditions?

The first semester of the programme includes four obligatory, interdisciplinary courses that provide an introduction to environmental social science research. The second and third semesters consist of optional advanced courses from various social science disciplines, in addition to obligatory method courses worth a total of 15 credits. The main field of study is chosen during the first semester. The degree project constitutes 30 credits and is written during the fourth semester. In the second and third semesters, it is also possible to do an internship.

Since the degree can only be issued in a main field of study in which the student has been awarded at least 60 credits, the program offers three possible master’s degrees: Human Geography with a specialisation in environmental social science, Social Anthropology with a specialisation in environmental social science, and Political Science with a specialisation in environmental social science.

International Master's Programme in Environmental Social Science, Second level, 120.0hp, Autumn 2019

For further information about the program (education plan, application, etc.), please visit the Department of Political Science’s website.