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The University of Edinburgh: Environment, Culture and Society

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of GeoSciences
Study type Taught


Our MSc Environment, Culture and Society provides up-to-date knowledge of the contemporary issues and debates on the relationships between the environment, nature, culture and society.

Welcoming students from a variety of backgrounds, this exciting MSc will explore the core perspectives, concepts, and practices from the arts, humanities and social sciences needed to imagine and enact sustainable environmental futures.

You will develop the critical and creative skills and abilities to assess the importance and implications of geographical and other conceptual debates which shape environmental policy and practice.

Reputation and relevance Taught by world-leading experts, the programme draws on expertise from across the University, especially from:

  • geography

  • social and political studies

  • landscape architecture

  • literature

  • archaeology

  • philosophy

  • theology

  • science and technology studies

  • development studies

It provides you with a unique critical and creative perspective on current environmental issues and possible futures.

You will learn to think critically, engage creatively and generate new knowledge related to the environment. In addition, you will be able to use this knowledge effectively to address urgent environmental challenges across a range of specialities such as:

  • policy

  • conservation

  • education

  • public consultation

  • the arts

Is the MSc for me? The programme's interdisciplinary nature is ideal if you have a background in environmental humanities, social sciences, or creative arts.

It is also suitable if you desire to understand the roots of our current environmental emergency and the possibilities for a better future.

There is a lot of flexibility in the programme, enabling you to customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about. For example, philosophy, policy, creative practice and political action.

Networks This programme is affiliated with a variety of University networks, including:

  • School of GeoSciences Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group

  • School of GeoSciences Geographies of Social Justice Research Group

  • Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network

Edinburgh Climate Change Institute This MSc is associated with the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI).

The ECCI brings together law, business, social science, technology, and policy experts to help develop a low-carbon society.

Through the ECCI, you will have the opportunity to work and network alongside professionals and potential employers within this high-demand field.

What is it really like to study with us? No one knows what it is like to study here better than the students themselves.

Our students are sharing their experiences - from studying to living in Edinburgh and everything in between.

Get social with us:

  • Student experience blog

  • School of GeoSciences Instagram

  • School of GeoSciences Tiktok

When to apply Please note: Due to high demand for this programme, we operate on a series of early application deadlines.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

For dates and details, please refer to 'Application Deadlines' on the right panel of this page.

You should also avoid applying to more than one degree. Applicants who can demonstrate their understanding and commitment to a specific programme are preferred.

If you plan to apply to more than one programme, you should discuss your choices with us before you submit your application.

Where possible, we may make an alternative programme offer if you have been unsuccessful in your chosen programme.


Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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