Taught course

Global Politics of Environment and Resources

Birkbeck, University of London · School of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in a related area, or relevant experience combined with an adequate academic background (subject to interview).

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

We live in a time of unevenly distributed climate calamity. Droughts, wildfires, floods and heatwaves are now a part of the fabric of everyday life in the Global North, while those in the Global South occupy the frontlines of ecological collapse.

On this MSc Global Politics of Environment and Resources you will become knowledgeable about the trajectories of current environmental and demographic change and explore the tensions and contradictions they generate from a critical geopolitical perspective.

Drawing from Birkbeck’s expertise across politics, geography, history and law this course offers you an ambitious curriculum addressing conceptual issues of:

  • climate change
  • uneven resource access
  • food sovereignty and security
  • demographic change.

We provide you with a concrete examination of key areas in contemporary environmental policy and law, and you will be taught by research-active academics keen to share their insight and knowledge of topics including political ecology, political economy, critical geography, political theory, and international environmental policy and governance.

You will undertake specific case studies of geopolitical, population and environmental occurrences and debates in particular countries or regions. You will also gain a working knowledge of the main theoretical debates regarding the relationship between resource use, food, politics and society.


  • Birkbeck is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research in politics. Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics.
  • Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research. Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T.S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.
  • 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 also walkable from Birkbeck.

Careers and employability

This course equips you with skills of analysis and critique that can be transferred to further study in the social sciences and humanities and/or to practical or research work in the relevant fields.

You will find graduates of this course progressing in the following kinds of career paths:

  • jobs in central and local government, trades unions, political parties, NGOs and international organisations
  • research positions in universities and other public and private research bodies
  • political journalism
  • political or civic activism
  • political consultancy
  • teaching in higher, further and secondary education.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course 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 and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700