Taught course

Environmental Humanities

Durham University · Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have an upper-second class degree, normally with an average of 65% or more, or the equivalent from a recognised national or international university.

Two positive academic or equivalent professional references are required.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA in Environmental Humanities is an exciting new interdisciplinary programme that aims to explore how the methods and insights of humanities disciplines can contribute to developing a response to the environmental crisis. It enables you to cross disciplinary boundaries, working across the humanities and engaging with approaches from the social and natural sciences. It provides you with a foundation for further research at PhD level as well as for more practical or activist forms of engagement.

The programme draws on modules from many departments including Anthropology, English Studies, Geography, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, and Theology and Religion, and offers you the flexibility to tailor your choice of modules to your interests. You will also have the opportunity to meet other postgraduates working in the area of environmental sustainability, through shared teaching and social events with students from the MSc in Sustainability, Energy and Development (Anthropology) and the MSc in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (Economics).

All students on the MA in Environmental Humanities take two core modules. The first, Environmental Humanities: Frameworks and Debates (30 credits), introduces you to the methodological approaches embraced by the environmental humanities. The second, Climate and Energy: Intensive Study (15 credits), gives you an overview of current climate science and an introduction to the social, political and economic dimensions of energy usage.

You will also write an interdisciplinary dissertation in any area of the environmental humanities (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows you to explore your own areas of interest in depth. Finally, optional modules from participating Departments will bring your course total to 180 credits. All elements of the MA have embedded within them a range of interdisciplinary content and skills.

Course Structure

In addition to the core modules and the dissertation, you take 75 credits of optional modules. Examples of optional modules (either 15 credits or 30 credits) include:

  • The Nature of History: Approaches to Environmental History (History)
  • Ecology, Colonialism/Imperialism and Literature (Modern Languages and Cultures)
  • Environmental Posthumanities (English Studies)
  • Environmental Philosophy (Philosophy)
  • Advanced Studies in Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival (Anthropology)
  • Climate, Risk and Society (Geography)
  • Theology, Nature and Environment (Theology and Religion)
  • Science, Technology and The Remaking of 'Nature' (Modern Languages and Cultures)
  • The Four Horsemen: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death (History)
  • Risk, Science and Communication (Geography)
  • Society, Energy, Environment & Resilience: Applied Environmental Anthropology (Anthropology)
  • Global Environmental Law (Law)
  • Advanced Studies in Development, Conflict, and Crisis in the Lower Omo Valley (Anthropology)
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques (Geography)
  • Advanced Studies in Poison, Pollution, and the Chemical Anthropocene (Anthropology)
  • Understanding Risk (Geography)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (Geography)
  • Risk Frontiers (Geography)
  • Strategic Leadership (Management and Marketing)

The optional modules on offer change each year, as they reflect the research interests of staff, so we cannot guarantee in advance that a particular module will be running in any particular year.

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
£11,300 per year
International students
£23,900 per year

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details