Taught course

Anthropocene Studies

University of Cambridge · Department of Geography

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK high 2:1 honours degree or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

This MPhil offers an 11-month programme of advanced study and research into the challenges to the contemporary world represented by the idea of the Anthropocene. The course is intended for students with a good first degree in geography or a range of related disciplines.

The aims of the course are:

  • to enable students to acquire a critical and well-informed understanding of the contested geopolitics and knowledge politics of the idea of the Anthropocene and of its provocation to re-interpret and re-imagine relationships between humans, non-humans and physical processes;
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop advanced subject expertise and transferable skills relevant to their research interests and career aspirations;
  • to equip students to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively. Students develop their skills of assessing contrasting theories, explanations and policies; collecting, critically judging, evaluating and interpreting varied forms of evidence; combining and interpreting different types of evidence to tackle specific problems; and recognising the ethical and moral dimensions of study.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Students from this course will:

  • acquire a systematic understanding of knowledge about the idea of the Anthropocene, and a critical awareness of the challenges and creative potential of the idea;
  • gain a comprehensive understanding of techniques of analysis, interpretation and communication applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;
  • learn how to apply knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in this field;
  • gain a conceptual understanding that enables them to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the area of Anthropocene Studies, to evaluate methodologies and, where appropriate, to propose and test new hypotheses.

Skills and other attributes

Students from this course will be able to:

  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • exhibit proficiency in use of a range of software, knowledge of alternative IT sources, understanding and introductory experience in survey methods, statistical methods and a range of qualitative and ethnographic concepts and methods;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level to continue to advance their knowledge and understanding.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    11 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details