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MSc Environment and Development

About the MSc programme

Air pollution, climate change, tropical deforestation: there is little doubt that the world is experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes to its natural environment at local, regional, and global scales. At the same time, human societies and economies are undergoing profound changes, for example, through the processes of globalisation and urbanisation. But how does economic development affect, and is it affected by, natural resource exploitation and management? What is the role of policy in influencing possible linkages between environment and development?

Based in the Department of Geography and Environment, this programme is intended for those with a primary interest in the linkages between environment and development. It provides students with a rigorous training in the social science dimensions of environmental and development policy, management and evaluation within a developing country context. The study of environment and development is multi-disciplinary by nature, and the programme seeks to integrate key concepts and perspectives from core social science disciplines. The aim is to provide students with an understanding of the issues involved in sustainable development both from a theoretical and practical perspective.

This programme is in principle open to all students irrespective of their first degree, but preferably you will have studied within the social sciences. You should have the equivalent of at least an upper second class honours degree. We will consider appropriate work experience in addition to a sound academic background.

Programme details

Key features of the programme include:

  • a high-quality academic training in the field of environment and development
  • a unique interdisciplinary approach towards this increasingly important field, drawing on the wide-ranging disciplinary expertise and experience of staff in the Department of Geography and Environment
  • the opportunity to select from a range of options allowing you to shape your studies to your needs
  • studying with an exciting group of international students with a diversity of academic and professional backgrounds

Teaching is mainly through lectures and graduate-level seminars. It is possible to study this programme part-time over two years. You will be assessed on a combination of unseen examinations and research essays depending on the courses taken. In general minimum teaching contact for a full-unit course is usually 40 hours, and 20 hours for a half-unit course. 

You have the opportunity to attend the bi-weekly Climate Change and Environment Research Seminar Series (RSS), organised jointly by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Department of Geography and Environment, which brings to the School prominent scholars and practitioners involved in research and practice. In addition, there are occasional public lectures offered by the Department.

The MSc Environment and Development requires you to take one compulsory core course and three optional courses.

Compulsory course

  • Environment and Development covers environment-economy linkages and explores the way in which resources and environment shape (and are affected by) economic and social development. A number of policy-relevant topics at the interface of environment and development – including urbanisation, natural resource management and technological change – are explored using concepts and tools of applied economics and institutional analysis.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of three units, including at least one unit from the Department of Geography and Environment. If you are planning to apply for a PhD within the Department, please be advised that you will need to undertake some methods training as part of the MSc. Contact the MSc programme director and the Director of Graduate studies to discuss this requirement.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc Environment and Development in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School's Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the Updated graduate course and programme information page.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates enter a wide variety of employment opportunities in the public sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations, research, consultancy and international firms.

lse.ac.uk/geographyAndEnvironment; lse.ac.uk/internationalDevelopment

Application code: F9UB (check availability)

Start date: 22 September 2016

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Intake/applications in 2014: 40/344

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 degree in any discipline, preferably social science. We will consider appropriate work experience in addition to sound academic background (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £12,504; overseas £19,344

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support). MSc Environment and Development is accredited for ESRC funding as part of a four-year award

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions. For consideration for ESRC funding 11 January 2016

A photo of Boipelo Tshwene, an LSE student