M.A. Environmental Anthropology (MA, MSc)

School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent

Application deadline: as early as possible
Tuition fee:
  • £ 5,100 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 12,450 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 90 ECTS
Credits: 180
Duration full-time: 12 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time
More information: Go to university website
Intensity: Flexible
Duration part-time: 24 months
Part-time variant: Flexible

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Description

Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives.

Kent has pioneered the social anthropological study of Europe, Latin America, Melanesia, and Central and Southeast Asia, the use of computers in anthropological research, and environmental anthropology in its widest sense (including ethnobiology and ethnobotany). It maintains an active research culture, with staff working in many different parts of the world.

Our regional expertise covers Western and Southeast Europe, Europe, the Middle East, Central South East and Southern, Central and South America, Amazonia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Polynesia. Specialisation in biological anthropology includes forensics and paleopathology, osteology, evolutionary psychology and the evolutionary ecology and behaviour of great apes.

Higher degrees in anthropology create opportunities in many employment sectors including academia, the civil service and non-governmental organisations through work in areas such as human rights, journalism, documentary film making, environmental conservation and international finance. An anthropology degree also develops interpersonal and intercultural skills, which make our graduates highly desirable in any profession that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Contents

All of our Anthropology Master’s programmes are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as having research training status, so successful completion of these courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas. Please note that modules are subject to change. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

This programme offers you the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge of how different societies are influenced by the environment and manage natural resources and hazards, in relation to issues in human ecology, biodiversity management, sustainable development, environmental change and the practical applications of such knowledge.

As a graduate of this programme, you will have a range of both practical and evaluative skills, and experience of conducting empirical or other applied research. This allows you to pursue work as a researcher and will inform whatever position you take up in the future.

It is expected that such work might be undertaken in conjunction with a range of organisations including national or international environmental bodies, governmental departments and nongovernmental organisations.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

SE801 - Theory and Ethnography in Social AnthropologyI

SE802 - Research Methods in Social Anthropology

SE806 - Research Methods in Social Anthropology II

SE831 - Environmental Anthropology

SE832 - Ethnobiological Knowledge Systems

SE854 - Lowland South American Anthropology

SE859 - Visual Anthropology Theory

SE861 - The Ethnography of Central Asian Societies

SE862 - The Anthropology of Eating

SE864 - Medical Anthropology

SE865 - Ethnography of the Pacific

SO819 - FRTP Module 4

SE807 - Contemporary Ethnography in Environmental Anthropology

DI875 - Principles and Practice of Ecotourism

DI880 - Conservation and Community Development

SA806 - Social Science Perspectives on Environmental Issues

SE803 - Ethnicity Nationalism & Identity I

SE805 - Theory and Ethnography in Social Anthropology II

SE840 - Contemporary Issues in Ethnobotany

SE853 - Theory And Practice In Development Anthropology

SO816 - FRTP Module 1

SE838 - Dissertation: Environmental Anthropology

SE863 - Advanced Topics in Medicinal Plants

DI841 - Managing Protected Areas

DI871 - International Wildlife Trade - Achieving Sustainability

DI881 - Advanced Topics in Conservation Ecology and Management

DI888 - Economics of Biodiversity Conservation

SA803 - Politics and Sociology of the Environment

Assessment

Assessment is by written reports, oral presentations, written student feedback forms and the dissertation.

Learning outcomes

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • to provide you with a broad range of knowledge in environmental anthropology, a major sub-division of anthropology, showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines
  • to provide you with advanced level knowledge of the theoretical, methodological and policy issues relevant to understanding the subdiscipline
  • introduce you to a variety of different approaches to environmental anthropology research, presented in a multidisciplinary context and at an advanced level
  • facilitate your educational experience through the provision of appropriate pedagogical opportunities for learning
  • provide an appropriate training if you are preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or if you are going on to employment involving the use of research methods and results in environmental anthropology
  • make you aware of the range of existing material available and equip you to evaluate its utility for your research
  • cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating them into practicable research designs.
  • introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits to objectivity.
  • develop your skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary and cross-national context.
  • introduce you to the idea of working with other academic and non-academic agencies, when appropriate, and give you the skills to carry out collaborative research.
  • develop your skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the analysis and presentation of research results and in verbal communication
  • help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of different audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public.
  • give you an appreciation of the potentialities and problems of environmental anthropological research in local, regional, national and international settings
  • ensure that the research of the Department’s staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in ways that can achieve the national benchmarks of the subject in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • environmental anthropology as the comparative and interdisciplinary study of the relationship between people and their environment
  • specific themes in environmental anthropology eg co-evolution of humans and environment, environmental perception, cultural ecology, nature symbolism, environmentalism, political ecology, natural resource use, environmental change
  • cultural and biological diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world, including north and west Africa, South America, Pacific Islands, South Asia and Southeast Asia (in particular Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines)
  • the history of the development of environmental anthropology as a subject
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within the subject
  • the process of biological and socio-cultural change
  • the application of environmental anthropology to understanding issues of sustainable social and economic development and environmental conservation throughout the world
  • the relevance of environmental anthropology to understanding everyday processes of human-environment interaction anywhere in the world.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general learning and study skills
  • critical and analytical skills
  • expression of ideas both orally and in written form
  • communication skills
  • groupwork skills
  • computing skills
  • reviewing and summarising information
  • data retrieval ability.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to understand how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while nonetheless possessing a capacity for individual agency which can allow them to transcend some environmental constraints
  • the ability to recognise the pertinence of an environmental anthropological perspective to understanding major national and international events.
  • the ability to interpret texts and performance by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
  • high-level competence in using environmental anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • high-level ability to identify and analyse the significance of the social and cultural contexts of natural resource use
  • the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • the ability to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the perception and use of natural resources
  • an openness to try and make rational sense of human-environment interactions that may appear at first sight incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to make a structured argument
  • the ability to make appropriate reference to scholarly data
  • time-management skills
  • the use of information technology including computers and library research
  • groupwork
  • handling audio-visual equipment
  • independent research
  • presentation skills
  • have the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
  • have the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Requirements

A good honours degree (2.1 or above) in anthropology or other associated fields, including environmental studies.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

75 (Grade B)
TOEFL iBT® test: 90

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Funding


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