Established in 2002, the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance (MSc NSEG or NSEG) is grounded in the conviction that responding to contemporary global challenges demands intellectual rigour, innovation and flexibility. Some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time have politics intensely at their core, interwoven with the complexities of historical institutions, social practices, beliefs and material infrastructures. Understanding these complex phenomena requires multiple perspectives and the ability to think across disciplinary boundaries.

The course syllabus encourages students to develop theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded understandings of the dynamic relations between environment, society, politics and governance, focusing in particular on the developed world. The course also has a very strong focus on research skills development, aiming to provide students with critical foundations in the methods and practices of the contemporary environmental social sciences through both class- and field-based study.

Completing the course equips students with the knowledge and research skills to identify and reconsider key questions in environmental governance, paving the way for progress on to careers in academic research, environmental consultancy, and policy development in the public, private and voluntary sectors. The course has graduated over 350 students since its creation.

About the course

Our one-year full-time MSc course aims to help students develop a theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded understanding of the dynamic relations between environment, society and policy.

Find out more about the structure of this course, core and elective modules, field trips and our teaching staff.

Who should apply, and why

Candidates from a range of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply provided that they can demonstrate academic excellence and a passion for the social, economic and political challenges posed by contemporary environmental change.

Find out more about who should apply for this course, fees and funding, how to choose a college and frequently asked questions.

Info for current students

Course information, timetables, and teaching materials for current students are provided through the Canvas VLE and on our Intranet.

Please also see the main University of Oxford Student Gateway for more information.

SoGE Alumni Network

With over 5,000 former geography undergraduates as well as more than 1,500 Masters and DPhil graduates the SoGE Alumni Network is a growing source of professional contacts, knowledge, and advice.

Contact us

For more info on the course, please contact:

Dr Timothy Hodgetts

Dr Timothy Hodgetts
Course Director, MSc in NSEG

Please note: The actual course content may vary from the information provided online and should therefore be taken to be indicative rather than tightly prescriptive.