Established in 2002, the MSc/MPhil in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance is grounded in the conviction that responses to political and environmental challenges require researchers and practitioners trained in the social sciences, with an ability to think critically and flexibly across disciplinary and sectorial boundaries.

The course syllabus focuses on the profound social, economic and political challenges posed by a diversity of contemporary environmental issues. It 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, meet our teaching staff, and view the current year's course handbook.
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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.

We welcome applications for the 2-year MPhil version of the course, which features an extended (15 month) research project and potential conversion to a doctorate (DPhil) via the 2+2 route.

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

Course information, timetables, and teaching materials for current students are provided through our Intranet and WebLearn.

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

SoGE Alumni Network

The School of Geography and the Environment has an active alumni community. With over 5,000 former geography undergraduates as well as more than 1,500 Masters and DPhil graduates this network is a growing source of professional contacts, knowledge, and advice. Learn more about the SoGE Alumni Network.

Contact us

For more info on the course, please contact:

Dr Ariell Ahearn

Dr Ariell Ahearn
Course Director, MSc/MPhil in NSEG

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 275862


An Introduction to the course
Prepare for a career in research
Diverse Expertise
Who should apply?

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.