As a research-driven Masters, fieldwork represents a core element of the teaching philosophy of NSEG. As part of the MSc (or the first year of the MPhil) there are two compulsory field courses that aim to provide grounded, critical engagements with core empirical and theoretical themes of the course, and to develop students' research skills and competence with methods and practices appropriate to the contemporary environmental social sciences.

In the 2016-2017 academic year, field trips will run as follows:

Induction field course: Oxford and the surrounding area (3 days, October)

The specific aims of this field course are:

  • To enable students and key teaching staff to get to know each other, and to introduce the structure and core themes of the course
  • To examine how some of the key challenges emanating from contemporary environmental change are being tackled by different actors based in and around Oxford
  • To begin to explore conceptual debates about nature and society, specifically through a focus on landscape

The induction course this year will comprise visits to Portmeadow, Oxford, to a community-owned hydro-electricity facility in Osney, Oxford, and to Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire.

Research field course: Amsterdam and the Netherlands (3 days, March)

The specific aims of this field course are:

  • To provide students with practical experience of designing, implementing and presenting the results of a small-scale, environmental social science research project
  • To develop students' awareness of the challenges of applying qualitative research methods to a specific, real-world problem
  • To enable students to critically examine the politics and governance of key environmental issues in Amsterdam and the Netherlands more broadly
  • To critically examine the motivations and implications of Dutch re-wilding policies, specifically as implemented in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve

For a student perspective on the 2016 research field course in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, please click here.

In addition to these two field courses, students are also expected to engage in a significant period of fieldwork as part of the research dissertation component of the course. Appropriate instruction and supervision will be offered to help students with planning, risk assessment, and ethical approval for this fieldwork.