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Student reflections on the NSEG course

Students come from a diverse set of cultures, backgrounds and ages reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the course, and its relevance across the world. They leave with knowledge, understanding and transferable skills that propel them into successful careers.


"I was drawn to NSEG through a desire to explore an integrative approach in ecological and social sciences. The sheer breadth of the course - which runs the gamut of political science to philosophy, from physical geography to animal, human, and more-than-human geographies, from political ecology to anthropology, and many more - was challenging and refreshing. This was not only a program encouraging a cross-disciplinary approach, but an exercise in collaboration, where the integration of ideas came from one another as much as from the course itself. From day one our academic differences were emphasized as the source of our strengths that each of us individually brought to the course. There was nothing competitive about this atmosphere. That is to say - integration, collaboration, an endless curiosity, and an openness to new ways of seeing and moving through the world were at the heart of this course."
Diane Borden, Class of 2015/16.
"I've found a particular strength of the NSEG course to be its multi-disciplinary approach to thinking about environmental governance and the complex problems within it. The opportunity to think about these issues with a group of students from such varying backgrounds was extremely rewarding, and great fun!"
Chloe Glassonbury, Class of 2015/16.
"NSEG unabashedly is not a traditional professional degree in environmental policy. Instead the course offers a singular platform for navigating slippery terrain between theory and practice in confronting the complexity of our most vexing environmental problems. Take this course is not only to acknowledge, but more urgently, to mobilise recognition that living in a binary world is neither possible nor desirable. I hope everyone seeking to pragmatically intervene in modern projections of 'the environment' - whether as an aspiring professor, policymaker, entrepreneur, or organiser - has a similar opportunity for engaging in this difficult but inescapable work."
Ben Goloff, Class of 2015/16.
"This degree has been inspiring, and the most enjoyable learning experience of my life so far. NSEG is a challenging mix: some courses explore in detail theoretical and philosophical questions about nature and its value, whilst others focus on more business-oriented and economic disciplinary skills around environmental responsibility and decision making processes. Whatever you think you know about Nature and Society, be prepared for your assumptions to be turned on their heads as you enter into NSEG!"
Jenny Dodsworth, Class of 2015/16.
"NSEG provides an incredible opportunity to reflect on and rethink the ways in which we understand, interact with and attempt to govern our environment. Discussions inside and outside the classroom continually challenged my assumptions and I am certainly the better for it. The lessons I've learned in this course are invaluable for my career and provide a solid foundation for future study."
Foley Pflazgraf, Class of 2015/16.
"Coming to Oxford for the NSEG course has been an introduction to countless passionate and creative people, many of whom I now count among a network of friends and colleagues that I will continue to work with into the future."
Julian Cottee, Class of 2010/11 and Founder, Cultivate
"Completing the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance has introduced me to a whole new set of ways to think about my engagement with the environment, as an individual, academic, and in a professional context. The course has given me the theoretical basis on which to continue to develop my career in innovative new directions, enabling me to carry out research in a way that is progressive and engages fully with contemporary thought."
Thomas Turnbull, Class of 2010/11, and current DPhil Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.
"I draw from what I learnt on the NSEG course everyday. Whether arguing the philosophical significance of environmental policy with colleagues or grappling with the fine detail of policy implementation, NSEG has given me the tools to meet any policy challenge head on."
Tom Leveridge, Class of 2008/09, and Climate Change Policy Adviser, Confederation of British Industry.
"NSEG exposed me to ideas about the interface and interrelationship between science and policy and this has enabled me to act as a link between guiding researchers as to what policy questions need answers, and communicating that science to policy-makers."
Rob Munroe, Class of 2008/09, and Climate Change Officer, BirdLife International.
"The greatest strength of this course is the way that it encourages multidisciplinary ways of thinking about, and doing, policy. Taking this masters course has enabled me to approach complex policy changes in a much more holistic way than my science background alone would have allowed."
Haley Bowcock, Class 2008-09 and Public Affairs Officer, The Wildlife Trusts

More graduate student reflections are available on the main IGS webpages.