MA Environment, Culture and Society (2014-2015)
After studying Environmental Science at undergraduate level, I decided to continue with a master’s degree. The MA Environment, Society and Culture at Lancaster was recommended to me by former supervisor. I was drawn to the course because of it’s interdisciplinarity, drawing together both the Lancaster Environment Centre and Department of Sociology. Another draw was that the staff within the Sociology department are leaders in their field and Lancaster University has an excellent reputation.
On the course, I have been able to choose modules across a range of departments to suit my interests. The compulsory modules give you an excellent grounding in the theory and methods associated with environmental sociology. The lecturers have all been excellent and supportive and you really feel like you are being taught by world leading sociologists . Overall, the Environment, Society and Culture MA has been fantastic and I now feel like I’m in an excellent position to pursue a career or perhaps continue with further study and undertake a PhD. Thank you for a wonderful year!
MSc Environment, Culture and Society (2013-2014)
My name is Yinyan Chen. I studied Geology and Geoinfomatics in Wuhan University, China, and then worked for a GIS company for three years before coming to the UK to take the masters in Environment, Culture and Society at Lancaster University. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to study abroad and I’m also very lucky to have chosen to take the MSc Environment, Culture and Society.
This one year course was very intense, but I really learnt a huge amount. As an interdisciplinary course it gave me the opportunity to study social and environmental issues together, and it was really good to access resources from both the Sociology department and Lancaster Environment Centre – including lectures, seminars and social activities. My English was the biggest challenge for me, especially when reading and discussing ideas with which I was not familiar. But the University provides help here – the English Cafe, the Film Club, and free English writing courses for international students. That support was really helpful.
MSc Environment, Culture and Society (2013-2104)
The MSc in environment, culture and society was a stimulating space for me to reflect, learn and laugh on my past work experience and studies, as well as on my assumptions about society in relation to its environment. The core modules were led by interesting, enthusiastic and encouraging lecturers in an interactive manner.
I loved arriving in the seminar room with a cup of coffee amongst a convivial group of students and lecturer to share our knowledge and understandings while critically learning about theories and the cutting-edge research of social scientists on the environment. At the same time, I took optional modules offered by the Lancaster Environment Centre which widened my knowledge of natural sciences, including the UK’s National Vegetation Classification and a modules on food security.
All in all, I would say that this is an important, robust masters programme that is much needed. It concretely opens the door between the social sciences and the natural sciences, leading us towards more interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge and an in-depth understanding about the environment. Since finishing my masters I have been working in a food growing cooperative in Spain and I am hoping to get funding for a PhD.
MA Environment, Culture and Society (2013-2014)
The MA in Environment, Culture and Society has been a fantastic and stimulating course where you learn new ways to critically engage with environmental and social issues. The course has challenged me to re-think many of my taken for granted assumptions and has introduced me to a diverse range of theoretical resources that have enriched my thinking in this area.
Having come into this course after working in the environmental/sustainability sector it has been a welcome opportunity to re-immerse myself in the latest thinking around environment-society relations and engage more deeply with complex issues such as climate change, sustainability, inequality, governance and participation, as well as policy and local responses to the challenges we face. In particular, I have valued the stimulating class discussions and being situated in the Sociology Department, which provides access to a wide range of social science approaches including Science and Technology Studies, gender and women’s studies, mobilities research, social practice theory research etc. Another strength of the course is the multidisciplinary approach whereby you also work with students from the Lancaster Environment Centre. All of this makes for a rich learning environment.
If you are looking for a course that will expand your thinking and provide you with new ways to engage with these issues in the world and in your work, then I highly recommend doing this MA course.
MA Environment, Culture and Society (2013-2014)
I just wanted to thank you for the last year. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Lancaster and found all the modules and teaching to be of a very high standard. Thank you so much for making it an enjoyable and inspiring year. I learnt so much and really valued the opportunity to study with you all.
MA Environment, Culture and Society (2005-2007)
From 2005 to 2007 I was a part-time student taking the MA in ECS. Modules and interactions with fellow students and lecturers provided me with a critical and sharp take on society-environment relations.
Specifically, the STS inspired perspective on scrutinising how actors enact “natures” caught my academic interest. Combined with the emancipatory potential of tensions between post- and new-structuralist thinkers and activists, the MA led me onto a research path studying corporate ecological modernisation practices from the inside. Throughout 2009 I was in the field – within the environmental management office of one of the world largest players of the financial market. Having finished my PhD at Augsburg University I went on to work as a research fellow in climate change at the National University of Singapore.
What am I doing now?
Currently I am working at the IT University of Copenhagen. Sometimes I post ideas and developments here: http://www.ems-research.org/. This website is a humble start by a couple of STS PhD students (all dealing with “environmental issues”), aiming to understand and comment upon hegemonic environmental practices (thus the concept of “management”).
MA Environment, Culture, Society (2005-2006)
I can wholeheartedly recommend the MA Environment, Culture, Society (ECS) at Lancaster. Having come to Lancaster in 2005 after graduating in Germany, the MA introduced me to thoroughly interdisciplinary and problem-oriented thinking, for which I became to value UK academia. ECS combines exciting research from a broad range of social science disciplines – sociology, science and technology studies, philosophy of nature – in order to explore today’s pressing societal questions, like humans’ relationship with the environment or politics of nature and technology. This means that one does not only get introduced to stimulating and provocative academic approaches, but also is always encouraged to connect theories with possibilities for activism – be it through contributing to policy processes or bottom-up public engagement.
What am I doing now?
After completing ECS in 2006 I did a PhD in Human Geography at The Open University on human-environment relationships in malaria control. In 2010 I carried out postdoctoral research in the Anthropologies of African Biosciences group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I am now a lecturer at the Lancaster Environment Centre.