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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Sustainability, Culture and Development MSc

About the Programme

This course provides students with the skills to apply anthropological theory and methods to the study of development. It offers the perfect foundation for PhD research and/or a career in applied development anthropology, in international and community level development contexts. The programme is taught by an active, interdisciplinary team involved in world-class research on development issues with a focus on achieving environmental and social sustainability through participatory approaches and active collaborations with projects for empowerment in the Global South. Geographical areas of expertise include Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Melanesia.

Who Should Apply?

The course is designed for those with an undergraduate degree in anthropology, geography, sociology, development studies or a related discipline.

Programme Aims

The MSc is based around core modules focusing on the challenges of pro-poor transitions to sustainability, aided by culturally informed perspectives on new themes in development such as resilience, and energy justice. Options allow you to pursue subject interests with specialist guidance. The dissertation enables you to conduct independent research under the supervision of an expert, and become a master of your chosen topic.

Transferrable Skills and Employability

This course provides students with the skills to apply anthropological theory and methods to the study of development. It offers the perfect foundation for PhD research and/or a career in applied development anthropology, in international and community level development contexts.

Graduates of the course have gone on to work in international and national NGO's as well as think tanks. Others have continued on in academia both within Durham and other institutions.

L6K607 Sustainability, Culture and Development MSc Postgraduate Taught  2020

Essentials

Essentials

Degree MSc
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) 2 years (part-time)
Start Date October
Location Durham City
More information Still have questions?
Department(s) Website www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology
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Course Summary

Course Summary

Description

This course enables you to learn how anthropological ideas and approaches are vital for understanding the environmental, social and economic crises of the contemporary world. It teaches how to engage with local knowledge and community-based approaches, rather than rely on global blueprints for sustainable development. The course is taught by an active, interdisciplinary team involved in world-class research on development issues.  We offer comparative knowledge about achieving environmental and social sustainability through participatory approaches and active collaborations with projects for empowerment in the Global South. Geographical areas of expertise include Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Melanesia. Staff also help students connect with Durham’s excellent research communities such as the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, and the Durham Energy Institute.

The MSc is based around core modules focusing on the challenges of pro-poor transitions to sustainability, aided by culturally informed perspectives on new themes in development such as resilience, and energy justice. Options allow you to pursue subject interests with specialist guidance. The dissertation enables you to conduct independent research under the supervision of an expert, and become a master of your chosen topic.

Please see here for further information on modules.

Learning and Teaching

Course Learning and Teaching

The MSc in Sustainability, Culture and Development (full-time) consists of two terms of teaching, during which you are introduced to the range of research questions and methods, and a dissertation, involving the design, development and implementation of an independent research project. You will work closely with academic staff and have the opportunity to become involved in active research networks and projects.

The course is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, film showings and discussion, workshops, and optional field trips, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lecture formats deliver key concepts and case study comparisons on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in modules and gathered from independent study outside the course's formal contact hours. They give you an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research in Anthropology, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues.

Full-time students will have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, and you are also expected to attend weekly departmental research seminars, often given by prominent visiting speakers, as well as relevant seminars at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience and the Durham Energy Institute. You also have the opportunity to present your work at the Department’s annual postgraduate conference. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work. Throughout the course, you will meet fortnightly with the degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Furthermore, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet on a ‘drop-in’ basis, or can be e-mailed to arrange a mutually agreeable time. You will work closely with leading academics to develop an original piece of research for your dissertation, and guidance on your dissertation is also provided by the dissertation leader.  Before the academic year starts, we make contact with you via the postgraduate office. On arrival, we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff. The course tutor will also lead local excursions, to orient you with important, beautiful, interesting and fun places around Durham. You can also attend an 'Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology'.

Apply

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

A minimum 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution (or the overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject. 

References play an important part in the admissions process.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £10,000.00 per year
Home Student £10,000.00 per year
Island Student £10,000.00 per year
International non-EU Student £21,000.00 per year

Part Time Fees

EU Student £5,500.00 per year
Home Student £5,500.00 per year
Island Student £5,500.00 per year
International non-EU Student £11,600.00 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance

Open Days and Visits

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Overseas Visit Schedule

www.durham.ac.uk/international/office/meetus

Postgraduate Visits

PGVI or

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit/

You can apply for this course through the University's online application process. Find entry requirements for the programme here.

Professor Simone Abram is the Degree Tutor for the MSc Sustainability, Culture and Development. Please contact Simone to discuss the programme further.

Through my study I grasped more clearly the theoretical foundations of Western thought and the dramatic implications of its universal application. I took from this course was the idea of sustainability as a social space, one where all people are mutual stakeholders.

Claudia Abbott-Barish
MSc Sustainability, Culture and Development (2011-2012)

The MSc program was an incredible opportunity to immerse myself in anthropological theory and ethnography, specifically as they pertain to current issues in the developing world. It provided fantastic courses in research methods, and offered great fieldwork opportunities; for me that involved three weeks of fieldwork in Kenya.

My experience has put me in a competitive position to pursue work with various international development NGOs and think tanks.

Rose Tobiassen
MSc Sustainability, Culture and Development (2012-2013)