We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University


L6K807 Energy and Society MSc Postgraduate Taught  2020


For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see

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

Course Summary


The MSc in Energy and Society is an innovative postgraduate course looking at uses of energy in socio-technical perspectives. The course gives you a holistic understanding of energy issues, approaches to transition, technologies in practice, and the politics of energy developments. Graduates have pursued careers in the energy industry, in consultancy, in government and in community energy organisations. Using ideas from practice theory, notions of integrated energy systems, energy development and social science approach to energy, it draws together diverse disciplinary approaches and ensures that you can speak and read across disciplinary boundaries. It will be of interest to engineers seeking to understand how and why technologies succeed or fail, to social scientists who want to improve their understanding of energy developments and to a broad range of graduates with an interest in today’s energy issues.

for a student's perspective on the course please see here

The full-time course consists of two terms of taught courses, including teaching from experts across the University and invited guest speakers, during which you are introduced to a broad range of energy issues, disciplinary approaches and analytic strategies. You will engage in ‘live projects’, and explore a range of research questions and methods in preparation for a dissertation involving the design, development and implementation of an independent research project. You will also work closely with academic staff and have the opportunity to become involved in active research projects.

The course draws on leading experts in energy studies at Durham from Anthropology, Engineering, Geography, Earth Sciences and other departments. The two core taught modules are delivered via intensive block-teaching, and there is also a field study module for applied team-research.

For further information on current modules, please see here.

Course Learning and Teaching

The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Full-time students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with further assessment in April and May (Easter Term), you will then work under the supervision of a specialist supervisor to complete your dissertation by September.

The course is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, practical sessions and workshops, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lectures deliver key information on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in lectures and gathered from independent study outside the course's formal contact hours. They will give you an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues. You will also participate in a guided ‘field study’, which consists of an applied, ‘real world’ group project, where you combine experiential and theoretical learning. In 2019-20 you will have the opportunity to apply for a special European ‘Erasmus+’ module, which integrates a short European co-creation camp at the culmination of the module.

Full-time students have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, and you are also expected to attend weekly departmental seminars and Durham Energy Institute research seminars and lectures, often given by prominent visiting speakers. 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 regularly with your degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival, we have induction sessions, including a field trip and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Degree Tutor for Energy and Society. You will also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

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

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

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 £4,400.00 per year
Home Student £4,400.00 per year
Island Student £4,400.00 per year
International non-EU Student £4,400.00 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

Career Opportunities

Department of Anthropology

Students with a postgraduate qualification in Anthropology pursue a diverse array of careers in areas such as conservation, tourism, public health, health research and management, captive primate care and zoological research management, local government research and management, education (secondary, further and higher), social care, social research, in addition to academia.

For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Department Information

Department of Anthropology


Founded in 1965, the Department of Anthropology at Durham University is now one of the largest integrated anthropology departments in the UK, carrying out cutting-edge research across social anthropology, evolutionary anthropology, and the anthropology of health.  Our taught Masters programmes offer you the opportunity to pursue advanced specialist courses and ‘conversion’ from other degrees.