L6K907 Sustainability, Energy and Development MSc Postgraduate Taught 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
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.
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'.
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
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£22,900.00 per year|
|Home Student||£10,600.00 per year|
|Island Student||£10,600.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£22,900.00 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
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 VisitsPGVI or
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.