International Master's Programme in Environmental Social Science, 120 credits

About the education

Environmental social science is the interdisciplinary study of what governs people’s behaviour, beliefs and ways of organising themselves in relation to the natural environment. It focuses on understanding the social processes that either lead to environmental change or are a reaction or adaptation to such change.

The field of research explores how, where and at what levels of society decisions relating to the environment are made. How can various types of political, financial, social and cultural control of social processes affecting the environment be achieved at the local, national and global levels?

The programme in environmental social science discusses how science, policies and practices interact with power relations. How are environmental issues and their solutions defined and understood, and how does vulnerability create unequal conditions?

The first semester of the programme includes four obligatory, interdisciplinary courses that provide an introduction to environmental social science research. The second and third semesters consist of optional advanced courses from various social science disciplines, in addition to obligatory method courses worth a total of 15 credits. The main field of study is chosen during the first semester. The degree project constitutes 30 credits and is written during the fourth semester. In the second and third semesters, it is also possible to do an internship.

Since the degree can only be issued in a main field of study in which the student has been awarded at least 60 credits, the programme offers three possible master’s degrees: Human geography with a specialisation in environmental social science, Social anthropology with a specialisation in environmental social science, and Political science with a specialisation in environmental social science. In order to be awarded a degree in the main field of study, the student is required to have completed 15 credits of method courses, 15 credits of advanced courses, and 30 credits of a degree project in the relevant main field of study.

Subject: Political Science

When living together in society, people are faced with the challenge of organising themselves in order to solve common problems in the best way possible. Today the democratic “national state” is the predominant way of organising political life, but it is also being challenged as the best form of political community. Development tendencies such as globalisation, European integration and a new ethnic and cultural variety have stimulated a comprehensive discussion about the need of more developed political institutions at, below and above the national state level. Political science, as a research and a teaching subject, is in the middle of this intense debate.

Many subjects within the humanities and social sciences treat different aspects of political life and its institutions. The characterising feature of political science is its focus on this area. Political scientists describe, explain and evaluate the political institutions. Division of power is particularly studied, as well as the question of how and to what extent the democratic institutions and processes function. The main themes are political theory, Swedish politics, comparative politics and international politics.

As a student you will gain basic knowledge of the political conditions of society, train your ability to critically judge them and to present practical insights in the working methods of the public sector. This knowledge is useful and applicable both in general terms as a citizen of society, and in more specific, professional contexts where knowledge of politics and public administration is valuable.

Subject: Social Anthropology

Anthropology deals with the entire range of human social and cultural phenomena in places ranging from corporate boardrooms and think tanks in major cities, to rural markets and war zones in the hinterlands of globalisation. Anthropology inquires into the different ways in which societies are organised and how people make sense of the worlds in which they live. In short, anthropology asks what it means to be human.

The Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University is a world-leading research institution. Our courses and programs reflect the Department’s commitment to understanding people, ideas, and objects in situ, and how they travel across political and cultural borders, challenging, reinforcing or redrawing them in the process.

Subject: Human Geography

”Human” in “Human Geography” refers to civilization and society, while “geography” refers to relations of proximity and distance and spatial patterns. Human geography is thus about societies and their spatial patterns and relations. The geographical dimensions may involve local as well as global relations and patterns. The societal issues in human geography concern social, political and economical issues; currently and in an historical perspective. This means that Human Geography is a broad subject with a number of different areas of specialization.

As a student in Human Geography at Stockholm University, you meet leading researchers and teachers in historical geography and landscape studies, migration and population geography, economic geography, gender and planning, GIS and development geography. Within these areas of specialization you will study different ways of living, thinking, planning, travelling and working. You will gain knowledge about global living conditions and work with concepts and methods required to understand relations and patterns. An education in Human Geography includes study tours and excursions, field studies and field work. They may be organized in different ways but share the important core of studying structures and processes in the field.

Our courses provide you with the knowledge and skills to work with a range of different tasks such as housing, economic growth, heritage management, land use, environmental problems, urban and regional planning, social and ethnic segregation, urban and regional development, transport and tourism. Human Geography provides you with an education in the social sciences for work on investigations, analysis, planning and communication. Such jobs may deal with local, national or international questions and relations.

Area of interest: Human, Social and Political Sciences, and Law

Are you interested in human beings and society? How we function individually and together, what drives us, our learning processes, how rules and laws have been established, and how we interact with each other? If that is the case we have a lot to offer.

This area of interest covers anything from Pedagogy, Psychology and Gender Studies, to Statistics, Political Science, Law and many other subjects. Their common denominator is the relation between human beings and society, independent analytical thinking and often an international perspective.

Department responsible for education

Department of Political Science