Course Overview

The MA in Environment, Society and Development centrally involves a critique of interventionism and the various practices of development, environmental management and security that define our world; and practically how that critique can enable better and more community-based and environmentally sensitive forms of governance. . Since its inception, the programme has had a rich array of students from all over the world, including Canada, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Liberia, Malawi, Norway, Russia, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam. Many have gone on to work in NGOs and UN agencies and, in addition, to pursue PhD research in leading Geography Departments across the world.

Our students have consistently brought passion and new perspectives to urgent questions of environment, development and sustainability. They mirror a commitment on the programme to a postcolonial concern for the production of nuanced global knowledges that are crucial to envisioning and actioning a better world.

Each year, students benefit especially from our reputation for providing one-to-one support. The programme director and teaching team have received a number of accolades for teaching excellence, including: a Learning and Teaching Innovation Award in 2010 to extend the civic engagement element of the MA from NUI Galway’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; an NUI Galway President’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2011; and the National Academy for Integration in Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012. In terms of academic excellence, the best testament to the programme is having the late Neil Smith as the inaugural external examiner. Neil was one of the leading geographers in the world until his untimely death, and his involvement on the MA from the beginning was a major reason why it garnered the strong international recognition it has already established.

Award-winning course

Winner: NUI Galway President’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Winner: Irish National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Award
Winner: Learning and Teaching Innovation Award, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, NUI Galway

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr John Morrissey (Director)
  • Dr Nessa Cronin (Module Lecturer)
  • Dr Mary Greene (Module Lecturer)
  • Dr Valerie Ledwith (Module Lecturer)
  • Dr Aaron Potito (Module Lecturer)
  • Dr Richard Scriven (Module Lecturer)
  • Prof. Ulf Strohmayer (Module Lecturer)

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is in the form of continuous assessment, essays, oral presentations and other projects. Students must also submit a dissertation of 15,000–20,000 words based on original research. The topic will be agreed, after consultation, with individual supervisors.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Second Class Honours NQAI Level 8 degree with a 2:1 in Geography and a 2:2 overall or related discipline, or equivalent. Selection is based on a candidate’s academic record, personal statement and letters of recommendation. Prior learning in terms of relevant work experience is also recognised.

Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

12

Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

PAC code

GYA87

Course Outline

Running through the MA is an over-arching aim to impart understanding of how different philosophical and ideological approaches to environment-society relations influence policy formulation and implementation. In this context, our hope is to empower students to become critically informed by, and ethically engaged with, the various (geo)political, social, economic and environmental processes that shape the world in which we live. The practical emphasis of the MA is reflected in a field-based learning module in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where students will intersect with the development work of the European Commission, UN agencies and various NGOs. In connecting with the work of UN agencies like the United Nations Development Programme, a key challenge for students will involve thinking through the scalar nature of all forms of development, in which initiatives on the ground are framed by broader geopolitical, economic and institutional structures that both enable and hinder development in complex ways.

Modules include:

  • Conceptualising Environment, Society and Development
  • Geography and Geo-graphing
  • Geopolitics and Security
  • Environment and Risk
  • Managing Development
  • Field-Based Learning
  • MA Dissertation 

Modules for 2016-17

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required TI701: Conceptualising Environment, Society & Development


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI701: "Conceptualising Environment, Society & Development" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required TI702: Geography and Geo-Graphing


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI702: "Geography and Geo-Graphing" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required TI703: Geopolitics & Security


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Critical geopolitics module

Learning Outcomes
  1. Recognise the intimate links between geopolitical discourse and practices of securitization in our contemporary world
  2. Comprehend the long-standing equation between ‘security’ interests and ‘economic’ interests at the heart of geopolitical calculation
  3. See the so-called war on terror in the Middle East in its historic context of a much longer Western concern for military-economic securitization overseas
  4. Appreciate how neoliberal practices of intervention, war and reconstruction have long been based on the mobilization of prioritized geopolitical and geoeconomic discourses
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-1978" by Michel Foucault
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  2. "The Colonial Present" by Derek Gregory
    Publisher: Blackwell
  3. "The New Imperialism" by David Harvey
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  4. "Critical Geopolitics: The Politics of Writing Global Space" by Gearóid Ó Tuathail
    Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  5. "Culture and Imperialism" by Edward Said
    Publisher: Vintage
  6. "The Endgame of Globalization" by Neil Smith
    Publisher: Routledge
The above information outlines module TI703: "Geopolitics & Security" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required TI704: Environment & Risk


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI704: "Environment & Risk" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required TI705: Managing Development


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI705: "Managing Development" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required TI706: Field Based Learning


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI706: "Field Based Learning" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required TI707: Dissertation


Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Students will complete an original piece of work that engages with key theoretical, philosophical and ideological approaches and policy issues pertaining to contemporary environment-society relations.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate enhanced understanding of key theoretical, philosophical and ideological approaches and policy issues pertaining to contemporary environment-society relations.
  2. Demonstrate well developed research skills that are transferable to further research at PhD level or a range of workplaces.
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI707: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional TI6121: Geographic Studies Abroad


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 10

As part of their participation in an international exchange programme, students involved in a Master’s programme in Geography are invited to participate in module-based activities at a third level institution abroad. The module based activities relate to three key strands of research in the fields of: Environment, Society and Development; Marine and Coastal Processes; and Rural Sustainability. These activities will be supervised jointly by academic staff at the host institution and at NUI Galway.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Examine interactions between human activities and environmental processes within an international, comparative framework
  2. Critically analyse and engage with geographical planning processes, debates, theories and policies in a non-Irish context; including international planning practices and instruments
  3. Critically assess the relationship between planning, society, and environments in an non-Irish context and apply conceptual languages to material settings in a peripheral region
  4. Relate academic and policy material to developments in the fields of Environment, Society and Development ; Marine and Coastal Processes; or Rural Sustainability
  5. Effectively communicate information and arguments in a variety of forms
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI6121: "Geographic Studies Abroad" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional TI6120: Geographic Research and Dissertation Abroad


Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Students enrolled in a Master’s programme within Geography at NUI Galway can conduct the research towards their Master’s dissertation as part of an international exchange programme. Such activities will be jointly supervised by staff in the host institution and at NUI Galway. This module guides students through an extended period of research and towards the writing of a major independent project. As such, it is an integral part of a student’s university education in that it teaches organisational and research skills, as well as skills critical for any career path. The module is specifically for students who would like to undertake independent research in the fields of Environment, Society and Development; Marine and Coastal Processes or Rural Sustainability.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Conduct supervised research on key identified interactions between human activities and environmental processes within an international, comparative framework
  2. Critically analyse and evaluate geographical planning processes, debates, theories and policies in a non-Irish context
  3. Demonstrate independent thinking and critically assess the relationship between planning, society, and environments
  4. Apply conceptual languages to material settings in a peripheral, coastal region and research key processes that shape such regions
  5. Explore, synthesise, and critique academic material while relating it to advancements in the fields of Environment, Society and Development, Marine and Coastal processes or Rural Sustainability
  6. Analyse data and communicate their findings in an effective manner to a range of audiences
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module TI6120: "Geographic Research and Dissertation Abroad" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The programme prepares students for a range of workplaces including government departments, non-governmental organizations, planning and project management agencies and specialist research and policy institutes. Each year, students gain enormously from the experience of developing transferable and problem-solving skills while working on the ground in Bosnia with a variety of international development practitioners and local community actors. Since its inception, the programme has had registered students from Ethiopia, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Sri Lanka, UAE, the UK and USA. Many have gone on to work in NGOs, UN agencies and a range of development and planning contexts, both nationally and internationally. In addition, many of our students have gone on to pursue PhD research. To this end, the Neil Smith Graduate Research Award will annually recognize the most outstanding student on the MA. This prestigious award is presented annually to the student achieving the best overall mark on the programme, and is designed to encourage the continuation of graduate research at doctoral level, where Geography has strong research clusters in Geopolitics and Justice and Planning and Sustainability. The award will honour the late Neil Smith, who was the inaugural external examiner on the MA programme.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,200 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,976 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.