Environmental Science

Environmental Social Science - PhD

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Environmental Social Science at Kent is a vibrant and multi-disciplinary programme which seeks to understand and seek solutions to the environmental issues facing our global society.

Overview

The Environmental Social Science programmes are interdepartmental and benefit from expertise found across the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Social science perspectives are crucial to understanding and solving environmental problems. Human behaviour produces many elements of the ‘natural’ environment, from landscapes to floods and famines. Local and national policies and international agreements regulate the environmental practices of corporations, governments and households. The social sciences have a great deal to contribute to understanding what have become defined as environmental issues, and what measures can most effectively tackle them.

The multidisciplinary Environmental Social Science programmes draw on the contributions of Anthropology, Conservation and Ecology, Law, Social Policy and Sociology. In each of these disciplines, Kent is very active in research. The programmes therefore build upon a strong base.

Think Kent video series

Drawing on her 2012 book ‘The Cosmopolitanization of Science’, Dr Joy Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent, uses China’s experience in stem cell research as an example to demonstrate how actors from the Global South can assume a more contributory role in steering global scientific norms.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent vocational experience.

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 5 years part-time

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Environmental Social Science - MSc by Research at Canterbury

  • Home full-time £4500
  • EU full-time £16800
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £2250
  • EU part-time £8400
  • International part-time £8400

Environmental Social Science - PhD at Canterbury

  • Home full-time £4500
  • EU full-time £16800
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £2250
  • EU part-time £8400
  • International part-time £8400

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.

Complete University Guide Research Intensity

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research was ranked 2nd for research power in the UK. The School was also placed 3rd for research intensity, 5th for research impact and 5th for research quality.

An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research, gaining the highest possible score of 100%.

Research areas

We offer research supervision across a broad range of topics. We are especially interested in applications that include proposals to investigate the social dimensions of environmental issues in the countries in which we have area expertise, and topics in environmental politics and environmental movements.

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Careers

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills. We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation as well as time management and leadership skills. You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of Environmental Social Science is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

Recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in environmental law, community projects, research, education, advocacy and social policy at both local and central government levels.

Study support

Research programmes involve writing a thesis on a particular topic with specialist supervision. You are given research training, which is tailored to the particular needs of your research and takes into account any training you have previously received. You also have opportunities to attend modules on relevant subjects on a non-assessed basis to fill any gaps in your background.

We offer research supervision across a broad range of topics. We are especially interested in applications that include proposals to investigate the social dimensions of environmental issues in the countries in which we have area expertise, and topics in environmental politics and environmental movements.

Postgraduate resources

Our postgraduate students have access to dedicated office space within the Department and are able to take advantage of excellent library and computing facilities. Where appropriate, research students are encouraged to expand their experience by teaching part-time in the School.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Environmental Politics; Global Environmental Change; Human Organization; Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute; and Sociology of Health and Illness.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Apply now

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

PhD at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 823684

F: +44 (0)1227 827005

E: sspssr-pg-admin@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk