Environmental Science

Environmental Social Sciences - BA (Hons)

How does human behaviour affect our environment? What pressures do we face in managing scarce resources? Can technological innovation offer solutions? You will develop an understanding of the ecological and social crises of the 21st century while developing the practical skills that you need to bring about change.

Overview

Explore environmental issues from a range of perspectives, drawing on subjects as varied as anthropology, politics and economics. You will explore the relationships between people, place and environment with staff who are active in the field. Gain insight into pollution, climate change, urbanisation and broader social and spatial dynamics.

Shape your degree outside the classroom with our thriving student led societies. EcoGeog Society works closely with local charities on action programmes, and aims to create a close community for those in human geography and environmental social sciences. The ECS Society brings students together to share thoughts and possible ideas for solutions addressing current issues in Canterbury.

Reasons to study Environmental Social Sciences at Kent

  • It is ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2022 and placed 9th for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2022
  • You’ll be inspired by academics at the forefront of their fields including biological, environmental, evolutionary and social anthropology
  • You can stand out by applying your skills and knowledge to a Year in Professional Practice
  • You can live, study and be immersed in a different culture when you add a Year Abroad
  • You’ll benefit from ongoing support in your studies through our excellent staff-student ratio, regular workshops and alumni talks as well as dedicated academic advisors and peer mentoring scheme

What you'll learn

You’ll consider how environmental issues are framed and managed by different societal stakeholders, such as, policy makers and the media. Choose to specialise in areas such as social anthropology, tourism and conservation, and geographies of people and place. Our wide range of modules allows you to tailor your degree to support your particular career ambitions. For example, you can choose modules that prepare you for a career in pursuing community-based conservation projects.

Year in professional practice

If you want to stand out from other graduates in today's global job market, spending time in the work place as part of your degree is invaluable. It demonstrates your ability to adapt to new situations, your sensitivity to other cultures (intercultural competence) and your desire to stretch yourself.

You can extend your degree into a four-year programme by adding a work placement between the second and final years. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent, but certain conditions apply. See our Environmental Social Sciences with a Year in Professional Practice - BSc.

Field trips

A number of our modules include opportunities for learning and experiences outside of the classroom through field trips in the UK and abroad. Potential local excursions are:

  • food and farming systems in East Kent
  • High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Ashford Community Woodland, local nature reserve
  • forestry management on the North Downs.

Students on the Tropical Ecology and Conservation module spend two weeks at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Borneo. The Centre is located in an area where huge swathes of jungle have been removed and replaced by plantations, so you are working on the front line between managing the needs of the community and the impact on biodiversity.

These opportunities may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

This degree programme is taught by academic staff from across the School, including the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) research centre. DICE is a leading international research and training centre dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world.

DICE was founded in 1989 with a clear mission: to conserve biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It does so by developing capacity and improving conservation management and policy through high-impact research. That is why DICE is in a School that does research and teaching in anthropology alongside conservation.

One component of DICE’s work is to train a new, interdisciplinary generation of conservationists who think innovatively about the challenges that lie ahead. As undergraduates, you are part of a dynamic and growing community of conservationists whose work spans all major regions of the world.

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Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in LZ045 Life Sciences (1 & 2), 60% in LZ036 Academic Skills, and 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics (if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

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. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to the range of basic academic and research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes. Students will learn to independently use library resources to conduct scholarly research in their field of study and related fields, how to appropriately analyse that literature, and incorporate it into their own academic writing. Beyond writing, student will learn how to effectively communicate scholarly topics in the format of oral and poster presentations. Students will then be introduced to the basic aspects of collecting and analysing qualitative data as relevant in their own field of study and related disciplines. Finally, the module will focus on the skills needed to organise, analyse, and present quantitative data for the purpose of hypothesis testing in these disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS3080

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to people, place and the environment. In the first half of the module we explore this relationship through the lens of contemporary environmentalism. We consider how environmental issues are framed and managed by different societal stakeholders (such as policy makers, scientists, the media, activists) and introduce a series of core concepts of relevance to contemporary environmental management, including sustainability, resilience and environmental economics. In the second half, we explore the broader social and spatial dynamics that govern how the relationship between people, place and the environment takes shape, including urbanisation and the rise of mega-cities, the changing role of regional blocs and nation states, and changing geographies of gender, class, and ethnicity.

Find out more about GEOG3001

We are living in the era of the Anthropocene (the era of humankind), when humans have become the key driver of planetary changes. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability in the context of the Anthropocene, understanding human impacts on nature. Using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on human and environmental geography, we discuss key environmental challenges including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, among others. We explore contemporary debates around sustainable development and critically analyse these in relation to real world sustainability problems along with an understanding of the relevant policy context. You are introduced to a series of case studies that illustrate human-environment relations as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. The module introduces systems thinking, initiating the understanding of interconnectedness.

Find out more about GEOG3004

This module explores and evaluates geographical patterns and processes occurring within urban and rural systems. The module includes introductory lectures and seminars on conceptualising the dynamics of urban and rural change and the underlying economic, social, cultural and environmental processes that drive their geographical expression. Understanding is set within a broader consideration of how social-spatial processes in urban and rural environments can be interpreted and assessed with respect to different values and priorities, and in relation to wider questions of environmental sustainability, social justice and economic prosperity. The introductory lectures and seminars for each section of the module (urban and rural) provide the context in which these systems are investigated empirically through field-based observation, interpretation and analysis.

Find out more about GEOG3005

This module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, including how past geophysical processes have shaped biodiversity as we see it distributed across biomes today. The importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values) will be discussed – including a case study of the global carbon cycle, explaining how that links to biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.

Find out more about WCON3050

Optional modules may include

This module is an introduction to biological anthropology and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race and diversity, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution, culture, and behaviour. This module is required for all BSc Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history, biology, and behaviour of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications. The module is team-taught by the biological and social anthropology staff.

Find out more about ANTB3020

This module is an introduction to human and primate evolution, and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, elementary genetics, prehistoric archaeology, and the evolution of our species (and that of our ancestors such as Australopithecines and Neanderthals). Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history of our planet and our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications.

Find out more about ANTB3160

A discipline which arose with other social sciences in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, social and cultural anthropology has made a speciality of studying 'other' people's worlds and ways of life. With increasing frequency, however, anthropologists have turned towards 'home', using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. By studying people's lives both at 'home' and 'abroad', social and cultural anthropology attempt to both explain what may at first appear bizarre and alien about other peoples' ways of living whilst also questioning what goes without saying about our own society and beliefs. Or, to put it another way, social and cultural anthropology attempt, among other things, to challenge our ideas about what we take to be natural about 'human nature' and more generally force us to take a fresh look at what we take for granted.

Find out more about ANTS3010

The main strand of the lecture material will establish the foundations of organisational behaviour in the context of the historical development of ideas and theory. The theories will be related to practical examples and thence students will be introduced to modern experience, practice and scholarship. Once the information of the foundation of organisational behaviour is established, at the next level, contemporary topics of management will be touched upon briefly. This will provide students with basic knowledge related to modern management practices. The content of the module will, therefore, be based on the following topics:

• Scientific Management

• Human Relations School

• Bureaucracy

• Post Bureaucratic Organizations

• Contingency Approach

• Group and teams

• Motivation

• Power and authority

• Managing diversity

Find out more about BUSN3020

This module introduces students to economics in its two main components, microeconomics and macroeconomics. The module is designed to explain the main ways in which economists think about economic problems faced by individuals, firms, markets and governments.

The first part of the module focuses on explaining a selection of microeconomic topics including, the behaviour of individuals and firms; demand and supply of goods and services and determination of prices; costs in the short and long term and market structures. The second part aims to introduce the core of macroeconomic topics; for instance, macroeconomic objectives and trade-offs; unemployment; inflation; international trade; balance of payments and exchange rates; and the main types of economic policies that are implemented by governments. Overall, the application of economics to contemporary issues illustrates how economic analysis can be used to understand the different parts of the economy and to inform and evaluate policy interventions that support a range of different economic outcomes.

The module is self-contained to provide a basic understanding of economic concepts and debates. It is a suitable module for students interested in taking economics further, either as part of another degree programme or as part of a future professional qualification.

Find out more about ECON3007

This module introduces students to economics in its two main components, microeconomics and macroeconomics. The module is designed to explain the main ways in which economists think about economic problems faced by individuals, firms, markets and governments. The module emphasises the use of basic economic concepts to business analysis.

The first part of the module focuses on explaining a selection of basic microeconomic topics including, the behaviour of individuals and firms; demand and supply of goods and services and determination of prices; costs in the short and long term and market structures. The second part aims to introduce the core of macroeconomic topics; for instance, macroeconomic objectives and trade-offs; unemployment; inflation; international trade; balance of payments and exchange rates; and the main types of economic policies that are implemented by governments. The attention is to understand the relevance of macroeconomics topics (e.g. interest rates, exchange rates, etc.) to business.

The module is self-contained to provide a basic understanding of simple economic concepts and debates. It is a suitable module for students interested in taking economics further, either as part of another degree programme or as part of a future professional qualification.

Find out more about ECON3130

The broad aim of this module is to provide students with practical field experience in biodiversity monitoring and assessment methods. Specific aims are to introduce students to a range of basic field techniques and develop their skills in the collection, analysis and presentation of field data. The module provides an essential practical element of the Wildlife Conservation programme.

The module is spread over the term, allowing different groups of organisms to be examined as they become available for survey, and the dates may vary slightly from year to year. Groups of students will each undertake survey or monitoring projects under the supervision of a member of staff. Each project will assess the biodiversity of an appropriate taxonomic group (eg. birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected carry out a range of surveys, analyse the data and write-up their results.

Find out more about HECO3030

The aim of the module is to link theory and practice in wildlife conservation. A number of practical conservation problems will be used to introduce key theoretical concepts that underlie modern biodiversity management. Particular emphasis will be placed on the challenges of collecting useable data for understanding threats, establishing conservation priorities (at the species and habitat levels) and informing decision-making. Students will develop an understanding of the practical skills and scientific principles that underlie conservation management goals and plans at different geographical and temporal scales.

Find out more about WCON3101

The module explores the geographic patterns of biological diversity around the world (biogeography), and the relationships between plants, animals and their environment (ecology). It begins with how the physiology and reproductive biology of plants has shaped the variety of habitats, ecosystems and biomes seen in the natural world today. Key concepts and theories concerning how these geographical patterns have been affected by complex historical and current factors will also be explored. The module continues with an introduction to ecological concepts that define how species are distributed within communities and across landscapes. It concludes with a discussion of how biogeographical and ecological principles inform global conservation strategies, and help us better understand how to manage threats to biodiversity from environmental change.

Find out more about WCON3111

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces you to the many and diverse methods and design issues that inform social science research inquiry within geography and environmental studies. Its purpose is to equip you with some of the skills and mindsets to approach independent research and thus become an active participant in knowledge creation. The module explores what counts as research and how research validity can be assessed from a social science perspective. You will be trained in the design and use of a range of research techniques, including: qualitative interviews; extensive questionnaires; group work and ethnography. We also consider the processing and analysis of qualitative data, as well as basic descriptive statistics to analyse quantitative data. Towards the end of the module, we will look in more depth at the principles of research design in order to help you begin to plan your final year research project.

Find out more about GEOG5001

This module draws on a variety of debates from human geography and social sciences, introducing students to a wider, comprehensive understanding of the 'cities and climate change' discourse. It also seeks to establish a working interface between the social sciences and the environment supporting students who aim to work across disciplinary barriers, and to develop a more nuanced discussion related to the ‘cities and climate change’ debate. In addition to an overview of key policy documents driving the discourse, lectures will explore theorisations across human and physical geography that help rethink the arguments in a renewed way. This includes an understanding of how key concepts such as Anthropocene and adaptation and mitigation have shaped the discourse. The complementary role of lectures and seminars provide the context in which these questions are investigated through engaging more in-depth in the seminars with practical examples, interpretation and analysis of what is covered in the lectures.

Find out more about GEOG5005

The driving causes of biodiversity loss are not just ecological, but also political, economic and cultural, and conservationists need to acquire the knowledge and skills to address broader social contexts. This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge debates about the place of local people in biodiversity conservation, and provide them with an overview of the essential role that the social sciences play in the analysis of environmental issues. Objectives of the module are to provide students with a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation; knowledge of the history of conservation approaches towards local communities; familiarity with key issues in the implementation of community conservation; and a critical approach to analysis of the current conservation-preservation debate.

Find out more about WCON5460

Optional modules may include

This module aims to develop your theoretical imagination by making you familiar with the central debates that have shaped anthropological theory from the early twentieth century to our contemporary debates. It aims to teach you to understand theoretical issues and apply them with a critical and informed sense of the role of difference in the human experience. The module is not a 'history of theory' survey; rather, it will lead you through the complex interrelations and cross references that have shaped anthropological theory over the past century. The module is organised around the theme of human society, which will be used as a lens through which to view theoretical discussions within social anthropology as well as its appropriations from other disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS5960

The module is of core relevance for students of anthropology, and a wide range of related disciplines preoccupied with the role of anthropologically-informed thought and cultural literacy in today's transnational and multicultural globe. It explores the relationship between social between social anthropology and the Contemporary World, and a series of themes that explore how anthropologists engage with the pressing political, social and environmental concerns and crises of their day. Through examination of 'hot topics' in the discipline, key debates in public anthropology, and anthropological and ethnographic theory, the module clarifies the relevance of anthropology for the world beyond the university, and educates you in how to adapt anthropological knowledge and skills to analysis of real world issues. It also advances core disciplinary understanding relevant to social anthropological modules in stages 2 and 3. Throughout, key objectives are to support you in developing and consolidating your understanding of contemporary anthropology and your own assessment of the wider utility of the social sciences, and to provide essential critical tools for understanding the changing world around us.

Find out more about ANTS5970

This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', ‘society’, ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

Find out more about ANTS6210

The aim of this module is to explore, assess and apply critical concepts and approaches to the sustainable planning of landscapes. Drawing on recent developments in the geography, conservation and environmental planning literatures, it introduces you to key ideas intersecting with policy and practice agendas and initiatives for landscape, including natural capital, ecosystem services, environmental economics and participatory environmental management. Alongside critical reflection on the underlying assumptions that guide these developments, the module places you in real-world scenarios in which you must design and shape plans for rural and urban landscapes.

Find out more about GEOG5003

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

Nature-based tourism (including recreation) is a subject of growing importance in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, and community development in both developing and developed countries. This module will introduce students to the conceptual, ethical and practical issues concerning environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism, and will provide them with some basic tools for visitor and site management. It thus contributes to the core aim of the Wildlife Conservation BSc and Environmental Social Sciences BA degree programmes in providing essential theoretical and practical training for conservation and wildlife managers. It is also one of the modules within the conservation degrees that focus on social and economic aspects of conservation, thus strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the degrees. It will also provide a useful optional module for Human Geography BSc students.

The module will cover the following subject areas:

1. An introduction to the tourism industry: nature-based ecotourism (including. recreation) and its significance for conservation.

2. Environmental impacts of tourism and visitor management.

3. Tourism and environmental education.

4. Social impacts of tourism.

5. Tourism, protected areas and local communities

6. Economic impacts of tourism.

7. Multidisciplinary aspects of tourism management.

Find out more about GEOG5006

This interdisciplinary module introduces to a range of key concepts and discourses in the field of development geography with a specific focus on the global South. The module begins by conceptualising 'development' as well as introducing contemporary development theories to build the foundation. The module then applies this understanding in examining a selection of contemporary development issues and debates in the global South context including poverty, inequality, impacts of climate change, nature of disasters, gendered vulnerabilities, and the challenges of sustainable development. Here context and place matters, as well as the differences and links between places and peoples. Students are introduced to a series of global South case studies that illustrate development processes as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. Although development approaches are equally applicable to urban and rural environments, the focus in this module is predominantly on the urban context and the contestations within them. The module is divided into several sections, each of which introduces students to a set of issues, concepts, key vocabularies and approaches in relevance to Development Geography. The sections of the modules are complementary to each other and as a whole they will provide a strong understanding of the development context and processes in the global South. Students are strongly encouraged to think of the module as a whole and to explore the connections between the different issues and theoretical approaches addressed in this module.

Find out more about GEOG5007

This module explores the origins, evolution and role of the United Nations (UN) in world politics. The aim is to understand how and why states and other actors participate in the UN. The module further explores the extent to which the United Nations is able to achieve its stated goals of maintaining peace and security, achieving cooperation to solve key international problems, and promoting respect for human rights. The module examines the work of key UN organs, agencies, and member states in a variety of issue areas, with the aim of critically assessing the successes, challenges, and failures of the United Nations.

Find out more about POLI5550

The purpose of the module is to introduce students to the European Union, how it has evolved since its creation and how it works. In this module, students gain an understanding of the dynamic of European integration over time, analyse the functioning and roles of the EU's main institutional bodies as well as key political questions underpinning the decision-making structures of the EU. The module will address topics including: the history of European integration, the EU’s institutions and decision-making processes, how EU decisions are implemented, interest group activity in the EU and how this affects

EU decision-making, public opinion on the EU, the EU’s democratic deficit and the future of the European integration project.

Find out more about POLI6110

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the 'greening' of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Find out more about SOCI5250

This module will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

• Active community volunteering

• Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

• Active university volunteering

• Training facilitator

• Mentoring

• Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year

Find out more about SOCI6700

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

Find out more about WCON5310

The module will examine the way in which biodiversity conservation activities are widely implemented in practice and on the ground, particularly by organisations for which conservation is not the primary focus. As such, relevant regulatory and voluntary principles that govern the conservation actions of businesses and governments will be explored, alongside some of the more influential multilateral conservation policies.

The pathways by which scientific evidence is integrated into policy and practice will be illustrated using some case studies. Consultation processes, as well as the role of government and non-government organisations in formulating and implementing policy and practice will be explored.

Ultimately, the goal of the module is to better equip students to practice conservation in a non-conservation organisational setting once they have completed their programmes.

Find out more about WCON5450

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

The module is considered as an important element of undergraduate training in human geography and/or environmental social sciences. The opportunity to engage in personal research is seen as an essential element of academic training in all disciplines. The particular skills necessary to undertake research, whether practical fieldwork a desk-based study, can only be taught through the medium of practically orientated investigative tasks. The principal objective in the research project is to assist you in gaining insight into the organisation, analysis and communication of research. The approved investigation may be novel, i.e. one that has not previously been carried out, or it may repeat previously executed work for comparative or control purposes.

Find out more about GEOG6004

Optional modules may include

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

This module aims to develop your theoretical imagination by making you familiar with the central debates that have shaped anthropological theory from the early twentieth century to our contemporary debates. It aims to teach you to understand theoretical issues and apply them with a critical and informed sense of the role of difference in the human experience. The module is not a 'history of theory' survey; rather, it will lead you through the complex interrelations and cross references that have shaped anthropological theory over the past century. The module is organised around the theme of human society, which will be used as a lens through which to view theoretical discussions within social anthropology as well as its appropriations from other disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS5960

The module is of core relevance for students of anthropology, and a wide range of related disciplines preoccupied with the role of anthropologically-informed thought and cultural literacy in today's transnational and multicultural globe. It explores the relationship between social between social anthropology and the Contemporary World, and a series of themes that explore how anthropologists engage with the pressing political, social and environmental concerns and crises of their day. Through examination of 'hot topics' in the discipline, key debates in public anthropology, and anthropological and ethnographic theory, the module clarifies the relevance of anthropology for the world beyond the university, and educates you in how to adapt anthropological knowledge and skills to analysis of real world issues. It also advances core disciplinary understanding relevant to social anthropological modules in stages 2 and 3. Throughout, key objectives are to support you in developing and consolidating your understanding of contemporary anthropology and your own assessment of the wider utility of the social sciences, and to provide essential critical tools for understanding the changing world around us.

Find out more about ANTS5970

This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', ‘society’, ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

Find out more about ANTS6210

Nature-based tourism (including recreation) is a subject of growing importance in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, and community development in both developing and developed countries. This module will introduce students to the conceptual, ethical and practical issues concerning environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism, and will provide them with some basic tools for visitor and site management. It thus contributes to the core aim of the Wildlife Conservation BSc and Environmental Social Sciences BA degree programmes in providing essential theoretical and practical training for conservation and wildlife managers. It is also one of the modules within the conservation degrees that focus on social and economic aspects of conservation, thus strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the degrees. It will also provide a useful optional module for Human Geography BSc students.

The module will cover the following subject areas:

1. An introduction to the tourism industry: nature-based ecotourism (including. recreation) and its significance for conservation.

2. Environmental impacts of tourism and visitor management.

3. Tourism and environmental education.

4. Social impacts of tourism.

5. Tourism, protected areas and local communities

6. Economic impacts of tourism.

7. Multidisciplinary aspects of tourism management.

Find out more about GEOG5006

This interdisciplinary module introduces to a range of key concepts and discourses in the field of development geography with a specific focus on the global South. The module begins by conceptualising 'development' as well as introducing contemporary development theories to build the foundation. The module then applies this understanding in examining a selection of contemporary development issues and debates in the global South context including poverty, inequality, impacts of climate change, nature of disasters, gendered vulnerabilities, and the challenges of sustainable development. Here context and place matters, as well as the differences and links between places and peoples. Students are introduced to a series of global South case studies that illustrate development processes as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. Although development approaches are equally applicable to urban and rural environments, the focus in this module is predominantly on the urban context and the contestations within them. The module is divided into several sections, each of which introduces students to a set of issues, concepts, key vocabularies and approaches in relevance to Development Geography. The sections of the modules are complementary to each other and as a whole they will provide a strong understanding of the development context and processes in the global South. Students are strongly encouraged to think of the module as a whole and to explore the connections between the different issues and theoretical approaches addressed in this module.

Find out more about GEOG5007

Human geographers and environmental social scientists must continually analyse relevant and topical issues in a broad, real-world context. This includes understanding research at the forefront of their discipline, critically evaluating its spatial, environmental and interdisciplinary basis, and using this information to inform effective solutions to contemporary problems that are embedded in social, political and economic reality. In this module, you will use knowledge and skills gained throughout your course, and apply them in in-depth discussions of how current research topics fit into the wider theoretical or applied disciplinary context. The research topics will be presented at seminar and reading group events organised by the Geography and Environmental Social Science research theme in collaboration with the Research Centres at the School of Anthropology and Conservation. You will also write up essays as a series of critical reflections on three topics covered at the seminar and reading group events.

Find out more about GEOG6200

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the 'greening' of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Find out more about SOCI5250

This module will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

• Active community volunteering

• Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

• Active university volunteering

• Training facilitator

• Mentoring

• Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year

Find out more about SOCI6700

This module will inform students how climate has influenced the diversity of life on Earth, from past to present, and its likely future impacts. We will begin with a summary of the physical science basis of contemporary climate change and the role that anthropogenic factors have played since the commencement of the industrial era. We will then explore the biological and ecological impacts of climate change on individual organisms, populations and communities, with particular emphasis given to understanding how species are responding. The module will then explore how conservation biologists are using particular interventions to ameliorate the most harmful and destabilising effects of climate change. From a more general perspective, the social, economic and political ways in which climate change can be mitigated will be assessed.

Find out more about WCON5010

Conservationists must continually analyse relevant and topical issues in a broad, real-world context. This includes understanding contemporary research, critically evaluating its ecological, evolutionary and interdisciplinary basis, and using this information to inform effective solutions to conservation problems that are embedded in social, political and economic reality. In this module, students will use and apply knowledge/skills gained throughout their degree programme during in-depth discussions of how current research programmes, as presented at the weekly DICE seminars, fit into the wider conservation context. In addition, they will write up these evaluations as a series of 'News and Views' style commentary articles, as published in the top international journal Nature.

Find out more about WCON5180

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

Find out more about WCON5310

This module is designed to introduce and re-affirm statistical concepts and their correct use and relevance to field biologists. It is delivered through a combination of lectures on statistical practical tasks and exercises.

Introductory topics will include:

• measures of central tendency

• frequency distributions

• the normal distribution

• standard errors

• how sample parameters and null hypotheses apply in real biological situations.

Further topics will include

• one- and two-tailed tests

• chi-squared test

• regression analysis

• analysis of variance.

The role of probability in data analysis will be considered, as will its application to biological and ecological questions. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on practical application of statistics as much as possible, and when and how they are applied.

Since there is both a theoretical and practical component, students should aim to link the theory presented in lectures with the practical sessions and field trip components. The field trip will be towards the end, by which time you will have been exposed to sufficient statistical methods and be ready to apply them.

By the end of the module you should have a knowledge of the underlying principles of statistics, be able to evaluate statistical results from a theoretical standpoint and in practice, and have a sound appreciation of the benefits and limitations of different statistical techniques and their application. This module provides you with the statistical knowledge to conduct the data analysis for your research project, and to reinforce the appreciation and knowledge of statistical methods.

Find out more about WCON5380

The module will examine the way in which biodiversity conservation activities are widely implemented in practice and on the ground, particularly by organisations for which conservation is not the primary focus. As such, relevant regulatory and voluntary principles that govern the conservation actions of businesses and governments will be explored, alongside some of the more influential multilateral conservation policies.

The pathways by which scientific evidence is integrated into policy and practice will be illustrated using some case studies. Consultation processes, as well as the role of government and non-government organisations in formulating and implementing policy and practice will be explored.

Ultimately, the goal of the module is to better equip students to practice conservation in a non-conservation organisational setting once they have completed their programmes.

Find out more about WCON5450

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6500
  • International part-time £8700

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.* 

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

Field trips

One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

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

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. In addition to lectures and seminars, we run laboratory-based practicals and field trips. You also have an opportunity to conduct a field-based research thesis in your final year. This gives you practical experience of developing a research proposal and research questions, finding appropriate methods, conducting research, analysing and interpreting results, writing up a full research project and giving an oral presentation, all with the support of a dedicated project supervisor.

We offer you the opportunity to conduct your research project either in the UK or abroad. The type of approach may differ depending on the student’s preferred discipline. For most, it will mean using advanced methods to explore literature and other documents and, in some cases, there may also be opportunities for field research using the skills taught during the course. Some students use this opportunity to take part in our annual expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.

Most modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and unseen exam. Some modules are assessed only by coursework, which takes a variety of forms, including essays, short answer tests, presentations, advocacy, individual and team projects, and research reports.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide flexibility and a multidiscipline approach to environmental sustainability
  • provide teaching informed by research and scholarship in environmental sustainability
  • meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
  • support national and regional economic success
  • build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere, reflecting Kent’s position as the UK European University
  • produce students capable of contributing positively to global environmental sustainability
  • produce graduates of value to the region and nationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills, with the capacity to learn
  • prepare students for employment or further study in the field of environmental sustainability
  • provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the changing meaning of ‘environment’ and 'sustainability'
  • the role of international and EC treaties, agreements and laws, and national laws and regulations affecting the environment
  • the role of market forces and state action in the production of environmental sustainability
  • the process by which environmental policy is made at all levels and the role of pressure groups
  • the typical conflicts that occur over environmental issues
  • the options available to households, companies and local governments when faced with unsatisfactory environments
  • the role of local governments and national regulatory agencies in shaping local environments
  • the scope for consumers and citizens to exert pressure to enhance environmental quality
  • biodiversity and environmental processes

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • problem-solving and the knowledge to seek solutions to environmental problems and individual needs
  • research skills, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect and manipulate data to answer that question
  • evaluative and analytical skills to assess the outcomes of policy intervention on individuals, communities and places
  • sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference.

Subject-specific skills

You gain specific skills in the following:

  • to identify and use theories and concepts to analyse environmental issues
  • to seek out and use statistical data relevant to environmental issues

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to study and learn independently using library and internet sources
  • develop an appetite for learning and be reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach to learning
  • make presentations to fellow students and staff
  • communicate ideas and arguments to others in written and spoken form
  • prepare essays and reference the material quoted according to scholarly conventions
  • use IT to wordprocess, conduct online searches, communicate and access data sources
  • develop skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
  • develop interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results.

Independent rankings

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 4th for student satisfaction and 9th for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects and 10th overall in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 13th in The Times Good University Guide 2021.

Careers

The conservation and environmental sector is an expanding area for employment opportunities.  Potential employers include local, regional and national UK government departments, voluntary organisations and the private sector, as well as international conservation and environmental organisations. Many students also go on to pursue postgraduate studies.

Graduate destinations  

Our recent graduates have found work in:

  • ecological surveying
  • habitat management
  • species conservation
  • environmental education
  • conservation planning 
  • conservation policy
  • international consultancy
  • community-based conservation projects

Help finding a job

The School offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you'll need to look for a job.  This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

As a conservation student, you develop expertise in understanding and managing wildlife and biodiversity in a sustainable way. You'll gain skills in gathering and collecting information, analysing data, exploring and communicating challenging ideas. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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