Environment Society & Development

Your Course
Are you interested in developing a critical approach to understanding intersecting global issues of environment, society and development? Would you like to acquire the field-based learning skills essential to addressing the most vital environmental and societal challenges of international development today? Would you like to gain the experience of working with the United Nations and a range of NGOs in the challenging context of Bosnia and Herzegovina? If so, the innovative and award-winning Master's in Environment, Society and Development is for you. The programme is designed to enable you to bring critical and applied thinking to a range of international development challenges. It will engage you on a critical exploration of the various practices of development and security that define our contemporary world, and ultimately how that critique can enable more informed and transformative interventionary practices. Modules include: Introduction to Development; Critical Geopolitics and Security; Environmental Risk and Resilience; Development and Justice; Research Methods and Mapping; and Field-Based Learning.


1. Field-based learning and civic engagement form integral and innovative elements of the programme. In one dedicated module, students work on the ground in the challenging international development context of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through partnering with a range of NGOs, including the United Nations Development Programme, students gain vital experience of civic engagement and bringing critical thinking to international development challenges.

2. The Neil Smith Graduate Research Award is presented annually to the best overall student. Students work in consultation with dedicated individual supervisors, enabling the pursuit of a range of research interests.

3. The programme director and teaching team have received a number of accolades for teaching excellence, including: an Irish National Academy Award for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning; NUI Galway's President's Award for Teaching Excellence (twice); and a Teaching Innovation Award from NUI Galway's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements
Second Class Honours QQI 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, statement of intent and letters of recommendation. Prior learning in terms of relevant work experience is also recognised.

Subjects taught

Modules include: Conceptualising Environment, Society and Development; Geopolitics and Security; Environment and Risk; Managing Development, and Field-based Learning.


1 year full-time.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
The programme prepares students for a range of workplaces, including government departments, NGOs, planning and project management agencies, and specialist research and policy institutes. The emphasis on transferable and problem-solving skills is reflected in the focus on field-based learning practices that are part of all modules. The programme is also designed to enhance students' prospects for undertaking further research at PhD level.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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