Institution / Nui Galway
City scape

Environment Society & Development

Your course
The MA in ESD in essence involves a critique of interventionism and the various practices of development, environmental management and securitization that define our world, and practically how that critique can enable more community-based, human-centred and environmentally just forms of governance. The programme involves engaging with a number of core areas in human geography, including geopolitics, development and political ecology, and exposes students to global challenges encompassing a complex array of environmental, social and economic processes.

Modules include: Conceptualising Environment, Society and Development; Geography and Geo-graphing; Geopolitics and Security; Environment and Risk; Managing Development; Field-based Learning; and an MA dissertation.

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.


1 year full-time.

Careers or further progression

Career opportunities
The programme will prepare 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 further 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.

Further enquiries

Dr John Morrissey
T: +353 91 492 267


1. Field-based learning and civic engagement form core elements of the programme. 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 prestigious Neil Smith Graduate Research Award is presented annually to the best overall student. For dissertation projects, students work in consultation with dedicated individual supervisors, enabling the pursuit of a wide range of specific research interests.

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

Application date

NUI Galway does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers will be issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

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