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Postgraduate Taught

MSc Environmental Policy and Society

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Penryn Campus
Discipline Politics and International Relations
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:2 or above in first degree

Contextual offers


  • Develop the critical skills and insights necessary to tackle global challenges head-on. Gain a deep understanding of issues like climate change, ecological destruction and environmental inequality.
  • Explore the concept of environmental justice, how it can be achieved and its benefits for environmental policy at global, national and local levels.  
  • Grasp the challenges that impact policymakers at a transnational level. Graduate with the skills and knowledge to understand and influence policy decisions that impact our environment and society.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, their role in shaping a sustainable future and the potential consequences of failing to meet them.
  • Join the vibrant postgraduate community at the Penryn Campus and benefit from research-led teaching by experts in the field. 
Apply for Sept 2024 entry

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Fast Track (current Exeter students)

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Programme Director: Professor Clare Saunders

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 10 in the UK for Politics

9th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 10th in the The Complete University Guide 2024

Top 100 for Politics in world subject rankings

QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

1st in Europe for Climate Action

Home to the £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute: researching solutions to environmental change

Entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree with 53% or above in their first degree in a related discipline, including: humanities, social sciences, geography, environmental science, bioscience, zoology, conservation science and related disciplines. If you are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

MSc Environmental Policy and Society is an interdisciplinary programme that highlights the importance of the humanities and social sciences when tackling the world’s most pressing challenges. The programme will equip you with a versatile toolkit to navigate these problems and formulate solutions that consider the complexity of issues such as climate change, ecological destruction, environmental inequality and socio-ecological injustice.  

Develop your research skills and tailor the programme to your career aspirations with our optional modules. The practice-based dissertation in your final term allows you to bring together your knowledge and skills into a project which has the potential to make a real difference to environmental policymaking. The dissertation also provides you with an opportunity to establish connections with potential employers.   

Join a postgraduate community at the forefront of environmental research and benefit from teaching delivered by passionate experts in the field. 

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Professor Clare Saunders is the Programme Director for MSc Environmental Policy and Society and Head of Department for Humanities and Social Sciences Cornwall. Her teaching and research are entwined and focus on her own personal mission to try to help make the world a better place. She specialises in political participation and environmental politics.

While Clare teaches in the Politics department, she conducts interdisciplinary research 'using natural systems for environmental change' as an Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) researcher.

View Clare's staff profile.

Read more from Professor Clare Saunders

Professor Clare Saunders

Programme Director for MSc Environmental Policy and Society

Teaching and research

The department has considerable research expertise in this field, especially through research clusters in environmental justice; memory, identity, and heritage; power, violence, and decolonialism; and voice, participation, and governance. We hold a diverse research grant portfolio in these areas across external bodies such as UKRI, UK-China Humanities Research Alliance, Research England, and GCRF.  

Our academics 

A wide range of optional, research-led modules enables you to explore aspects of environmental policy and society from different disciplinary perspectives. This programme draws on expertise from academics working across politics, law, history, creative writing, business, geography and health. 

How you will learn 

Our vibrant learning environment combines traditional forms of delivery (lectures, seminars and tutorials) with practice-based learning including workshops, guest speakers and debates. 

You will be taught by expert staff who are active researchers and can give you invaluable insights into the latest research findings, plus training in research methods. During the degree there are opportunities to apply your academic learning in a variety of real-world environmental contexts. 

How you will be assessed 

We use a variety of assessment techniques, including: 

  • essays 
  • presentations 
  • project and group work 
  • policy memos 
  • research posters 
  • reports 
  • practice-based dissertation 

Read more


With growing demand for skills in environmental policy, graduates of this programme will be well equipped for a diverse range of careers. You will be suited for roles in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), public, and business sectors, particularly in fields like sustainability, environment, social impact, policy development, governance and regulation.   

Throughout the programme, you will have the chance to explore your career aspirations. The practice-based dissertation opens doors to real-world collaboration with external partners, allowing you to put your skills into action and establish connections with potential employers.  

Career support  

At the University of Exeter, we have an excellent reputation among recruiters and our graduates compete very successfully in the job market. The dedicated Career Zone offers careers training, events, advice and mentoring to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field. Studying with us not only advances your knowledge but also empowers you for a successful future.