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Department of Geography


MPhil in Anthropocene Studies

An 11-month MPhil studying, exploring and critiquing the idea of The Anthropocene.

The MPhil in Anthropocene Studies from the Department of Geography launched in October 2020.

The scale of the environmental and social challenges facing today’s world has grown enormously in recent decades, and will grow greater still in a world of scarce and unequal resources, growing population and unmet human development needs. The claim that we now live in The Anthropocene raises fundamental questions for and about humanity on a changing planet. This new 11-month programme of advanced study and research will allow students to understand the origins, claims and politics of The Anthropocene drawing upon the inter-disciplinary strengths of geographical thought, analysis and practice.

About the MPhil

This MPhil provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to study, explore and critique the implications, tensions and challenges inherent in the idea of The Anthropocene: What does it mean for humanity to be considered a geological force? How might this change how humans think about the environment, themselves and their actions in the world? How can the sciences, social sciences and humanities each contribute towards understanding the ‘grand challenges’ that The Anthropocene signifies? Who might promote, and who might resist, this proposed nomenclature signifying ‘the age of humans’?

The MPhil is taught by academic staff in the Department of Geography, one of the world’s leading and most respected geography departments. The Course Director is Professor Mike Hulme.

Who should apply, and why

You should apply for this MPhil if you are seeking a course of advanced study and research into the challenges to the contemporary world represented by the idea of The Anthropocene. The course will equip graduates for careers both inside and outside the academy, in both public and private sectors, in national and international organisations, and in developed and developing world contexts.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the MPhil is designed to accommodate students with a wide range of first degrees and is open to international, EU and UK students. You should have a substantial background in geography, environmental studies or one of several related disciplines (e.g. history, politics, sociology, philosophy, literature, development, anthropology, archaeology) and you should have a good first degree (i.e., a UK first-class or very good upper-second class Honours Degree, or equivalent international qualification).