Global Environmental History is an interdisciplinary field where the complex relationship between man and nature over time and space is at the centre. The programme focuses on the historical changes, events, debates and analytical perspectives that have impacted and shaped the link between man and nature. By analysing these relationships in the past, the Master Programme in Global Environmental History also has the ambition to interpret, explain and debate contemporary issues of sustainability.
Today when issues such as biodiversity, environmental management, energy, sustainable development and social justice are crucial to human survival, Global Environmental History is a current and very important topic. The Master Programme in Global Environmental History is intended to give you advanced theoretical and empirical knowledge of social scientific and humanistic analyses of relationships between man and nature. The collaborating departments at Uppsala University are the Departments of Archaeology and Ancient History, History, Art History, Economic History, Human Geography, the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD Uppsala)/Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS), and the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Why this programme?
As a student in the Master Programme in Global Environmental History, you will experience Uppsala University’s broad expertise in this field of research, with teachers who specialise in aspects of African, European, Asian and American Environmental History. The programme provides an overview of long-term historical processes of interaction between human societies and natural conditions, and deeper insight into various aspects of how the relationship between man-nature has changed over time with the emergence of modern states and global power relations. During the Master’s programme, you will be able to critically and independently identify and analyse key issues and debates in Global Environmental History and relate them to problems of sustainability today. The programme is concluded with an in-depth thesis that is supervised by teachers and researchers from various disciplines.
The programme begins with an interdisciplinary introductory term. The multi-disciplinary range of courses will give you as a student a good opportunity to tailor the educational programme without losing the broadness required by Environmental History. The programme provides a good basis for further research studies, and will enable you to compete on a labour market that increasingly demands broad, interdisciplinary skills of social analysis in the environmental field.
Graduates will attain a Master Degree in Global Environmental History and develop a strong foundation in the chosen disciplines of the collaborating institutions. Within the programme, you are given the opportunity to participate in international student exchange programmes and research networks established by the collaborating departments, and will also be able to undertake fieldwork abroad.
The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with Global Environmental History as the main field of study.
The students who are admitted to this Master’s programme have diverse backgrounds and experiences; therefore, the first term focuses on an introduction to Global Environmental History through four compulsory courses:
Historical Ecology, 7,5 credits The process of research: Theory and Methods , 7,5 credits Introduction to Global Environmental History 1, Modern natures: conflicts and transformations, 7,5 credits Introduction to Global Environmental History 2, Changing perceptions of humans and nature, 7,5 credits
During semesters 2 and 3, students take the compulsory course Current Themes and Debates in Global Environmental History, 7.5 credits, where lectures are combined with seminars, essay writing and student presentations.
During this time students can also choose from a wide number of elective courses (7.5 credits each) and are given the opportunity to participate in fieldwork, take courses at foreign universities, or do an internship outside academia. Students commence working on their thesis during term 3 at the latest.
Semester 4 focuses on the Master’s thesis, and students must choose between writing a thesis worth either 45 or 60 credits.
The programme is interdisciplinary and the classroom is made up of students with different experiences and backgrounds. The diversity of the student body is beneficial in seminars and discussion groups in which all students are expected to take an active part.
Instruction will be in English and consists of lectures, seminars, discussion groups and independent work. As a student you will have the opportunity to arrange and run workshops. Courses are usually taken on a part time basis and students are required to enrol in two part-time courses in parallel.
The compulsory courses within the programme amount to 37,5 credits. You can choose from a large variety of courses for the remaining reading courses.
For the Master’s thesis, you have the option of choosing between writing a 45 or 60 credit Master’s thesis. The thesis is examined by the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in Uppsala, but is supervised by teachers with relevant specialist skills in one of the collaborating departments of Archaeology, History, Art History, Cultural Geography, Economic History, Development Studies and Sustainability Studies.
The programme director is responsible for establishing an individual curriculum for each Master’s student at the beginning of the programme.
As a graduate you will possess a Master Degree in Global Environmental History, with clear disciplinary affiliations to one or more of the collaborating departments. The programme is especially suited to those looking for future careers in which knowledge of environmental analysis and the analysis of human impact on the environment – or the conditions that nature provides for human communities – is important. This includes, for example, work in government administration, in businesses engaged in environmental analyses or sustainability consulting, and in non-governmental and international organisations where environmental and sustainability issues are central. The programme also provides a solid foundation for continued graduate studies in Environmental History and related topics, as well as for broad interdisciplinary research.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90