MPhil in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance

University Of Energy And Natural Resources

Program Description

MPhil in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance

University Of Energy And Natural Resources


The School of Natural Resources is poised to provide a strong and vibrant leadership to the forest and natural resources industry to meet the increasing demand for housing, recreation, tourism and green spaces. This will require an intimate knowledge of climate, species, and physical facilities, political, social and legal systems. Issues of interest include the increased demand for market and non-market goods and services from forests and related natural resources, land availability for industrial forestry and natural resource conservation, natural resource sustainability, habitat conservation, and ecosystem management. The Master and Doctoral programs will provide graduates with a working knowledge of specialized environmental and natural resources scopes and introduce them to the critical relationships between human activities and the environment.

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National Relevance

Globally, the threat to and decrease of world forests and the negative impacts on the human or social system as well as the ascendency of multifaceted environmental problems call for capacity development in these areas. Ghana is not exempted from these challenges. The rationale being that the country is currently facing numerous problems ranging from deforestation, pollution of water resources and environmental degradation. Ameliorating these problems, the country needs human resources that have a better understanding of social issues and environmental governance. Understanding the structures, function, performance of public authorities and institutions at all levels could help formulate policies aimed at controlling/managing environmental degradation.

Governing the planet`s rich diverse natural resources is an increasingly complex challenge. In this world of interconnected nations, economies, and people, managing environmental threats particularly those that cross political borders will require new global, regional, national and local responses involving a wide range of stakeholders. Effective environmental governance with greater attention to a human system at all levels is critical for finding solutions to those challenges. Almost half of the jobs worldwide depend on fisheries, forest or agriculture and unsustainable use of national resources threaten individual livelihood as well as local, national and international economies. Current environment arrangements are inadequate and had led to continued degradation of the environment. Environmental governance comprises rules, practices, policies, institutions that shape how humans interact with the environment.

The Masters’ and Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance are designed as a response to these concerns. Specifically, the establishment of the MPhil and Ph.D. in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance is relevant to Ghana due to the following reasons:

  • The forest and the environmental resources require competent human resources who understand the dynamics, policies and social networks to solve the problems and restore environmental integrity through sustainable management and research.
  • Graduates of the program would be able to identify, develop and implement effective solutions to social and environmental challenges especially in the area of gender, deforestation and climate change.
  • In-depth understanding of scientific principles underlying social forestry and environmental challenges would be researched into.
  • With only KNUST offering graduate program in Natural Resource Governance in Ghana, many potential candidates seek opportunities abroad or and divert to other disciplines. With the introduction of this program, the large number of graduates in natural resources related fields who are eager to have advanced and practical training in the field of social forestry and Environmental governance in the country could be admitted. Our syllabus and combination of subjects are devised to produce graduates capable of translating theories into practice for national and global development.

The aim of the program is to train human resources at advanced social forestry and environmental governance capable of recognizing human system in managing forest and environmental challenges within and outside Ghana. This is clearly in line with the mission of UENR.

Further, the program will;

  • Address issues and challenges in the governance and management of different ecosystem through research;
  • Explore at the various local, national and international arena, policies, laws, and actions aimed at solving social and environmental problems;
  • Improve the advocacy, communication, and outreach, and technical skills of the levels of students aimed at enhancing their working relationship with state and non-state actors;
  • Manage and enhance the ecological integrity of forest, savannah, wetlands, and other ecosystems;
  • Develop mechanisms for transparent governance on community ownership and participation in forest resource management;
  • Equip graduate students to understand and apply global debate on social forestry and environmental governance; and
  • Develop students’ professional attitudes, the interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills required by practitioners in the forestry and environmental as well as allied industries.

The Target Market

The Department would target students who have completed their Bachelor studies in Natural Resources, Agriculture, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences and any related disciplines for admission. Staff engaged in activities of forestry, Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency etc. would be able to take advantage of the program to upgrade their skills through the part-time or weekend route. After completion, graduates could work in any of the following establishment: Universities, Research Institutions, Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, Forestry Commission, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Municipal and District Assemblies, Community Development, Mining companies, NGOs, etc.

Course-by-course Structure

  • FSSE 501 Environmental Governance and Social Forestry
  • FSSE 503 Resource and Environmental Economics
  • FSSE 505 Forest Biometrics and Geomatics
  • FSSE 507 Research Methods
  • FSSE 509 Forest Enterprises and Environmental Issues
  • FSSE 511 Seminar/Special topics in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance

Optional electives

  • FSSE 513 Silviculture and Ecosystem Management
  • FSSE 515 Climate change, Forest, and Environment

Second Semester

  • FSSE 502 Advanced Ecology
  • FSSE 504 Communication and Extension Education
  • FSSE 508 Forest and Environmental Policy and Law
  • FSEE 510 Environmental Impact Assessment and Auditing
  • FSSE 512 Natural Resource Conflict Management
  • FSSE 514 Seminar on Special topics in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance

Optional electives

  • FSSE 506 Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Second Year

First Semester

  • FSSE 601 Seminar I

Second Semester

  • FSSE 602 Seminar II
  • FSSE 604 MPhil Thesis

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into the Master’s of Philosophy Research Degree program in Social Forestry and Environmental Governance, candidates should possess a Bachelor Degree from a recognized university in the relevant field of study in (Natural Sciences/Planning/Social Sciences/Human Geography and Agriculture) with a minimum of Second Class (Lower Division). However, a candidate with lower qualifications and with a minimum of three years cognate experience may be admitted after interview to a Non-Research Master’s degree.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 23, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
2 years
Part time
Ghana - Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Region
Start date : Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Ghana - Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Region
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info