The MLitt in Environmental History explores human interaction with the non-human natural world within the context of a study of the history of science, medicine and environment.
The MLitt in Environmental History is an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme run jointly by the Institute for Environmental History and the Department of Modern History.
Environmental History examines human interaction with the natural world through time, and students will have the opportunity to engage with this intellectually urgent field.
- The programme benefits from the expertise of members of the Institute for Environmental History and the Department of Modern History.
- Students explore multiple dimensions of this intellectually significant field of study, while firmly rooting this knowledge in a progressively better understanding of core issues within historiography and methodology.
- Some modules are interdisciplinary and interdepartmental, involving the School of Geography and Geosciences.
Over two semesters, students complete two compulsory modules and one or two optional modules.
Teaching methods include seminars and fortnightly tutorials. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed principally by coursework.
Students will spend the final three months of the course focusing on researching and writing the final assessment piece for the MLitt, a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
Students choose one of:
- History in the Making: Theories, Approaches and Practices (1 and 2): examines the development of history-writing and historical research since the Enlightenment, and the emergence of fields, trends and new approaches in current historiography.
- Global Times – Plural Spaces 1 and Global Times – Plural Spaces 2: offers a strong foundation in the major approaches to comparative and transnational history as well as the emerging field of spatial history.
and one of:
- Disease and Environment (c.1500–2000): examines the manner in which sickness and death have shaped human history, both biologically and culturally, over the past 500 years, focusing primarily on an Anglo-American context.
- Environmental Disasters: Crisis, Catastrophe and Risk in the Modern World (1755 to Present): explores the nature of 'natural' disasters and the social and cultural factors that shaped and framed them.
- Environmental History: Nature and the Western World (1800–2000): studies environmental history over the past two centuries in an international context.
Depending on credit weighting, students choose one or two optional modules. These can also be from one of the compulsory choices not taken.
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students.
- Directed Reading in Modern History: offers a directed reading project designed to encourage the development of skills of historical analysis through the concentrated study of a topic chosen by the student.
- Environmental Management in Scotland: provides geographical instruction on this timely subject (only available in alternate years).
- History of Modern Science: introduces core themes in the history of science from the Scientific Revolution onwards.
- Perceptions of Central and Eastern Europe: an advanced historical study of the transformations in the perception of Central and Eastern Europe since the emergence of modern nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century.
- Skills in Transnational History: leads to the acquisition and development of skills in the digital humanities and skills required for using specific historical sources.
- Themes in American History: a selection of the most important issues in the history of North America, from its foundations as European colonies onwards.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Past graduates of this programme have undertaken careers in research and in environmental management in the university sector. Others have attained positions within environmental non-governmental organisations or as sustainable development officers for particular business corporations.
More generally, history postgraduates go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, publishing, think tanks, government, law and teaching.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area.
- If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
- personal statement (optional),
- a sample of academic written work (2,000 words),
- two original signed academic references,
- academic transcripts and degree certificates,
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
The School of History is pleased to be able to offer a number of competitive scholarships which contribute to the fees and maintenance for postgraduate study.
- Language Bursaries: enables students to undertake intensive language courses abroad during the summer before their programme begins.
- School of History MLitt Awards: offers the cash equivalent of one year's home fees and cannot be held in conjunction with other awards offering full fees and maintenance.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
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