Master of Science by Coursework in Nature, Society, and Environmental Governance

Differences from 2016/17 to 2022/23

  • 1. The Social Sciences Divisional Board shall elect for the supervision of the course a Standing Committee. The Academic Director(s) and Course Director will be responsible to the Standing Committee.

  • 2. Candidates must follow a course of instruction in Human Geography for at least three terms, and will, when entering for the examination, be required to produce a certificate from the Course Director to this effect.

  • 3. The examination will consist of:

    • (i) a written examination of threeone three-hourpaper in Research Skills and two papers as described in theTheory scheduleand Analysis and Policy and Governance;

    • (ii) two assessed essays based upon elective courses.  These must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by the times and dates specified at the start of the course.  Each submission must be accompanied by a declaration indicating that it is the candidate's own work;

    • (iii) a policy brief based upon the fieldtrip undertaken in Hilary Term. The policy brief must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by the time and date specified at the start of the course. The submission must be accompanied by a declaration indicating that it is the candidate’s own work;

    •  (iiiiv) a dissertation on a subject selected in consultation with the supervisor and the Course Director and approved by the   Course and Academic Directors.

  • 4. Candidates must submit to the Course Director by the end of Hilary Term in the year in which they enter the examination, the title and a brief statement of the form and scope of their dissertation, together with the name of a person who has agreed to act as their supervisor during preparation of the dissertation.

    It may be (a) a theoretical argument related to themes in contemporary human geography and/or environmental governance, or (b) a piece of empirically based research, or (c) an extended treatment of an issue which is intended to be the basis for future research for the degree of M.Litt. or D.Phil. In that case (c), it may be part of a proposal and/or application for further degree study.

  • 5. The dissertation shall be of a maximum length of 15,000 words and accompanied by an abstract not exceeding 150 words. The maximum word count shall  include footnotes, but exclude appendices, references and the abstract. The detailed format and specification of the dissertation shall be approved by the Standing Committee, and published in the course handbook.

  • 6. The deadlinedissertation formust submissionbe isuploaded to the University approved online assessment platform no later than noon on the first weekday of September in the year in which the written examination is taken.  TwoThe copies of the dissertationsubmission must be submitted,accompanied toby thea M.Scdeclaration examinersindicating (Nature,that Societyit and Environmental  Governance), c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG. The examiners may retain one copy of the dissertation of each candidate who passes the examination for deposit in an appropriate library. Both copies must bearis the candidate's examinationown number but not his/her namework.

  • 7. All submitted work shall be accompanied by a separate statement certifying that the submitted work is the candidate’s own work except where otherwise indicated.

  • 8.  In the written examination the examiners will permit the use of hand-held pocket calculators subject to the conditions set out under the heading Use of calculators in examinations in the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations.

  • 98. The examiners may also examine any candidate viva voce on the candidate's written papers, dissertation, or both.

  • 109. Arrangements for reassessment shall be agreed by the Standing Committee and published in the course handbook.

  • 11. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination. 


  • (a) Core courses

    The core courses will be examined under the following heads:

    • 1. Research Skills

      Candidates will be expected to have a knowledge of research methods in social, environmental, and geographical research. These will include qualitative and quantitative methods relevant to contemporary research themes.

    • 2. Theory and Analysis

      Candidates will be expected to have knowledge of relevant debates in human geography and related disciplines concerning the relations between nature and society, science and environmental politics, and global and local political and economic processes.

    • 3. Policy and Governance

      Candidates will be expected to have knowledge of relevant debates and issues concerning environmental policy and governance, and corporate environmental management.

  • (b) Elective courses

    Candidates will be expected to show advanced knowledge of two of the elective courses on offer in any one year.