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Environmental History (MRes-Postgraduate Certificate)

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  • Objectives
    This programme is designed to enable graduate students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to become well-trained, interdisciplinary environmental historians and to demonstrate your fitness to undertake research to doctoral level. The aim is to introduce you to the principles and methods of interdisciplinary research whilst building upon the disciplinary specialisms of your first degree subject(s). The programme aims to provide: A foundation in the theory, practice and application of environmental history. Developed interdisciplinary skills in the principal subject areas contributing to the new discipline. Advanced study in the main subject areas of your primary disciplines. Training in appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The programme outcomes are: An understanding of the problematic nature of the past; an appreciation of the complexity and diversity of the past; an understanding of the limitations of historical knowledge; a capacity to collect evidence to test or support a historical case; an awareness of the importance of debate in history.
  • Entry requirements
    Entrance Requirements An Honours degree in a relevant subject, normally an upper second class, or the equivalent, from a university or college recognised by the University of Stirling, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification.
  • Academic Title
    Environmental History (MRes/Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Course description
    Structure and Content

    The programme for the MRes comprises four training modules and a dissertation.

    In the Autumn Semester you will study the following modules:
    Principles and Methods of Environmental History: This module provides the core theoretical grounding for the degree and introduces the theoretical aspects of environmental history and the methodologies of the various participating disciplines in the programme. It seeks to deepen history-specific skills and help extend a further range of transferable skills.
    The Rural Environment: This module considers the rural landscape as a cultural record, defined through the integration of documentary, archaeological and environmental sources, and providing a foundation from which to explain environmental, social and economic transitions. Contrasting case studies are used to identify the range of research approaches adopted to achieve understanding of the landscape's cultural record and are a basis from which you can develop new understandings of landscape change. The teaching programme is seminar based and you are required to undertake preparatory, guided reading prior to discussion and debate in seminar sessions.


    The Urban Environment: This module will provide you with a sound understanding of the historical and regulatory themes underlying urban evolution and how this knowledge can be applied to an appreciation of contemporary urban issues. Themes explored include:

        * The Empirical View: How towns evolved from their locality.
        * The Theoretical View: Imposition of a priori ideas.
        * Urban Agencies: What and who shapes, controls and directs cities?
        * The Built Exemplar: Stirling.
        * The City Reinvented or the City Revivified?

    The Maritime Environment: This module will provide a sound understanding of the scientific, historical and regulatory bases of environmental quality (marine environment) and how this knowledge can be applied to specific contemporary management problems and situations at all scales, from local to global. It examines evidence for coastal and inshore exploitation regimes,

    built and managed environments, evidence for communications networks, and the impact of coastal leisure developments.

    Students studying for the Certificate complete the module Principles and Methods of Environmental History and a choice of two of the remaining three taught modules.

    In the Spring Semester and over the summer you will complete a dissertation. The dissertation should not exceed 20,000 words on a topic chosen in consultation with academic staff and approved by the Programme Director. You will be appointed an academic supervisor on the recommendation of the Programme Director.

    Delivery and Assessment

    Assessment of modules is based on coursework. For satisfactory completion of the programme you must obtain a grade of C or better for the dissertation and an average of C or better in each of the modules.

    For the award of the Certificate you must complete 60 SCQF credits (passing three taught modules). For the award of the MRes you must successfully complete all four of the taught modules and achieve a passing grade in the dissertation (180 SCQF credits in total).

    Career Opportunities

    There is a broad range of potential employment opportunities open to holders of this degree in both the academic and non-university sectors. Significant non-university outlets for postgraduate Master’s and doctoral graduates in this subject exist in, for example, NGOs, national and international government advisory agencies, local government and the heritage, tourism and landscape management industries.

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