Environment & society

Wind turbines in Navarre (Spain) Renewable energy concept.

Aiding restorative & regenerative futures

Your education in environment and society at UNSW will provide you with a solid foundation to engage with contemporary social and environmental issues, and become the environment and society custodians the world needs today. 

Environment and society at UNSW is made up of a collective of individuals practising and supporting engaged ecocultural research and teaching. We're committed to critically and creatively aiding in efforts to bring about restorative and regenerative futures.

Your study will examine current environmental and societal complexities and how solutions are interwoven and entangled with questions of culture, knowledge, meaning, values, ethics and politics.

Rethinking our approach to social science & humanities 

At UNSW, we adopt transdisciplinary and innovative modes of research and teaching. Our work interlinks with geography, critical social theory, cultural studies, environmental communication, history, philosophy, science and technology studies (STS), anthropology, legal geography and urban studies.

Our research and teaching are informed by the proposition that approaches to social science and humanities must be rethought and engage with new and extraordinarily old ways of knowing and being.

We use environmental and social justice framing across our research and teaching, and our work is often collaborative and action-based, actively working with communities locally and globally.

Throughout your study, you’ll examine and understand the interplay of sociocultural factors that influence today’s environmental and societal complexities. Our educators are passionate about engaging students in critically and creatively questioning contemporary human ecological relations.

Our research 

As environment and society scholars, we critically engage with the urgent issues of these times, which we understand as contextualised in long histories of human social and ecological interactions. Our research has the main intention of recognising and creating safe and thriving spaces – environmentally, culturally and socially – for all beings.

Find out more about our research in environment and society.

Study with us

  • Environmental humanities major

    You’ll develop a deep interdisciplinary understanding to consciously and actively engage with contemporary ecocultural issues. This major can be taken as part of a variety of undergraduate degrees.

    Geographical studies major

    You’ll gain a critical understanding of the human and physical basis of geography and have the opportunity to engage in laboratory and field work. This major can be taken in a range of undergraduate degrees.

    Bachelor of International Studies

    The Bachelor of International Studies is a four-year degree that challenges you to examine how the world is changing around you. You’ll develop lateral and critical thinking skills, which are essential for understanding the complexities of local and global environments.

  • Honours is available to high achieving students in environmental humanities and geographical studies. You’ll develop research and professional skills guided by staff who are passionate about research and the development of emerging researchers.

  • Master of Environmental Management

    The Master of Environmental Management at UNSW is designed to help students become forward-thinking environment and society leaders. This degree is crucial to today’s changing world, and positions graduates to understand the social and cultural drivers behind environmental issues. The degree’s premise is that a mutually healthy and abundant future for our planet depends on a unique understanding of how contemporary ecological crises interact with questions of meaning, knowledge, values, politics and ethics.

    Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management

    The Diploma of Environmental Studies offers an interdisciplinary and applied set of courses which outline some of the main decision-making frameworks and tools relevant to environmental management.

    Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management

    The Certificate in Environmental Management will give you an introduction to the frameworks, tools and basic disciplinary knowledge related to environmental management. Students will learn to identify some of the disciplinary areas around environmental decision making, such as environmental law, economics, ecosystem management, physical sciences (physics and chemistry), social sciences and engineering.

  • Our postgraduate research students conduct original research through a Masters by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy in a range of research areas within the environment and society subject area.

    You’ll investigate and research areas such as critical geographies, ecocultural studies and communication, environmental justice, the environment, technology and politics of knowledge, and environmental history.  

    Postgraduate research provides students with the opportunity to contribute new and meaningful knowledge to an area of environment and society they are passionate about. Undertaking a research degree at UNSW allows you to work within a faculty ranked above world standards in research excellence.

Our people

Environment & Society's acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Gadigal and Bedigal people of the Eora nation, the Traditional Custodians of this Land within which we work, as well as the First Nations custodians of all lands and waters. It is our goal to teach and do research seeking out restorative relations between peoples and Country as a way of paying our respect to Elders – past, present, and emerging – and to extend that respect to all beings.