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.

  • Prepare to think in transformative ways. Become a reflexive leader, change agent, and advocate at a local and global scale. Use rigorous, critical, and creative thinking to engage with environmental challenges' sociocultural and political-economic causes and responses. 

    Immerse yourself in a transdisciplinary program of social sciences, humanities, creative arts, physical sciences, community participation, and place-based approaches. Our postgraduate environmental management programs are flexible and suitable for specialists and newcomers. 

    You will: Develop practical tools for ethical and restorative sustainability leadership in professional contexts, experience diverse knowledge systems and empower yourself to communicate complex ideas, and learn to nurture personal and societal capacities to rethink and reshape the world in reparative and regenerative ways.

    Build your expertise and courage for ecological and societal change in the following programs:

  • 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.