Environmental humanities

A photo illustration of the planet Earth held gently in human hands

Explore contemporary environmental challenges

Environmental humanities is an interdisciplinary field of study that creates a solid foundation to understand and critically engage with contemporary environmental issues. You'll learn to address environmental challenges from a historically, philosophically and culturally informed standpoint. 

Environmental humanities at UNSW unites a transdisciplinary group of scholars to form a unique and distinctive approach to teaching programs. Our teaching draws upon viewpoints from geography, history, philosophy, cultural studies, literature, science and technology studies, and social theory. Together, our academics provide students with a holistic view of human interaction with the environment.  

Examine the human impact on the natural world

The world we live in is complex, and challenges are ever-present. From species extinction and genetically modified organisms to climate change and nuclear power, we as global citizens face a range of pressing issues. By studying environmental humanities, you'll explore the political dimensions of these environmental challenges. You’ll consider how different social, economic, and technological systems are entangled with the environment. 

Your studies will immerse you in different theories and research methods to interrogate environmental dilemmas from a range of different viewpoints. These theories and research methods will help you develop nuanced insights into social and environmental worlds.

Understand the complexity of today’s environmental challenges

Studying environmental humanities will allow future changemakers to understand environmental issues as an interface of social, cultural and political challenges. You'll explore the way these issues impact our daily lives and inform decisions and policies related to urban development, energy security and food production. 


Study with us

  • The environmental humanities major supports students to develop a deep interdisciplinary understanding to consciously and actively engage with contemporary ecocultural issues. This major can be undertaken as part of a variety of undergraduate degrees including science, law, engineering and media.

    Our degree options

  • Honours consists of an additional year of study where you'll develop your research and practical skills. You'll be guided by staff who are passionate about research and work within a faculty that’s ranked above world standards in research excellence. Our research contributes to debate, informs policies and opinions, and creates new knowledge bases that are integral to the continued evolution of environmental understanding.

  • We currently offer the following postgraduate degrees in environmental humanities; Masters by Research (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). 

    Areas of research supervision include:

    • environmental philosophy and ethics 
    • environmental history 
    • environmental politics 
    • human geography 
    • science and technology studies 
    • social and ecological theory 
    • multispecies ethnography 
    • environmental anthropology 
    • animal studies.