From 2011, a Master of Environmental Advocacy degree will be offered at the University of New England. The degree is open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree concerned about climate change and other environmental issues.
There is a growing demand for persons qualified to work as environmental advocates. Governments, councils and businesses are increasingly employing environmental officers and consultants, and initiating environmental programmes eg the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water's 'Sustainability Programs Division'. Environmental NGOs are playing an ever greater role in global and local affairs. They too benefit from a pool of qualified advocates, particularly those who display ability to see ‘the big picture’, and who can employ creativity and leadership in creating solutions.
Students will be immersed in the multi-disciplinary nature of contemporary environmental advocacy. Knowledge of the scientific aspects of environmentalism is important, but just as important are the myriad and inter-related social, political, economic and personal spheres whose impact on the environment must be understood if real sustainability is to be achieved. For example, how does neo-conservatism affect the climate change debate? How does climate change impact on water and food security, refugee movements or the mental health of children? How can real change be achieved? The degree emphasises solutions and positive thinking, rather than a mere enumeration of environmental problems.
The degree's unique approach examines politics and the environment, contemporary nonviolence and cyber-activism, environmental ethics, and the relationship between peace, security and sustainability. Electives can be chosen from a wide range of disciplines such as geography, education, history, economics, archaeology and health. Practical experience and action research is encouraged, with research projects and reading units allowing you to further specialise in areas of interest, such as artistic activism, permaculture or ecofeminism.
The degree allows participants to gain important skills in environmental advocacy, and obtain a high-level qualification from a prestigious University. Students will also gain valuable skills in research, writing and debating. Conference attendances and publications are encouraged. Students working for an environmental NGO, business, or government department will be encouraged to incorporate their experience and ideas into developing a research project.
The degree is one year full-time or up to four years part-time. It is available through Distance Education, involving coursework, online bulletin boards and discussion forums. Internal classes, residential schools, and seminars may also be available in some units. Flexible pathways into the Masters degree may be possible, while Advanced Standing (recognition of prior learning) may be possible for those who have worked in the field, or related fields.
Core Units for the degree are:
Examples of Elective Units include:
More information about the Master of Environmental Advocacy degree can be found at:
For more information about Peace Studies click here.