What are the social and political dimensions of climate change? What impact does climate change have at local, state and international levels? How do we understand the actions of communities and international organisations in response to a changing planet?

This programme investigates the complex social and political impacts of a changing climate, and examines the ways in which we can respond to crisis. While you will be made familiar with current technical arguments about the nature of the climate crisis, the focus is on its social and political dimensions. You will explore cutting-edge approaches within the social sciences to understand framings of and responses to the climate crisis. You will engage with themes including: climate crisis and political economy; the effects of climate change on international relations; sustainability and development; resilience and disasters; green transitions; and the origin and potential of green social movements to foster social and political change.

This programme is intended for those who aspire to a professional career in addressing climate change in the public, private or not-for-profit sector. Critical skills are embedded throughout the programme to ensure that you have the requisite capacities to address social and political problems arising from our changing planet, and to help shape a more sustainable future.

You will have the option of working on a dissertation research project for a partner organisation, gaining crucial experience to further your career aspirations.

Programme structure

There are five mandatory taught units and one optional unit (a recommended list will be provided).

In addition, students will undertake a dissertation, with the possibility of working on a project defined by a public- or private-sector stakeholder.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Society, Politics and Climate Change.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any discipline.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant (6 months in a paid role) relevant work experience in sectors such as NGOs, Government Departments, Think Tanks;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£15,200 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£7,600 per year
Overseas: full-time
£27,400 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

This programme will equip you to become a leader in preparing for, and responding to, climate change. As such, you will be ideally placed to take advantage of the growing employment market related to the climate emergency response.

Career skills are built into the entire programme, and opportunities will be provided to develop communication skills, working independently and part of a group, and research capacities. Our programme has been developed with the input of stakeholders to ensure that we are providing the academic and technical training desired by employers.