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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Anthropocene Studies is no longer accepting new applications.

This MPhil offers an 11-month programme of advanced study and research into the challenges to the contemporary world represented by the idea of the Anthropocene. The course is intended for students with a good first degree in geography or a range of related disciplines. 

The aims of the course are:

(i) to enable students to acquire a critical and well-informed understanding of the contested geopolitics and knowledge politics of the idea of the Anthropocene and of its provocation to re-interpret and re-imagine relationships between humans, non-humans and physical processes;

(ii) to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop advanced subject expertise and transferable skills relevant to their research interests and career aspirations; 

(iii) to equip students to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively.  Students develop their skills of assessing contrasting theories, explanations and policies; collecting, critically judging, evaluating and interpreting varied forms of evidence; combining and interpreting different types of evidence to tackle specific problems; and recognising the ethical and moral dimensions of study.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Students from this course will:

  • acquire a systematic understanding of knowledge about the idea of the Anthropocene, and a critical awareness of the challenges and creative potential of the idea;
  • gain a comprehensive understanding of techniques of analysis, interpretation and communication applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;
  • learn how to apply knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in this field;
  • gain a conceptual understanding that enables them to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the area of Anthropocene Studies, to evaluate methodologies and, where appropriate, to propose and test new hypotheses.

Skills and other attributes

Students from this course will be able to:

  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • exhibit proficiency in use of a range of software, knowledge of alternative IT sources, understanding and introductory experience in survey methods, statistical methods and a range of qualitative and ethnographic concepts and methods;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level to continue to advance their knowledge and understanding.


Students wishing to continue to a PhD in Geography must reapply for admission to a PhD via the University admissions process, taking the funding and application deadlines into consideration. To be accepted they must satisfy a good pass level in the MPhil, with particular attention given to the level of performance in their dissertation and demonstrate a good reason to continue at PhD. However, readmission is not automatic to high-performing MPhil students. In addition, a student must demonstrate suitability to undertake a PhD and make a full specification of their research proposal which allows the suitability of the topic to be assessed. They must also have the agreement of a supervisor to supervise the PhD student, based on the appropriateness of the PhD proposal to the expertise of the academic staff in the department.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.


Key Information

11 Months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Geography

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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