Environment and Planetary Health

Key Information


1 year

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

See More


Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

The field of planetary health is an emerging one and is necessary for tackling many of the major contemporary challenges we experience in the world today, such as the climate, pollution, and biodiversity crises. The concept of planetary health recognises the reliance of human populations on healthy ecosystems, including the highly complex socio-ecological feedback mechanisms involved in interactions between humans and nature.

The aim of this MSc programme is to develop students that have an advanced interdisciplinary understanding of the interconnections between the natural environment, ecosystems, human health, and wellbeing. The programme draws on knowledge and skills from a range of disciplines including physical and human geography, life science, environmental sciences, health and medicine, and political science. A particular area of focus will be assessing the impact of the interconnected environmental, social, and health crises from a local to global scale, and developing management, mitigation, and adaptation strategies to address them.

Why Choose Lincoln

A focus on the natural environment, ecosystems, human health, and wellbeing

Explore topics from a local to global scale

Informed by the research of academic teams at Lincoln

Complete an independent research project in a specialist area

A student sat working

How You Study

Modules combine knowledge from relevant disciplines, including physical and human geography, environmental sciences, health and medicine, social and political science, psychology, and engineering, to address the key themes of planetary health, including climate change, urbanisation, contaminants, disease, food production, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.

The programme will also focus on the research that is undertaken by various research groups within the Department of Geography, the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and the wider university including the Development, Inequality, Resilience and Environments (DIRE), Lincoln Climate Research Group (LCRG), Catchments and Coasts Research Group (CCRG), Lincoln Soils Research Group (LSRG), and the Lincoln Centre for Ecological Justice (LinCEJ). It builds on the wide range of expertise and interdisciplinarily knowledge available within and across these groups and centres.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Climate change and Planetary Health 2024-25GEO9011Level 72024-25Drawing from a range of disciplines including earth science, meteorology/climatology, glaciology, political science, human and political geography, science and technology studies, health science and critical environmental science, this module will critically explore and engage using a ‘whole systems’ approach, how climate change processes and debates interface with the emergent planetary health agenda. In short, the module addresses key physical and societal climate processes and debates at a variety of spatial scales and temporalities to critically analyse how these can influence – through both opportunities and constraints – the planetary health agenda in the 21st century.CoreCurrent Issues in Planetary Health and the Biosphere 2024-25GEO9005Level 72024-25Planetary Health is an emergent and critical concept that examines the interconnections between human and environmental health. The concept draws attention to the multifaceted instances of earth’s destruction as principal barriers to human progress, sustainability and wellbeing, and is gaining increasing traction in international policy-making. To overcome such barriers at the planetary scale, scholarship and activism emphasizes the need for collaborative and shared approaches that are co-produced and recognize the cultural diversity, economic and political conditions and environmental pressures working across geographical scales. Following, the Current Issues in Planetary Health and the Biosphere module will facilitate student-led co-produced learning around key topics of planetary health, enabling students to engage in collaborative peer-to-peer learning and enhancing their skills in communication, co-working, collaboration, organization and leadership. The module is 15 credits of the academic work during the MSc degree.CoreData in Ecology and the Environment 2024-25ECL9002Level 72024-25We are living in the ‘information age’, through which ecological and environmental sciences are being transformed. First, by the rise in available data from genes to ecosystems, driven by technologies from eDNA to remote sensing. Second, by computational developments for understanding such data. With this transformation comes unique challenges in data storage and processing, so associated skills are becoming increasingly desirable. This module provides valuable skills in understanding and working with ecological and environmental data, providing a foundation upon which to build careers across associated sectors.CoreField Skills in the Life and Environmental Sciences 2024-25ECL9003Level 72024-25We are living in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Reversing the degradation of our landscapes, helping biodiversity to recover, and importantly, developing ways where humans can continue enjoying high-quality living alongside nature in a sustainable manner – all require not only science but also a range of technical and practical skills. This module takes an interdisciplinary and problem-driven approach to equipping students with ecological and geophysical skills, including surveying, mapping, designing and managing landscapes of different scales. It builds on knowledge acquired in the previous semester, in Advanced Data Skills, where the students will learn fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. Emphasis will be placed on field-based learning including day trips and short-stay trips to real-world restoration/rewilding projects within the UK. Students will have opportunities to learn directly from practitioners in ecological and environmental management, and to build research/employability skills by working on practical projects.CoreGlobal Environmental Change and the Anthropocene 2024-25GEO9012Level 72024-25Humans are currently the dominant drivers of Earth’s changes, and a sustainable future can only be shaped from a full understanding of the causes and effects of anthropogenic climate and environmental change at a range of spatial scales. This module provides a framework to understand the context for current and historical environmental changes taking place within the Earth system. The module will place the Anthropocene within the context of past environmental changes, explore the extent of human disturbances and impacts across the Earth system, and examine possibilities of mitigation and adaptation to these changes. The module will inform students of the variety of methods used to derive information on past, current and future changes to Earth’s environmental and hydrological regimes, in order to quantity their magnitude, extent and significance.CoreIndependent Research Project 2024-25ECL9007Level 72024-25The project is 60 credits of the academic work during the MSc degree. The aim is to produce a dissertation in the form of a journal article fit for publication. The research project is an independent piece of work developed by the student. They are expected to (i) choose their own research topic; (ii) develop the research design, (iii) perform the data collection, analysis and interpretation, and (iv) write up their results in the form of a research paper.CoreProfessional and Research Skills in the Life and Environmental Sciences 2024-25BIO9029MLevel 72024-25The module focuses on the development of transferable skills that are applicable both professionally and to research projects, within the programme of study and beyond. The skills will be relevant to the broad life and environmental sciences and will allow students to strengthen their proficiency primarily in these areas: scientific writing and communication skills, research data analysis and presentation, professional and career skills.CoreSustainable Resource Management 2024-25GEO9013Level 72024-25Sustainability is a guiding principle within natural resource management and is increasingly regarded an essential cornerstone of good policy and practice. The implementation of sustainability principles requires a thorough understanding as to how and why individuals, companies and government agencies value and weigh considerations of sustainability when set against other imperatives. This module explores how sustainability can be embedded into natural resource management policies and become ‘standard practice’ yielding benefits to all stakeholders.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

The programme may use a range of assessment types, ranging from exams, essays, group and individual presentations, field reports, projects, data modelling, and computational analysis of geographic and spatial data.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

Students should hold a second class honours degree or higher in geography, environmental science or studies, earth science, life sciences, politics and social sciences, or a related discipline.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50% of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future. It can help you to further or completely change your career, develop your knowledge, enhance your salary, or even prepare you to start your own business. Postgraduate students at the University of Lincoln benefit from inspirational teaching combined with high-quality facilities and learning spaces, great industry links, and unique research opportunities, all of which are designed to help you stand out from the crowd and make the most of your time with us. 

Why Postgraduate Study?

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Kristen Beck

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.