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Studying environmental history

Students can select a route that  focuses on environmental history. The modules on offer in History and Politics at Stirling seek to reflect the tremendous depth of human experience in our own hinterland while at the same time setting it into the wider context of European and global experiences.

From first year, students will be introduced to the idea of environmental history, firstly through individual lectures within overview courses in the BA History or Scottish History degrees, then from second semester onwards through more tightly focused modules. The first of these, ENH2X2: 'Introduction to Environmental History' is taught jointly with the Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences, a collaboration that is unique to Stirling. Focusing on the region around Stirling over the last two thousand years, it is designed to introduce students through lectures, field trips and practicals to the range of subjects that combine to inform our understanding of past environments. The photograph below, taken at an abandoned settlement in Glen Almond, shows Dr. Richard Tipping teaching first year undergraduates on our ENH2X2 ‘Introduction to Environmental History’ module.

In the advanced modules from semester four onwards, students can focus on major events and themes in Scottish, European and world environmental history, such as the impact of Scandinavian colonisation of the North Atlantic region; effects of population pressures, warfare, famine and epidemic disease in medieval and early modern Britain and Europe; the social history of the Victorian city, the use, abuse and protection of the environment in 20th-century Britain; and African environment and politics in the colonial and post-colonial eras. New for 2016/17 is the opportunity to study the management of death, disability and disease in the unhealthy working environment.

There is also provision for BA History and Scottish History students to study the theory and practice of heritage protection at undergraduate level. 

There is also a funded prize for the best first-class dissertation in environmental history.

Throughout their studies, students with an interest in environmental history will be taught by experts in their field. These scholars may also supervise students' independent research on an environmental history topic and where appropriate in collaboration with staff in the Division of Biological and Environmental Science. This research may provide a platform for continuation at postgraduate level to MRes Historical Research degree in Environmental History or MSc/MA in Environment, Heritage and Policy at Stirling, and beyond that to doctoral studies.

All postgraduate students working on environmental history are based within the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy.

Students of environmental history at Stirling have a unique opportunity to explore two millennia of developments on a level from the local to the global in a context that links the Humanities and Natural Sciences in a stimulating and accessible manner.

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