MSc ( Ecology , Society and Sustainable Development)

MSc (Ecology, Society & Sustainable Development)

HOME | MSc (Ecology, Society & Sustainable Development)

Program Overview

Conservation and protection of the environment assumes critical importance in current times. Degradation and exploitation of natural resources, climate change, and certain development policies are threatening livelihoods of natural resource dependent communities, particularly so in the Indian context. There is a need to understand the functioning of diverse ecosystems, the threats to their sustainability, and its impact on the livelihoods. Sustainable Development planning needs to strengthen natural resources base, mitigate impacts and implement environmentally sensitive management.

Program Objectives

This programme aims to create development professionals well versed with ecological as well as social dimensions of sustainable development. The objectives are

  • Familiarizing the students with intertwined challenges of ecological conservation, sustainability and development confronting the world today and India in particular.

  • Imparting interdisciplinary knowledge for understanding natural resource management practices and sustainable utilization of biodiversity

  • Discussing influence of environmental, economic and social policies, laws and institutions of governance on sustainability.

  • Linking with national and global goals of sustainable development and understanding their international dimensions

  • Developing critical thinking, analytical skills, and technical knowledge necessary for planning and implementing sustainable development initiatives.

Core Topics covered in the Course:

  • Understanding Ecosystems, biodiversity hotspots

  • Understanding Critical Perspectives on Environment and Development

  • Environmental Policy and Law

  • Landscape Ecology and human development

  • Introduction to Policy, Institutions and Governance

  • GIS and Remote Sensing

  • Urbanization

  • Conservation of natural resources and livelihood security

  • Gender and Environment

  • Evaluation and Impact Assessment Frameworks

  • Knowledge of ecosystem dynamics, ecosystem-livelihood linkages,

  • Environmental vulnerabilities and adaptations

  • Resilience towards climate change and disasters

  • Environment-development-poverty linkages, issues of access and justice.

  • Understanding of field techniques and skills to assess ecological processes

  • Skills to engage with local communities, undertake impact assessments

  • Experiential learning of conservation and development issues

Teaching Pedagogy:

  • Interactive class sessions

  • Use of documentaries/films/case studies as lesson material

  • Concurrent field work with organisations working on conservation and development issues

  • MA dissertation work spread across the semesters

  • Summer internships

  • Conferences/Seminars


  • Evaluations will consist of a mix of written assignments, presentations (both individual and group), and examinations. Written assignments most often consisting of written essays will assess the student’s ability to assimilate and synthesize critical debates and to correlate theory with practice in the field.

  • Concurrent and Block field work will be evaluated in collaboration with the field work agency, based on a set of assessment criteria.


  • Candidates having a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum of 3 years duration or its equivalent are eligible to apply.

  • Practitioners with prior experience in working on conservation, livelihood security, project impact assessments and monitoring are also encouraged to apply.