The Environmental Policy course runs from the beginning of October to the end of July.
The structure of the programme is modular. To complete the course students are required to complete eight modules in the first two terms (four modules in the Michaelmas term and four others in the Lent term) and to submit a compulsory dissertation of between 10,000 to 12,000 words in the third term (Easter term). Some modules (law, economics and methods) are compulsory. In addition to those, students may choose from a selection of other optional modules on offer in the Department. These options include modules on environmental law, environmental economics, climate change and energy, sustainable urban planning, land policy, institutions and development, or real estate finance. Assessment of each module is by way of a written examination paper, project or essay work, or a combination of these methods.
In addition, all students are expected to attend the Department’s Research Management Programme that supports the development of projects for the dissertation, including issues of data collection and research ethics, as well as to attend a series of seminars featuring environmental policy experts and practitioners organised by the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG).
Tuition in the programme is based around classroom lectures, case studies, seminars and supervised policy research to ensure students can apply the theoretical concepts learnt. The programme may also serve as an entry point into PhD training for those interested in pursuing research in environmental policy in greater depth. Students are also exposed to cutting-edge research and professional practice in environmental policy through the departmental and C-EENRG seminar series. Environmental Policy MPhil students further benefit from feedback from and exposure to the state-of-the-art research that is being undertaking within C-EENRG.
In addition, students are welcome to attend any undergraduate lectures in the Department. They may be advised by their module co-ordinator or their supervisor to attend a specified series of lectures as a part of their learning process, or to familiarise themselves with a particular topic by way of background. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the wealth of lectures, conferences and events taking place in the Department and in other departments and faculties of the University.
Depending on the modules taken, students may benefit from additional group supervisions supplementing lectures.
Moreover, all students will be assigned a supervisor during the Michaelmas Term after initial dissertation summaries are submitted. The Department seeks to allocate a supervisor able to provide guidance on the chosen research topic and who has similar disciplinary interests to the candidate. The University’s recommendation is that formal supervision meetings should take place minimum of twice a term. However, in the Department’s experience much greater frequency is usually required, particularly because the timeframe for completion of the MPhil dissertation is short.