Understanding Nature-Society Relations: the Ecological Century


The 20th century has been referred to as the ecological century, a period in which humankind became aware of its overwhelming influence on the wider environment and environmental agendas began to influence policy decisions at the very highest levels.

It witnessed the emergence of large-scale, international scientific initiatives (e.g. 1957-8 International Geophysical Year), popular environmental protest, and global environmental policy agendas underpinned by concepts such as sustainable development.

The course explores these issues and associated understandings of the relationship between humankind and the wider environment. It pays particular attention to the experience of the Soviet Union and the West.


  • Essay
  • Examination

Key skills

Academic Skills:

  • Effective note-taking
  • Essay writing
  • Group discussion
  • Critical thinking

Personal/professional development:

  • Written communication
  • Oral communication
  • Organisational skills