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The Australian National University

Society & Environment


The MAAPD (Society & Environment) is a specialisation within the MAAPD. It aims to give students a critical understanding of the role which social scientists play in understanding the social aspects of environmental issues and applying this knowledge to policy processes at different levels of social and political organisation. Graduates will possess the skills to work in a variety of corporate, governmental and civil society settings where these issues have to be addressed in both an analytical and practical way.

Graduates of the specialization in Society and Environment will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to:

  • critically apply appropriate concepts and approaches to understand the relationship between social and environmental issues in a development context;
  • evaluate the social impacts of resource related policies, programs and projects, including interactions with indigenous communities;
  • gain an understanding of trends and changes in development theory and practice as they apply to local development processes;
  • apply critical social inquiry and participatory processes to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development activities;
  • undertake social assessments and integrate social perspectives and participatory practices with other forms of technical expertise in development;
  • advise on the development policy processes of NGOs, the private sector, government, and multilateral agencies to ensure the inclusion of local and community perspectives.

Who should do the MAAPD (Society and Environment) program

The MAAPD (Society and Environment) program is designed for those who have developed an interest in the application of anthropological methods to an understanding of environmental issues. It is designed for people working in or with government agencies, non-government organisations or private companies who wish to develop their knowledge of society-environment relationships. On completion of the MAAPD (Society and Environment) program, graduates will be better equipped to design, manage or evaluate activities that seek to change the relationship between local communities and their natural environments.

The MAAPD (Society and Environment) program is taught by anthropologists and social scientists from specialist areas across the ANU. It draws on the regional and conceptual expertise that has contributed to the world-class reputation of the ANU in resource management and environmental studies. It comprises four compulsory and two elective courses.

The MAAPD (Society and Environment) is currently available on-campus and online at either a full-time or part-time intensity - 2 semesters full time, 3-4 semesters part time. Any of the courses offered can be taken as Non Award Courses.

Updated:  5 November 2014/Responsible Officer:  MAAPD Convenors /Page Contact:  Program Coordinators