Master of Environmental Management (MEnvMgt)

There are no easy solutions to big environmental questions – and the answers, if they are out there, are not the domain of an elite few.

Engaging hearts and minds of communities must be central to addressing the gnarly challenges of the world. This requires a people-centred view of the environment and an aptitude to entertain complex problems. The Master of Environmental Management (MEnvMgt) is a great place to start.

This dynamic new programme is a taught masters open to graduates with diverse academic backgrounds. Its 30-point research project provides a valuable platform for specialisation and an avenue for future academic progression.

The course runs in tandem with the Master of Environmental Science. By applying a strong social science focus, the MEnvMgt programme investigates alternative perspectives of the environment, explores significant philosophical commitments needed to challenge ecological crises and the motivations for people to make necessary changes.

Students can expect to grapple with complex issues such as how to move from low-capacity planning and management to adjusting to rapid change, civil society transformation, capacity-building in the community and how to balance a social policy change with practical solutions.

The core course and research components are well-supported by respected, leading academics with long-standing research programmes and strong, established community connections. A community-centred approach forms a critical backbone to the course. Where practicable, students will engage with communities and learn from case studies on current issues. This may include benefiting from valuable relationships with hapori Māori, such as Māori forest and water conservation groups in Northland, and Māori-run water management projects from the Waikato.

Indigenous rights, human behaviour and natural resource management form the tenets of study. These intersect and overlap through the programme and offer prospective students a broad and holistic view of environmental management. Within indigenous rights students are exposed to topics of participatory environmental management, environmental justice, and political ecology.

Engaging hearts and minds of communities must be central to addressing the gnarly challenges of the world. 

Behavioural management considers climate change responses, social transformation, how to motivate, excite and mobilise communities to change. Natural resource management provides a breadth of options including conservation, river, and coastal management.

Students may also wish to draw from the Faculty of Science Environmental Science programme for elective papers. The research component allows students to develop ability and knowledge to independently design and implement environmental management interventions.

Open entry is available into the programme from people with a relevant undergraduate degree and an interest in human-centred development and environmental change. No prior study of environmental management is required.

Students will be able to build on their existing academic knowledge, developing research and problem-solving skills. These attributes can contribute to a commercial career with a sustainability and environmental focus, environmental management policy, as well as effective community participation and societal engagement.

This vocational programme meets a market-driven demand for people who understand the complexity of society and who can work at the interface between public institutions and civil society.

On completion, students will have a broad appreciation of complex issues and social processes at play. They will be comfortable working with complex problems that defy easy solutions and require collaboration with, and input from, a range of expert and community knowledges.

The 18-month full-time programme may be attractive to international scholarship students or those requiring home government approval.

Programme director: Dr Brad Coombes

Dr Brad Coombes

Dr Brad Coombes (Kati Mamoe, Ngati Kahungunu) researches at the intersection of political ecology, indigenous rights and environmental justice. He often contributes to such environmental policy making fora as the Environment Court and the Waitangi Tribunal and is often involved in conservation law reform initiatives.