The Department of Environmental Studies
Situated in Brno, with its large and vibrant student community, MU is the second largest Czech university and has an internationally respected research program and state-of-the-art infrastructure. FSS is continuously receiving top ratings among social sciences faculties. The Department of Environmental Studies, with its background in environmental sociology and environmental evaluation, takes as its starting point the historic and cultural causes of the environmental crisis and looks for possible solutions in the areas of social, economic, legal and political studies while interacting with the natural sciences. Moreover our department has a track record of international collaboration and close relationships with research centres throughout Europe.
Until recently, natural scientists have responded to environmental problems by monitoring the damage and searching for environmentally-friendly technologies. However, experts have gradually come to understand that a favourable redirection of development depends on a fundamental change in lifestyle, which in turn can only result from a far-reaching reorientation of human values and from a fundamentally different understanding of man’s place in the world. More and more frequently, the social sciences are being called upon to help with the resolution of environmental problems.
The purpose of environmental studies is to understand (with a background of basic knowledge in the natural sciences) the historic and cultural causes of the current environmental crisis and to look for possible solutions in the areas of social, economic, legal, political, and religious studies (and their interactions).
Masaryk University offers a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies in combination with other programs at the Faculty of Social Studies: gender studies, international relations, political science, European studies, social anthropology, sociology, social politics and social work, as well as with some programmes at the Faculty of Philosophy.
The two-year master’s programme in environmental studies is designed to be a continuation of the bachelor’s programme, but is also open to students who have previously studied other fields in the humanities and natural sciences. Thus, students are able to take courses from fields in which they have yet to come into contact with. Accepted students holding bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, sociology, history, law, economics, or theology gain essential knowledge of the natural sciences. Students who studied the natural sciences or agricultural sciences at the undergraduate level expand upon their knowledge of the social sciences and humanities. Core courses revolve around specific environmental themes. In contrast to the bachelor’s degree programme, this programme can only be studied alone.
The main goal of the doctoral program is to prepare students for an academic career. As part of their coursework they must of course write a dissertation as well as actively publish and present their findings. The doctoral program is designed for those holding master‘s degrees in the environmental humanities, sociology, and other relevant fields, in particular philosophy, history, religion studies, theology, economics, journalism, as well as biology, ecology, environmental protection, geography, and agricultural sciences.