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Human Ecology: Political Ecology, Crisis and Identity

Course · 15 credits


The course is a compulsory component of the Master of Science Programme in Human Ecology - Culture, Power, and Sustainability (SAHEK), 120 credits. The course is also offered as a freestanding course.

The course enables students to develop concepts and analytical tools for a critical approach to ecological crises at the intersection between political ecology, culture and identity. By approaching the climate crisis and associated problems from different theoretical angles, the students explore how the problems are reproduced, aggravated, explained and challenged by the culturally codified relations between people. Students will acquire specialised insight into the ways in which the dialectic between political economy and individual desire conditions the development of crises, the way in which the crises are reflected and interrogated in cultural products, and the way in which they put established conceptions of nature and society to the test.

The course consists of four parts on interrelated topics:

1. The political ecology of the climate crisis – This topic analyses the power relations in an increasingly warmer climate from international negotiations to the front lines of the climate crisis. Theories of hegemony and collective action are used to analyse the UN climate negotiations. The dependence on fossil fuel is placed in relation to economic power and inertia. Several local cases are used to explore and discuss the links between climate change, other ecological crises, migration and political conflicts.

2. Ecological crises in emotional life, culture and identity – This topic deals with the representation and treatment of ecological crises in contemporary culture. Theories of, for example, the collective organisation of emotional life and consumption as a form of identity construction are used to analyse psychological reactions to crises. Informed by the field of ecocriticism, the students read fiction and watch film, taking ecological themes into special account. Furthermore, the topic addresses how lifestyles, identities and the ability for collective action are affected by the Internet, social media and digitisation processes.

3. Key problems in contemporary environmental philosophy – The topic highlights currently contested issues of environmental philosophy against the background of climate change and other ecological crises. Points of view such as social constructivism, hybridism, new materialism, posthumanism, political ontology, ecological Marxism, world ecology and critical realism are reviewed. Among the subjects discussed in detail are the question whether nature is socially constructed or not, if and how mankind is different from other species, to what extent nature and society can be separated, to whom agency can be attributed, what constitutes an ecological crisis and how world-views are connected to political interests.

4. Alternatives and practices in periods of crisis – The topic explores different opportunities to intervene in ongoing crises in order to solve or mitigate them. Among the agents taken into account are grassroots environmental groups, movements of native populations and large-scale climate campaigns, as wells as green entrepreneurs and political parties. The development of renewable energy, market mechanisms and large-scale technological interventions such as geoengineering are discussed. Furthermore, the basic conditions for a more sustainable society are addressed.

Closed for applications

Application opportunities


Human Ecology

Visiting address
Geocentrum I, Sölvegatan 10, Lund

+46 46 222 17 59

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

To be admitted to the course, students must have

  • Bachelor's degree including three terms (1-90 credits) of studies in Human Ecology or another subject of relevance to the programme, e.g. anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies, or the equivalent.
  • Passed second-cycle courses amounting to 22,5 credits. Students from within the programme must have taken all of the 22,5 credits within the Master of Science (120 credits) in Human Ecology - Culture, Power, and Sustainability.
  • English corresponding to English 6 from Swedish upper secondary school.

Selection criteria

Seats are allocated according to: ECTS (HPAV): 100 %.

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

How to prove your English proficiency –

Country-specific requirements

Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Bachelor's or Master's studies in Sweden:

Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –

Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –


Start Spring Semester 2024

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

15 January 2024 - 19 March 2024


You can only apply for this course in the 'Swedish student' application round. Find out more: Applying for studies – when to apply

Start Spring Semester 2025

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

20 January 2025 - 21 March 2025


You can only apply for this course in the 'Swedish student' application round. Find out more: Applying for studies – when to apply

How to apply

Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods.

When to apply for studies

Step 1: Apply online

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
  • Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
    Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
  • Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.

Step 2: Submit documents

  • Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
    Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –
    Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –
  • Get all your documents ready:
    - official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
    - official transcripts and degree certificate or proof that you are in the final year of your Bachelor's (Master's applicants)
    - passport/ID (all applicants) and
    - proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
  • Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
  • Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
  • Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.

* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below. 

Svensk student? 
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på

Tuition fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 31 250

First payment: SEK 31 250

Convert currency –

Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.

Tuition fees, payments and exemptions

EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland

There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application fee

If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or doctoral/PhD students, regardless of their nationality.

Scholarships & funding

Lund University Global Scholarship programme

The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.

Lund University Global Scholarship

Swedish Institute Scholarships

The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Master's level.

Scholarship information on the Swedish Institute website

Country-specific scholarships and funding options

Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.

External scholarships

Information about scholarships from external organisations