Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


What can I do with a GEPS degree?

Careers (for information on recents grads, see below!)

The MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society opens up a wide variety of career opportunities and scope for further study. This social science-based, multidisciplinary, practice-oriented programme enables students to understand and analyse environmental concerns in their context and prepares them to inhabit spaces that require both academic and practical skills.

The vast majority of our graduates go on to career posts, PhD projects or internships related to the GEPS programme, including at the UNEP Regional Office for North America, the UNEP Environmental and Security Initiative, the UN’s ESCAP office in Thailand, the Viborg Kommune, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre at Cambridge University, RSPB, and World Vision. To illustrate, in 2017, over 65% of all our graduates are engaged in careers or PhD study directly linked to the environment, politics,  sustainability, societal or governmental relations.

You will find below a list of career destinations, possible career pathways, associations and networks that facilitate these pathways, and information about the University Careers Service.

Career Destination of GEPS students

Here’s a partial list of the career destinations of our GEPS students, with samples from the years 2016-2019.  Our recent graduates have gone on to hold positions with the following organisations:

  • Biofuelwatch UK
  • Cartier (Corporate Responsibility Analyst)
  • CISV International
  • ERM (Environmental Resource Management) Consultant 
  • European Commission (DG International Cooperation and Development)
  • HIVOS ( (Regional campaign officer)
  • Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Programme Coordinator)
  • Istituto Oikos Onlus (biodiversity NGO)
  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Land Commission
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • Holyrood Events (Policy Events Director)
  • Mamahope (
  • Nourish Scotland
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (land use officer)
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (Development Officer)
  • Seattle Housing Authority (Sustainability Analyst)
  • SHRUB (Circular Economy NGO) (policy coordinator)
  • United Nations Environmental Programme (GRID consultant)  
  • United Nations Resident Coordinator, Malawi
  • University of Alberta (Communications officer)
  • University of Edinburgh (Development officer, Energy and Society)
  • World Bank (Natural Resources Managment Department)
  • WorldBoston World Affairs Council, Operations Manager
  • World Vision

Several other graduates have gone on to funded PhD study in the US and the UK

Career pathways (non-exhaustive list):

You'll see the range of careers is wide but most end up in these areas:

  • development professional (at a UN agency, international environment NGO like Greenpeace, small grassroots NGO like Chirag, corporate social responsibility wing of Renault car company, or development agencies like DFID or the EU's DG DEVCO)
  • environment activist (like Vandana Shiva or Lang Banks)
  • study further to become an environmental lawyer (like Polly Higgins and Tony Oposa)
  • civil servant/government official engaging with environment-related concerns (at, for instance, NHS)
  • media professional/writer/blogger with a focus on human ecology (like Fiona Harvey from the Guardian and Richard Black from BBC Online)
  • environment expert in trade organisations and professional bodies (at, for instance, British Antarctic Survey)

Weblinks for associations and networks of interest to GEPS students and graduates (non-exhaustive list):

University Careers Service:

All enrolled students have access to the Edinburgh University Careers Service during the programme. The service provides both general and specific guidance on career options (including dedicated series on 'Eco-Careers), career fairs, talks and training sessions. They offer assistance with a CV, applications forms and interview preparation, and helps in exploring further study options. Appointments can be arranged on the day or in advance online. Enrolled students can access the service by dropping in to the third floor of the Main Library on George Square, calling 0131 650 4670, or having a look at their website (