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Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills

If the environmental problems will be managed or not, is dependent of the thinking and acting of people and their ability to learn from earlier mistakes. How a natural resource will be used (or misused) is decided in oral and written exchanges between humans. In this course we will investigate how people make up their minds about environmental issues, how they chat, understand and misunderstand each other. How do attitudes develop? How does knowledge develop? What is happening when someone learn something? We will investigate the dynamic of a working group and the communication within and between groups. This course is an introduction to a social psychological understanding of the natural resource management. We focus on the experiences of the students and theories about communication, learning, group dynamics, changes of attitudes, action and reflection will be illustrated in exercises and applications.

Information from the course leader


CANVAS course page now published!

The CANVAS page of the EC intro course is now published. You can access it with the "Open my Canvas room" tab to the right or by just login into Canvas. You can also download the CANVAS app to your phone. On the CANVAS page you will find important information about the course. This includes two overview/introduction videos. Please watch them before the course starts on Tuesday.



Welcome to the Environmental Communication introduction course! We look forward to meeting you all on Tuesday 31st of August when the course starts. We will meet in room Särimner in the VHC Building (address Ulls väg 26 see map here) at 9.00 sharp. In the messages below you will find important information. Please read carefully and note that changes may occur once the course begins. This course page will be used only before the course starts. After we will only use the CANVAS platform (see details below).

For questions or comments about the course please contact

We look forward to meeting you all!

Important: Please visit this page regularly for updates and more information before the course starts

Course registration

You will be registered for the course on the first day after you respond to the roll call. It is thus very important that you attend this session. Note that students of the ECM MSc programme are expected to attend a separate introduction/registration session on the 30th of August (see details here).

Important: Access to the Canvas course page does not mean you are registered for the course. You need to be present during the roll call in order to be registered. Students who are not present and do not inform about delays in their arrival (see more details below) will not be registered and will be removed from the canvas course page.

Activating your SLU IT-Student account and accessing course CANVAS page.

CANVAS is the online course platform where you will find all course materials. To get access to Canvas (as well all other SLU´s digital tools including Zoom´s Pro Plan) you need to first activate your SLU IT-student account and get an SLU email. You can do this online from mid-August. The instructions on how to activate the IT account and on how to get started with SLU´s digital tools can be found in the Checklist for new students.

Once you activate the IT account you will get access to CANVAS platform (see details here). You will not be able to see the course CANVAS page as we are now setting it up. Once the page is published you will receive an invitation in your SLU email. Our goal is to publish the page latest on the 25th of August. You will get detailed information on how to use CANVAS on the first day of the course. Still, we recommend that you try to familiarize yourself with Canvas (including the phone app for students) before the course starts. We also recommend that you upload a picture of yourself to your profile.

Attendance and studying during the Coronavirus outbreak

For the 2021 autumn semester, teaching may take place on campus following the guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Sweden and SLU's own instructions related to the pandemic (see details and more information in this link). To prevent the spread of infection, not everyone will be allowed to return at the same time. Instead, the aim is for students on all degree programmes to have teaching on campus approximately one day a week.

In this course, we will follow these recommendations. We plan to have on-campus teaching during the practical and interactive moments of the course and online teaching (via Zoom) during lectures (see which activities are IRL and online in schedule). This means that as a new student it is important that you are in Uppsala. We have booked rooms that allow social distancing. Usage of masks is voluntary (find more information and recommendations in this link). For all online course activities, we will use one Zoom Link for the entire course. The zoom link will be provided at the start of the course.

Late arrival to Sweden

We understand that some of you might have delays with your travel to Sweden. But the 13th of September (two weeks after the course starts) is the last day for you to arrive in Sweden and be able to register for the course. We will try to make it possible for delayed students to attend the IRL activities online. However, you might need to do compensatory work for the activities that you miss.

Important: If you know that you will arrive late and will be able to do so before the 13th of September please write an email to before the course starts. Please indicate the date that you will arrive and if you will be able to attend online. If it won't be possible for you to arrive on time and you want to save your place in the course or ECM programme for next year, you may apply for deferment of studies (see details here)


Course Schedule

The course schedule can now be found in the Schedule link. Note that changes may occur once the course starts. Also, note that after the course starts we will mainly use CANVAS, the online course platform at SLU, as the main source for looking at the schedule.

Literature List

In the tab Literature List below you will find the literature list of the course. Note that changes in the literature list may occur. All reading will occur during allocated times in the course. All literature will be available in the course CANVAS page once the course starts. The texts for the first course week are also provided in the Literature List tab below in case you want to start reading in advance.


Preparations before course start

In this course, we will communicate and you will write a lot. You will also use, mainly social science, theories to understand and change the communication situations we will study and experience. Hence, we recommend you to practice academic writing and to read up books, articles or blog posts introducing modern social theories.

Here is a document with a number of resources about academic writing that would be worth for you to look at or study in order to improve your writing skills. The document is meant for the students of the Environmental Communication and Management programme but it is useful for other students as well.

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

MX0115-10260 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for MX0115

Academic year 2022/2023

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-10074)

2022-08-29 - 2022-10-31

Academic year 2022/2023

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-M1074)

2022-08-29 - 2022-10-31

Academic year 2021/2022

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-M1260)

2021-08-30 - 2021-11-01

Academic year 2020/2021

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-10233)

2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-10075)

2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31

Academic year 2018/2019

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-10163)

2018-09-03 - 2018-11-05

Academic year 2017/2018

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-10053)

2017-08-28 - 2017-10-30

Academic year 2016/2017

Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills (MX0115-10026)

2016-08-29 - 2016-10-31


MX0115 Introduction to environmental communication - Society, social interaction and communicative skills, 15.0 Credits

Introduktionskurs till miljökommunikation-Samhälle , socialt samspel och kommunikativa färdigheter


Environmental Science

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Report project work 7.5 0302
Home exam 7.5 0303

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to English 6 from upper secondary school.

Equivalent to 180 credits and specialized studies comprising 90 credits within one of the following subjects/disciplinary domains: natural sciences, technology or social sciences.


The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of environmental communication as a social process which is simultaneously dependent of, and affecting, society, and to develop basic skills in facilitating constructive dialogue in small groups with relevance for natural resource management. Both macro and micro sociological theories are needed in order to understand environmental communication and its’ relevance in society and natural resource management.

After the course is finished the student should be able to:

- Describe theoretical approaches to understanding the relation between people and the environment.

- Discuss the role of communication in the development and resolution of environmental challenges.

- Describe methods for facilitating constructive dialogue.

- Reflect on their own experience of communication situations.


This course introduces students to sociological, social psychological and epistemological theories and concepts, among others to the theory of symbolic interactionism, which is used to understand human action in natural resource management. It also gives opportunities to develop practical skills in facilitating constructive dialogue in small groups.

Social and epistemological theories are presented in lectures and literature, and the students are in exercises facilitated to apply these theories in reflection and analysis of ongoing social processes, own experience and in case studies. The pedagogical idea of the course is pending between 1) observation of concrete environmental communication relevant situations, including both narrated case studies and own, immediate experience, which will generate a demand for theory, 2) presentation of theory, 3) analysis and interpretation of concrete cases through applying social science theories to the situation, 4) considering normative aspects of the situation (what could be changed and how to change), including structural changes as well as changes of individual action and thinking. Consequently there is a relation between lectures, literature and exercises. The students also carry out a small project connected to a situation/problem of relevance for environmental communication.

Formats and requirements for examination

Examination through:

- Home-exam

- Report on project work

To pass the course it is compulsory to:

- Participate in the project work

- Participate in facilitation work-shops.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: MX0068, MX0066, MX0072, MX0100

Grading criteria

There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Litterature list

  1. EC Intro course 2021 Literature list [EC Intro course 2021 Literature list] ( Pezzullo & Cox(2018) Chapter 1: Defining Environmental Communication [Pezzullo & Cox(2018) Chapter 1: Defining Environmental Communication] ( MISTRA EC (2019). MISTRA Environmental Communication: reframing communication for sustainability, Program Plan [MISTRA EC (2019). MISTRA Environmental Communication: reframing communication for sustainability, Program Plan] ( Harrington (2005). Introduction: What is social theory [Harrington (2005). Introduction: What is social theory] (,_A._-_Modern_Social_Theory_(Introduction___Chapter_1).pdf)1) Harrington, A. (2005). Chapter 10: Structure and Agency [Harrington, A. (2005). Chapter 10: Structure and Agency] (

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Environmental Science
Course code: MX0115 Application code: SLU-10260 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%