Master in Human and Natural Resource Studies

Master in Human and Natural Resource Studies

2 years
  • Fee:NPR 400,000

The graduate program in Human and Natural Resources Studies (HNRS) at Kathmandu University (KU) currently offers Master’s and PhD degrees. These are research-oriented professional degrees that seek to impart research and analytical abilities necessary to understand the structure and functioning of rural society and their natural resource base.

This interdisciplinary program is comprised of both academic courses and action research, with the goal to provide the students with substantial interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding in the field of human and natural resources management.

The major objective of the program is to produce a cadre of professionals capable of coordinating, guiding, evaluating, improving and propagating efforts aimed at identifying people’s problems of multi-faceted nature, and arousing and assisting the communities in resolving those problems through the application of appropriate integrated approaches to exploring, enriching and utilizing the multifarious human and natural resources. Specifically, the program aims at assisting students to:

  • Acquire knowledge and skills concerning natural resources and community linkage, information gathering and analyses, indigenous community-based knowledge systems and institutions.
  • Develop capability and confidence to contribute nationally and internationally towards managing the human and natural resources fruitfully.
  • Be able to effectively conduct basic and applied research, work in a team and individually, prepare and present (communicate) findings in the field of human and natural resources management.
  • Prepare for the pursuance of further studies in related areas. 

To achieve the above objectives the program emphasizes on:

  • Social dimension to natural resource management
  • Research of action- and people-oriented nature
  • Attention to the poor, disadvantaged and marginalized groups of people
  • Analyzing and addressing the real-life situation in Nepal
  • Utilization of past studies and research outputs


Completion of a 3 or 4-year Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2 out of 4.0 or an equivalent of 45 percent marks in the latest degree acquired will be the basic criteria. Also, securing an acceptable label or ranking in the entrance exam will be essential. The entrance exam will test the candidate's language proficiency and analytical abilities.

Admission Criteria

Intake Capacity 

The maximum intake capacity for HNRS is 24 students per semester.

Admission Announcement  Usually the announcement for admissions for HNRS will be made in December every year.

How to Apply  Applications should be made on an official application form which is available from the office of School of Arts, Kathmandu University. Applicants should submit all relevant documents along with their application. Any enquiry regarding the course should be made at the concerned departments of School of Arts, Kathmandu University. 

Grades and Grading Systems

Grades shall be assigned to individual students on the basis of instructor’s judgment of the student’s scholastic achievement as set forth in Section ii below.

  1. Grading System

Grades for students shall be reported by the following letters: A, A-, B, B+, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or F. The faculty member (instructor) will determine and execute the specific grading method, including the allocation of suitable weights to the methods. The instructor will explain the overall evaluation system to the students at the beginning of the course.

  1. Definition of Grades

The grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, and F indicate a graduation in quality from Excellent to Failure and are assigned the following grade-point equivalents:

All grading system is based on following rules:

Marks Grade Grade Points
85 and Above A 4.00
80 – 84.9 A- 3.70
75 – 79.9 B+ 3.33
70 – 74.9 B 3.00
65 – 69.9 B- 2.67
60 – 64.9 C+ 2.33
55 – 59.9 C 2.00
50 – 54.9 C- 1.67
45 – 49.9 D 1.00
< 45 F Fail

The student must maintain an aggregate CGPA of 3.00 or above after completing the required 48 credit hours. If the aggregate CGPA is less than 3.00, the student will have to repeat certain courses until he/she maintains the required CGPA.

Curricular Structure

The curriculum of Master in HNRS aims at imparting both theoretical knowledge in and practical exposure to various issues relating to the management of human and natural resources, with greater emphasis given to the latter mode. The major methods used will comprise classroom lectures, case study analyses, field surveys, seminars, community internships, results discussions and presentations. The program emphasizes students’ active participation and involvement in the learning process wherein the instructors (faculty members) will mainly be playing the role of a facilitator.

Semester-wise Course Offering

HNRS Subject and Code Number Credit hour
HNRS 510: Development Concepts 3
HNRS 511: Human Dimensions of Development 3
HNRS 512: Sociology of Conflict and Resource Management 3
HNRS 513: Environmental Economics 3
HNRS 514: Project Management 3
HNRS 515: Gender, Inclusion and Ethnicity 3
HNRS 519: Development Communication 3
HNRS 521: Natural Resource Systems Management 3
HNRS 522: Population, Development and Natural Resource Linkages 3
HNRS 524: Forestry and Wildlife Management 3
HNRS 525: Evaluation Methods 3
HNRS 529: Entrepreneurship and Development 3
HNRS 530: Nepal’s Plans and Policies 3
HNRS 531: Public Policy Issues in Resource Management 3
HNRS 532: Rural-Urban and Highland-Lowland Relations 3
HNRS 533: Environment, Health and Development 3
HNRS 535: Climate Change and Development 3
HNRS 536: Ecosystem Analysis 3
HNRS 539: Management of Development Induced Displacement and its Impacts 3
HNRS 541: Data Analysis 3
HNRS 542: Research Methodology 3
HNRS 545: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 3
HNRS 549: Rural Development and Alternative Energy 3
HNRS 621: Sustainable Urban Development 3
HNRS 622: Social Protection for Development 3
HNRS 623: Localization of Sustainable Development Goals 3
HNRS 624: Deliberative Governance Practices 3
Option A:
HNRS 601: Dissertation 9
Option B:
HNRS 602: Internship 6
HNRS 534: Independent Study

Duration and Credit Hours

The Master in Human and Natural Resources Studies (MHNRS) is a two-year program of four semesters. Students will have to complete altogether 48 credit hours of courses to successfully graduate from the program. A three-credit hour course requires 48 contact hours.

In the fourth semester, the students will have the following two options:

Option A: The first option is to write a dissertation of 9 credit hours under the regular supervision of an assigned supervisor. Each student will be assigned a supervisor only after the successful defense of her/his dissertation proposal. The students will have to submit the final dissertation to the department at the end of the two-year program.

Option B: The students who choose this option will have to take courses of 6 credit hours that include Community internship (3 credit hours) and independent study (3 credit hours).

If a student is not able to complete the program during the two- year period, he/she will have to pay additional fees as per the KU rules.

All students must complete the entire requirement for graduation within five academic years from the date of enrollment into the program.