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Climate Science and Policy - ENV00103M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Lisa Emberson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module provides students with a thorough understanding of the physical principles behind climate change and its impacts and provides an in-depth analysis of the solutions to this existential problem from the perspectives of different stakeholders and geographical scales (from local to global).

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Gain knowledge and understanding of the physical causes and consequences of climate change

Understand and discuss current policy responses from a variety of stakeholder viewpoints

Understand climate scenarios and potential emissions development pathways and their consequences

Assess the advantages and disadvantages of different mitigation and adaptation options to tackle climate change in the near, medium and longer term

Produce an essay from a particular country's perspective on the national response to the climate crises.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module a student will be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the Earth's climate system and human impacts;

Identify the global trends in environmental pressures, e.g., Climate Change, biodiversity collapse, etc, in relation to global targets and bodies such as the IPCC and the Sustainable Development Goals for example

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant stakeholders and the design of policy addressing global sustainability and environmental challenges

Effectively communicate an understanding of how sustainability, climate science, and policy instruments can be interlinked to engineer sustainability transitions


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on summative assessment will be provided individually to students according to the standard turn around time (4 weeks). The seminars will be highly discursive in nature so students will get continuous real-time feedback as they explore the topic.

Indicative reading

IPCC AR6 Reports

Whitesell, W. C. (2011). Climate policy foundations: Science and economics with lessons from monetary regulation. Cambridge University Press.

Mann, M. E. (2021) The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet. New York: Public Affairs

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.