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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2165 Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions

10 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Monica Di Gregorio

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humans and non-humans in the current social and political context brought by the Anthropocene. In this module, you will learn about the social impacts and human responses the climate change. This will include impacts in the developed and developing world, spontaneous and planned adaptation, mitigation actions to reduce greenhouse gases. The module reviews local to global responses, investigate policy and decision-making processes and the global governance of climate change. You will also gain a critical understanding of the linkages between science and politics in ways that will help you to better assess the social challenges posed by climate change for policy makers and human collectivity more generally. Assessment is in the form of a written report and an exam.


1. Be able to describe some of the challenges to scientific understanding of and human responses to climate change
2. Be able to illustrate the environmental impacts and responses to climate change with use of examples
3. Distinguish between the differing vulnerability of societies across the globe to climate change
4. Evaluate the mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation at local, national and international scales
5. Understand the political and environmental justice dimensions of global governance of climate change
6. Understand the interactions between social organisations (government, private sector, community) and the politics of climate change;
7. Develop key skills in research (report design, collect and display data, literature searching and review techniques, analysis of data, interpretation and technical writing)

Skills outcomes
Key skills in research: literature searching and review techniques, objective analysis, interpretation, critical thinking, and written composition.


- Climate change and the role of uncertainty
- Climate change socio-economic impacts on society
- Vulnerability, spontaneous and planned adaptation and resilience to climate change
- Mitigation of climate change: approaches to carbon emission reductions in various sectors
- Role of different policy actors in making decisions to address climate change
- Global environmental governance mechanisms: UN Framework Convention (UNFCCC) on climate change; Kyoto protocol and post-Kyoto global climate regime
- Local and transnational climate governance: mechanism outside of the UNFCCC
- Climate justice: inequality of climate impacts, injustices around responses and participation in decision-making on climate change

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Video & Discussion12.002.00
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

18 hours: preparing report
23 hours: preparing for exam
43 hours: independent background reading

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Detailed summative and formative feedback on written reports before the end of term and prior to exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayReport (1,500 words)40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

The exam consists of a mix of short and long answer questions. The script cannot be removed from the exam hall. Students will have the opportunity to undertake a mock exam for practice.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/09/2020


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