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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3795 Climate Communication

20 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Chris Paterson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will address themes and theory relevant to climate communication including conceptual and historical contexts, political and social dimensions of climate change and climate change denial, the relationship between media and climate change, environmental movements and campaigns, and science and risk communication. The following questions guide learning in the module: What is climate communication? How do people communicate and think about climate change? How can messages about climate change and the environment be crafted to change people’s attitudes and behavior? Why is climate communication important?


As Climate Change is increasingly accepted as the existential threat of the modern era, there is a pressing need for students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to communicate about it. This module is designed to make students better consumers, critics, investigators, and producers of climate and environmental communication. The module raises student awareness of climate change issues, concerns, and concepts and how they are conveyed in the UK and around the world.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Analyse climate communications across a range of media genres and explain the role of media in relation to climate change
2. Assess the effectiveness of specific climate communications efforts
3. Create a practical communication product or critical research project in the field of climate communication
4. Reflect critically on their own knowledge of and attitude to climate change and how it is communicated



• climate communication theory; conceptual and historical contexts
• the social construction of environment and climate
• historical dimensions of climate journalism
• science and risk communication
• climate change denial
• advocacy campaigns
• the climate justice movement
• climate communication and sustainable development
• the practice of climate journalism

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study should be dedicated to (times are indicative) -

Weekly preparation for lectures (reading) and supplementary multimedia screening linked to Minerva: 59 hours
Identifying the assignment one media case study, discussion with tutor, writing critique: 40 hours
Final assignment research (potentially including source interviewing) and preparation: 80 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be encouraged to meet individually with the teaching team (tutor, TA, guest tutors) to discuss their approach to both assignments.

Seminar discussions will encourage student engagement and allow the teaching team to continually assess individual engagement and understanding of key concepts.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation1 X 3000 – 350060.00
CritiqueA critical analysis of a media artefact from the perspective of climate change emergency (equivalent to 1500-2000 word essay)40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/05/2022 16:30:43


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