ESC-10066 - Climate Change: The Scientific and Societal Context
Coordinator: Antonia Law Tel: +44 1782 7 34306
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing society today. This module aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change both environmentally and socially. Lectures combined with guided readings and online support will be used to learn about climate change, global warming, the impacts of climate change on ice-sheets, sea-level and the oceans, hazards and human health, vulnerability and inequality, future projections of climate change, the politics and myths surrounding climate change science and sustainability and climate change. Student-led seminars will support lectures providing an opportunity for students to evaluate the strength of the evidence for climate change presented in core case studies in the lectures. Assessment will be in the form of an online Quiz and Blog. Climate change and sustainability are at the heart of our degree programmes and this module will provide the basis of knowledge required for more specialist modules later in the degree programme. By completing this module students will also be able to evaluate how they, as individuals, can become Environmental Citizens. The module provides the critical knowledge and analytical skill set for a range of careers.

To provide students with a balanced and critical understanding of the; history and causes of climate change; evidence for current climate change and future projections, alongside public perceptions of climate change and climate scientists. This module will also provide students with a balanced and critical understanding of the societal impacts of climate change and investigate what can be done to address climate change at the individual, local and global scale and promote sustainability. This module will also develop students┐ ability to present evidence-based arguments around the causes and impacts of climate change on the environment and society. Additionally, this module will provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning to consider how they can contribute to a sustainable future as Environmental Citizens.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain the characteristic trends and casues of long-term and more recent climate change: 1,2
Describe and evaluate the evidence for; climate change in the cryosphere, biosphere, geosphere,oceans and human environments: 1,2
Evaluate and explain the reasons behind the differences in perceptions and trust between the public, scientists and the media in communicating and understanding climate change: 1,2
Appraise the political and sustainable solutions at the individual (i.e, as Environmental Citizens), local and global scale: 1,2
Discuss why climate change is a driver of inequality: 1,2

Study hours

12 hours of lectures
35 hours of independent study
35 hours guided study with online support
28 hours preparing for in-class test
40 hours researching and completing coursework blog

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Coursework weighted 75%
An essay addressing a question answered using material covered in the lectures and wiser reading. Students must use the knowledge learned from the lectures and wider reading to develop their arguments. Students will be encouraged to include data and diagrams, where relevant, to support their arguments.

2: Online Tasks weighted 25%
Online multiple choice test
A multiple choice test following the final session of the module, testing students' factual knowledge of core information from the lectures and set reading. The test will last for approximately 15 minutes.