Climate Futures: Science, Society and Politics MSc

The following modules are available in 2023/24 for Climate Futures: Science, Society and Politics MSc and are examples of the modules you are likely to study. All Modules are subject to change. You will study 180 credits in total.

Compulsory modules:

The compulsory modules will develop your core practical and critical analytical skills and methods in social, political and natural sciences to enable deeper cross-disciplinary specialisation later in the course.

Physical Climate Change, Impacts and Mitigation – 30 credits

This module introduces students to core scientific principles and processes of climate science, impacts of climate change, sources of emission and their reduction strategies. The course will give you the ability to communicate the connection between emissions, global warming and impacts to a broad range of policy, business and public stakeholders.

Social and Political Dimensions of the Climate Challenge – 30 credits

Introducing climate change as a multidimensional problem, this module will allow you to explore the competing interests and diverse forms of knowledge involved in understanding and acting upon climate change. It introduces and evaluates dominant and alternative approaches to social and technological transformation including: vulnerability, governance, adaptation and mitigation. developing social analytical tools to navigate this complexity.

Engaging with Climate Change: Capstone Project – 60 credits

You’ll take part in a residential field course and regular practical and problem-solving workshops to develop your research and communications skills. The module will enhance your opportunity to put into practice the language, theory and research methods to communicate and enact change across disciplines, with a focus on employability skills.

Optional modules:

You’ll study any two of the following four optional modules, each exploring a particular perspective on the climate challenge facing society today, building on the breadth of knowledge, approaches and methods gained in semester one.

Climate Risk – 30 credits

This module addresses climate risks and their management, including risk perception and communication, analysis of climate hazards, risk assessment and management approaches. By the end of the module you should be able to understand risk assessments and decision-making strategies, and contribute to their delivery, but also understand underlying theory and critically assess evidence and approaches to risk and uncertainty in climate futures.

Climate Security – 30 credits

This module takes up how and why climate change is increasingly linked to ideas of ‘security’. It will blend the science of a ‘climate emergency’ with social science analysis of security dynamics and logics as they relate to climate change. 

Climate and Development – 30 credits

This module explores the many ways in which climate change intersects with the challenge of global development, sustainable livelihoods and related goals like poverty reduction, equality, health and food security with a focus on the Global South.

Climate Justice – 30 credits

This module explores – and plans to tackle – how climate change inevitably has complex repercussions for social and natural systems, and therefore involves multi-dimensional questions of justice and fairness.

The full list of module information can be read in the course catalogue.