University College for Interdisciplinary Learning

Climate Change and Society

Course Code

UCIL33201 (10 Credits)

UCIL33501 (20 Credits)

Course Details

  • Level: 3
  • Credit load: 10/20
  • School/s: Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine


Why does climate change policy, despite attracting a worldwide interest, remain a disappointment? Is it because the world is not working hard enough to implement existing climate policies, or because the issue is so difficult that no amount of good will be sufficient to control the rising greenhouse emissions? The unit's readings, research assignments, and weekly group debates will give you a bigger picture of the politics of climate change, cleared from the fog of media clichs and platitudes, and help you scratch under the surface of generic policy buzz words, such as: IPCC, consensus, mitigation, sustainability, clean development mechanism, climate governance, COP, green investments, climate policy, geongineering etc.

The unit looks at key aspects of the scientific and socio-political engagement with the anthropogenic climate change, paying special attention to most recent (and future) developments but considering them against the historic background in which 'climate change' affected the material life of both traditional and high-output societies. We will explore the role of science, the function of politics, and the promise of industry to bring the problem under control and to the fore of public policy. How has climate change been represented as a hazard (or a resource); what do weather and climate mean to individuals, groups and institutions; how these meanings influence the ways in which people respond to climate change? The course is suited to arts, humanities and science students.


Summary of Learning Outcomes

  • To have an appreciation of the complexity of issues related to climate change in the broad context of its historical development and social dimension;
  • to understand a range of ways of thinking about the issue and contemporary economy, politics and society;
  • to be able to reflect critically on opposing and alternative views and probe underneath daily rhetoric to grasp driving forces of climate change;
  • to acquire knowledge about the varieties of interactions between scientific, social and political organisations.



10 credits:

  1. 1500 word essay (45%)
  2. 2 hour examination (45%)
  3. debate contribution (10%)

20 credits:

  1. 1500 word essay (25%)
  2. 2 hour examination (25%)
  3. debate contribution (10%)
  4. 3000 word project (40%)


This course is only open to undergraduate students.

University College course units are available to take on programmes which have 'free choice' options available to them (i.e programmes which allow you, as part of the degree programme, to take a number of credits from subject areas outside of your home school). As these courses are credit bearing, you therefore must enrol by following the standard procedure for your school when adding units outside of your home school.

If you are not sure whether you will be able to enrol in University College courses, please contact your School Undergraduate Office to find out whether these options are available for your degree programme.


Dr. Vladimir Jankovic

Teaching and Learning Methods


1 - 12Wednesday11:00 - 13:00

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