SOEE2165 Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions

Reading List
  • Taught: Semester 2 View timetable
  • Credits: 10
  • Class Size: 60
  • Module Manager: Dr Sebastien Nobert
  • Email:
  • This Module is approved as a Discovery Module
  • This module replaces SOEE2150 (50%)

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

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 human influence on climate, but perhaps more importantly, on the politics behind the development of climate change and the strategies involved in dealing with its effects. The module examines the social dimensions of climate change, including issues related to the political economy of climate-related risk and hazards, the use and development of climate science and the intellectual and political framings involved in creating the climate crisis. 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 academia, policy making and human collectivity more generally. Assessment is in the form of a written analysis exercise and an exam.


  • 1. General understanding of the human dimensions of climate change, including debates including questions of inequality, social justice and political economy related to a changing climate;
  • 2. Basic understanding of the social and political challenges to scientific understanding of climate change;
  • 3. Understanding of why climate change is a social and philosophical issue as much as a scientific issue;
  • 4. An understanding of the interactions between social organisations (government, private sector, community) and the politics of climate change;
  • 5. Knowledge of the limits of current science-policy nexus, in particular of the use of modelling techniques in predicting and acting on climate change.


  • - Different portrayals of climate change issues, including scientific consensus and debates about uncertainty of climate scenarios and their social and political implications.;
  • - Societal mechanisms through which climate has been framed in the wider climate policy leads to socio-economic impacts and risks;
  • - Approaches to assessing risk and uncertainty in climate change: resilience, adaptability and vulnerability (including case studies from the EU and the Global South).
  • - Climate change mitigation: the framing of decarbonising societies and the international political response, including the adaption funds, flexibility mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol and post Kyoto climate change regime.

Skills Outcomes

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

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching


Assesment type Notes % of formal assesment
Essay Critical Review (1,500 words) 40
Total percentages (Assessment Coursework) 40


Exam type Exam duration % of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 1 hr 0 mins 60
Total Percentage (Assesment Exams) 60

Private Study

17 hours: preparing critical essay
22 hours: preparing for exam
42 hours: independent background reading

Progress Monitoring

Students receive informal formative feedback on the critical essay through two support sessions, and receive detailed summative and formative feedback on their reports before the end of term, so that they know their marks before starting to revise for the exam.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Lecture 8 2 16
Seminar 3 1 3
Private Study Hours 81
Total Contact Hours 19
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 100

Reading List

Reading List
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