SOEE2165 Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions

Reading List

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 social impacts and human responses the climate change. This will include impacts in the developed and developing world, spontaneous and planned adaptation, mitigation actions to reduce greenhouse gases. The module reviews local to global responses, investigate policy and decision-making processes and the global governance of climate change. 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 report and an exam.


  • 1. Be able to describe some of the challenges to scientific understanding of and human responses to climate change
  • 2. Be able to illustrate the environmental impacts and responses to climate change with use of examples
  • 3. Distinguish between the differing vulnerability of societies across the globe to climate change
  • 4. Evaluate the mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation at local, national and international scales
  • 5. Understand the political and environmental justice dimensions of global governance of climate change
  • 6. Understand the interactions between social organisations (government, private sector, community) and the politics of climate change;
  • 7. Develop key skills in research (report design, literature searching and review techniques, analysis, interpretation and technical writing)


  • - Climate change and the role of uncertainty
  • - Climate change socio-economic impacts on society
  • - Vulnerability, spontaneous and planned adaptation and resilience to climate change
  • - Mitigation of climate change: approaches to carbon emission reductions in various sectors
  • - Role of different policy actors in making decisions to address climate change
  • - Global environmental governance mechanisms: UN Framework Convention (UNFCCC) on climate change; Kyoto protocol and post-Kyoto global climate regime
  • - Local and transnational climate governance: mechanism outside of the UNFCCC
  • - Climate justice: inequality of climate impacts, injustices around responses and participation in decision-making on climate change

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 Report (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 report
23 hours: preparing for exam
43 hours: independent background reading

Progress Monitoring

Detailed summative and formative feedback on written reports before the end of term and prior to exam.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Workshop 4 1 4
Video & Discussion 1 2 2
Lecture 11 1 11
Private Study Hours 83
Total Contact Hours 17
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 100

Reading List

Reading List
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