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Living with Climate Change


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Aideen Foley
  • Assessment: practical coursework of 2000 words (40%) and a 3000-word essay (60%)

Module description

Marcel Proust once wrote that 'A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.' But what about a change in climate? Multiple lines of evidence, such as global land and ocean temperature records, sea level, ice sheet extent and glacier retreat data, indicate changes in our environment consistent with a warming world. How is this change set to alter the world around us, impacting environmental and human systems? How are the planet’s 7.1 billion inhabitants living with the challenges presented by climate change?

In this module, we will explore the potential geographies of climate change impacts and vulnerability, and develop an understanding of how climate change is likely to impact people and the planet, now and in the future. We will consider the social, cultural, ethical, political and economic dimensions of climate change, as well as the science, as we examine the diverse experiences of communities around the globe. We will reflect on how different values and beliefs shape attitudes towards climate action, including our own.

The module emphasises participatory learning through collaborative classroom activities. The module is assessed through an ArcGIS StoryMap and an essay. 

Indicative module content

    • Climate change framing and narratives
    • Climate adaptation and ‘resilience’
    • Socio-economic dimensions of climate change and vulnerability
    • Climate change and case study communities, e.g. cities, coastal communities, high latitude communities

    Learning objectives

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:

    • describe key vulnerabilities and risks of climate change for human systems and environments
    • collect, analyse and report on climate change data and impact scenarios
    • demonstrate understanding of how social, cultural and political factors underpin climate change and influence climate adaption preferences
    • critically assess climate risks and adaptation strategies in different settings by evaluating data, theory, values and context
    • devise and sustain an argument, supported by valid evidence
    • communicate effectively using a range of formats and styles, to enable understanding and engagement by specialist and non-specialist audiences.