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Living with Climate Change (Level 7)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Dr Aideen Foley
  • Assessment: practical coursework of 1500 words (30%) and a 3500-word essay (70%)

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.

Indicative syllabus

  • 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
  • understand the complex and potentially contested relationships between climate change and climate adaptation, and social, cultural and political issues, including linkages with related fields of scholarship such as sustainable development and environmental justice
  • appraise climate risks and recommend adaptation strategies in different settings by evaluating data, theory, values and context
  • devise and sustain an argument, supported by valid evidence, including some elements which are original and offer new insights on the topic
  • identify communication aims and creatively adapt communication formats and styles, to meet intended outcomes.