Introduction to Climate Change and Sustainability GEOG1015

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Climate Change: A 10-week structured, accredited evening course centred around providing students with an interdisciplinary introduction to climate change, using approaches from both the social sciences (history, sociology, geography, politics, economics), and the natural sciences (engineering, physics, biology). The course will provide a brief look into historical and sociological causes of the climate crisis, followed by both the physical and human consequences. The course will have a strong focus on potential solutions, drawing on ideas from engineering and science (renewable technology), and politics, sociology, and economics (social change).  This will leave students with a positive, action-based knowledge base on the context of the climate crisis, and current theories on how to act.


Evening classes; 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. External visit (optional).

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





■ 10% of the course assessment will be based on class participation.

■ There will be a written piece of work communicating an aspect of the course to the public (30%)

■ There will be a reflective piece based on students learning and reaction to lecture material and implications for their overall perspective on the climate crisis (60%).

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


Class participation cannot be reassessed.

Course Aims

This course aims to equip interested students with a solid understanding of the history of the climate crisis, what it means to society as we currently understand it, and what can be done to adapt to and mitigate its effects and address its root causes, thus providing students with a well-informed, interdisciplinary perspective on the climate crisis, and the mindset to act.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Discuss a holistic, interdisciplinary understanding of the climate crisis and its potential solution and action plans by exploring the roles and interconnections between different subjects and how they impact one another.

■ Describe the historical causes of climate change, and the consequences it creates, including issues around injustice, capitalism, colonialism, and other social factors.

■ Characterise and discuss systemic political and economic factors that continue to exacerbate the climate crisis, and current organisations and strategies involved.

■ Critically evaluate the complexity and conflicts of Big Scale Environmental policies and how changes in legislation, laws and economical structures are essential in tackling the Climate Crisis.

■ Describe how different Renewable Energies work, how it can be stored and the politics and logistics around the Energy Problem.

■ Demonstrate reflective learning skills and express their own critical engagement with theories and knowledge around the climate crisis, its causes and solutions.

■ Demonstrate communication and debate skills that enable students to demonstrate their ideas effectively and clearly and be confident discussing climate change related issues in the future. 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.