Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Introduction to Climate Change and Sustainability GEOG1015

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus 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), to 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.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





■ There will be an individual oral presentation on week 4 (worth 20% of overall grade).

■ There will be a group project (4-5 people) with a group presentation (20% of grade)

■ and a group report (60% of grade).

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. 


The group report/presentation 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, to provide 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:

■ Describe the historical causes of climate change, and the consequences it creates.

■ Characterise and discuss the systemic socio-psychological changes in mentality that have led to the climate crisis

■ Develop a holistic, interdisciplinary understanding of the climate crisis by exploring the roles and interconnections between different subjects and how they impact one another

■ Analyse, in a case study format, the impact industry can have on the environment and communicate information and analysis through an oral presentation.

■ 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.

■ Work in a team to develop research and communication skills in an interdisciplinary project exploring potential solutions and actions plans in tackling Climate Change and evolving towards a more sustainable future.

■ Develop 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.