Postgraduate taught 

Behavioural Science MSc

Psychology of Climate Change 4H PSYCH4095

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course covers psychological theory and research related to climate change, with a special focus on effective communication, interventions and behaviour change.


8 hours over a 4 week block with a seminar for the presentation in week 5.

Excluded Courses



Students will give an oral "TED-talk" style talk in small groups. The script/written text will be marked with only a small part of the mark determined by the actual oral delivery. This will allow students to create engaging, pre-recorded person-focused talks. This will address ILOs 1 to 3.

 In addition, students will write a communication strategy of max. 500 words outlining how they applied psychological principles of effective communication in their presentation. This will address ILOs 4 and 5.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which 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.

Course Aims

This course aims to encourage students to apply psychological research to address the societal issue of climate change and related problems (e.g., biodiversity loss, environmental breakdown).

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Analyse the role of psychological processes in behaviours contributing to climate change (e.g., food, fashion, transport, energy use)

2. Apply psychological theories to understand mechanisms of behaviour change related to climate change

3. Present an effective intervention strategy to curb climate change 

4. Use psychological knowledge to communicate effectively about climate change 

5. Describe the relations of climate change with mental health (e.g., worry, anxiety, coping strategies)

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.