The Politics of Climate Change and Energy

Module titleThe Politics of Climate Change and Energy
Module codeGEO2442
Academic year2019/0
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Bridget Woodman (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

50

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

What is climate change, why is it important, and what are people doing about it? Why is energy so central in the climate change debate, and how will climate policy shape the future of energy systems in the UK? How do we balance the need for new low carbon technologies with broader social, political and economic requirements of energy systems?

During this module you will learn about the key concepts in climate science and policy, climate change science, and the debate over its reliability and climate policy and action at the international and national levels. We will also cover the role of different energy options in mitigating climate change, the strengths and weaknesses of UK energy policy and the possible ways forward for UK energy systems.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge to address some of the contentious questions inherent in the climate change debate, and the role of energy in it. Drawing on a number of disciplines (politics, economics, innovation and regulatory studies), it will set the science of climate change in a real world context, and encourage you to come up with your own answers to addressing the most pressing environmental issue of our time.

The skills developed in the critical analysis and evaluation of information from a range of sources will be valuable in both academic and employment contexts, particularly for those thinking of working in environment-related jobs.  The assessments are designed to reflect tasks that you are likely to be required to perform in future jobs, and reflect the skills you will need to demonstrate (the ability to identify issues, find and assess information, write concisely and present information accessibly)  Participation in the seminars/workshops will build your team working skills as well as enhancing your confidence in contributing to the sorts of discussions and activities that you are likely to come across in the work environment.

The module reflects Bridget Woodman’s research interests in the role of policy and regulation as a driver of the emergence of more sustainable energy systems.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Review and evaluate key issues in climate science and climate policy, and how they relate to the design and implementation of energy policy
  • 2. Analyse and assess, with limited guidance, the relationships between environmental issues such as climate change with broader social and economic factors
  • 3. Understand the complexities of policy making under conditions of uncertainty
  • 4. Evaluate and assess different policy solutions to mitigating climate change

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Describe essential facts and theory across a sub-discipline of environmental sciences
  • 6. Identify critical questions from the literature and synthesise research-informed examples into written work
  • 7. Identify and implement, with some guidance, appropriate methodologies and theories for addressing a specific research problem in environmental sciences
  • 8. With guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation, and enquiry within environmental science
  • 9. Describe and begin to evaluate approaches to our understanding of environmental science with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Develop, with guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with sound conclusions
  • 11. Communicate ideas, principles and theories using a variety of formats in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 12. Collect and interpret appropriate data and undertake straightforward research tasks with guidance
  • 13. Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses in relation to professional and practical skills identified by others
  • 14. Reflect on learning experiences and summarise personal achievements

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will use information from a variety of sources (largely peer reviewed, non-peer reviewed, and official documentation) to put the issue of climate change in a political framework, and highlight how these are played out in the real world context of energy policy and policy making. Topics include:

  • Key concepts in climate science and policy.
  • Climate change science, and the debate over its reliability.
  • Climate policy and action at the international and national levels.
  • The role of different energy options in mitigating climate change.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of UK energy policy.
  • Possible ways forward for UK energy systems.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
251250

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 15Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 10Student-led seminars/workshops
Guided independent study125Research, reading and preparation for module assessments

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar/workshop participation5 x 2 hour seminarsAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Blog401500 wordsAllWritten
Policy analysis604 pages (POST Note format)1-12Written

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
BlogBlogAllAugust assessment period
Policy analysisPolicy analysis1-12August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to write a further policy analysis. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Dessler, A and Parson E (2010), The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change, a guide to the debate, Cambridge University Press
  • Scrase, I and Mackerron, G (2009), Energy for the Future: a new agenda, Basingstoke, Palgrave

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Climate change, energy, environment, policy

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

5

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

21/11/2013

Last revision date

26/05/2017