Skip to main content Skip to navigation

GD305 - Challenges of Climate Change

  • Module code: GD305
  • Module name: Challenges of Climate Change
  • Department: Global Sustainable Development
  • Credit: 7.5, 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This is an interdisciplinary course, which addresses the major scientific, philosophical, social, economic, political and technological challenges arising from climate change (real or imagined, man-made or not). It covers the central issues of the field with expert lecturers, who speak at a level accessible to non-experts in the field, with the only requirements being a grasp of Science and Mathematics to GCSE level.. The principal aim of the module is to provide undergraduates from a wide range of backgrounds with an up-to-date view of the central challenges that climate change poses.

Principal learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module students should be able to: a) Understand the major issues that climate change raises across a range of disciplines (science, economics, politics, engineering etc). b) Explain the approaches to these challenges that are currently at play, or proposed, and the problems they create. c) Appreciate the role of uncertainty in climate change, how this may be folded into actions, and how it is implemented across different fields (where it often has slightly different meanings). d) Critically examine material relating to climate and climate change, and assess its reliability. e) Be able to meaningfully discuss the nature of climate change with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Students taking this module will gain a solid understanding of the major challenges that climate change presents, together with knowledge enabling them to participate actively and constructively in the efforts to meet them.

Timetabled teaching activities

10 x 2hr lectures + 18 hours of seminars in Term 1

Departmental link

Other essential notes

Available at 15 CATS in Term 1 to Global Sustainable Development students and to a limited number of external students as a 7.5 CATS option (lectures only)

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: GD305-7.5)
D1 (Assessed/examined work) Multi-choice questions (1 per week) 20%
  1 hour 30 minute examination (January) 80%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange students) 100%
15 CATS (Module code: GD305-15)
D2 (Assessed/examined work) Essay (2500 words) 20%
  Multi-choice questions (1 per week) 10%
  3 hour examination (January) 70%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange students) 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics (MPhys) (F303) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies (F3N1) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys) (FG31) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 2