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Global Decarbonisation and Climate Change (Science) (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) (2024 Entry)

Global Decarbonisation and Climate Change students in the classroom

Explore our Global Decarbonisation and Climate Change (Science) postgraduate courses.

Are you looking to make a real impact in addressing the global climate change crisis? Join us to become a part of the solution to one of the most urgent challenges of our time.

Course overview

The postgraduate courses in Global Decarbonisation and Climate Change(GDCC) are a university-wide transdisciplinary initiative and explore key climate emergency issues. You will investigate the causes and consequences of climate change as well as the emerging solutions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from human activity.

The Science pathway focuses on the physical science aspects of reducing global carbonisation and tackling climate change. It is suited for people with a scientific background who wish to develop themselves further through the GDCC program keeping a scientific focus but, at the same time, wish to broaden their horizons and skillset with non-STEM modules.

Core modules offer a thorough understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change and some of the nature-based solutions that may alleviate impacts. Beside the core modules you will choose a minimum of 2 core-optional modules, to explore topics such as sustainable energy systems, food system and plastics. In addition, this pathway offers you the opportunity to select wider optional modules. You will:

  • Explore the global transition to net zero from more renewable energy technologies to life-cycle (eco)design, sustainable food systems, investment in nature-based solutions and sustainable infrastructure. We cover the challenges of moving to a low-carbon economy whilst adapting to a warming planet and will lead you through the implications of climate change and climate policies for equity between, and within, countries.
  • Gain specialist knowledge of the earth system and climate impact whilst working together in small groups to propose innovative solutions for real-life problems.
  • Recognise social and ethical responsibilities as you learn to mobilise your knowledge across disciplines and work effectively in interdisciplinary teams.
  • Gain valuable insights into the demands and duties of the working world, bringing your leadership and management skills to life.

Develop a wide range of talents including creative, critical, and strategic thinking, effective communication, professional engagement, teamwork, problem solving and research analysis through diverse learning approaches and perspectives.

Prof David Haddleton and Prof. dr. ir. Stefan BonLink opens in a new window head our MSc/PGDip/PGCert Global Decarbonisation and Climate Change courses. Please contact sus dot fut at warwick dot ac dot uk with any specific questions, where our staff are available to discuss any queries.

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) ideally in Physical Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences, Business or Life Sciences.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band A
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5, minimum component scores not below 6.0.

International Students
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

For the science pathway, mathematical capability to A2 level either via qualification or an assessment at entry via a mathematics test.

Core modules

Global Carbonisation: Causes and Consequences of Climate Change (PGCert, PGDip, MSc)

The changes to global climate being brought about by human activity present one of the greatest challenges to confront humanity and are likely to have a profound effect over the working lives of today's humans. Understanding these climate changes requires a comprehensive understanding of the causes and consequences of global carbonisation, and responses require an approach spanning multiple disciplines. This module will equip students to understand and address climate change by providing a grounding in the central scientific, economic and political issues surrounding climate change in the past, present, and potential futures.

Nature-based Solutions and Carbon Capture (PGCert, PGDip, MSc)

Global environmental challenges have necessitated using different approaches to solving the climate crisis. Nature-based solutions and carbon capture are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems. They address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. Nature-based solutions and carbon capture approaches and technologies can contribute to delivering sustainable environmental management. Students will acquire the skills to identify, evaluate, and perform feasibility designs of different nature-based solutions and carbon capture approaches and technologies.

Circular (Eco) design and Life Cycle Management (PGCert, PGDip, MSc)

There are increasing pressures on engineers to maintain and conserve materials within society. Landfill and incineration are widely becoming disfavoured with governmental organisations and society pushing for products to be made in a more circular fashion. This pressure is only going to increase and be more prominent during the careers of today's students. This module examines the need for significant change in the design philosophy employed in product and process design through the application of circular eco-design principles. It also goes on to critically analyse the responses to those pressures including consumer behaviour, legislation and alternative design practices. All of this is performed in the context of being able to metricise the improvements that are being made to a given system through the application of life cycle engineering; understanding the environmental, economic and social impacts of circular eco-design and communicating them to wider stakeholders.

Interdisciplinary Research Skills (PGDip, MSc)

Successful completion of university level research requires student to have made a ‘substantial contribution to knowledge’ and that this is communicated to an appropriate research community. There are many aspects involved in undertaking original research, including the student’s own ability to think and to be creative. In addition, students need to have a range of skills that will enable them to use their intrinsic academic ability and scientific creativity to produce world-class research. Some of the skills are technical, e.g. how you use a particular piece of equipment or a method to collect data, but many of them transcend the details of a particular project.

Interdisciplinary Research Project (MSc)

Twenty-week individual project including approximately 4 weeks write up, carrying out research on a specialised topic under the direction of an academic or industrial supervisor and their team.

Optional Core Modules

Sustainable Energy Systems (PGCert, PGDip, MSc)

This module focuses on the core principles and concepts of energy generation, energy conversion and energy storage systems applied in electrical and electronic systems.

Plastics: the Good, the Bad and the Future (PGCert, PGDip, MSc)
In the 20th century polymer science gave us materials with remarkable and durable properties to the great benefit of humanity. Plastics were fantastic. Now, a green polymer (r)evolution is urgently needed so that plastics will be the material that rebalances the needs and prosperity of humanity with the environmental and sustainable needs of our planet. This module will discuss how different types of plastics are made, what they are used for and why they are the current material of choice. It will discuss the environmental sustainability challenges that we face and how we can find an environmental sustainable way forward to live in harmony with a healthier planet.

Food Systems (PGDip, MSc)

A stable and reliable supply of food is essential for human wellbeing and survival. Our global food systems are under immense pressure from population growth, climate change and socioeconomic factors such as war. We need to produce and distribute food in a system that is equitable and environmentally sustainable. Our global and regional food systems currently contribute to escalating carbon emissions. Therefore, it is vital that we strive to decarbonize our food system. However, the food system is complex and presents many challenges as well as opportunities for improvement.

Optional modules (MSc, PGDip)

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Public Engagement
  • Design Thinking for Social Impact
  • Thinking Water

  • Habitability in the Universe


Teaching in this emerging field represents practice and research-driven advancements that have been incubated and implemented by world-leading scholars at Warwick and beyond.

Teaching methods on the programme include any or a combination of: lectures and flipped lectures; seminars, tutorials or examples classes for expanding on lecture material; demonstrations and site visits; invited talks and workshops from industry; laboratory, practical or computer room activities; project supervision or project activities

Class sizes

It is anticipated class sizes will range from 5 to 40 students, dependent on modules: some of which are shared across programmes.

Typical contact hours

Depending on your module choices, you can expect to attend around 10-25 hours of lectures and workshops per week. Some modules might also include additional supervised practical sessions (for example laboratory or field work). For each one-hour lecture, you should expect to put in additional time for private study.


The assessments will take a variety of forms for example: Parliamentary POSTnotes on future scenarios; problem sets; research summaries, examinations; student-devised assessments; presentations (group and individual); reports; and, depending on study level, group projects; group debate; interdisciplinary research projects; project dissertation.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, core, core-optional and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your core modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your core-optional and optional modules when you join us in accordance with your level of study and pathway.

Your career

This course will open up a variety of potential career paths in the rapidly expanding market for climate professionals including employment within a wide range of government, non-government and academic organisations, as well as private companies.

Chemistry at Warwick

Do you share our enthusiasm for chemistry and its applications, from medicine to renewable energy?

We are one of the UK’s top chemistry providers, highly-ranked for both teaching and research. Our courses will offer you an excellent all-round experience that allows you to explore and follow your curiosity.

The skills you will develop will equip you to pursue a future career in a number of industries with a number of employers.

Find out more about our research students’ careers and destinations on our website.

Find out more about us on our websiteLink opens in a new window

Our Postgraduate Taught courses

We offer non-accredited and Royal Society of Chemistry accredited course routes, depending on your career aspirations.

Our Postgraduate Research courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your taught course fees  

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.

How to apply for a postgraduate taught course  

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

Applicant Portal

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Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Our hosted events run throughout the year, with a mixture of virtual and in-person sessions. These events are a great way to learn more about our courses and departments, chat to current students and staff, and find out more information about accommodation, careers, and how to apply.

Postgraduate Fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

Live chats

Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.