BA Politics and Modern History / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
The Politics of Climate Change

Unit code POLI31071
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Politics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course unit aims to:

1.       Explore the politics of climate change, at multiple scales and through a range of perspectives.

2.       Develop students’ research skills.

3.       Develop students’ capacities for collaborative work and group learning.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to demonstrate:

1.       Understanding of the key perspectives on climate change politics

2.       An ability to undertake empirical research on a particular dimension of climate change politics

3.       Advanced reasoning and collaborative skills.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be taught on the basis of ten two-hour interactive lectures and ten one-hour tutorials based on a range of readings. The tutorials will involve group presentations connected to the topic of the students’ research paper, and provision will be made for the possibility of submission of research papers by groups rather than individuals.

The Blackboard site for the course will contain relevant links to further sources and websites. Seminar material will also be posted on the site. 

Assessment methods

Essay: 2,100 words worth 30% (due in week 6)

Research Paper: 3,500 words 50% (due in week 12)

Group Presentation: 30 minutes presentation worth 20%

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

Dessler, Andrew and Edward Parson (2010) The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, Kate (2006) Funny Weather: Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Climate Change But Probably Should Find Out. London: Myriad Press. Available at: 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Watt Unit coordinator

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