GY427      Half Unit
Climate Change: Science, Economics and Policy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Simon Dietz


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change. This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in Environment and Development and MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. Priority will be given to students on the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change followed by students on the MSc in Environment and Development and MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation. Students on the MPA will only be offered a place if spaces are available. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.

Course content

A comprehensive guide to the issue of climate change, from fundamental concepts in climate science, through estimating the future impacts of climate change on economies and societies, to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by using economic instruments such as carbon trading. Interdisciplinary, but with an emphasis on economic analysis, albeit taught in a non-technical style.


22 hours of lectures and 7 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will carry out regular homework tasks and answer questions in lectures using Responseware.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be provided to support each course component.

The following texts will be particularly useful:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014). Climate Change 2014: Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maslin, M. (2008). Global Warming: a Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stern, N. (2007). The Economics of Climate Change: the Stern Review. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Take home exam (100%) in the period between MT and LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.9
Merit 37.3
Pass 36.9
Fail 6.8

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 96

Average class size 2018/19: 16

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills