The Science of Climate Change

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Science of Climate Change

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Non-modular pre-requisites: GCSE Science Grade C

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Summary module description:

    This module provides an introduction to the science of climate change, aimed at students who do not necessarily have a scientific background. It provides the background for a deep and informed understanding of one of today?s key global challenges. Why is climate changing, and how will it change in the future? How can we predict future climate? What is a ?dangerous? climate change? And how can we construct and use knowledge of climate change to inform adaptation and mitigation?

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module, the student will be able to:

    Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanisms and processes behind climate change
    Demonstrate an ability to interpret and critically evaluate projections of future climate and its impacts
    Demonstrate an understanding of the current scientific understanding of climate change, and how this informs policy

    Additional outcomes:
    The student will gain a sound scientific background for further study into other scientific, social, economic, legal and political dimensions of climate change and responses to it.

    Outline content:
    The climate system
    Modelling past, present and future climate change
    Projecting the future
    The impacts of climate change: what is dangerous?
    Adapting to climate change
    Mitigating climate change

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The module will be largely lecture based but with a practical session using a simple computer based climate model

    Summative Assessment Methods:

    Written exam 70%
    Written assignment including essay 30%

    Other information on summative assessment:

    Formative assessment methods:
    A Blackboard Quiz on lectures 1-4 in week 4 (unassessed).

    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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