Understanding the challenges of climate change

Université Catholique de Lille

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Understanding the challenges of climate change

  • Host University

    Université Catholique de Lille

  • Location

    Lille, France

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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


    To take this course, the students should have a good university level and should normally have completed at least one semester at university. Students should have a minimum scientific background. They must have some ability to work as a group and be able to communicate easily in English at a standard university level. In other respects, the course is intended to serve a mix of
    profiles and learning backgrounds for a more diverse international learning experience.
    For the French course, none. Courses are from beginner to advanced level. An initial placement test evaluates students’ linguistic skills including listening, reading, and grammar. An interview with a French teacher assesses speaking ability. Following the placement test, the number of level groups are determined depending on the total number of students and are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

    Climate change is one of the main challenges we are facing worldwide. This course will provide students with a better understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as an overview and discussion on adaptation and mitigation strategies. 
    Topics to be covered will include the following questions:

    • How does the Climate System work? What are the phenomena behind Climate Change?
    • What are the causes/who is responsible for?
    • What is the evidence of Climate Change? What can we already observe?
    • What are the climate projections for 2050 – 2100 horizons? How are climate projections modeled?
    • What are the expected impacts of climate change? For example, on Agriculture?
    • What are the possible mitigation and adaptation strategies? How can we act? What are the current objectives?

    The study of the impacts, as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies, will focus on the French and/or European level. Climate change’s impacts and strategies will be illustrated in specific activities, such as Agriculture, as it is an area of expertise of our university.
    Join this course, as having a thorough understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change is a first step to raising awareness and making a change!
    The French course will provide students with an introduction to the French language and culture.

    Course sessions will include:

    Reading comprehension, Written expression, Oral expression,
    Listening comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar. Dependent on student level, the educational method focuses on practical work: grammatical exercises with multiple examples and oral practice, listening to oral materials with increasingly difficult characteristics, discussions, presentations and debates, role play, writing short essays and summaries.

    Learning Outcomes.
    At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

    • Understand the main causes and consequences of climate change
    • Communicate and explain the causes and consequences of climate change to various audiences
    • Be an ambassador to raise awareness
    • Provide arguments on the evidence of climate change and stress the urgency to act at all levels
    • To read and analyze climatic data
    • Describe the main strategies that could be implemented at different scales to adapt and mitigate climate change, and the current objectives
    • Debate and decipher the news on the subject.

    For the French course, appropriate to the assigned course level, the students will be able to:

    • Express themselves through phrases or sentences (daily life, asking questions, discussion on familiar topics, speaking in public, efficiently and fluently)
    • Understand and use common expressions (understand what people say at different speeds and with different accents, use traditional welcome expressions and courtesy)
    • Use and categorize information in a written document
    • Express opinions and answer precise questions
    • Better understand French culture 

    French contact hours = 60 minutes (in some countries/institutions, 1 contact hour = 45-50 minutes)

    Climate Change:

    Form             Number of hours         Comments
    lectures, in-class, on-site

    9 hours

    1. Fundamentals on the climate system and understanding the causes of climate change.
    2. Analysis on the impacts of Climate Change.
    3. Adaptation and mitigation strategies and policies. 
    Activities in
    9 hours
    1. Climate Collage.
    2. Exercises with climate data for climate change
    3. impacts’ analysis and projections.
    4. Group work presentation and debate. 
    Visit 3 hours Site visit.
    personal work /
    7 hours Including group project preparation.
    Student total
    30 hours  


    Form             Number of hours         Comments
    lectures, in-class, on-site

    18 hours

    6 sessions of 3 hours
    Activities in


    personal work /
    6 hours  
    Student total
    24 hours  



    The course will include various interactive teaching modalities:
    - Lectures 
    - Innovative activities such as a game (climate collage), debates…
    - Group work
    - Activities (climate data analysis, carbon footprint calculation…)
    - Discussions
    - Visit and/or professional expertise sharing: a few visits and/or lectures from important local actors should be proposed.

    All course materials will be supplied in class. References may be made to the following resources:

    • Data and reports from IPCC
    • Climate data from Météo-France and the DRIAS Plateform
    • Various scientific literature on climate change (French and European scientific studies)



    Climate Change:

    Form Number Comments
    Final exam (30%) 1 Examination covering all aspects of the course (quizzes and/or short-answers questions)
    Group work (50%) 1 Oral presentation on the group work.
    Others (student participation...) (20%)   Attendance, participation, and contribution to group discussion


    Form Number Comments
    Final exam (60%) 1 Examination covering all aspects of the course 
    Continuous assessment (20%)   Test, presentations.
    Others (student participation...) (20%)   Attendance, participation, and contribution to group discussion

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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