Living with Environmental Change

Module code: GY7406
Module co-ordinator: Dr Caroline Upton

Environmental change and its effects are of great concern to us all. They increasingly impact on our daily lives as well as featuring prominently in media stories about all parts of the world. How can we as individuals - researchers, policy makers and practitioners - best understand and respond to these changes, and learn from the ways in which others do so?

In this module you will draw on recent and ongoing cutting-edge research from staff members in both the natural and social sciences to explore these questions. From new thinking about ‘sustainability’ in both rural and urban spaces to concerns with environmental/climate justice, adaptation and socio-cultural responses to environmental change, we will critically explore how we are learning to live with environmental change.

We will consider the history, meanings and enactments of ‘sustainability' and look at what this means in a variety of spaces and places, including in urban contexts. We will also discuss the social and cultural dimensions of adaptation and responses to environmental change, as well as the perhaps more familiar focus on technological solutions and models. 

In considering environmental/climate justice, will will ask what this means in the context of particular case studies and policy approaches. We will also take a critical approach to the concept of ‘ecosystem services’ and explore its enactments, for example through Payment for Ecosystem Services schemes and the concept of ‘atmospheric services’.


  • 18 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of seminars
  • 180 hours of guided independent study


  • Short report (25%)
  • Essay (75%)