Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation

Module code: GY3432

"Climate change is destroying our path to sustainability. Ours is a world of looming challenges and increasingly limited resources."

So said the then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012. Responding to these challenges, this module explores the wide-ranging impacts of human-induced climate change on our planet and our way of life.

The module will develop your existing understanding of climate change (causes and consequences) by exploring the basis for climate change models and IPCC assessments. You'll then go on to apply this knowledge to climate change impact analyses for specific regions of the world, e.g. for Sub-Saharan Africa, the UK, Southeast Asia and other areas where the teaching team have specific research knowledge. 

You'll explore a range of climate change impacts from the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are vulnerable to and able to cope with adverse impacts, to the practical and policy actions that can be taken to manage climate change risks. 

This module is open to both BSc and BA students, and will be of particular interest to those wishing to explore the links between research, policy and action.

Topics covered

  • The changing climate system
  • Climate prediction
  • Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Assessing and planning for climate change impacts, risks and vulnerabilities 
  • Climate change impacts and adaptation options for specific regions, including the UK, Europe, SE Asia, the boreal forest zone, cities, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Amazon
  • Climate change – the long-view
  • Study skills training – supporting you in producing a popular science article on some aspect of climate change and a policy-focused poster on options for climate change adaptation


  • 12 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of seminars
  • 5 hours of tutorials
  • 130 hours of guided independent study


  • Popular Science article (50%)
  • Policy report (50%)