ENS5320 - Climate change, energy and human security - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Nigel Tapper


Professor Nigel Tapper

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


This is a specialist core unit for the Environmental Security specialisation. Non-cognate students in this specialisation must complete preparatory studies (Part B) prior to undertaking this specialist unit. Students undertaking this unit as an elective within other specialisations must consult with the unit coordinator about assumed foundational knowledge and preparatory material. Approval from the unit co-ordinator is required.


This unit provides a fundamental understanding of the science, policy and regulatory frameworks relating to the nexus between climate change, renewable and non-renewable energy resources. The physical science, climate models, projections and impacts are discussed along with national and international climate change policy and regulatory aspects.

The unit will develop skills and understandings to translate the best contemporary climate change science into appropriate decision-making to preserve the physical, biological and economic systems upon which human security depends. Students will also gain understanding of climate change scenario development, vulnerability assessment and mitigation and adaptation responses at organisational, community and national levels.

The unit will involve site visits to both renewable (solar arrays and wind farms) and non-renewable energy generation facilities. To facilitate these understandings visits will also be made, for example, to local government authorities in Victoria dealing with climate change vulnerabilities and assessments. The critical links between climate change, climate change impacts and human security are emphasised throughout the unit.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Articulate the fundamental scientific principles and issues related to climate change, including the differences between mitigation and adaptation policies, to a multidisciplinary audience.
  2. Critically analyse contemporary issues and debates in climate change science and demonstrate a practical understanding of the outputs, assumptions and limitations of climate change modelling, especially as it relates to scenario development.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to research, construct and deliver professional scientific evidence-based proposals, technical reports, articles and policy documents.
  4. Identify appropriate strategies and tools for climate change planning, management and impact assessment.
  5. Apply effective communication skills to collaborate across academia, government and non-governmental and corporate organisations and negotiate diverse perspectives on relevant topics.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Contact hours equivalent to 4-hours per week including 16 hours of experiential activity (field trips/site visits).

Additional requirements include at least 8-hours of independent pre and post class work.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study