SCI1300 - Climate change: From science to society - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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 Christian Jakob


Professor Christian Jakob

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


ATM1020, MON1001


Climate change is a key global challenge for modern society. It will affect all natural and human systems and has far-reaching consequences for society. Responding to the effects of climate change will require international and interdisciplinary approaches. This unit provides the scientific background to climate change, and it assesses the environmental and societal impacts, and community and political responses to climate change. Starting from the basic principles and processes that define and govern the Earth's climate, the unit explores how the different spheres on Earth interact to produce the rich past and current variability of climate in space and time. It then highlights how human influences are shaping the future of the Earth's climate. Equipped with the essential scientific background, the unit will then investigate what options humankind has to respond to the economic, ethical and political challenges of climate change, including global and national governance models required to mitigate and adapt to its effects. The unit will provide students with the foundation and knowledge to respond to climate change challenges throughout their career, independent of their specific discipline.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic scientific concepts underpinning natural climate change, anthropogenic climate change and responses;
  2. Critically evaluate information on climate change, climate change impacts and responses from a variety of sources including scientific reports, blogs and the media;
  3. Develop, apply, integrate and generate knowledge to analyse and solve problems in climate change, its impacts and the options for possible societal responses;
  4. Demonstrate competence in information technology, data handling, problem solving, communication skills and team work;
  5. Convey the basic concepts of climate change, its impacts and possible responses to diverse audiences.


Projects: 40%

Essay: 20%

In-semester tests: 20%

Tutorial/laboratory class participation: 20%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures per week, one 2-hour tutorial/laboratory class per week, plus private study/research time such that the total workload is 144 hours

See also Unit timetable information