ATS2324 - Climate change communication - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 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

Communications and Media Studies

Chief examiner(s)

Dr David Holmes


Dr David Holmes

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


The unit looks at the divide between climate science communication and the media coverage of climate change. It examines six barriers to the successful communication of climate change: the nature of climate change itself, the nature of scientific cultures, the denialist industry around the world, concentrated media ownership in Australia vs social media, the particular culture of environmental reporting in Australia, and the denaturing of experience that results from urban life.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. explain the relationship between political climates and media power in the communication of climate change in Australia;
  2. discuss the levels of climate literacy that exist within Australia compared to other nations around the world;
  3. recognise which aspects of the science are included within climate reporting and which aspects are omitted;

4 analyse the challenges climate scientists have in communicating climate change in Australia;

  1. apply key media frameworks for mapping the 'media ecology' of climate change communication;
  2. evaluate of the efficacy of social media in communicating climate change.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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