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Unit information: Future Climates in 2021/22

Unit name Future Climates
Unit code GEOG30016
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Valdes
Open unit status Not open

GEOG20003 The Earth System



School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides an introduction to the science and impacts of climate change. It will review the basic science of climate change, and the methodologies used to make predictions of the future. It will also discuss the impact of these changes on all aspects of society and the resulting adaptation and mitigation challenges. Throughout the course, there will be emphasis on understanding the certainties and uncertainties. The interaction between climate scientists and policy and the media will also be discussed. There will also be an opportunity to analyse climate model outputs to better understand the processes and methods involved.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the results from climate model simulations;
  2. Give a reasoned account of the causes and uncertainties in future climate change predictions;
  3. Identify robust aspects of climate change science and policy and critically analyse science and policy issues.
  4. Describe the key components of the global Earth System and their interactions.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • practicals; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Information

2000 word essay (67%)

Practical report - approx 4 sides of A4 (33%)

Both assessments test all of the ILOs.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOG30016).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.