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Unit information: Climate Crisis and International Security in 2021/22

Unit name Climate Crisis and International Security
Unit code POLIM0052
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ashley Dodsworth
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This module will explore the implications of climate change for international security, assessing how the destructive transformation of the earth’s resources and environment will impact the current world order. The course will cover the key areas of economic security, energy security and territorial security, as well as the role of climate change in driving conflict and global migration. Students will also explore the international efforts to limit the effects of and adapt to climate change, from international summits and negotiations to specific policies such as emission trading, and assess whether these measures will be enough to secure human life.

The aims of the unit are:

  • to explain the different ways in which climate change threatens international security
  • to explore the measures different actors have taken to try and mitigate this
  • to enable students to develop their skills in critical thinking and writing

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the threat of global climate change and its causes
  • Critically assess the ways in which climate change may create and drive conflict
  • Explain how climate change may affect economic, territorial and energy security as well as the issue of climate migration
  • Critically evaluate the international measures that have been taken to limit and adapt to climate change and suggest strategies for future action

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

25% 1500 article review 75% 4000 word essay


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. POLIM0052).

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.