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Unit information: Climate Change and Education in 2021/22

Unit name Climate Change and Education
Unit code EDUCM0090
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Keri Facer
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

We live in a time that is increasingly concerned with the complex issue of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in a 2018 report that we had only 12 years to limit catastrophic climate change. Yet we continue to live in a world where climate warming rapidly accelerates, with unprecedented numbers of wildfires, water crises, destructive storm surges and increased melting of ice sheets. These changes have wider implications, including health impacts such as ‘eco-anxiety’ and social repercussions of internal climate migration and worldwide protests calling for urgent action. Education in and beyond schools can play a crucial role in shaping how we understand and respond to climate change, influencing and being influenced by a range of social, political and environmental forces.

This unit aims to:

  • Provide students with conceptual frameworks for critically and systematically understanding the material, social and cultural causes and consequences of climate change (What is climate change?)
  • Foster students’ critical understanding of the educational and pedagogic practices that recognize and respond to the complexities of climate change and its consequences. (How can we best teach about climate change?)
  • Build an understanding of the wider role that schools and other learning organisations play in developing informed, critical and hopeful actions that adapt to and shape the world around us. (What educational practices develop emotional resilience and hope?)
  • Develop the collaborative experiences, emotional tools and critical thinking skills required to develop strategic interventions to address climate change through education or informal learning. (How can educators and education contribute towards wider climate action?)

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the complex causes and consequences of climate change
  2. Discuss and evaluate different educational and pedagogic practices found in formal and informal climate change education
  3. Critically analyse the role of education, schools and other learning organisations in responding to the complexities of social, political, emotional and environmental issues related to climate change
  4. Develop and critically analyse a strategic intervention in educational or informal learning settings to address climate change challenges

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of lectures, class discussion, case studies, debates, critical analysis of key readings and group presentations.

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:

Critical reflection on a case study of climate change education (1000 words, 25%, ILOs 1&2)

Essay to discuss and critically analyse a strategic intervention to address an aspect of climate change in educational settings (3000 words, 75%, ILOs 1-4).

There will also be opportunities for formative assessment provided to students through poster presentation, group discussions, debate and critical analysis of key readings. Tutorials will also be offered for assessment support.


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. EDUCM0090).

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.