Adapting to Climate Change

Subject ENST90034 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

April, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 06-Apr-2015
Teaching Period 13-Apr-2015 to 19-May-2015
Assessment Period End 27-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Apr-2015
Census Date 24-Apr-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 29-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Students will attend four hours of lectures and seminars per week and should expect to commit a total of 170 hours to this subject over a semester including study time and examinations.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students are expected to have a general understanding of the nature of anthropogenic climate change, and its likely range of impacts on human conditions.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Jon Barnett


The Graduate School of Science

Current Student Enquiries
Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Future Student Enquiries

Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on climate change adaptation, and in particular its environmental, political, social and policy dimensions. It explores the ways which climate change poses risks to human wellbeing, and the ways these risks can be managed. It draws on examples from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It explains that adaptation and its success can be thought of and approached in multiple ways, shaped in part by existing interests and the varied and dynamic places in which adaptation is being consciously or unconsciously implemented. The subject also highlights that adaptation poses as well as addresses risks, and that decisions about adaptation need to be considered critically and iteratively. Topics include:

  • Issues of complexity, uncertainty, knowledge, power, and practice in researching and implementing climate change
  • The relationship between adaptation and other processes of change, including development
  • Strategies for change at global, regional, local and individual scales, their inter-relations and how they may be facilitated.
Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subjects students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with climate change adaptation theories and practices
  • identify strategies to facilitate adaptation in a range of settings; and
  • begin to evaluate the possible strengths and weaknesses of different adaptation strategies in various situations.
  • An annotated bibliography (1500 words) due on May 15 (30%).

  • A 10 minute presentation on an adaptation case study (10%).

  • An essay (3000 words) due two weeks after the last day of the teaching intensive, 60%.

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

There will be a subject reader for this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students will have:

  • specialist knowledge in the fields of climate change adaptation and policy
  • an ability to apply social-science theories to explain climate change challenges
  • an ability to critically evaluate strategies for facilitating climate change adaptation in a range of contexts
  • a detailed understanding of climate change risks and responses in at least one practical setting
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate Change
Climate Change
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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