Climate Affairs

Subject ATOC90002 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated Total Time Commitment - 170 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Robyn Schofield


Subject Overview:

Climate change is one of the most important environmental issues facing the world today. This subject will cover the basics of climate science, including climate change and climate variability, extremes, and climate prediction. This will be accompanied by an analysis of climate impacts on society, ecosystems and economies. Knowledge about the climate system in order to make sound decisions will be analysed. Climate policy and law at the national level (eg National Greenhouse Strategy) and international level (e.g., UN conventions) will be discussed. The relevance to societies, people and the environment will be covered under the umbrella topic of climate ethics, including issues such as potential winners and losers from climate change, intergenerational equity and instruments of protection.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Explain the climate system, its complexity and variability across a range of time-scales
  • Explain the greenhouse effect and its relation to longer term climate variations and climate chang
  • Apply these principles to describe climate change, feedbacks and impacts on human and natural systems
  • Critique climate science presented in scientific peer-reviewed literature and the media
  • Debate differing ethical, cultural and international perspectives and policy options pertaining to climate issues

Practical work and team based activities will be key parts of the subject and the assessment process.

Assessment is expected to be based approximately on the following:

  • Review paper (2500 words) and presentation in class 30% (due week 11 and 13)
  • Team projects (output delivered in class) 35% (due week 4 and week 12)
  • Practical assignment(s) 35% (regularly throughout semester)
Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Upon successful completion of this subject students should have obtained the following skills:

  • Demonstrate advanced independent critical enquiry and analysis
  • Apply a strong sense of intellectual integrity and ethics of scholarship
  • Produce high level writing and communication
  • Be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • To examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • Generate constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Urban Planning
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate Change
Climate Change
Environmental Science
Environmental Science
Honours Program - Earth Sciences
Integrated Water Catchment Management
Integrated Water Catchment Management
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Sustainable Forests
Sustainable Forests
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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