• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Janette Lindesay
  • Mode of delivery Blended
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

Biennial course. Next offered in 2015. Not offered in 2016.

Global environmental change and particularly climate change, as a result of human activities is now generally accepted as reality. ‘Global warming’ is the term currently used to describe a wide range of climatic processes and impacts in the global system that is affected by anthropogenic activities.

This course provides an introduction to climate change science, impacts and policy implications. The fundamentals are provided in an overview of climate change science, focussing on the atmospheric processes that drive climatic variability and change, and the roles of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the global carbon cycle. The likely impacts of global warming on ecosystems and human activities are also considered, including biodiversity, system buffering and resilience, and regional inequality and vulnerability. Finally, possible response strategies are investigated, focusing on international environmental treaties, international and Australian policy approaches to global warming, and management and adaptation strategies.

Practical work and tutorials are directed towards an understanding of the carbon intensity of energy use, and science-policy interaction in the area of climate change.

Contributors to the course may include staff of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Research School of Biology, the Research School of Earth Sciences, the College of Asia and the Pacific, the College of Arts and Social Sciences, the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, the Faculties of Law and Engineering, and representatives of various government departments, industry and business groups and research organisations.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. critically evaluate current understandings of the science of climate change, including future climate scenario development
2. critically appraise information about current and future impacts of climate change on biophysical and social systems, and vulnerability to climate change
3. critically evaluate a range of response strategies to climate change, including international and Australian adaptation and mitigation policy approaches
4. debate and critique future climate change policy in the context of the international climate change negotations, with application to their professional experience.

Indicative Assessment

Students who fail to submit work by the due date or fail to participate in classes, practicals and tutorials may be excluded from examination. Assessment will be based on:

  • Practical report on a selected topic relevant to local climate change adapation and mitigation strategies (30%; LO 1, 2, 3)
  • Tutorial facilitation, including written tutorial rationale and discussion questions, based on selected readings (20%; LO 1, 2, 3)
  • Major report and debate focussing on issues of national interest and equity in international climate change policy negotations (50%; LO 1, 2, 3, 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


60 hours contact, comprising lectures, practicals and tutorials .

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed SRES6507 or ENVS3020.

Preliminary Reading

IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, eds Pachauri, RK and Reisinger, A., Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 104 pp.

(see: <http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/contents.html>)



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9552 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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