• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Policy Studies

Please direct all enquiries and correspondence to envs3020-convener@anu.edu.au Biennial course offered in 2019. Not offered in 2020.

Climate change as a result of human activities, or anthropogenic global warming, is now generally accepted as reality and includes a wide range of climatic processes and impacts in the global system that are affected by human 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 an understanding of the global carbon cycle. Current and likely future impacts of global warming on ecosystems and human activities are also considered, including biodiversity, system buffering and resilience, and regional inequality and vulnerability. Societal response strategies are also investigated, focussing on international environmental treaties, international and Australian policy approaches to global warming, and management and adaptation strategies.

Practical workshops focus on developing understanding of the carbon intensity of energy use, effective climate change communication, and science-policy interaction in the area of climate change.

Contributors to the course may include academic experts from across the ANU and representatives of various government departments, industry and business groups and research organisations.

Honours Pathway Option

Subject to the approval of the course convenor; students taking this option will be expected to complete advanced readings or other research-related activities relevant to the course, and to discuss their learning in a series of four seminars (a minimum of 10% of overall assessment). All other assessment and requirements remain the same. 

Learning Outcomes

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

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

Other Information

If you do not meet the requisites for this course, it may be possible to receive a permission code. If you are prompted for a permission code on ISIS, please request one online via the following form

Indicative Assessment

  1. Two quizzes (30) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Short report on a topic related to climate change science communication (15) [LO 1,2]
  3. Briefing paper on national interest issues in climate change policy negotiation (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Major report and debate focussing on issues of national interest and equity in international climate change policy negotiations (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures plus 1 x 3 hour workshop per week
  • Approximately 58 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 72 units towards a degree. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS6307.

Prescribed Texts

Please refer to the course WATTLE site.



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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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
6790 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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