• 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, Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Development Studies, Environmental Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof James Pittock
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Spring Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course includes on campus activities between 7-18 Sept. Check timetable. Contact course convener if you are unable to travel to Canberra.

This course examines the climate change problem in terms of vulnerability and adaptation from primarily scientific, societal and policy perspectives. There is now a certain amount of unavoidable climate change, and therefore a need to adapt to these changing climatic conditions and their consequences. The need to adapt, and the kinds of adaptation responses necessary will depend on how the climate changes at a specific location over time, whether the direct or indirect impacts are positive or negative, and the capacity of people and systems to respond. Participants in this intensive course (two weeks) will gain knowledge of methods for assessing climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, as well as how societies in developed and developing nations can effectively adapt to climate change.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the kinds of climate change adaptation responses that may be necessary and the risks, costs and benefits that these may entail
  2. Understand key theories, analytical methods and sources of information for climate change adaptation.
  3. Critically consider the elements of effective climate change adaptation policies at national and sub-national scales.

Other Information

There is a small additional field trip fee of around $30 applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop). 

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 short written assignments and a presentation (40) [LO 1,2]
  2. A critique of a climate change adaptation policy of a nation (or sub-national jurisdiction) (50) [LO 3]
  3. Course participation (10) [LO 1,2]

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 including:

  • A 65 hour face-to face component delivered intensively over two weeks comprising lectures, practicals and field excursions.
  • Approximately 65 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentation and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined.

Prescribed Texts

Key reference for pre-reading:

  • Field, C and Van Aalst, M, 2014. Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Working Group II. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/

Preliminary Reading

... and more on Wattle!

Assumed Knowledge

The course is accessible for masters students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds.



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

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.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9314 07 Sep 2020 08 Sep 2020 02 Oct 2020 12 Oct 2020 In Person View

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