Course Title: Climate Change Responses

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Climate Change Responses

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Blanche Verlie

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 9344

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

As climate change proceeds, we need to think critically about how we are, and should be, responding. This course presents you with an integrated and contextualised approach to climate change responses, with a focus on social, political, cultural and psychological aspects of such responses. You will examine the relationship between climate change adaptation and mitigation and intentional responses such as climate-smart development, resilience thinking, geoengineering and carbon sequestration. You will consider how climate change responses are shaped by cultural, environmental and socio-political contexts.

This course will provide a brief introduction to global climate change science, including the role of science inn climate change discourse. It focuses on the conceptual, political and practical challenges presented by the onset of climate change. You will be required to consider how climate change responses are framed differently by different actors; starting with different perceptions about whether the responses need to be incremental or transformational. Given that we are living in ‘the urban age’ you will examine the particular challenges facing urban dwellers and urban planners. You will grapple with questions related to ethics, equity, vulnerability and capacity, and the potential for systemic changes such as relocation, and decarbonisation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

• Outline the key cultural, societal, psychological and ethical challenges posed by the onset of global climate change;

• Identify some of the different ways in which climate change challenges are being perceived and represented;

• Explain some of the uneven and unpredictable effects of climate change and offer some reasons for differing vulnerabilities and capacities to respond;

• Relate climate change responses to the impacts of, and responses to, other global challenges;

• Identify drivers, risks and opportunities associated with other responses such as carbon sequestration and geoengineering;

• Compare climate change responses in Australia to those unfolding on other parts of the world.

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

• Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge of principles and practices in natural resource management, sustainability, globalisation and environmental management to professional practice or further study;

• Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on knowledge related to the social implications of environmental concerns and challenges both in Australia and globally;

• Analyse stakeholder needs and the design, planning, resourcing and development of projects in environmental and social sustainability;

• Assist in the identification of needs, and the design, planning, resourcing and development of projects in environmental and social sustainability;

• Reflect on the experience of personal and professional practice in international and cross-cultural settings and to act in professionalized settings responsibly, ethically and with integrity.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will include weekly lectures and weekly tutorial/workshops in which ideas are discussed and individual and group communication skills are developed. It will feature a number of presentations by guest lecturers.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will be provided with a course reading pack and be given access to a course online learning site.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment will be based on tasks such as: analysis of how a selected real-world climate change initiative frames the climate change problem; case study research on the challenges and opportunities that climate change responses pose for particular groups in society; and reflection about your own actual and potential responses to climate change.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: