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Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

MSc Global Energy & Climate Policy

Duration: One calendar year (full time). Two or three years (part time).

Overview

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Minimum Entry Requirements: A minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Candidates with a lower class degree but degree-relevant work experience may be considered.

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) is the first Masters programme to jointly address the issues of climate and energy policy in an interdisciplinary fashion.  It tackles policy and regulatory change, the historical and technological evolution of energy sources, energy markets and their participants, the global governance of climate change as well as the challenges associated with transitioning to a low-carbon economy. 

The programme specifically addresses the requirements of those wishing to deepen their theoretical and practical understanding of how energy and climate policies are designed, shaped, advocated and implemented and by whom across a multitude of cases drawn from the Global North and South and across multiple levels of political organisation from global to local arenas.

The MSc is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy.  It prepares for a multitude of careers in public and private contexts, including in public administration and government departments, strategic policy and risk advisory, government relations and public affairs, policy advocacy, think tanks and academia.

Guest speakers on the programme's courses have included Angus Miller (Energy Advisor, UK Foreign Office), Tom Burke (Founding Director, E3G and Environmental Policy Advisor, Rio Tinto), Jonathan Grant (Asst. Director Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC), Kash Burchett (European Energy Analyst, IHS Global Insight), Chris Dodwell (AEA Technology, former Head of International Climate Policy, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change) and Andrew Pendleton (Head of Campaigns, Friends of the Earth).

The programme draws on the teaching and research strengths of CISD and of the SOAS departments of International Politics, Law, Economics and area studies (especially of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as a wide range of languages.  In particular, students will be able to benefit from the expertise located at the Centre for Environment, Development and Policy (CEDEP), the Law School's Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC), the Centre on the Politics of Energy Security (CEPES), the Centre for Water and Development, and the SOAS Food Studies Centre.

In addition to the three core courses of Global Energy and Climate Policy (1 unit), Applied Energy and Climate Studies (0.5 units) and Global Public Policy (0.5 units) students choose a fourth course to meet their specific professional needs and personal interests.

Programme objectives
  • Excellent understanding of the nature and development of global energy and climate policy, drawing on a variety of contributing disciplines
  • Excellent knowledge of regulatory challenges and their impact on public and private stakeholders in both the Global South and North
  • Ability to critically contribute to contemporary policy debates about reforms of international energy and climate governance architectures and their interaction with national and sub-national policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Development of practical skills including policy analysis and policy advocacy, risk analysis, strategic communication and media

We welcome applications from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds.  It is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to global energy and climate policy.

Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.

Listen to a documentary podcast about the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy and CISD's 1st Annual Energy and Climate Change Conference (May 2011), organised by students.

Email: cisd@soas.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4840

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units plus 10,000 word dissertation

  1. One unit and two half units from A (compulsory)
  2. One unit (or two half units) from B or C
  3. Dissertation (compulsory) on a topic related to the programme’s core themes
A). Global Energy and Climate Policy courses
B). Additional courses available from the Centre
C). Electives

An elective course can be chosen from a wide variety available at SOAS dependent upon permission being granted by the course convenor and the student’s prior academic qualifications.

Suggested electives for Global Energy and Climate Policy students
Full Unit courses (1.0)
Half Unit courses (0.5)

We cannot guarantee that all elective courses offered during the pre-registration period will be available for each academic session.

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

The programme may be taken in one year (full time) or in two or three years part time with the schedule designed to allow participation by those in full time employment. Participants may choose a combination of courses to meet their professional needs and personal interests. The programme is convened on a multi-disciplinary basis, and teaching is through lectures, tutorials and workshops conducted by SOAS faculty and visiting specialists.

The Centre endeavours to make as many of the courses for Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) accessible to part time students. The majority of CISD lectures are at 18.00 where possible however lecture times will be rotated on a yearly basis for some courses (between evening and daytime slots) so that part time students will have access to as many courses as possible over the duration of their degree. Associated tutorials are repeated in hourly slots with the latest taking place at 20.00. Students sign up for tutorial groups at the start of term and stay in the same group throughout the academic year. There is a minimum of two and a half hours formal teaching a week (lecture and tutorial) for each GECP course taken.  Practical exercises may take place at weekends.

Teaching includes
  • Theory and practice of global energy and climate change policy as intertwined global issues
  • Practical toolkit including policy analysis and planning, risk analysis, strategic communication, policy advocacy and negotiation skills
  • Interaction with policymakers and government officials, energy industry and NGO representatives, and other practitioners
  • An elective from a wide range: International Relations, International Law, International Economics, International Security, Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World or a course offered by other SOAS departments (e.g. Development Studies, Politics, Economics, Law)
Further activities

Also included in the degree programme:

  • Week-long study trip to energy and climate change related organisations in Brussels and Paris
  • Advanced media and communication skills training by current and former BBC staff
  • Participation in workshops attended by public and private sector stakeholders
  • Opportunity to organize and run the Centre’s annual Energy and Climate Policy conference
  • Guest lectures by leading scholars and senior practitioners (visit the CISD website to listen to the podcasts)

A Student's Perspective

"I applied for the masters in Global Energy and Climate Policy at SOAS because the course description was ideally suited to my academic interests and career ambitions. I would strongly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in contemporary energy and climate issues, and the associated dark arts of policy and politics. Press coverage of real life events often coincided with a particular lecture topic, which was testament to the relevance of the course content to today’s challenges and opportunities. All in all, this was an excellent course addressing timely and topical issues, taught by enthusiastic and very knowledgeable lecturers in a first class establishment."

Tim Rippon