This course provides a critical introduction to understanding the politics of climate change under conditions of economic and political crisis. It presents a critical perspective on the relationship between the environment and development, nature, society and the Anthropocene, and focuses on the dynamics of socio-environmental change, giving attention to its material and economic, political and organisational as well as cultural and ideological dimensions. The foundation of the course is a theoretical consideration of the history, politics and economics of climate change under capitalism. This is followed by an interrogation of the diplomacy of climate change negotiations, including the Paris Agreement and the IPCC reports, feminist approaches to the environment and ecosocialism. Finally, the course examines contemporary questions to do with technology and the climate, racism and climate denial, and the potential of the movements to force capitalist states and corporations to act to address the climate crisis on the scale that is required.
For more information, please see the course handbook:
Climate Crisis: Averting Chaos in a Warming World online handbook (pdf; 94kb)
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- A critical understanding of the key theoretical debates on the environment, political ecology and the climate crisis, including an understanding of the debate over the Anthropocene
- An understanding of the nature and history of the carbon economy
- An understanding of the relationship between climate movements, the state, carbon industries and corporations, and mechanisms for sustainable transitions, and applying this understanding to country case studies
- A capacity to identify, understand and critique the agreements and policies of the institutions and governments involved in climate negotiations at a global level.
This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.
Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further information and assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please complete our enquiries form
Start of programme: 20 July - 31 July 2020
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- 2 weeks
Tuition Fees 2020
Teaching & Learning
The programme is delivered online through a Virtual Learning Environment (intranet page) that sets out the readings for each week, the guiding questions for discussion and hosts the discussion boards. This page provides a platform to share other material such as videos, internet links, quizzes and feedback on assignments. Students also have access to a vast amount of academic and policy-related material through the SOAS library.
Courses are taught intensively over two weeks between Monday - Friday. Students should expect to spend between 4-6 hours per day completing course related activities including video lectures, live tutorials, readings, forum discussion and assignments. Students studying for credit will submit a 2000-2500 word written assignment one week after the course finishes.
Each course is assessed by two online assessments (‘e-tivities’*) comprising of 30%, the remaining 70% is formed of a 2,500 word essay. The e-tivities provide formative and summative feedback to students as a means of monitoring their progress and encouraging areas in which they can improve. E-tivities will vary in format but will include article reviews, quizzes, blog posts, essay plans and more. On successful completion of the assessments, students will receive a transcript confirming the credit awarded. Students that do not require credit are strongly encouraged to take part in the e-tivities, but are not required to complete the assessments.
* An 'e-tivity' is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format that states clearly to the students its 'Purpose'; the 'Task' at hand; the contribution or 'Response' type; and the 'Outcome' (Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, New York and London: Routledge Falmer.)
Students will require regular access to a computer with a good internet connection, and the following applications installed:
- A word processor that accepts Microsoft Word formats (.doc and .docx)
- A PDF reader
Navigating Time Zones
Courses have been designed with varying time zones in mind. All lectures will be recorded for access at any time and the discussion forum is open to posts from students at all times. The limited 'live' sessions will be scheduled between 13:00 - 15:00 BST and will be recorded for any students unable to attend.
Students that successfully complete all course assessments will be awarded 15 SOAS credits. This is normally equivalent to 7.5 ECTS or 4 US credits. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply.
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
10% early-bird discount when you apply by 31 March
10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks
15% discount for SOAS Alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
20% discount for our partner institutions
Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.
For more information, please see our accommodation page.
The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.
The scholarships will cover the tuition-fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2020.
Application Deadline: 2020-03-13 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
How to Apply
Apply now to secure your place.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the course within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Apply now to secure your place.