This course provides a critical introduction to understanding the politics of climate change. 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.
A theoretical consideration of the history, politics and economics of climate change is the foundation of the course, 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 governmental action on climate change.
Students will also have the opportunity to discuss and analyse relevant films that examine case studies from the Global South. They will conduct field research by participating in a climate protest or demonstration in London and undertake a short practical exercise, either a photo essay or short video of the protest, which they will present to their classmates in the final tutorials.
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 climate change, 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.
Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.
Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.
For more information please complete our enquiries form
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: 1 July - 19 July 2019
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.
- 3 weeks
Tuition Fees 2019
- Tuition fee:
Week 1: Poverty, inequality and planetary boundaries
- Nature, society and debating the Anthropocene
- Fossil fuels and the rise of the carbon economy
- Borders, walls and climate refugees
Week 2: Challenging the sceptics
- Global environmental policy and the politics of adaptation
- Feminist approaches to nature, environment and development
- Ecological materialism: taking reality seriously
Week 3: Climate crisis and contestation
- Alienation, technology and perspectives on a green economy
- Right-wing populism, racism and climate denial
- Movements for social justice and against climate change
- Averting chaos in a warming world: the transition to zero carbon
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course will offer a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).
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.
20% discount for our partner institutions
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.
The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer three 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 2019.
Application Deadline: 2019-04-12 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
How to Apply
In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
- Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
- TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.
Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help.
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 summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses