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Programme approval 2013/14
1. Programme title and designation
For undergraduate programmes only
Single honours
MA Climate Change: History, Culture,
2. Final award
Climate Change:
History, Culture,
3. Nested award
4. Exit award
Any special criteria
Any special criteria
Any special criteria
Postgraduate Climate Change:
History, Culture,
Postgraduate Climate Change:
History, Culture,
5. Level in the qualifications framework
6. Attendance
Mode of attendance
Minimum length of programme
Maximum length of programme
7. Awarding institution/body
8. Teaching institution
9. Proposing department
10. Programme organiser and contact
11. Relevant QAA subject benchmark/
1 year
6 years
2 years
6 years
King’s College London
King’s College London
Prof. Mike Hulme
[email protected]
Professional, statutory and regulatory body
12. Date of production of specification
13. Date of programme review
Students take 3 x 20 credit
compulsory modules
(7SSG2002, 7SSG5208,
7SSG5210); 1 x 60 credit
core dissertation
(7SSG5211); and 60-90
credits optional modules, of
which at least 20 credits
must be from the list of
prescribed optional
modules specified for this
May 2014
Programme approval 2013/14
14. Educational aims of the programme
This Master’s programme starts from the premise that since the idea of climate change has
penetrated into all aspects of human life, it is no longer possible to adequately understand and
address the risks posed by climate change through only scientific, political and economic analysis.
The programme therefore aims to provide students with the theories, methods and skills to analyse
climate change from different historical and cultural perspectives, thereby enabling them to better
understand how people in different settings around the world make sense of climate change and how
they respond to it.
Specifically, the programme aims:
 To provide students with an appreciation of the importance of multidisciplinary social, cultural and
historical approaches to analysis of climate change
 To broaden and deepen students’ appreciation of the nature of evidence for human modification
of climate, how people evaluate such evidence and how/why they act upon it
 To enable students to understand why different people in different cultures assess the evidence
for, risks of, and responses to climate change in different ways
 To encourage students to critically assess the range of possible responses to climate change
 To equip students with the multidisciplinary skills necessary to address complex research and
policy questions emanating from the social dimensions of climate change, drawing on insights
from geography, environmental studies, history, anthropology, and science and technology
 To provide a stimulating teaching and learning environment by allowing students to benefit from
first hand exposure to staff research
 To provide an open and supportive learning environment by encouraging students to draw on a
broad range of theoretical and empirical perspectives
 To offer skilled supervision to enable students to attain a level of competence in the design and
execution of a research project in the social dimensions of climate change
15. Educational objectives of the programme/programme outcomes (as relevant to the
SEEC Credit Level Descriptors)
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and
understanding and skills in the following areas:
 an understanding of core concepts in environmental history, cultural and media studies, human
geography, anthropology and STS and their contribution to interdisciplinary analysis of climate
 an appreciation of key debates on the inter-relationships between climate and society, including:
the agency of climate in human history; beliefs, narratives and perceptions of climate and climate
change today and in the past; the interrelationships of climate and human culture; the emergence
and co-production of climate knowledge
 discussions of the social and historical construct of climatic knowledge from a variety of
disciplinary perspectives
 critical assessment of theoretical approaches to climate adaptation and disaster management and
the role of historical analysis in informing such debates
 the ability to apply key concepts in a range of applied subject areas to outstanding and emerging
policy, management and development debates in relation to climate change
 the ability to undertake empirical and/or theoretical research and present findings in a
professional manner
 the acquisition of transferable competences and skills, equipping them for a career as a
professional in the public, private or third sector, or to proceed to the next stage of a higher
degree by research
Programme approval 2013/14
Knowledge and understanding
The programme provides a knowledge
These are achieved through the
and understanding of the following:
following teaching/learning methods
and strategies:
differing and changing conceptual and
theoretical understandings of the idea of
theoretical and empirical debates on the
role of climate variability in societal shifts
in human history
narratives of climate change in the past
and the emergence of contemporary
climate discourse
theoretical and empirical discussions on
the role of historical case studies in
contemporary climate-related disaster
the role of worldviews and beliefs in
shaping knowledge of climate change
across different cultural and historical
cultural representations of climate change
in image, fiction, art and performance
the different political and social debates
underpinning policy responses to climate
change, including the role of power
dynamics, values, beliefs and
an appreciation of different research
methods in the study of climate history,
culture and society
All of the topics are embedded in the
compulsory modules ‘7SSG5208 Climate
Change and Culture’ and ‘7SSG5210
Climate: Science and History’. Points 6 to 8
are also studied in more depth and in
diverse contexts through the optional
modules which are available as part of the
programme. Point 8 is additionally covered
through the Dissertation module. Teaching
methods involve lectures, seminars,
coursework presentations and research
project supervision. Additionally, students
are expected to engage in directed reading
and extensive use of the library resources
(including electronic forms of learning
Assessment of knowledge, understanding
and skills is an integrated process. Across
the programme students’ work is
summatively assessed though coursework
essays and projects, oral presentations,
and group and individual research projects,
including a dissertation. These methods are
integrated with formative oral feedback in
seminars. Additionally, specific formative
feedback is provided on the coursework
assessment form and the coursework that
is returned to the student.
Skills and other attributes
Intellectual skills:
the ability to assess contrasting theories,
explanations and policies in relation to
climate change
the ability to combine insights from a
range of disciplines, including climatology,
human geography, history, cultural and
media studies, anthropology, sociology
and science and technology studies
the ability to recognise and critically
assess ‘wicked’ problems such as climate
change, which defy rational solution
the ability to perform a critical reading of
published studies and to evaluate their
rigour, validity and relevance
the ability to think critically and
the ability to plan, develop and undertake
a research project in climate history,
culture and society
These are achieved through the
following teaching/learning methods
and strategies:
All the intellectual skills listed are
developed explicitly with reference to the
substantive content of the programme
through engaging with key concepts in the
social dimensions on climate change in the
compulsory modules. They are developed
further in the optional modules, which give
the opportunity to go into greater
systematic/topical depth.
Intellectual skills 4, 5 and 6 are additionally
the subject of the compulsory research
methods module 7SSG5002 Practising
Social Research and the dissertation.
See above for details of assessment.
Programme approval 2013/14
Practical skills:
the ability to undertake an independent
research project
the ability to present findings in a
professional manner, both orally and in
writing and including the use of
PowerPoint and other aids to public
the ability to identify and source
secondary literature and primary research
the ability to use appropriate information
These are achieved through the
following teaching/learning methods
and strategies:
The Research Methods module 7SSG5002
Practising Social Research, which is a
compulsory element of the MA Climate
Change degree, addresses the need to
develop a skills base for students and
forms a spine of M-Level methodological
training. These skills focus on issues of
research design as well as data generation,
analysis and interpretation. This culminates
in the production of a dissertation relating
to Climate Change: History, Culture,
Society at the end of the programme.
Practical skills are further developed
through the compulsory modules, which
make use of case studies as well as
coursework and presentations.
Presentational skills are enhanced through
the preparation and delivery of formal
presentations throughout the key modules.
See above for details of assessment
Generic/transferable skills:
The ability to tackle problems in a rigorous
and open-minded fashion, in a spirit of
critical enquiry
2. Develop effective and sustainable
learning skills
3. Work effectively as a member of a team
4. Manage time and input to best effect in
fulfilling individual assignments
5. Make effective use of IT
6. Write clear and well-focused reports
7. Deliver findings to audiences with clarity
and confidence
These are achieved through the
following teaching/learning methods
and strategies:
Generic and transferable skills are
developed throughout the teaching and
learning programme outlined above and
specifically through individual and group
assignments in the compulsory modules
and, where applicable, across the spectrum
of option modules.
See above for details of assessment.
16. Statement of how the programme has been informed by the relevant subject
benchmark statement(s)/professional, statutory and regulatory body guidelines
The underlying rationale and principles of the MA Climate Change: History, Culture Society
programme reflect the ethos of the Geography Benchmark Statement which explicitly acknowledges
that given the breadth of Geography and “its value in providing a plurality of ways of knowing and
understanding the world…institutions offering degree programmes in Geography must be free to
decide upon the details of content and organisation”. The MA Climate Change: History, Culture
Society programme builds on the benchmark statement for higher qualifications and adds significant
value to the undergraduate level programmes through both its increased depth and its widened skills.
In line with the University of London’s guidelines on Masters level programmes, the study has been
informed by research at the forefront of the discipline. By the completion of the programme students
will have shown “originality in the application of knowledge, and they will understand how the
boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research. They will be able to deal with complex
issues both systematically and creatively, and they will show originality in tackling and solving
17. In cases of joint honours programmes please provide a rationale for the particular
subject combination, either educational or academic
Programme approval 2013/14
18. Programme structure
See Programme Handbook for modules to be taken
*Students must take 60-90 credits optional modules, of which 20 credits must be from the list of prescribed options. Not all options in the prescribed list or under “other
optional modules” are offered every year.
may take up to 20 credits of their programme’s optional modules, in departments/institutes outside of the Geography Department (i.e., non-7SSG modules).
Approval will be subject to justification to and written approval of their Programme Director using the Permission to take modules in other KCL Departments/Institutes
form (see and subject to availability and signed permission from the appropriate department/institute
administrator (in the exterior department/institute) to allow them on the module.
If a Masters programme, are level 6 credit levels permitted within the programme?
Maximum number of credits permitted with a condoned fail (core modules excluded)
20 (or 30 if optional module undertaken is 30 credits)
Are students permitted to take any additional credits, as per regulation A3; 5.9?
Yes. Students may take up to 210 credits with written permission of the programme director, although this will generally not be encouraged.
Are students permitted to take a substitute module, as per regulation A3; 5.10?
Are there are any exceptions to the regulations regarding credits, progression or award requirements?
Other relevant information to explain the programme structure
Part-time students must take a minimum of 60 credits of compulsory modules (including 7SSG5002 Practising Social Research) in their first year of study.
Part-time students must submit the non-assessed element of the Dissertation (Dissertation proposal) in their first year of study and their completed
Dissertation in their second year of study.
Programme approval 2013/14
19. Marking criteria
The College generic criteria for assessment of postgraduate work apply to the assessment
of this Programme.
20. Will this Programme report to an existing Board, and if so which one? If a new
Programme Board of Examiners is to be set up please note name of Board here
Postgraduate Geography Board of Examiners (existing)
21. Please confirm that the process for nominating External Examiners has
commenced, and if known, note whom the nominated External Examiner(s) may be
We have begun the process for considering appropriate external examiners, and whether
existing external examiners that serve on the Geography Board of Examiners might have
this new programme added to their set of programmes that they oversee.
22. Measures to help ensure that the programme is inclusive to all students
All sessions are taught in Strand or Waterloo main buildings, which are accessible to
students with disabilities. Teaching staff are located in a building which is also accessible to
students with disabilities. Staff liaise with the School’s disability advisor, on any issue
affecting a disabled student. All students have access to Student Welfare Services.
The programme follows the general King’s policy on facilitating access for disabled students.
We will check whether successful applicants have declared a disability on the application
form and where appropriate, consult the Disability Advisory Service to discuss any
necessary arrangements. If there is a disabled student taking a module or modules, then the
programme administrator will ensure that rooms which allow ready access are booked.
At induction all students will be informed of the College’s provision for disability support and
encouraged to seek an assessment at the earliest opportunity if they feel they might need
this support. It will then be up to them to decide if they want to use any assessment that is
made. Any special needs will be communicated by the programme officer to all relevant
colleagues (or to particular staff, as authorised by the student).
Teaching staff will disseminate lecture handouts and teaching materials electronically, either
as e-mail attachments or using the College e-learning service, or both. This will allow the
subsequent application of aids for reading and comprehension.
The personal tutor system will be exploited to make sure that students have a point of
contact to discuss any difficulties with the academic demands of the programme as well as
any personal difficulties, so that the tutor can advise the student where to get help.
The Department of Geography have in place formal and informal systems of ongoing as well
as end-of-module evaluation so that staff can be responsive to feedback. These include
student reps who attend Masters/Staff student meetings and end of module evaluations,
informing students of procedures in case of problems. These comprise of informing the
member of staff teaching the relevant module in the first instance, and next informing the
programme director of any problems, if necessary through the intermediary of the class reps.
All staff teaching on this programme have specified office hours.
Students will be strongly advised to support one another through study groups.
Programme approval 2013/14
Not all of the information in this section will be relevant for all programmes and for some
programmes this section will not be relevant at all
1. Programme name
MA Climate Change: History, Culture, Society
2. Is this programme involved in collaborative activity?
If yes what type of Collaborative Provision is it (tick appropriate box)?
Does the programme have an access/feeder
Programme for entry into it?
Does the programme have an articulation/
progression agreement for entry into it?
Dual Award
Franchised Provision
Joint Award
Multiple Award
Partnership Programme
Recognition of Study or Award of Credit through
off-campus study or placement
Placements, including those in industry, those required for
teacher education, experience necessary for qualifications in
the health professions and continuing professional development
Staff and student exchange
Provision of learning support, resources or specialist facilities
Validated provision
Distance learning and online delivery involving work with
delivery organisations or support providers
Programme approval 2013/14
Have the relevant stages and appropriate paperwork been approved and the paperwork
forwarded onto QAS Office?
Not applicable
3. If the programme is a joint award with an institution outwith the University of
London, validated provision or franchised provision, has the necessary approval been
sought from College Education Committee?
Not applicable
Please attach a copy of Part 1 of the Partner Profile and checklist submitted to the College
Education Committee
4. Partnership programme - in cases where parts or all of the programme are
delivered away from one of the College campuses by a body or bodies external to the
College please provide the following details
[Not applicable]
Name and address of the off-campus location and external body
Percentage/amount of the programme delivered off-campus or by external body
Nature of the involvement of external body
Description of the learning resources available at the off-campus location
What mechanisms will be put in place to ensure the ongoing monitoring of the delivery of the
programme, to include monitoring of learning resources off-site or by the external body?
Please attach the report of the visit to the off-campus location
5. Recognition of study or award of credit through off-campus study or placement please indicate how the time will be spent, the length of time out, the amount of credit
and whether it is a compulsory or optional part of the programme
Year abroad, Year in employment,
Other (please
Time spent: …Credit amount ………..Compulsory/optional.……………
6. Please provide a rationale for any such time outside the College, other than that
which is a requirement of a professional, statutory or regulatory body
An internship will be offered as part of the optional module 7SSG5070 Environmental
Internship, which is currently offered by the Department of Geography across several
Masters programmes. This is a unique selling point of PGT courses in the department and is
hence an important constituent of the programme.
7. Please give details if the programme requires validation or accreditation by a
professional, statutory or regulatory body
Name and address of PSB: N/A
Date validation/Accreditation commenced: N/A
Frequency of validation/ accreditation N/A
Date of last validation/Accreditation
Date of next validation/ accreditation