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It is now recognised that the level of greenhouse gas emissions that have already accumulated in the atmosphere means some climate change is inevitable, meaning that effectiveness in dealing with climate impacts is critical for the prospects of development. Climate change is the foremost challenge of the 21st century and is now being prioritised by governments, donor/development agencies and NGOs around the world. As such, the people working in them need a thorough grounding in the conceptual and practical dimensions both of adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, as well as the interlinkages between them.

The Climate Change and Development programme is designed to meet these needs so that organisations can be more effective in their efforts towards change. The modules in this programme draw from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, concepts and methods including economics, environmental science, human geography, social development, political economy and environmental law. The programmes cover key issues within climate change and development such as gender, social justice, energy access, poverty and social protection.

The core aims of this programme are to:

  • Offer critical insight into how current development models produce environmental problems, like (but not limited to) climate change, which themselves threaten the objectives of development
  • Pose the question of what magnitude of change is required to confront the problems of climate change: do we need reform or revolution?
  • Help you develop the analytical skills to solve adaptation problems and identify low carbon development options
  • Contribute to producing the next generation of environment and development professionals working on climate policy and practice
  • Provide the most academically gifted students with a route into PhD studies on climate change and development.

Click here to view a recording of our recent online information session.

Teaching & Learning

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

This programme is taught 100% online through our VLE. In the VLE you will have access to learning materials and module resources anytime so you can fit your studies around your existing commitments. For each module, students will be provided with access, through the online Library, to all necessary materials from a range of appropriate sources.

Developed by subject experts, the module materials are designed to meet all your study requirements. We encourage you to follow up further interests and explore other information more widely, but the material we provide is comprehensive and sufficient for the required elements of each module.

The details will vary from module to module, but a typical set of materials will include:

A detailed study guide:

  • All of our modules use a core text which is specially written and this will take you through your self-directed study. Exercises, assignments and other activities, such as self-assessment questions, film clips and animations are included to help you with learning.

E-books and key readings

  • Most modules also draw upon textbooks, key extracts and articles, which accompany the core text, to be accessed via the online library. A wide range of sources are provided as required readings. Information is also supplied suggesting sources of further reading as well as links to relevant web pages.

Supplementary study materials

  • These are included where appropriate, and include items such as computer software.


This programme is designed to assist both existing professionals working within environment and development spheres, and people moving into these fields.

For existing professionals, the programme provides the opportunity to upgrade and update their expertise, and to reflect systematically and in depth on their accumulated experience in the light of up-to-date theory and literature.

Graduates of Climate Change and Development will be prepared for roles in the public sector, international organisations, NGO's, consultancies and development projects involved in:

  • policy analysis and implementation for disaster risk reduction
  • climate and broader environmental issues
  • local and national climate change strategies
  • energy and development
  • poverty reduction.

You will also be prepared for roles within social enterprise and corporate social responsibility organisations and departments whose area of focus encompasses environment and development.

Visit the Climate Change and Development - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!




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