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MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy

Course Description

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 modules 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 modules 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 module to meet their specific professional needs and personal interests.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour of Paris and Brussels.

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 the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy and CISD's 1st Annual Energy and Climate Change Conference (May 2011) podcast (http://www.4shared.com/mp3/EdRUc-qq/CISD_Energy_and_Climate_Change.html), organised by students.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/2016 (pdf; 172kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy/file80890.pdf

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 (http://www.cisd.soas.ac.uk/all-audios/1) to listen to the podcasts)

This course is also available online and is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy and who wish to study in a flexible way. Please click here to view more information http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy-online/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Visit the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Cornelia Rottenmoser

As a student at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) I am exposed to many different ways of thinking, evaluating history and leaving the Euro-centric path of looking at historic and current events from a different angle. The whole community of students and researchers benefits from the School’s specialisations in these broad but incredibly interesting fields of studies by focusing on Africa and the Middle East, regions which rarely stand in the focus of academic orientation.

The quality of education and the reputation of the college are excellent and the teaching excels by far what I expected before becoming a SOASian. SOAS is incredibly diverse yet specialised in its approaches to studying the social sciences and the arts.

The abbreviation SOAS stands for School of Oriental and African Studies but to me it also could stand for school of openness and awareness in society or school of otherness and association in sociology. Being a foreign student and not being familiar with the British educational system I found open ears and helpful hands whenever I needed support from my lecturers and tutors.

SOAS is not only located in one of the most fascinating cities of Europe but lies in the heart of it. Access to other University of London libraries is easy, the provision of study rooms is plentiful and the service provided by professors and administration is of high value. In the beating heart of the school, the JCR, where everyone comes together, no one ever stands alone but is part of the community of SOASians. Most people at the school are very internationally oriented, and the networks I have established during my time at SOAS will conveniently travel with me anywhere I will venture to in the future.

Having been part of SOAS is something I never want to miss in my life and whenever passing through London I will come back “home” to SOAS for a visit.

(Student Profile)

Tim Rippon

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.

(Student Profile)

Charles Malissard

MA International Studies and Diplomacy
Soft power is the weapon through which future wars will be fought. This MA taught me the essential skills of diplomacy practice, the founding theoretical ideologies through which international relations are interpreted, and the ramifications these theories have in material issues such as nuclear proliferation, energy policy, climate negotiations, and so on. Broadly speaking the CISD opened my eyes on the multitude of world visions, and helped me develop, articulate and believe in my own.

Global Energy and Climate Policy
Having come from a legal background with special focus on international law, I knew very little about the complexities of climate issues and energy challenges. The course enabled me to get a thorough understanding of the pivotal issues affecting policy makers and businesses in the realms of energy and climate. The organised mock exercises and the interactive seminars with knowledgeable individuals from the world of policy-making were a great benefit. I encourage all to take up this course.

(Student Profile)

Yi Xie

MA International Studies and Diplomacy
Studying at CISD of SOAS was an unforgettable experience. "Thinking Globally, Acting Globally", the MA in International Studies and Diplomacy programme has enabled me to interact with various academics and practitioners in international politics and economics. It has broadened my vision and equipped me with many frontier professional skills. CISD is a unique place where the West meets the East. Wherever you are from, you could feel that you are welcomed, accepted, and appreciated.

Global Energy and Climate Policy
I didn’t take GECP as one of my three choices on program modules at the very beginning. But I changed my mind after the introduction class, and finally my decision was proved absolutely right. What I have learnt from the course is beyond my expectations. It has sparked my interest in energy and security, deepened my understanding about environmental governance, and trained my ability in climate change negotiation. I also appreciate Harald Heubaum and Ian Shields for their great lecturing and tutoring. Like all other CISD administrators and lecturers, they are always there ready to help!


Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


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.

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