Climate Change and Conservation - WCON5010

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Matthew Struebig checkmark-circle


This module will inform students how climate has influenced the diversity of life on Earth, from past to present, and its likely future impacts. We will begin with a summary of the physical science basis of contemporary climate change and the role that anthropogenic factors have played since the commencement of the industrial era. We will then explore the biological and ecological impacts of climate change on individual organisms, populations and communities, with particular emphasis given to understanding how species are responding. The module will then explore how conservation biologists are using particular interventions to ameliorate the most harmful and destabilising effects of climate change. From a more general perspective, the social, economic and political ways in which climate change can be mitigated will be assessed.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150


BSc in Wildlife Conservation
BSc Human Ecology

Method of assessment

Critical Writing Assignment (2500 words) (45%)
Computing Practical Report (2000 words) (35%)
COP briefing assignment (500 words) (10%)
COP presentation (10%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Brodie, J. Post, E. and Doak, D. (Editors) 2012. Wildlife conservation in a changing climate. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Burroughs, W.J. 2001. Climate Change: a multidisciplinary approach. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Hannah, L. 2015. Climate change biology. Second Edition, Academic Press, London.

IPCC, 2014. Climate change. Fifth assessment synthesis report. (Pachauri, R.K and Reisinger, A. Editors.]). IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland. (

Peake, S. and Smith, J. 2009. Climate change: from science to sustainability. 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 demonstrate a clear understanding of past, present and possible future climates;

8.2 demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the contribution anthropogenic factors have played in contemporary climate change;

8.3 demonstrate an advanced comprehension of how organisms, populations and communities have/will respond to climate change;

8.4 demonstrate synthesis of the measures that can be taken to mitigate climate change;

8.5 demonstrate critical evaluation of the various conservation actions/interventions that may be needed in a changing climate.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Communicate and disseminate knowledge effectively to a range of audiences (from the general public to subject specialists).

9.2 Demonstrate advanced analytical skills and interpret statistics.

9.3 Manage study/work time effectively.

9.4 Contribute constructively to team tasks.

9.5 Demonstrate critical thinking and reading skills.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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