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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Climate Policy and Investment (CMSE11487)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course aims to explore climate change policy at local, national, and international levels. This will include briefly examining the science of climate change; the connection between GHG emissions, climate impacts and the real economy; the theory underpinning the policy response to climate change on mitigation and adaptation; the principal policy and regulatory tools currently in use; as well as the principal connections between policy and the investment environment needed to meet long-term climate goals. The course will also introduce students to the writing of 'policy briefs' - a critical tool and skill set needed for professionals working with the policy community.
Course description The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the principal concepts upon which climate change policy is based. It will look at how the dominant theoretical approach used to understand climate change problem (i.e. as global common pool resources challenge) influences the framing of the policy problem as well as the type of frameworks and policy instruments used. The course will explore the connection between economy, society and greenhouse gas emissions to give students the knowledge and skills needed identify across all sectors how emissions can be reduced and resiliency increased. Finally, the course will focus on the connection between the policy choices made - and the investment environment that drives both the demand for investment and supply of capital across climate related infrastructure and economic value chains.

The course develops the key concepts, critical understanding and hard skills for identifying what policy solutions are appropriate across countries, sectors and technologies as well as between mitigation and adaptation goals. Students will develop their abilities to construct convincing and precise arguments through a policy brief writing exercise that will take place in two stages across the course. Students will be provided with examples and applied case studies.

The course will run in parallel to the Fundamentals of Project Finance and Carbon Accounting courses in the first half of Semester 1. It will complement these courses by providing the knowledge of fundamental concepts around climate change and the policy response. It will also provide insights and critical understanding that will then be built upon in the second half of Semester 1 in the Carbon Pricing and International Climate Finance courses that will each in turn go into more detail on specific areas of public policy, investment and finance. The course will also provide background knowledge that will be used in Semester 2, particularly in the Climate Change & Investment course.

Outline Content

1. Overview of the science of climate change
2. The connection between climate change and the real economy (both causes and impacts)
3. Introduction to climate policy, or the management of open access common pool resources
4. The types of policy mechanisms used to address climate change
5. Climate Change and the international policy response (UNFCCC, international negotiations, the Paris Agreement)
6. Climate Change policy at the national level
7. The scale of investment challenge and the need for both public and private investment and finance
8. Climate change policy and the investment environment

Student Learning Experience

The course will be taught through weekly lectures and will generally include a case study, group exercise or other interactive discussion component. The course will also include a small number of guest speakers, to provide useful real-world insights alongside the more theoretical aspects of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  60
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 83 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework (individual) - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Formative: Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on the assessment within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain and critically evaluate the current state of climate change science and key climate change policy initiatives, discussing the relationship between climate change science, policy and economics.
  2. Analyse the international climate change framework, and discuss the relationship between international agreements and regional, national and local action.
  3. Analyse the relationships between climate change policy and the climate-related finance and investment environment.
Reading List
Sprinz, Detlef F. 2009. 'Long-Term Environmental Policy: Definition, Knowledge, Future Research'. Global Environmental Politics 9 (3): 1-8. https://doi.orSg/10.1162/glep.2009.9.3.1.

Hovi, Jon, Detlef F. Sprinz, and Arild Underdal. 2009. 'Implementing Long-Term Climate Policy: Time Inconsistency, Domestic Politics, International Anarchy'. Global Environmental Politics 9 (3): 20-39.

Stern, N. (2007) The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available at:

IPCC (2013) IPCC, 2013: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Available at:

NCE. 'Better Growth, Better Climate'. The Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate, 2014.

OECD (2017) Investing In Climate, Investing In Growth.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve - learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.

Critically evaluate and present digital and other sources, research methods, data and information; discern their limitations, accuracy, validity, reliability and suitability; and apply responsibly in a wide variety of organisational contexts.

Cognitive Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to
demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to quality.

Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary
and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ian Cochran
Tel: (0131 6)50 9295
Course secretaryMiss Eilean Deane
Tel: (01316) 513758
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