Challenges in Energy and Climate Policy (118N1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module will introduce students to key empirical challenges within energy and climate policy and the synergies and tensions between different goals.

Part 1 of the module will introduce students to the physical foundations of energy systems, together with the contribution of energy to economic growth and the challenge posed by climate change. Part 2 will explore the three elements of the so-called ‘energy trilemma’ - namely energy security, energy sustainability, and energy affordability (which relates in particular to the operation of energy markets) - including both the challenges they present and the manner in which different governments are responding to those challenges. Part 3 will discuss the role of energy in economic development, including the importance of energy finance and energy justice. The seminar activities in each module will involve a mix of group presentations, group discussions, debates, numerical exercises and the use of an online energy model.

Assessment will be will be through a multiple-choice exam (30%), a group presentation (20%) and a 3000-word group report (50%). The group presentation will be on the same topic as the group report. The group project will test students’ ability to analyse a specific energy policy challenge. It will be developed in stages and completed before the end of Semester 1. The report will summarise the energy profile of the chosen country, provide a critical overview of the key issues and debates within that country’s energy policy, analyse a specific energy policy challenge within that country, and provide policy recommendations.


67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar


20%: Coursework (Group presentation)
30%: Examination (Multiple choice questions)
50%: Group work (Group submission (written))

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 120 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.