Perspectives on Energy and Climate Policy (117N1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module will introduce students to a number of disciplinary perspectives on energy and climate policy, including orthodox economics, behavioural economics, political science, innovation studies and sociotechnical perspectives. It will introduce students to the foundational concepts and tools within each discipline, illustrate how these concepts can explain and inform different aspects of energy and climate policy, and develop students’ skills in applying these concepts to specific energy and climate policy problems.

Part 1 of the module will provide an overview of several disciplinary perspectives, and introduce students to the core concepts of orthodox economics - which is the dominant perspective in energy policy. Part 2 will introduce the ‘three domains’ of energy-related decision-making (satisfying, optimising and transforming), together with the issues, concepts and policy instruments associated with each. Part 3 will present a broader ‘systems’ perspective on the transition to a net-zero emissions energy system and explore the political and institutional dimensions of this transition, including the role of the international climate regime. The seminar activities will involve a mix of group discussions, debates and group presentations and will include a simulation of the international climate negotiations.


67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

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 2023/24. 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.