Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Briefing and negotiation mandate  1250 Words  30%
Semester Assessment Final report  2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Skills demonstrated in negotiations  20%
Supplementary Assessment Final report  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Briefing and negotiation mandate  1250 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Report in lieu of negotiations  750 Words  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the dynamics of climate politics and decision-making.

Demonstrate an understanding of how governmental actors, public institutions and social movements contribute to and shape climate governance processes

Demonstrate an understanding of how science and responses within society can influence climate governance.

Demonstrate their acquired communication and negotiating skills as well as their ability to apply them in different contexts

Demonstrate and ability to communicate different positions clearly both orally and in writing.

Demonstrate independent research skills, including the ability to source and use primary documents.

Describe and analyse the major organisations and policies in the field of climate governance.

Discuss and describe the central challenges facing climate governance, currently and in the future.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with practical and grounded experience of the decision-making processes, the negotiation and the politics surrounding contemporary climate governance as well as well as an appreciation of how different governmental actors and social movements respond to the challenge of climate change, the impact of science and responses within society on climate governance.

The module will based on a specific climate change scenario that requires a coordinated response. Based on their academic studies and interests, students will be assigned to teams. These teams will then be provided with supporting briefing material, reading lists and general objectives to be pursued during the scenario. Their task will then be, over the course of the module, to act within their roles in simulated climate governance negotiations and decision-making. Throughout the course of the module the scenario will evolve both as a result of progress made by students through negotiation, but also as a result of 'external’ events inserted by the module convenor. A final day long ‘summit’, will be held to conclude negotiations where the students will seek to find consensus around a specific set of policy measures.


The simulation module will work on the following structure:

- Introductory lectures focusing on climate governance in general and also the specific scenario selected by the module convenor, which will be based on a contemporary climate change challenge.

- Students will be divided into negotiating teams in groups of 3-4 members. 

- During the remainder of the module students prepare for, and participate in, formal meetings where the issues arising from the scenario will be debated with the aim of agreeing of specific policy measures.

Students will be required to:

- Research background information on specific interests they represent
- Prepare positions for the weekly scenario sessions
- Communicate and negotiate with other teams in order to agree joint positions and develop coalitions
- Draft submissions for adoption during plenary session
- Negotiate a final agreement within the parameters set by particular interests and possibilities for compromise.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing, as well as how to communicate in order to acquire bargaining advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their statements, and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Plenary sessions will be run in groups where oral discussion, negotiations and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. Fellow students will be encouraged to question the public speaker, and students will be required to engage in debate as a way of critiquing ideas.
Improving own Learning and Performance The submission of a portfolio of written assignments and a final report will require students to demonstrate an ability to research and prepare for formal negotiations. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also develop research and analytical  skills. Research preparation for formal presentations at plenary sessions will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final report on the negotiations will ensure that an assessment of the student’s ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources. In addition, it is vital for the module that they will be expected to be able to locate documents from the web from sources such as governments, international bodie The ability of students to use information technology to advance their positions in negotiations will be assessed via the written portfolio and the evaluation of skills demonstrated.s, research organisations and NGOs. Students will also be required to use various information and communication technologies to communicate with other teams during the simulation, share information and build bargaining coalitions.
Personal Development and Career planning Given that the module aims to provide students with a practical and grounded experience of the decision-making, negotiation and politics of climate change, there is a strong emphasis on developing a real world sense of climate change governance.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; producing written assignments for the assessed portfolio will require student to develop and demonstrate independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare for formal meetings will also enable students to formulate strategies for resolving a range of policy problems. Student will be asked to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and propose an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems; build coalitions in favour of specific solutions to problems.
Research skills The need to research and prepare for formal meetings will also enable students to formulate strategies for resolving a range of policy problems.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module. • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives advanced during complex negotiations • Relate theoretical debates to practical issues arising from real life negotiating scenarios • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex problems • Put skills to practical use, such as negotiation skills.
Team work Pre-plenary preparation and formal negotiations will consist in part of small-group discussion and negotiation where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to a range of topics. Such classroom debates and discussions are a vital component of the module. Teamwork forms part of the assessment of skills employed throughout the simulation.


This module is at CQFW Level 5