Climate, Energy and International Relations POLITIC5103

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores how climate change and global energy transitions have the potential to transform global politics. Students will use theories and concepts from the field of International Relations to examine the political dynamics and effects of substantial and complex changes in the global climate and energy systems.


The timetable for this course will be made available to students at the beginning of the academic year. There is no guarantee that this course will run in any given year. For further information, please check the Politics and International Relations Moodle page or contact the subject directly

Requirements of Entry

The general requirements for entry to the associated programme.

Excluded Courses





Briefing, 2500 words (50%)

Essay, 2500 words (50%)

Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with a framework for analysing the potentially transformative political changes that are driven by and deeply implicated within anthropocentric climate change and transitions in national and global energy systems. Students will examine fundamental questions about the future shape of the international order and global economy, changes in the distribution and mode of power, and the potential and challenges of collective action in ensuring a just transition. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate understanding of the political, economic, and environmental aspects of climatic and energy systems

■ Critically apply appropriate theories and concepts to interpret and explain the complex interactions between climate change, energy transitions, and international relations

■ Examine the role of interests, power and justice within climate and energy politics

■ Synthesise arguments and evidence from diverse and reliable sources when composing their own reasoned arguments

■ Evaluate whether and how the energy transition and climate change may transform specific aspects of international relations

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Successful completion of summative assessment components.