Duration: 2 years
Start of programme: April/October
Mode of Attendance: Online Learning
The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy is the online version of the successful campus degree of the same name. It provides students with a detailed understanding of the transformative change in energy systems now underway around the world and equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to play a part in it. It treats energy and climate change policy as inextricably linked, taking an integrated approach to the study of the two fields. Case studies are drawn from around the world, accounting for different conditions in developed, newly-industrialised and developing country contexts.
The ways in which energy is produced, managed and consumed in the 21st century in both the Global North and South are fundamentally changing. While oil, coal and gas have continued to dominate the global energy mix, new players have emerged challenging the status-quo. From large offshore wind parks in the UK to innovative, mobile phone-enabled off-grid solar PV solutions in Kenya; from a booming electric car market in China to high-voltage energy superhighways crisscrossing Germany; from energy storage projects in California to concentrated solar power plants in South Africa – the global energy transition means more renewably-produced energy, more distributed generation, technology leapfrogging, greater energy efficiency of both existing and new installations, and greater investment in new energy infrastructure.
Much of this transformative change has been driven by the urgent need to decarbonize energy systems and the global economy more widely, in order to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with a 2°C (1.5°C) stabilisation pathway. The consequences of increasing global average surface temperatures pose serious risks to ecosystems and physical infrastructure and challenge various actors to cope with extreme weather events, the destruction of habitats, water scarcity, migration, public health and conflict. The global task is therefore not only one of international diplomacy, but one that requires policymakers at all levels of political authority, corporations, businesses, NGOs and others to take the necessary steps to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The MSc’s focus is on policy and policymaking in the energy and climate space as the key to enabling change and creating the requisite legal and regulatory environment within which the low-carbon energy system of the future can develop and grow. It introduces students to the key energy sources, their economic and technical bases and how they are regulated. It further analyses energy and climate governance at the international level and discusses the geopolitics of energy.
Who is this programme for?
The MSc is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy and who wish to study in a flexible way.
Students will study four modules, comprising two core and two elective modules (30 credits each). You will also be required to complete a dissertation (60 credits).
Global Energy and Climate Policy
You will study the key themes and approaches in the field of global energy and climate policy as two closely interrelated global challenges. You will learn about key energy sources, examine regulatory approaches to transitioning to a low-carbon future and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, investigate international regime formation and diplomatic landscapes in the energy and climate change fields, and analyse the geopolitical dimensions of energy supply and demand.
Global Public Policy
Gain an understanding of public policy making in a context of intensifying globalisation and transnational political contestation. You will undertake a rigorous and critical analysis of policy and the complex and often highly politicized processes by which it is formulated, adopted and implemented.
This is an opportunity for students to produce a sustained piece of the individual, academic research on their chosen topic within the field of (global) energy and/or climate policy under the guidance of one of CISD’s expert academics.
Students are able to indicate two preferred modules from the below list. These are subject to availability.
A range of additional modules specific to Global Energy and Climate Policy adapted from and added to current campus modules are in development. These include Global Environmental Law and Governance, Green Finance and Investment, Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific, and Energy Diplomacy and Geopolitics, subject to final administrative approval.
The Art of Negotiation
You will learn about the key concepts of diplomacy and the institutional development of diplomatic relations. You will also be introduced to the strategy and tactics of negotiation and its place in international relations between states.
America and the World: US Foreign Policy
You will examine the various approaches to the study and understanding of American foreign policy. Beginning with an introduction to relevant literature and influences, the module goes on to address US foreign policy-making process. Case-studies will be included, covering both the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. The module will culminate in an assessment of the nature, extent and likely development of American global power.
You will learn about the conditions in which diplomacy is stimulated and the nature of different diplomatic systems that arise as a result of variations in these conditions. You will also study historical and contemporary case studies from Byzantium to Ancient Greece and from the French system to a transatlantic system of diplomacy.
Global Diplomacy: Global Citizenship and Advocacy
Develop an understanding of how to influence policy at an international level and how to affect policy changes to meet the aims of non-governmental and international organisations. You will look at how to achieve change at a global level, networking across national boundaries and on global issues.
Global International Organisation: United Nations in the World
Examine the context of the United Nations (UN) and the UN system within other International Organisations (IOs). You will examine the ways in which International Organisations came into being and how they evolved into the United Nations Organisation in 1945. Learn how the UN system has changed in recent years, and what the short and medium-term effect of these changes are likely to be with particular attention on peacekeeping, collective security, and human rights.
Learn about the theory of international economics and become familiar with the practice of international economic relations through the study of current policy debates about the workings of the contemporary international economy.
International History and International Relations
You will analyse the major debates in the disciplines of international history and international relations. The module is structured thematically, allowing for an interlinked analytical and narrative account of international studies to be presented.
Focusing on developments since the end of the Cold War, you will be given the analytical tools to think critically and independently about the nature of contemporary international security. You will consider a range of contemporary security issues including terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq War and the future of the Middle East, and the prospects for peace and security in the 21st century.
Muslim Minorities in a Global Context
An insight into the diversity of Muslim minority communities at a time when political shifts in Muslim majority countries – such as Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran and across the MENA region – have put Muslim minorities into the spotlight and impacted upon their relationship with host countries.
You will trace the emergence and development of Muslim minorities in both Western and non-Western contexts, and examine how Muslims have forged new identities as they have negotiated their places within their host societies.
Sport and Diplomacy
Since the era of the ancient Olympic Games, sporting competition has assisted human societies in mediating estrangements, resolving conflict and sublimating competitive urges. You will analyse how sports and diplomacy interrelate and consider how international sporting institutions have functioned as non-state actors in diplomacy, from antiquity to the present day.
The area of strategic studies is increasingly relevant in light of conflicts in the past decade in Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan. You will address a range of strategic influences such as power and force, asymmetric/irregular warfare, and the role of security providers such as NATO. The relationship between strategy and policy will be explored through a series of case studies including US involvement in Vietnam and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Teaching & Learning
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
This programme is taught 100% online through our VLE. In the VLE you will have access to learning materials and course resources anytime so you can fit your studies around your existing commitments. For each module, students will be provided with access, through both the SOAS Library and the University of London’s Online Library, to all necessary materials from a range of appropriate sources.
A key component of the student experience will be peer to peer learning, with students enrolled in discussion forums.
Each module is assessed by five written online assessments (‘e-tivities’*) comprising 30% and one 5,000 word essay comprising 70% of the module mark. The e-tivities provide formative and summative feedback to students as a means of monitoring their progress and encouraging areas in which they can improve.
The Dissertation is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices, which will account for 85% of the mark awarded for the module. The remaining 15% of the module mark will be based on the mark obtained for a 1,500-word research proposal.
* An 'e-tivity' is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format that states clearly to the students its 'Purpose'; the 'Task' at hand; the contribution or 'Response' type; and the 'Outcome' (Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, New York and London: Routledge Falmer.)
Pay as you Learn
Our distance learning programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you only pay for the module you are enrolling on.
The degree prepares for a multitude of careers in public, private and non-profit contexts, including in public administration and government departments, the diplomatic service and international organisations, strategic policy and risk advisory, government relations and public affairs, policy advocacy, think tanks and academia.
Graduates of the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy are now working for Abundance Investment, Platts, Intasave, Greenmax Capital, DFID, Grue & Hornstrup, Carbon Smart, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Sustainable Home Survey, S-RM, Fuel Poverty Action, UK Government Investments (UKGI), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN ESCAP and the World Bank. We welcome applications from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. It is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to global energy and climate policy.
Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.
2017 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
A minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. Candidates with a lower class degree but with degree-relevant work experience may be considered.
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