Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation

Course content

Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation is an interdisciplinary hybrid course offered by the University of Copenhagen in close collaboration with the Danish Meteorological Institute and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.

Through distance learning it is available everywhere, and it is open for MSc students and continuing education students with a relevant BSc background in natural science, social science and economics. However, students with other backgrounds are highly encouraged email the coordinator to inquire about the possibility of signing up. 

The focus of the course is climate change impacts and the human response to climate change, including efforts to adapt to climate change, as well as efforts to achieve long term sustainability by avoiding or reducing the negative impacts of climate change. Using IPCC Assessment Reports as the main reference together with recent complementary and contrasting findings, the relevant scientific tools are applied to analyse and discuss the different aspects of climate change.

The course covers all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and includes an introduction to the physical science of climate change, adaptation and mitigation statregies as well as climate change policy and social change.

A basic understanding of the physical science of climate change is given, including natural and anthropogenic drivers, direct observations of recent climate change and climate change models and scenarios. 

The course addresses the impacts of climate change and potential adaptation strategies in different sectors, including impacts and adaptation practices for ecosystems, land use, water resources and human health.

The most relevant technological and economic mitigation strategies are presented and discussed, including carbon sequestration, energy system transformation and renewable energy technologies, carbon trading and carbon offsetting. 

The current status of international climate change negotiations, climate change policy and the green economy paradigm is introduced, and the need for social change in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change is discussed.


MSc Programme in Climate Change
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to give a solid understanding of climate change impacts, and provide the knowledge and tools to devise effective and cost-effective strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation on a global, sectoral and local scale. After completing the course the student should be able to:

- Identify the natural and anthropogenic drivers of climate change
- Summarise the direct observations of climate change
- Describe the impacts of climate change for agriculture, forestry, ecosystems, water resources and human health
- Refer to common climate change models and scenarios

- Assess the cross-sectoral impacts of climate change in designated areas
- Select and apply relevant scientific tools to analyze the options, constraints, costs and benefits for climate change adaptation
- Compare different climate change mitigation strategies and climate change policy options

- Discuss the ecological, social and economic aspects of climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation on a global, sectoral and local scale
- Cooperate and work independently to devise strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation on a global, sectoral and local scale
- Evaluate climate change policies and reflect on the need for social change

Hybrid learning modules as well as individual assignments. Each module is composed of an introduction to the module topic and two lessons featuring: 1) an introduction 2) learning objectives, 3) learning resources - which can be lectures, text, video and/or audio files and questionnaires and 5) a hybrid learning activity in the form of a discussion.

The learning resources consist mainly of video and/or audio presentations, as well as selected scientific articles, reports and book chapters, which will be made available on Absalon.



MSc students and continuing education students with a relevant BSc background in natural science, social science and economics. Students with other backgrounds are highly encouraged to register.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Individual feedback from the course teachers is provided as comments together with the assessment of individual assignments.

Continuous feedback from the course teachers and peer feedback between students is given in the interactive discussions that are running throughout the course.

Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Students will be assessed on the basis of two individual assignments which are based on the hybrid discussions on the course.
Details of the individual assignments will be given at the course start.
The final grade will be based on an overall assessment of the two individual assignments.
Exam registration requirements

Participation in at least 50% of the hybrid discussion activities throughout the course.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

As the ordinary exam. 

The requirement of submitting all deliverables cannot be waived, and students who do not fulfill this requirement must take the course again the following year.

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the description of learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exercises
  • 74
  • Excursions
  • 4
  • Project work
  • 102
  • Study Groups
  • 102
  • English
  • 412


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

2 blocks

Block 1 And Block 2
Please note that this is hybrid course, with some elements of the course occurring fully online and other elements with the option to participate online or meet at the University of Copenhagen.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
  • Department of Chemistry
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
  • The Natural History Museum of Denmark
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Christian Bugge Henriksen   (3-65646a42726e6770306d7730666d)

Marin Lysák (co-responsible)

Saved on the 03-10-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students