Courses & Units

Introduction to the Science of Climate Change KGA104


Human-induced climate change is the most serious problem currently facing our planet - a global problem with increasingly obvious local impacts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that the next 10 years will be critical to averting catastrophic climate change. The science is complex, but there is strong international consensus around much of our climate change knowledge. Gaining an understanding of the science of climate change and appreciating where the certainty and uncertainty lie are important first steps to more confidently engaging in the action that is so urgently required. In this unit, you will learn why scientists are so certain that climate change is occurring, is caused by humans, and is causing impacts on human and other natural systems. Tasmania has a global reputation as a centre for climate research, and UTas has many internationally renowned researchers working in diverse disciplines with relevance to climate impacts and adaptation. We will hear from many of these experts, including IPCC authors, regional climate modellers and climate impact scientists.


Unit name Introduction to the Science of Climate Change
Unit code KGA104
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Coordinator Doctor Nicholas Earl
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Introductory


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 2 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024
Semester 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the drivers and impacts of climate change and climate variability at different times-scales, using key climate science concepts
  • Describe the information we get from global and regional climate models and the importance of accounting for uncertainty in planning for the future
  • Explain the science of climate change using evidence-based information in a range of formats (verbally, short written pieces and graphically).
  • Discuss the impacts of climate change on physical, biological and human systems on local and global levels.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.


Teaching Pattern

Fully online unit with asynchronous online activities.

AssessmentTimeline (20%)|5-minute Video (40%)|Short report (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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