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Study plan - Master in Climate Change Management

Autumn 2023


Society faces numerous challenges stemming from climate change. Minimizing the risks and costs incurred to society through solving these challenges can only be achieved through state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, multidisciplinary cooperation, and the implementation of effective strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change both at home and abroad. The study admits students from all over the world, with different scientific and cultural backgrounds. With their knowledge and experiences about climate-related problems, students will contribute with valuable perspectives and help see the climate challenges in a global context. This will also strengthen discussions and output in multidisciplinary teams, and set climate challenges within an all-encompassing context (both natural and social sciences). The study gives candidates a broad understanding of the challenges society faces with climate change, and the competence to generate knowledge across traditional scientific disciplines. The candidates will have a solid academic foundation to evaluate, plan, and advise how different societal sectors can implement strategies and action plans to reduce emissions of climate gases and adapt our society to climate change. 

Learning outcomes


The student has:

Knowledge of climate models and climate projections, and how they can be used to analyse and assess future scenarios in Norway and globally.

Advanced knowledge about national and international climate policy, and how this policy is applied.

Knowledge about how climate change affects species, societies, and ecosystems, and the consequences these changes can have on natural systems that support human activities and agriculture, nationally and globally.

Knowledge of how society can transform energy production and use in a more environmentally friendly direction.

Knowledge about how to include evaluations of natural hazards and water management in planning processes.

Advanced knowledge of strategies, actions, and tools for adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, nationally and globally.


The student is able to:

Critically assess different sources of information, and use them to structure and develop an academic argument.

Work independently and in interdisciplinary teams with practical and theoretical problem-solving.

Use relevant methods and computer software to evaluate data and interpret results.

Conduct an independent research project or planning assignment, under the guidance of a supervisor and in accordance with existing norms for research ethics.

Create research questions, gather, and analyse data, and share findings academically and in lay terms.

Conduct and lead planning processes in conjunction with the establishment of local energy and climate plans.

Develop strategies for adapting to climate change.

Plan measures for mitigating the effects of climate change, especially in relation to avalanches, landslides, flooding, and rising sea levels.

General competence

The student can:

Identify and critically evaluate relevant literature.

Apply knowledge and skills to carry out advanced tasks, and research and planning projects related to climate change management.

Work in interdisciplinary teams and integrate knowledge from different fields.

Share his/her work and have proficiency in relevant terminology.

Communicate research, analyses, and conclusions clearly in writing and orally.

Contribute to finding new solutions and innovations for shifting energy production and consumption from fossil resources to sustainable sources.

Contribute to developing strategies and measures for a more sustainable society.


Content / structure

The program is comprised of 9 courses, each of 10 ECTS, and a master's thesis worth 30 ECTS. Teaching follows a block schedule, which means that one course is taught and finished with an exam before the next course starts. Students learn about natural and human-induced climate change, climate politics, and how climate works as an important driver in natural processes. With this as a basis, students continue to develop competence to drive multidisciplinary teamwork and learn about strategies and measures to restructure energy production and consumption systems in a more environmentally friendly direction, as well as how we need to act to adapt to climate change and improve climate transformation. Scientific methods and writing are introduced and developed as a basis for the final master's thesis, where the students focus on either research or applied management. More information is found in the specific course descriptions.


Teaching and learning methods

The program utilizes varied teaching and learning methods and includes some compulsory activities and assignments. Emphasis is placed upon the development of capabilities through case-based projects, where the students work with problem-solving in multidisciplinary teams. Further emphasis is placed on the ability to communicate results, both written and oral. In several courses, the students gain experience in searching for, evaluating, and presenting the contents of scientific papers. The teaching combines lectures, excursions and fieldwork, exercises, case studies, and other multidisciplinary work in groups, with results presented in seminar fashion (oral discussion and written feedback analysis). The students will also be able to choose their individual specializations through a variety of independent work assignments. In each course, students complete one or more compulsory work requirements, tailored to the final evaluation and learning outcomes of that course. The final master's thesis is conducted individually or in pairs, under supervision by at least one member of the department staff. More information is found in the specific course descriptions.


The assessments involve written and oral school exams, written home exams, and written or oral assignments, and may be held individually or in teams. Compulsory assignments must be approved in order to take the exams. See course descriptions for more specific information.


Study abroad

The students can apply for exchange to selected institutions abroad during the second semester (see program web page for more information). The master's thesis can also be written in collaboration with other universities in Norway or abroad when the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is a partner in ongoing research projects.