English Studies and Climate Change

BA English Studies and Climate Change Code FQ73

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Our combined degree of English Studies and Climate Change at Aberystwyth University provides a thorough and critical understanding of the ideological debates that shape the ways we read and write, challenge our perceptions of the places we read and write about, and interrogate who we are. You will encounter texts that explore and represent climate change, that evaluate the climate challenge and its political, economic, social, and ecological impacts. By raising provocative questions about human responses to climate change (which invariably involve the written or the spoken word) this course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to analyse diverse perspectives on a global challenge. You will also develop your own writing across a wide range of styles (critical, genre-fiction, poetic, non-fiction, and so on) informed by your understanding of the science and politics underpinning the climate crisis.

Course Overview

Why study English Studies and Climate Change at Aberystwyth University? 

This scheme establishes core knowledge of climate science and issues of governance pertaining to climate change alongside subject-specialist engagement with the representation of climate change in literature from the 1800s onwards. In their Interdisciplinary Learning Community students investigate the science of climate change from multiple subject perspectives (Geography, Biology, Politics, and of course Literary analysis). 

Throughout the course you will engage in a problem-based learning approach which presents students with real-world scenarios and simulations enabling you to develop negotiation and team-building skills essential to a plethora of employment settings. 

The English Studies and Climate Change programme provides subject-specialist knowledge of fictional and non-fictional responses to the climate - from Romanticism’s accounts of 1816 “the year without a summer” to alternate futures analysis in contemporary speculative fiction. You will develop practical skills in Crisis Writing across genres and forms whilst also acquiring the subject-specialist knowledge and skills of an English graduate. 

Students studying English Studies and Climate Change at Aberystwyth will: 

  • Engage with and develop a distinct multidisciplinary approach to communicating climate change informed by an understanding of the science behind the climate crisis. 
  • Analyse the causes and consequence of climate change and environmental degradation, and how literature from the nineteenth century to the present-day comments upon climate change.  
  • Examine links between climate change and other global challenges (such as conflict, migration, inequality, and isolationism) and the ways in which these challenges are communicated to diverse audiences. 
  • Reflect on ways that the planet’s habitats, resources, and ecological systems are reflected in and shape the stories we tell and how such stories challenge the political status quo.
  • Explore through simulations the politics surrounding climate change and utilise this experience and knowledge in their own writing about the climate crisis.
Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Creative Practice WR11320 20
Critical Practice EN11320 20
Climate and Climate Change BR10620 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Academic Writing: Planning, Process and Product IC17720 20
American Literature 1819-1925 EN11220 20
Ancestral Voices EN10220 20
Contemporary Writing EN10520 20
Critical Perspectives on Creative Writing WR10220 20
Greek and Roman Epic and Drama CL10120 20
Introduction to Poetry WL10420 20
Language Awareness for TESOL IC13420 20
Literature And The Sea WL11420 20
Re-imagining Nineteenth-Century Literature WL10120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Graduates in this degree will be well-placed to pursue a career in climate change management, adaptation and mitigation, both in the UK and abroad. Additionally, they will be suited to careers in related areas, such as environmental education and consultancy or conservation. Many are likely to undertake further postgraduate study, either at Masters or Doctoral level.

Course Content

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

What will I learn?

First year: 

Your core modules will provide you with the necessary foundation for successful engagement with literature and creative writing at university level. Critical Practice builds upon your existing skills and helps you become an independent thinker and critic; Creative Practice gives you a foundation of knowledge and techniques for creative writing. You will also study writing from the pre-1800 period, introducing you to the long tradition of English literatures from Chaucer to Defoe. You will investigate the science of climate change through two innovative modules, Climate Change: Impacts, Perceptions, Adaptation and The Science of Climate. In these modules you will work with staff and students from other disciplines and together bring your subject-perspectives into contact in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of climate change. 

In addition, you will choose from an exciting range of option modules, including Literature and the Sea and Introduction to Poetry, that allow to respond to what you are learning either creatively, through your own writing, or critically, through essays. You will be able to study writing from an exceptionally broad range of places and periods, such as Greek and Roman Epic and Drama, American Literature and Contemporary Writing.

Second and Third year: 

You will build on your work with staff and students from other disciplines in your core module The Governance of Climate Change. This module engages students in simulation – presenting you with real-world problems and developing the skills essential to addressing current and future global challenges. You will also take core modules that will give you detailed knowledge of fictional and non-fictional responses to the climate, Literature and Climate in the Nineteenth Century, Contemporary Writing and Environmental Justice, Speculative Fiction and the Climate Crisis and you will develop your own creative writing in whatever genre or form you choose in Crisis Writing. You will also choose from a wide range of option modules through which you can tailor your programme to suit your specific interests. 

Our writing modules cover graphic novels, crime fiction, specific skills (plot, characterisation), and much more; our English modules introduce you to the best, most exciting literature from the last 1000 years. You will engage in ideological debates that shape the ways we read and write; Literatures of Surveillance, challenge our perceptions of the places we read and write about; Literary Geographies, and interrogate who we are; Contemporary Queer Fiction. 

In the final year the Creative Writing Project or English Dissertation, allow students to synthesise their multi-disciplinary and subject-specific knowledge and work with academic supervisors across traditional subject boundaries. With the opportunity to attend our annual Writing Retreat held at an historic site in the beautiful mid-Wales countryside, the final year project is a fitting culmination to a degree that challenges students to become informed, skilled, and impassioned advocates for change.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma. Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits, and offers can vary. If you are studying a qualification not listed on this page, please get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further advice. For further information, contact

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