Master of Climate Change

University of Waterloo

Date Posted: Oct. 31, 2016
Submitted by: Julian Dautremont-Smith
Sustainability Topics: Curriculum, Air & Climate
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Master's Degree
Completion: 12 months
Distance: Local Only
Commitment: Full-Time


The University of Waterloo’s Master of Climate Change (MCC) program focuses on the multiple ways climate change interacts with society and the environment. The MCC program provides a unique educational experience to students interested in the rapidly evolving fields of climate change research and diverse career paths in climate change science, policy and management. The program is designed with the flexibility to meet the needs of recent graduates who endeavour to become climate change professionals by building on their undergraduate degrees with advanced training and experience specific to climate change. The program will also be of interest to mid-career professionals looking to upgrade their current knowledge and skills to take on the challenges climate change poses to their field.

Learning Outcomes

The Master’s of Climate Change provides an interdisciplinary academic environment that promotes open critical inquiry of the scientific and socio-political complexities of climate change. It prepares graduates for ethical, innovative and effective professional practice in diverse careers related to climate change in government, civil society, business and local/international development. The goal of the Master of Climate Change program is to train graduates who understand the complex, interdisciplinary scientific, socioeconomic, technological and institutional issues associated with a transition to a low carbon economy and climate resilient adaptation.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Achieve a systematic understanding and critical awareness of current problems and new insights related to climate science; vulnerability, impacts and adaptation; and emissions and mitigation, much of which is at the forefront of this rapidly developing field of interdisciplinary research and professional practice;
  • Put theory into practice by applying science into policy making, formulating sound strategies for adaptation and mitigation and understanding interface between development and climate change;
  • Acquire technical skills and apply a variety of research methods and approaches that are important to interdisciplinary and social scientific research on climate change;
  • Demonstrate the application of research techniques to complex research and policy issues related to climate change;
  • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding and methodological competence that form the basis for the critical interpretation of current and future research, including and understanding of the importance of disciplinary contributions to climate change knowledge and how multiple fields of inquiry inform the complex scientific and social challenges associated with climate change.
  • Demonstrate competence in the application of an existing body of knowledge and appropriate research to a new research problem that advances knowledge related to climate change (through team projects, a major paper or internship and associated experiential learning report);Understand the intra- and inter-generational implications of the applications of climate change knowledge to policy and decision-making.
  • Understand varied international and stakeholder perspectives of climate change and how these inform negotiating positions of countries and organizations.
  • Understand ethics that guide academic research related to climate change and be familiar with codes of conduct and ethics that guide professional practice in areas of climate change;
  • Identify, create, and reflect upon integrated approaches and appropriate interventions that may lead to taking necessary action and coping with climate change; and
  • Demonstrate competency to effectively represent technical, scientific and economic information in a variety of contexts and diverse expert and non-expert audiences.

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