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AK121V The Climate Crisis as a Societal Problem 7.5 credits

About course offering

For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 single courses students

Target group

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Part of programme

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P1 (4.0 hp), P2 (3.5 hp)


26 Aug 2024
13 Jan 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location

KTH Campus

Number of places

10 - 30

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 single courses students

Application code



For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 single courses students


Nina Wormbs (


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Course coordinator

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus AK121V (Autumn 2021–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The climate issue is the largest challenge of our time. It has few counterparts in human history and those that do exist have been very different, above all because they have been relatively specific, like pest or nuclear war. The climate issue is instead closely interlinked with post-war societal developments. As a matter of fact, it is a result of our fossil-fuelled prosperity and therefore challenges our life-style. The climate issue is therefore not only a challenge in scientific and technical terms but now above all a challenge for our societies, nations, companies and individuals.

In this course, we give an introduction to current and interdisciplinary research about climate change. We touch upon questions concerning the emergence of climate science. What we know and how we know it and how long we have known it are examples of questions that are discussed and answered. Which institutions have been created to try to counteract global climate change and how have they worked is another field we look at. We also discuss how knowledge about climate change has been received in society, how scientists have worked to communicate their knowledge and how it has succeeded and failed. Despite the fact that the knowledge today is broad and deep there is a resistance that does not seem to give in; we also dig into these issues that concern ideological patterns or what we today call cultural cognition. We also take an history of ideas perspective on the climate issue, particularly in relation to the view on resource exploitation and technical development.

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student should be able to:

-       give an account of the basics of climate history with regard to scientific discoveries and their reception

-       give an account of efforts to stop the climate changes through international organisations, cooperation and agreements

-       give an account of the resistance against the climate issue and analyse its political, economic and ideological context

-       discuss and analyse contemporary climate discourse and give an account of a number of central goal conflicts

-       in order to understand and handle the climate issue from an interdisciplinary perspective that includes several disciplinary research domains i.e. natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed upper secondary education including documented proficiency in English.

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • INL1 - Assignment work, 7.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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Nina Wormbs (