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Certificate in Climate Change

Field of Study: Climate Change
Institution: University of the West Indies Open Campus
Island: Caribbean



Climate change is an important area of study as human activities associated with economic and social development have altered the composition of the global atmosphere through the emission of greenhouse gases. These activities have led to accelerated changes in the climate, which has the potential for causing devastating impacts on all productive sectors and livelihoods in the region. Climate change is also expected to lead to sea level rise and contribute to changes in water availability; alter agricultural production; reduce landscape aesthetics; and increase the incidence of vector-borne diseases and heat stress. About 70% of the Caribbean’s population inhabits cities, towns and villages located in vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas. Consequently, these populations will be directly affected by climate change impacts such as sea-level rise. From an economic perspective, the Caribbean is the most tourism-intensive region in the world. Due to its heavy reliance on marine, coastal zone and other natural resources, tourism as an economic sector is considered to be highly sensitive to many of the effects of climate change. 

While the study of climate change has largely been the domain of natural scientists and geographers, citizens also need to learn more about how climate change affects them in various ways. Understanding about climate change and adaptive and proactive measures to reduce its impact is critical for persons living in Small Island Developing States like those in the Caribbean. This Certificate in Climate Change will expose civic leaders, persons involved in the business sector and community interests to critical information on climate change and its effects on our communities and our region. The programme consists of four courses offered by the UWI’s Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) in partnership with the Open Campus and is part of the Open Campus’ continuing education and professional development thrust.


Who is this programme for?

This certificate programme is aimed at the general public, people operating businesses and anyone who wishes to know more about climate change and how it might affect them, their businesses or communities. The programme is designed to give participants an integrated summary of climate change and to enable them to examine the implications of climate change on their own lives and around the world, with the hope that they can contribute to the design and implementation of adaptation measures.

More specifically, the programme targets:

·         Public and private sector businesses involved in sectors such as tourism, agriculture and construction.

·         Teachers and other educators interested in expanding their knowledge of climate change.

·         Other individuals interested in career advancement within the public or private sector.

·         Civic leaders with an interest in how climate change impacts their community. 


Programme Structure


The primary objective of the certificate programme is to provide accessible climate change information to the general public, as well as to stakeholders in critical sectors such as tourism, construction, agriculture, health, and water management. The programme seeks to impart knowledge and promote critical reflection about climate change and its effects on our daily lives, communities and economies. 



Course 1: Basic Concepts and Issues in Nature and Conservation

Course 2: Introduction to Climate Change

Course 3: Climate Change Policy

Course 4: Sector Responses to Climate Change

Courses are delivered in the sequence listed over a period of study not exceeding six months. Course content is delivered using podcasts, videos and PowerPoint presentations and teaching strategies include weekly online quizzes, online discussions, in-course assessment and case studies. 



The proposed allocation of course marks for Basic Concepts and Issues in Nature and Conservation, Introduction to Climate Change, and Climate Change Policy is as follows: 

•   weekly quizzes administered online will constitute 5% of the course mark

•   participation in online learning forums 5%

•   in course assessments 10 % 

The proposed allocation of course marks for the Sector Responses to Climate Change is as follows:

•  weekly quizzes administered online will constitute 5% of course mark

•  Participation in online learning forums 5%

•  Case Study 30% of course marks



•  Most materials provided by the Open Campus for the study of the course are made available online through the Open Campus’s learning management system, The Learning Exchange;

•  Most teaching-learning activities (with the exception of the practicum) are conducted in The Learning Exchange; Students will work on the case study as per guidelines outside The Learning Exchange but presentation and submission of the case study will be done within The Learning Exchange environment.

•  All assessment-related activities are conducted in The Learning Exchange;

•  In instances where students are required to engage in course-related activity off-line in the real-world environment, all output from such activity, in whatever format, must be submitted through The Learning Exchange.



The Open Campus Library Services provide a growing collection of electronic resources (databases, ebooks and ejournals), in a variety of subject areas, to support the work of Open Campus staff and scholars.  The Open Campus Library Services also manage copyright issues that arise in the course development and delivery process. The Open Campus librarian will play an important role in the identification of relevant resource (mainly online resources) for these courses.



The fee is US$1,000.00 for the entire programme, where each course costs US$250. It is important to note also that there are no refunds after the start of the programme.


When will the programme start?

This programme was first offered in August of the academic year 2013/2014.


Entry Requirements

Applicants seeking entry into the programme must, prior to enrolment, be able to use the computer for word processing, to store and retrieve information, as a communication device (e.g., for emailing), and to surf the Web. Applicants must also be able to read and write at a level necessary to complete a UWI Open Campus application form and to participate successfully in the programme.


Academic Preparation



Course of Study

CLCH 0100Basic Concepts and Issues in Nature and Conservation
CLCH 0101Introduction to Climate Change
CLCH 0102Climate Change Policy
CLCH 0103Sector Responses to Climate Change

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