London Met launches a new degree in partnership with the United Nations focused on Climate Security

Course leaders for International Relations announce new degree that gives students an opportunity to explore links between climate change, peace and security.

Date: 22 November 2022

At the world’s leaders meet in Egypt for COP27, London Metropolitan University will be offering a new, exciting degree focused on Climate Change and Security. Taught in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), this new distance learning MA Climate Security degree will be offered to UN staff and students around the world, particularly from the Global South, as well as our own students. 

Climate Change is, without doubt, the most significant challenge facing the global community in the 21st Century (and beyond). The security problems generated by climate change will have a profound impact on our world, not least on our political, economic, philosophical, ethical and social justice systems. Rapidly raising global temperatures will see sea levels rise, populations forced to move, diseases spread, crops fail, climate wars break out and economic structures challenged.

The transformations this brings, the power struggles this produces and how to respond to them is central to this course. Not least, what will these transformations be - for whom and for what?; Which groups are most at risk and vulnerable to the transformations?; Is mitigation of the consequences possible?; and to what extent can humanity adapt to the changes and create carbon neutral economies? 

Inclusiveness is at the centre of this course, as is London Metropolitan University’s and UNITAR’s commitment to social justice and change, using the power of education to transform lives. 

Dr Jon-Hans Coetzer, a Senior Specialist at UNITAR, outlined the programme concept: “This learner-centred degree unpacks the interlinkages between climate change, peace and security and explores opportunities for promoting (i) inclusive climate action, (ii) conflict prevention, and (iii) peacebuilding. Recognizing that challenges associated with climate change and insecurity do not impact everyone equally, the programme includes a special focus on assessing the ways gender norms and other factors of social identity shape how people from different backgrounds experience and respond to these emerging risks.” 

International Relations course leaders Professor Andrew Moran and Dr Shahin Malik at London Metropolitan are really looking forward to working with UNITAR. “As well as modules offered by teaching staff at London Metropolitan focusing on the fundamentals of climate change, human security and conflict resolution,” they commented, “we are delighted that UNITAR staff will be leading modules on topics as diverse as ‘Protection of Civilians and Climate Security’, ‘Leadership, Team and Self-Management in Conflict Situations’, ‘Concepts and Principles of International Humanitarian Law’, and ‘Mental Health, Psychosocial Support, and Wellbeing in Climate Security.’ It is the unique experiences of the teaching staff at UNITAR who have worked and researched in the field that makes this course so exciting.”

The professional skills and practical applications embedded in this new course will encourage students to consider solutions at the local, regional, national and international level. 

Throughout their studies students will be supported by committed staff who will work with them to ensure that they have an in-depth understanding of the key issues and debates that will equip them for a career in a broad range of areas, including policy-making, diplomacy, and future research, in international and local organisations, multinational corporations and governmental departments.

Iceberg melting in the ocean