Madrid, Spain

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Climate Change

when 27 June 2022 - 22 July 2022
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1399

UAM-SpaCIE’s Summer School “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Climate Change” (SSMACC) is a unique opportunity to broaden your horizons in one of the most beautiful and liveliest cities of the world, while studying at a top university. UAM oversees the academic aspects of the program and grants the diplomas and official transcripts, and SpaCIE recruits the students and oversees the logistics of the program.

The SSMACC is an exclusive 2-week study program that offers a high-quality multidisciplinary course, taught in English by top professors of many disciplines (Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Geography, Humanities, Law, Marketing, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology) and by top practitioners from the business world. Before these two weeks, there is an in-depth preview of the economic analysis of environmental policies with an additional initial two weeks. This is a good introduction for students interested in the economics of climate change.

The SSMACC brings together students from all over the World and a few local students in a truly international environment. The course is complemented by social and cultural events, as well as academic field trips.

The course contents (and the areas of knowledge or disciplines that each subject deals with) are the following:

First two weeks:

01. Introduction

02. The Theory of Externalities

03. Economics of Pollution Control

Last two weeks:

1. What is Climate Change? Earth's Energy Balance and Greenhouse Gases (Physics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry)

2. Science Consensus: Why we know that we are to blame (Physics, Earth Sciences)

3. Feedbacks, tipping points, and future global climate (Physics, Earth Sciences)

4. Impacts on Physical Systems (Earth Sciences, Geography)

5. Consequences of Climate Change on Cities, Settlements and Key Infrastructure & Adaptation (Geography, Economics)

6. Consequences of Climate Change on Biological Systems & Adaptation (Biology, Earth Sciences)

7. Sociology of Climate Change (Sociology, Psychology)

8. Art and Climate Change (Art, Humanities)

9. Science Consensus and the Climate Change Debate (Interdisciplinary)

10. International Response to Climate Change (Political Science, Law, Economics)

11. Introduction to Climate Change Policy (Economics, Political Science, Law)

12. Mitigation Strategies (Engineering, Economics, Business)

13. From Mitigation Strategies to Policy (Economics, Political Science)

14. Climate Change and Business (Business, Finance)

15. Conclusions: The Transition to Net Zero by 2050 (Interdisciplinary)

Course leader

Director: Prof. Dr. Miguel Buñuel

Target group

Undergraduate students in any field.
Bachelor’s degree graduates may also apply.
A good command of English language (minimum B2 level recommended) is a general requirement for all applicants.

Course aim

A) Introduction

Climate change is the main global environmental problem and one of the main economic and social problems of Humanity. At least in the European Union, citizens' perception is also in line with scientific conclusions on the seriousness of the problem. According to the latest Eurobarometer survey published in 2019 by the European Commission, 93% of EU citizens believe that climate change is a serious problem and 79% that it is a very serious problem. Compared to the previous Eurobarometer, published in 2017, climate change has overtaken international terrorism as the second most serious problem facing mankind, after poverty, hunger, and lack of drinking water.

On the other hand, climate change is a multidimensional problem, which must be studied from all disciplines of knowledge. However, our curricula do not usually provide a multi- or interdisciplinary understanding of the problem and, although the population perceives it as a very serious problem, there is a notable lack of knowledge about its nature, effects, possible scenarios, policies, and responses to the challenge it poses for Humanity.

B) Objectives

In view of the shortcomings of our curricula and the lack of knowledge of a large part of the population mentioned in the introduction, the main objective of this course is to provide a multidisciplinary and rigorous view of the problem of climate change. The aim is for students to have a complete university-level vision, rigorously provided by experts in each subject, although adapted to the necessary introductory level given the heterogeneous profile that students will have, as it is generally the case throughout society.

The complete university-level vision of climate change is provided in the second half of the course, which is the whole program for the students taking 3 ECTS credits. The students taking 6 ECTS credits will also gain further knowledge of the main issues related to public environmental policies and management in the first half of the course. This part deals with the role of the Public Sector for internalizing environmental externalities through public policies, which is the base of the economic analysis of environmental policies that it is applied in the Economics of Climate Change, covered in the second part of the course. As a result, students will be able to understand the economic justification and effects of environmental public policies, as well as to formulate them, and analyze them.

In addition to the main objectives described in the previous paragraphs, the course has a secondary objective: Providing an enriching “study abroad” experience, with all the benefits of academic, cultural, and personal enrichment that this type of experience provides. This experience is intensified for the students taking 6 ECTS credits because they will have a larger and more diverse set of classmates, since they will share the first part of the course with the students at the Summer School of Economics and Business, and the second part with the students taking only 3 ECTS credits of A Multidisciplinary Approach to Climate Change.

Fee info

EUR 1399: The Program cost includes:
- Tuition fees for the course.
- Cost of social and cultural events, as well as field trips included in the Program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Travel, room, and board costs are NOT included.


Discounts of 200 € for Early Bird Registration (until February 28) and Partner Universities. Discounts can be accumulated to 400 € if both apply.