Courses: overview and academic guides / syllabi

A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO CLIMATE CHANGE (MACC)

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.

In addition to the main objectives described in the previous paragraphs, the course has two secondary objectives:

  • To provide a first exposure to introductory level college courses from multiple disciplines, which can help students in their decision making about their future college studies.
  • To reinforce students’ academic skills in English, contributing to their training to study university courses in English.

SPEAKING AND WRITING SKILLS FOR SUCCESS AT UNIVERSITY (SWSSU)

A)   Introduction

The SWSSU course is a 2-week study program, taught in English, where students will focus on important skills that they need to master to be successful university students, such as effective listening and reading, delivering presentations, and writing papers. The sessions will complement the academic learning in the MACC course, so students will get an opportunity to apply some of the new knowledge that they have learnt in an interactive way. Students will also work in small teams to deliver a presentation to the wider group, and they will practice their writing skills.

B)   Objectives

Public speaking and presentation techniques are designed to prepare you to make unforgettable presentations. You will learn communication techniques and how to connect with the audience. Similarly, writing techniques are designed to prepare you to write superb papers. You will learn planning for writing, drafting, and proofreading; sentence manipulation devices (presenting the information in a sentence level, register); cohesion and coherence (structuring, presenting, and linking ideas); and paper designing.

In particular, the objectives are:

  • Acquire knowledge and skills necessary to make attractive and successful oral and written presentations.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to achieve efficient, transparent, and fluent communication with your audience and with your readers.