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Energy & Society


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

  • Energy and Resource Management


Please note: this course will be offered fully online.

In this course we will explore the relationship between energy systems and society. What is the role of the public in the energy transition? How can we identify greenwashing of energy resources and systems? How should scientists be communicating climate science and the energy transition to the public? To explore these questions, we will adopt an interdisciplinary lens drawing on literature from the environmental sciences, communication science, psychology, and sociology. In drawing together the links between energy and society, we will explore questions related to concepts such as energy citizenship, greenwashing, energy justice, and climate justice. In doing so, we will also discuss the interaction of indigenous communities and oil extraction in the Arctic, for example. Throughout the course and more broadly we will explore the socio-political and environmental impacts of energy infrastructure development, while also unpacking complexities associated with communicating climate science and the energy transition to the public.

Course Objectives


  • Students will learn how to design a communication strategy to convey a complex scientific issue.

  • Students will learn how to identify key evidence within the context of a specific case study.

  • Students will further develop their oral presentation and writing skills.

  • Students will learn how to work together as a group.


  • Students can think holistically about societal engagement with the energy transition.

  • Students understand the importance of effective science communication.

  • Students can discuss and identify the socio-political impacts of resource exploitation for energy purposes.

  • Students can apply the knowledge gained in class to explore various contemporary energy issues.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course is online and project-based, and you will work in small groups on one project for the block. This course will proceed primarily as a seminar with a mix of lecture, class discussion, and small group work.

Assessment Method

Participation: 15% (ongoing)
Discussion leader (written and oral component): 25% (week 1-6)
Theory and Practice Plan: 25% (week 3/4)
Group science communication project: 35% (due in week 6)

Reading list

A reading list will be made available before the course starts. A book is not required for this course as peer-reviewed journal articles are used.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Jori Nanninga (Email TBC)