Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Energy and Society




Admissions requirements

Energy and Resource Management.

Please note that this course was previously titled Energy, Environment, and Sustainability; students who have completed that class already, cannot enroll in/obtain credit from Energy & Society.


Ensuring a sustainable supply of energy is a global concern, and the focus of increasing attention. The extraction and use of fossil fuels is associated with diverse and long-lasting environmental effects and is responsible for the majority of anthropogenic GHG emissions. Concerns over climate change and security of supply represent a significant driving force for the implementation of alternative energy strategies focused on sustainable energy sources. This course adopts an interdisciplinary focus and explores various energy-related issues through an interdisciplinary lens. We will investigate the socio-political impacts of energy infrastructure development (drawing on case studies such as the Shale Gas boom in the US and the sustainability of carbon capture and storage), as well as the links between different energy resources and a range of environmental and human health issues. In drawing together the links between energy and society, we will also explore the importance of effective science communication, the role of greenwashing within the energy sector, and the development of international climate change policy.

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 energy case study.

  • Students will learn how to write a policy brief.

  • 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 energy issues and their links to sustainable development

  • Students understand the importance of effective science communication

  • Students can describe how the exploitation and use of various energy sources impacts the environment

  • 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


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course will proceed primarily as a seminar. Each class will include opening remarks/introductory lecture followed by a discussion of assigned readings, class activities, and student presentations. It is expected that students will engage actively in class discussions and debates.


  • Participation - Contribution to class discussions, participation in class workshops, providing feedback to peers: 17.5%

  • Discussion Leader - Synthesis and integration of theoretical concepts and presentation of these to the class (Powerpoint presentations are not allowed!): 17.5%

  • Theory and Practice Plan - Critical analysis of your assignment topic. Apply (describe and justify) the science communication theory you have chosen to apply to your assigned topic: 30%

  • Group Science Communication research project - Poster/Installation 17.5%, Interactive Pitch – 17.5%, Statement of group work and reflection on the process (submitted as a group): 35% in total

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

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.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.


Dr. Bríd Walsh