Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change

Science Stream

The Science Emphasis stream focuses on the foundation science of climate change globally and in the Pacific. This stream prepares students to become Pacific climate scientists with a strong quantitative understanding of observations, climate and earth system modelling, regional and global model downscaling of climate projections and impacts, data analysis, GIS and remote sensing in the Pacific context.

To be admitted to a postgraduate diploma, a person should:

  • Have obtained a USP’s bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 in the 200 and 300 level courses of the relevant disciplines;
  • Have obtained a tertiary qualification deemed by the senate or its delegate to be equivalent to above;
  • Have obtained a professional qualification deemed by Senate or its delegate to be equivalent to above;
  • Have, in exceptional cases, demonstrated experience or achievement Senate or its delegates deems sufficient; or
  • Have met the mature student admission criteria

PC414 – Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation

Semester: 1                    Mode: O at C

Course Coordinator: TBC

Course Description:

This postgraduate course examines the risks posed to Pacific Islands by Climate Change and reviews the adaptation strategies to deal with those risks, both at national and community levels. The course is intended for people in the Pacific islands involved with medium-to-long term planning for natural resources, economic and social development, and/or the natural environment, especially graduates working in governments or NGOs who are not yet familiar with climate related issues but need to be so.

PC415 – Climate Science

Semester: 2.            Mode: O at C

Course Coordinator: Dr. Awnesh Singh

Course Description:
This course provides important insights into the rapidly developing and fast moving realm of climate science among the future climate leaders of the Pacific to understand the scientific basis of the threats of the impacts of CC to develop appropriate measures to address and manage the challenges of the adverse impacts. This course navigates through new scientific evidences on our current scientific understanding of the earth’s climate including those which point at important tipping points leading to perhaps irreversible changes in major systems and ecosystems. The course also provides adequate skill in climatology of the region and the tools/methodology applied in the analyses and is thus useful for those intending to work with national meteorological services or other government agencies.

At least 1 of PC428 or PC430 and any remaining 400 level PC Course or any of the following courses:

  • PH407
  • PH414
  • PH416
  • PH420

If you wish to progress onto Masters of Science in Climate Change, than you will need to do PC420, with either PC414 or PC415.

PC420: Research Projects in Climate Change

Semester: 1  & 2    Mode: O at C

Course Coordinator: Dr. Awnesh Singh

Course Description: The course is suitable for students who want to do a short research project in climate science, climate finance, tropical meteorology, physical oceanography, disaster risk management, food security, environment impact assessment, climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation and ecosystem-based adaptation at the postgraduate level. The course is tailored to the individual students’ requirements and is designed as an opportunity to work on a particular research topic. Students are required to do an independent research project, which includes a major report and seminar. Before registering for this course, students must first seek out a supervisor, obtain their agreement to provide supervision, and be assigned a research topic.

PC428: Tropical Meteorology

Semester: 1      Mode: O at C

Course Coordinator: Dr. Awnesh Singh

Course Description: The course provides and in-depth study of tropical atmospheric dynamics and processes. The course will cover atmospheric general circulation; the structure and behavior of weather systems; development, displacement and intensification of weather systems; key characteristics of the tropical atmosphere including convection, boundary layer processes, local and diurnal weather phenomena, mesoscale tropical systems, tropical storm structure, and energetics, and tropical cyclone development. The course is designed to provide a quantitative in depth understanding of key atmospheric processes and dynamics central to climate change in the region. It is an ideal course for students studying climate change science or interested in weather forecasting.

PC430: Advanced Physical Oceanography

Semester: 2      Mode: O at C

Course Coordinator: Dr. Awnesh Singh

Course Description: The course provides an in-depth study of the physical ocean including ocean dynamics and processes. The course will cover physical properties of seawater, ocean structure, waves and tides, observational and data analysis methods, ocean dynamics and air-sea interactions. The course is designed to provide a quantitative in-depth understanding of key oceanographic processes and dynamics. It is an ideal course for students interested in climate variability, tropical meteorology, oceanographic processes, ocean/atmosphere interaction and climate change. Once mastered, the skills acquired from this course will be sufficient to enable a person to do basic oceanographic research and write scientific reports.

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