Postgraduate Courses on Building Resilience to Climate Change


    UNU-IAS regularly organizes intensive 3-week postgraduate courses on Building Resilience to Climate Change, developed under the framework of the University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research (UN-CECAR). UN-CECAR is a collaborative initiative of more than 20 leading universities across Asia, committed to develop post graduate educational and research programmes on climate and ecosystems change, adaptation and sustainability science. UNU-IAS acts as the UN-CECAR Secretariat.

    The courses run from 14 October to 31 October 2014. They cover a range of issues on sustainability and adaptation to climate and ecosystems change. Topics include climate and atmospheric science, impacts assessment, climate and society, ecosystems resilience, risk and uncertainty, integrated solutions for mitigation and adaptation, mainstreaming adaptation into development planning and community-based adaptation.

    Assessment is based on a research paper, presentations, class participation, and intermediate tests. The courses are practically-oriented and will be taught by a highly qualified and diverse team of natural and social science scholars. Each course is equivalent to a regular 2 credit postgraduate course in Japan. Credits also can be transferred to the UNU-IAS Master of Science in Sustainability programme.

    Daily Schedule

    There are three sessions each weekday: 10:00-12:00, 13:00-15:00 and 16:00-18:00.

    Faculty and Learning Environment

    Students will benefit from working closely with an expert teaching faculty comprising distinguished UN-CECAR scholars and practitioners, and UNU-IAS academic staff. Because it shares a building with many UN agencies, UNU-IAS offers a unique learning environment.

    The UNU Library offers access to a wide range of academic books, over 20,000 electronic journals, official UN documents, and publications in the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development e-libraries. All students will receive a comprehensive library orientation session at the beginning of the course.

    A dedicated computer lab will be provided for students, with software to cater to the needs of each course. An online learning tool will be provided for students to access lecture notes, reading lists and other materials specific to each course, as well as a message board and forum to facilitate discussion among faculty and students.

    Student Support and Accommodation

    UNU-IAS assists students throughout the courses, acknowledging that students may experience difficulties in adjusting to a new country and culture. Students can stay in low-cost accommodation arranged by UNU-IAS at a nearby hotel. Further information on payment and hotel reservations will be provided to successful applicants.

  • Target Applicants

    These courses are designed for:

    • students who are currently enrolled in a masters or Ph.D. programme, in any discipline;
    • who wish to deepen their knowledge on, and gain practical training in, building resilience to climate and ecosystems change; and
    • who desire a future career as a climate change specialist.

    Tuition Fees

    The fees for Course Ⅰ (14 – 24 October 2014) are USD 1,000 (or JPY 100,000).
    The fees for Course Ⅱ (27 October – 7 November 2014) are USD 1,000 (or JPY 100,000).

    English Language Requirements

    Excellent written and verbal English language skills are required. Applicants whose first language is not English and whose bachelor’s degree is not from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must submit proof of English language proficiency within the past 2 years. The minimum score requirements for TOEFL or IELTS are listed below:

    • 600 TOEFL paper-based
    • 100 TOEFL internet-based
    • 7.0 IELTS academic version


    The following applicants are exempt from submitting a score sheet:

    1. Applicants whose first language is English.
    2. Those who graduated from a university or a graduate school located in a country where English is the first language.
    3. Those who completed an undergraduate or graduate degree programme taught in English. In this case, please submit a certificate showing that the programme you attended was taught in English.
    4. Applicants who submit proof by any other means that have proficiency in English equivalent to that described in points (2) and (3) above.

    Please visit UN-CECAR website for more details.

  • You can apply to the Postgraduate Courses on Building Resilience to Climate Change online or by downloading and completing an application form. All application documents should be submitted in English. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline is 31 July 2014.
    Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered, and UNU-IAS will not be responsible for any postal delay or loss.

    Online Application

    If you would like to apply online, please use the online application form. You will need to create a user account to submit your applications.

    Document Application

    If you would like to apply by post or email, you should submit the following documents:

    • A completed Application with photo and signature;
    • Proof of enrolment in a master’s or Ph.D. degree programme for those currently undertaking a degree programme;
    • Original transcripts of academic records at the college or university level, or certified copies of original transcripts (these will not be returned to the applicant, so please do not include original certificates of diplomas or degrees);
    • A detailed proposal of your research topic, and explain how it could link with your current university thesis topic to that of climate change;
    • TOEFL scores or equivalent proof of English-language proficiency for non-native speakers or those who do not have an academic degree in an English-speaking country;
    • at least two references; one from the student’s supervisor and one from another faculty member.

    All of the documents listed above should be sent by email to,, or sent by registered express mail to the following address:

    UNU-IC Secretariat
    UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
    United Nations University Headquarters
    53-70 Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
    Tel: +81-3-5467-1212

  • The programme runs for 3 weeks from 14 October to 31 October 2014. Course 1 focuses on Science, Impacts and Vulnerability, and Course 2 focuses on Approches to Adaptation.

    Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a certificate of completion and a transcript from UNU-IAS. Each course is designed to be worth 2 credits and comprises of 36 hours of teaching time. While a number of universities have negotiated credit transfer agreements with UNU-IAS, ultimately the decision on whether credits are transferrable will be made by the student’s university.

    For latest BRCC course outline and sessions please view details at UN-CECAR website

  • Please address specific queries as follows:

    • Application procedure, acceptance policies, and student logistics: Ms. Wilma James, UNU-IAS (
    • Program content, resource persons and collaboration: Mr. Hideyuki Mohri, UNU-IAS (