There is a growing need to improve the general understanding of climate information to better serve societal needs. Many countries are addressing the challenges of climate services through the Global Framework for climate services (GFCS) driven by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


Kenya’s Constitution of (2010) guarantees every Kenyan citizen the right to access information held by the state (Chapter Four of the Constitution). The state covenants to publish and publicize any important information affecting the nation.  In addition, Chapter Five stipulates that the state shall eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment. Climate Change poses a significant threat to the society, environment and economy both at present and in the future. Therefore, the provision of climate change information will have far reaching implications on Kenya’s national development agenda.


Kenya Vision 2030, the country’s development blueprint covering the period 2008 to 2030, aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, “middle-income" country providing a high quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030”. The economic, social and political pillars of Kenya Vision 2030 are anchored on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Several “flagship” projects have been identified and are being implemented. They are expected to take the lead in generating rapid and widely-shared growth.  For instance, Weather modification flagship project is envisaged to act as a basis for rainfall enhancement and consequently providing improved availability of the much needed fresh water for rapid economic transformation.  Another flagship project is the rehabilitation of the five water towers (i.e. Mau Escarpment, Mt. Kenya, Aberdares Ranges, Cherangani Hills and Mt. Elgon).


Climate change has been recognized as a developmental issue which if not urgently addressed, may impede the gains expected from some of the proposed flagship projects in the Vision 2030. The Kenya National Climate Change Response Strategy (2009) identified the need to train skilled personnel in Climate Change Science for sustainable national development. One of the key components of this strategy is capacity building including research.


The PhD programme seeks to contribute to the national and global initiatives of responding to climate change effects through capacity building in the four broad components of Climate Change Science: Monitoring; Attribution; Mitigation; and Adaptation. This programme is unique in its coverage and is designed to cover a wide range of knowledge and skills required to address the challenges of regional and global climate change and sustainable development.

It also provides an in-depth study of the four key areas above and their interlinkages, drawing upon the internationally recognized teaching, research and consultancy expertise of the multi-disciplinary team of lecturers drawn from many disciplines from within the university, plus visiting lecturers from industry. 


The PhD programme in Climate Change is designed to provide students with advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in Climate Change Science. The programme is designed to meet the needs of those graduates seeking careers in the fields such as Climate Change Science; Modeling; Climate Risk Management and research in Climate Change science. The objectives of the programme shall be to impart students with:

(i)     Advanced knowledge in climate change science and develop competences in the applications of climate change science

(ii)   Skills to conduct advanced research in climate change issues and disseminate research findings.  




2.1       The Common Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the University of Nairobi and in the School of Physical Sciences shall apply.

2.2              The following shall be eligible for admission:

2.2.1        A holder of a Master’s Degree in Climate Change, or its equivalent from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by Senate.




3.1       A candidate may be exempted from some courses and credit transferred from an approved institution subject to the following conditions:

(i)        Request for exemption shall be made in writing, on admission to the Director, Board of Postgraduate Studies (BPS), University of Nairobi and must be accompanied by officially endorsed supporting documents, including the syllabi for the relevant course(s) done at the same level.

(ii)      The University of Nairobi reserves the right to administer an appropriate test, through respective departments in order to determine whether the exemption should be granted.

(iii)    Application for exemption shall be considered only after the payment of an exemption fee, as may be prescribed.

(iv)    The courses on which such exemptions are sought shall not exceed one third of the total number of units registered.





4.1       The programme shall last for a minimum period of eighteen (18) months and a maximum of five (5) years.

4.2       The programme shall be offered by course work, examinations and thesis.

4.3       The course work shall be conducted through lectures, discussion groups, practicals, seminars and assignments

4.4       Continuous assessment shall comprise tests, assignments, practicals, field work and term papers.

4.5       The candidate shall be required to take at least six (6) taught course units except where exemption has been permitted.

4.6       The candidate shall be required to take 4 core course units and at least 2 electives

4.7       The taught courses shall be covered in a minimum of one semester and a maximum of three (3) semesters each of fifteen (15) weeks.

4.8       Candidates shall be required to take at least two (2) course units in each semester.

4.9       A candidate shall be required to write a thesis equivalent to 8 units. The thesis must target a specific area of application of climate change science

4.10   The School may require the candidate to attend such a course or courses as may be considered appropriate.




The program will be offered under two modes; Face to Face and through Open and Distance learning for students who cannot attend regular University program.


5.1 Face to Face:


5.1.1       The course shall run for a minimum of six semesters and a maximum of twelve    semesters of fifteen weeks each.

5. 1.2      The course shall consist of six taught course units, and a Thesis, which shall constitute sixteen (16) units. A student will have taken twenty two (22) units in total.

5.1.3       The course shall consist of course work, examination and a thesis

5.1 .4      The students shall be required to take a minimum of two (2) units and a maximum of     six (6) Course units in a semester

5. 1.5     Each course unit shall be taught for sixty hours (60) consisting of lectures and tutorials

5.1.6      The thesis shall be equivalent to sixteen course units, and shall be undertaken after the course work.



5.2 Open, Distance and e-Learning:


This delivery mode will use various media, including print and electronic, and independent study.

5.2.1    The main medium of instruction shall be well-designed printed self instructional study modules. With the inclusion of interactive devices and self-tests, these modules will provide students with great learning opportunities.

5.2.2    The modules will be supported by technology mediated learning materials   which include audio compact discs and e-learning materials available on e-platforms such as Module.

5.2.3    There will be limited face-to- face sessions conducted on campus or other identified study centers in the regions.  These sessions will be used by lecturers to introduce and provide overviews of the courses at the beginning of the semesters and at mid-semester, to provide clarifications on issues raised by the learners. The end of semester sessions will be used for revisions before examinations.

5.2.4    Students will be supported through the University of Nairobi regional study centers where access to information through computers will be provided.

5.2.5    After registration, students will be given orientation on distance learning.  Specifically, orientation in studying at a distance will provide students with study skills, reading skills, time management techniques, handling of assignments and   general guidance and counseling.




Core Courses




SCC 801

Climate Change Monitoring and Attribution


SCC 802

Socio-Economics and Governance issues in Climate Change



Philosophy of Climate Change


SCC 804

Advanced Research Methods and Techniques



SCC 805

Integrated Modelling and Assessment of Climate Change on Ecosystems and Biosystems


SCC 806

Integrated Climate Modeling and Climate Projections


SCC 807

Environmental Monitoring and Observational Techniques


SCC 808

Climate Change Response Strategies


SCC 809

Climate Change and Energy Resources Technologies


SCC 810

Climate Change, Urbanization, Land Use and Development


SCC 811

Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Systems


SCC 812

Climate Change and Water Resources



SCC 820

PhD. Thesis





The common regulations governing examinations for PhD degree in the University of Nairobi, shall apply.


7.1       Written examinations

7.1.1    A candidate shall not be allowed to sit any examination unless he or she has attended at least two thirds of the total lecture hours.

7.1.2    Each unit shall be examined by a three hour written examination at the end of the semester during which the course is offered.

7.1.3    The end of semester examination shall constitute 60% of the total marks in each course unit while the continuous assessment shall constitute 40%. Continuous assessment shall comprise of assignments, tests, term papers and practical where applicable.

7.1.4    The Pass mark for each course unit shall be 50% and the grading shall be as follows:

Class                Mark (%)         Remark

A                     70-100             PASS

B                     60-69               PASS

C                     50-59               PASS

D                     Below 50         FAIL

7.1.5    The candidate shall be allowed to proceed to do research after passing all course units.

7.1.6    A candidate who fails in up to three units may be allowed to sit for supplementary examinations in the failed unit(s).

7.1.7    The maximum score for a supplementary examination shall be 50%.

7.1.8    A candidate who fails in more than three units shall be discontinued.

7.1.9   A candidate who fails in the supplementary examination or has failed to complete the prescribed courses within the prescribed time, shall be discontinued.



7.2       Examination of the Thesis


7.2.1    Regulations governing the examination of thesis

List of required documents

  1. KCSE/O-level certificate
  2. Certified copies of undergraduate degree certificate and transcripts
  3. KNEC C plain applicants to attach certified copy of diploma from KNEC in addition to i and ii.
  4. Certified copies of masters degree certificate and transcripts