Understanding Risk (30 credits)
This is a 30 credit core module for all students taking any route of the Masters Programmes in Risk.
This module provides an interdisciplinary perspective on risk along with an overview of key theories and concepts relating to risks to human populations posed by physical and social hazards. This includes (1) exploring the inequality that underpins risk, especially concerning exposure, vulnerability and resilience (2) investigating how people interact with ‘natural’ environmental processes within a number of geographic areas that provides a solid foundation for understanding how risks are generated (3) learning how to identify interventions for managing, preventing or mitigating risks to human populations throughout the world.
The aims of the module are to
- Provide an overview of key theories and concepts relating to risks to human populations posed by hazards in physical and in social environments
- Understand the determinants of risk, including causal pathways
- Explore the inequality of risk, including inequality of exposure, vulnerability and resilience
- Identify interventions on how to manage, prevent or mitigate risks to human populations
After taking this module students should be able to
- Understand and apply advanced conceptual frameworks covered in the module to interpret specific examples of risks in the social and physical environment
- Possess an advanced understanding of and be able to interpret the interactions between human and ‘natural’ environmental processes which generate risks for human populations
- Demonstrate a good grasp of the challenges involved in designing risk mitigation and management strategies
The perspective is interdisciplinary and is designed to allow students to appreciate the complementarity of physical and social science approaches and perspectives.
Teaching and assessment
The module will be divided into four blocks, with two blocks per term. There will be two additional seminars to introduce and conclude the module and these will bookend the four main blocks. Each of these four main blocks will have a series of three staff-led seminars, one workshop, and a tutorial. The seminars will start with a presentation by a member of staff, followed by discussion on the basis of (a) pre-set readings, and (b) reaction to the lecture. The workshops will be student-led, working through relevant examples and case studies. The tutorials will follow the seminars and workshop in each part of the module and will consolidate learning from that part and provide guidance on reading for the next part. They provide a forum for the summative assessment. Students will be required to complete a take home examination paper on this module.
For further details on module content, contact hours and assessment please refer to the postgraduate modules handbook.