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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Geography

GEOG40530: HYDRO-METEOROLOGICAL HAZARDS

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2019/20

Prerequisites

  • None.

Corequisites

  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • The aim of this module is to provide students with fundamental knowledge of hydro-meteorological hazards, with a particular focus upon flood and drought risk, their causes, the role of feedbacks and the changing environmental drivers influencing them, including projected climate change, and the ways that hazards might be investigated and managed as part of a management strategy.

Content

  • The module will cover three themes
  • 1. Flooding and droughts as environmental hazards
  • 2. Meteorological drivers, processes and quantification of floods and drought
  • 3. Monitoring, estimating and predicting floods and droughts

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understanding of the primary drivers of flood and drought risk and the interactions between elements of the flood risk system, including feedbacks
  • Appreciation of the different types of drought and their measurement
  • Understanding of the role played by environmental change, catchment management, and social and economic processes in driving hydro-meteorological hazards
  • Understanding the basics of the hydrological science required as inputs to flood risk analysis, and the associated tools used in those sciences.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to undertake return period analysis using the statistical distribution (e.g. Gumbel)
  • Competence to model hydrological problems (as an alternative to statistical methods) including awareness of data issues, calibration and validation
  • Capability to analyse large scale meteorlogical drivers associated with drought and floods.
Key Skills:
  • Critical evaluation and synthesis of published data and interpretations
  • Technical skills in analysing data (e.g. time-series, extremes, trends)
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete written work within word limits, including essay and report writing skill

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • There are three modes of teaching:
  • 1. Lectures will provide core understanding, including that associated with the subject knowledge, and the underpinning science to enable acquisition of necessary subject skills;
  • 2. Practical exercises (in the form of workshops) as well as formative written assignments will be used to develop the specific subject skills, based around case examples linked to research and to develop student understanding of lecture-based material; and
  • 3. A field day will demonstrate how flood hazard management approaches are applied
  • Independent study will be required to deepen the student's subject knowledge through reading, and to develop practical skills, with practical classes assisting with these.
  • We will assess subject knowledge by asking students to provide a written review of the fundamental elements of a flood risk analysis and the associated limits of such analyses. We will assess subject skills through short practical exercises linked to each practical.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 12 1 2 hours 24
Practical sessions 5 1 2 hours 10
Field class 1 1 8 hours 8
Independent learning 258
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 words 100% Yes
Component: Report 1 Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report 1 1500 words 100% Yes
Component: Report 2 Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report 2 1500 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative feedback will be provided through verbal discussions in the practical sessions, and through written feedbackl. A formative written task will be set to support the summative essay and a formative practical report will be set to guide the two summative reports. Students who fail to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University


    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.