Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Risk, Resilience and Behaviour in a Changing Environment
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Research presentation  20%
Semester Assessment Essay  (3,000 words, including 500-word executive summary)  70%
Semester Assessment Seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed assessments.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe the principles of preparedness, mitigation, and resilience.

Identify and evaluate the historical and geographic factors that contributed to the incorporation of resilience thinking into emergency management.

Critically assess the different ways resilience shapes contemporary practices in emergency management.

Describe and assess new behavioural insights and how they inform, or may be applied to, understandings of socio-environmental change.

Demonstrate through their written essay, research presentations, and research summary, and in-class discussions evidence of the development of transferable skills, including: critical analysis; effective communication; research design and problem identification; conducting empirical research; and interpretation, evaluation, and synthesis of a range of academic and empirical materials.

Brief description

Resilience has become a buzzword, an overarching principle that is steadily reshaping how society conceptualises and manages social and environmental risk and uncertainty. It is a human centred discourse in which how people behave or respond to environmental change is of increasing significance. Behavioural insights from an array of disciplines have recently come to the fore as a mechanism for achieving social and environmental goals. In this seminar series we will explore the emergence of both resilience and behavioural insights as tools of policy and consider their potential and limitations for managing socio-environmental change.


This module will be taught in ten two-hour sessions, which are organised into two thematic sections:
Unit 1: Theories of Risk, Resilience and Adaptation
Unit 2. Environmental Behaviour Change.
It has been designed to provide an advanced framework for students to analyze the connections between environmental risk, resilience and human behaviour.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication The module will develop the students' skills of written communication in writing their assessed essays. The executive summary is specifically designed to develop students' communication skills. There will be short seminar discussions on writing for professional agencies throughout the term. Students will also be expected to contribute to group discussions in the seminars (although this will not be assessed).
Improving own Learning and Performance Student attendance and participation in the seminars, and their undertaking of an assessed essay, will help them to enhance a range of learning skills. The module requires students to undertake 180 hours of self-directed study.
Information Technology The assessed essay and individual presentation requires students to undertake independent research using bibliographic search-engines and library catalogues. Writing essays and preparing and running powerpoint presentations will enable students to practice their IT skills.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will help students to develop a range of transferable skills. Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees will benefit from the theory-based discussions that strengthen critical analysis skills. All students will develop group work skills that will be valuable for their future employment. The practical issues discussed will support students hoping to follow a career in environmental management, disaster management, or emergency management fields.
Problem solving The written assessment will require students to evaluate the applicability, advantages, limitations, and effectiveness of different techniques of resilience building to contemporary problems of environmental change and risk management. It will also develop and demonstrate their critical thinking skills.
Research skills Seminar sessions will include small discussions on researching and writing for professional organisations. Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic source material in completing their assessed research essay and presentation. Through the research process, students will have the opportunity to plan and carry out research, discuss research methods, and prepare research presentations.
Subject Specific Skills The module will enable students to undertake geographical analyses of resilience policies and practices in a number of specific fields, from security to development and environmental management. It will also further develop, and give them the opportunity to practice, subject-specific research skills they learned in the first-term methods course.
Team work The assessed leading of seminar discussion session will require students to work with a partner to develop in-class activities that will be used to illustrate different resilience techniques (during unit 2). This assignment will enable students to develop negotiation and persuasion skills in a small-team setting. Additionally, the seminars will include in-class group activities designed to help student understanding of assigned readings, which will provide opportunities for students to interact in a large group setting and discuss their thoughts with the class.


This module is at CQFW Level 7