International development

Disasters, Environment and Development

Module code: 005DA
Level 6
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Workshop, Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework

In this module, you look at the connections between disasters, the environment and development. 

The negative impacts of environmental and climatic change and environmentally-related disasters threaten to roll back decades of development gains. Building resilient and sustainable societies means addressing climate and disaster risks, understanding the links between these issues and integrating these risks, as well as potential opportunities, into development planning and budgeting. 

The module is split into three parts:

  • concepts, exploring similarities and differences in concepts and frameworks and terminology used in these different areas
  • problems, looking at issues of droughts, floods and food security, complex disasters, environmental migration, trapped populations and resource wars
  • solutions, examining the possible avenues that may help address these problems, including remittance bonds, serious games, blended knowledge and science for humanitarian emergencies and resilience.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the conceptual links between disaster, environmental change and sustainable development.
  • Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, and concepts around disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and development.
  • Understand the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge around planning for future developmental actions in a changing environment.
  • Critically discuss and analyse evidence for the role of environmental stresses and shocks on patterns of conflict or migration in the global south.
  • Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources in the three overlapping areas of climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction and development.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the application of serious games.