Environmental Risks and Hazards (Elective) (F8508E)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

On this interdisciplinary module, you’ll be introduced to the risks, hazards and disasters associated with the Earth’s natural environments and the growing impacts of human activity on them.

You’ll consider the nature of hazards, disasters, risks, and how their impacts can be reduced through mitigation, protection and adaptation. You’ll discuss the hazards including:

  • the ‘big four’ historical hazards: floods, droughts, earthquakes, tropical cyclones
  • significant hazards: volcanoes, mass movement, biophysical and technological
  • 20th- and 21st-century environmental hazards: sea-level change, climate change causes and consequences, informed by the recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

You’ll follow this exploration with a case study focusing on the sensitive cryosphere in which you’ll consider how the Earth’s polar and alpine regions are changing rapidly and generating hazards and risks of global significance.


100%: Lecture


100%: Examination (Distance examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 11 hours of contact time and about 139 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.