Disasters, Environment and Development (005DA)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Environmental change and disaster risk present fundamental threats to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. It has been argued that 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 both climate and disaster risks, our understanding of the linkages between these issues and integrating these risks, as well as potential opportunities, into development planning and budgeting.

This module provids an exploration of the connections between disasters, the environment and development.

The module is split into three parts:

  • a conceptual part that explores similarities and differences in concepts, frameworks and terminology used in these different areas
  • a problem part that looks at the issues of ‘Droughts, floods and food security’, ‘Complex disasters’, ‘Environmental migration’, ‘Trapped populations’ and ‘Resource wars’
  • a ‘solution’ part that looks at some of the possible avenues that may help address these problems including ‘Remittance bonds’, ‘Serious games’, ‘Blended knowledge’ and ‘Science for Humanitarian Emergencies & Resilience’.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Essay)
50%: Written assessment (Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 40 hours of contact time and about 260 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.


This module is offered on the following courses: