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Module DXX-2008:

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Lynda Yorke

Overall aims and purpose

Geohazards are omnipresent in our World and are an ever-present threat to our economic and social well-being. Understanding Geohazards requires an interdisciplinary approach because the subject lies at the nexus of natural and social sciences. The module will draw upon interdisciplinary research to explore the key concepts of hazard, risk, vulnerability, and resilience. The module will explore the mechanisms of key hazards (geophysical, hydrometeorological) through a series of case studies, alongside the impacts and physical mitigation of those hazards. The module will provide a critical examination of the historic and contemporary approaches to monitoring, preparedness, and governance. The module will discuss communication and disaster risk reduction strategies, examining the publics perceptions and attitudes to risk and hazard management. Students will be encouraged to critically engage with the materials, and to develop solutions-based approaches to future environmental hazards and risks.

Course content

  • History and development of disaster studies in Geography
  • Vulnerability, Resilience, and Risk
  • Disaster Effects and Impacts
  • Types of Hazards and Case Studies
  • Mitigation and Preparedness

Assessment Criteria


Grade D- to D+ Written examination answers provide basic factual information, but lack depth and detail. Seminar presentation keeps to time, slides are clear, and student is able to answer most of the questions asked by the audience. Poster is readable and gives basic information on the causes and impacts of a geohazards and how these can be monitored.


Grade C- to B+ Written examination answers provide most of the relevant factual information and include examples to illustrate particular points. Seminar presentation keeps to time, slides are clear and informative, and student is able to answer all of the questions asked by the audience. Poster is well designed and informative on the causes, impacts and monitoring of a geohazard.


Grade A- and above Written examination answers provide all of the relevant factual information as well as discussion based on wider reading and highly-developed conceptual awareness. Seminar presentation keeps to time, slides are clear, informative and imaginative, and student is able to give comprehensive answers to all of the questions asked by the audience. Poster is well and imaginatively designed, and gives full information on the causes, impacts and monitoring of a geohazard.

Learning outcomes

  1. Define the key concepts in the context of the impact of natural processes on human society.

  2. Explain the processes which lead to the occurrence of natural hazards and disasters at a range of temporal and spatial scales

  3. Outline the scientific methods used to investigate and monitor hazards and explain effective mitigation strategies

  4. Synthesise information (relating to hazards) from a variety of sources (on-line and traditional)

  5. Evaluate the impacts of hazards and disasters on human society

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ORAL Individual Oral Examination

An individual oral examination of 5-minutes based on the presentation and report.

GROUP PRESENTATION Group Oral Presentation

The real-world case study you will present at this conference must demonstrate that you have investigated managing the flood risk issue(s) at either Llanrwst (CV) or Towyn (NWC). You will arrange yourselves into small groups (3-4 students) before week 2. Your oral must be 12 minutes long, which can include the 2 min video/voice over. Each member of the group must present. There will be 3 minutes for Q&A from the cohort.


The cxamination comprises a seen essay question, and three short-answer unseen questions from a list of five. This exam is two-hours long and occurs during the January examination period.

REPORT Group Summary Report

The report should be no more than 2,000 words in length (excluding references, tables, captions, etc.). The report should provide a background context; discuss the issue(s) at the specific geographical location, and the flood risk management in place; and, provide some solutions and/or further considerations to deal with the current and future challenges.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


This field course directly relates to the in-course assessment.


11*2 hour lectures. These will comprise asynchronous (recorded) and synchronous (live) participation.


6*1 hour seminars. These will comprise synchronous (live) participation, with preparation required before the seminars.


1 x 4 hour workshops. These will be live workshops based around the in-course assessment.

Private study

This will comprised guided independant study - reading, researching, preparing, discussing, study groups, etc.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
  • Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
  • Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
  • Prepare effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.
  • Engagement with current subject developments and their application.
  • Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
  • Demonstrate the independence and skills required for continuing professional development


Resource implications for students

Students are not required to purchase any books, and most of the reading is based around peer-reviewed articles available through the library website.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

This can be found by searching for DXX-2008 on the Library website. There will be some suggested reading associated with each lecture, and there are some key suggestions found in the module handbook.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: