How we teach: We create engaging learning environments to fit each module theme. We combine small and large-group teaching, practical activities and discussion in the classroom and a range of marked and unmarked learning activities to support skills development.
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We use a range of marked and unmarked assignments to help students develop skills and specialized knowledge:
How we assess your progress:
Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) provides student-centred training in a range of academic and practical skills:
These short, uncredited modules are offered throughout the year and support individual skill development.
Students benefit from the active involvement of the Institute for Hazards, Risk and Resilience (IHRR). The IHRR organises an annual seminar series and Careers in Risk event, both of which draw from the IHRR’s impressive network of practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. These events give our students direct access to our research and alumni networks. Student have multiple opportunities to learn how to put their learning into practice.
Required for MA & MSc students on:
The aim of this module is to expose students to current thinking in risk research through the Institute of Hazard and Risk Research seminar series. Guest lectures are given by both Durham and external staff and this exposure offers students broad training students in the generic skills of interpreting, criticising and synthesising emerging research.
Previous seminars have included:
Teaching Methods and Contact Hours
The Institute for Hazards, Risk and Resilience organises its annual seminar series as part of this module, drawing from its wide, global network of researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. Students discuss seminars with guest lecturers following each seminar, offering opportunities for further exploration and networking.
The module aims to provide an overview of key approaches to riskand uncertainty from both the social and physical sciences. The interdisciplinary approach is designed to allow students to critically reflect upon the complementarity of physical and social science approaches to developing an integrated understanding of risk.
This module is taught in four blocks of three lectures + tutorials. Each block is taught by a different member of staff, giving MA and MSc students exposure to different specialisms.
The dissertation module enables students to develop and execute an extended piece of research on a specialised topic. The module covers principles of good research design, methodology and execution, including issues of ethics, rigour, creativity and validity.
This module includes a small number of workshops on research design, methods selection and feedback on research project ideas. The majority of teaching is through 1:1 supervision by staff.
Climate change risks cut across traditional physical and social scientific boundaries and require different understandings and responses at different scales. The module therefore aims to expand students’ comprehension of the diverse (natural and socio-political) processes underpinning climate change and its felt impacts in particular places and systems, and to combine that knowledge with an advanced appreciation for how geographical context, social difference and inequality shape uneven risks and resilience in the face of climate change-related destabilizations. Moreover, it prompts students to consider how particular new and pre-existing vulnerabilities, threatened environments and narratives of risk, resilience and security matter: their intrinsic significance and their importance within the broader politics of climate change responses.
The module will combine a) an overview of core concepts needed for advanced understanding of climate impacts and vulnerabilities with b) in-depth explorations of particular geographies and issues that have been framed as ‘hotspots’ of climate risk and physical and social ‘tipping points’ for climate change and its responses. Topics for these deeper dives will vary depending staff expertise: the module will explore in depth a small range of relevant topics, selecting between 3 and 5 from the following indicative list:
This module is organised by theme, with instructors offering a different social or physical science approach to that theme. Through lectures, seminars and workshops, students learn to identify and understand multiple approaches to anthropogenic climate change. Seminars and workshops help students develop connections between theoretical debates and evaluate their explanatory power in relation to a range of empirical contexts. Contact time is approximately two hours per week.
This module provides advanced training in social science approaches to risk and resilience, with particular focus on climate change, security and inequality. Through this module, students will develop a strong foundation in concepts, theories, and techniques essential to carry out research. The module focuses on a variety of historical and conceptual ways of understanding risk from a critical angle. The perspective is broadly interdisciplinary, drawing on research in human geography, security studies, humanitarianism, migration and refugee studies, sociology of risk, political science, science and technology studies.
Depending on staff expertise, this module may explore:
This module is taught through a combination of lectures, discussion of readings and workshops exploring a range of case studies.
This module provides students with fundamental knowledge of physical processes that drive hydro-meteorological hazards from a quantitative perspective. This perspective enables statistical and simulation modelling approaches to quantify the potential impacts of land use and climate change on hydro-meteorological hazards. This knowledge enables the investigation of how future hazards may be mitigated as part of a management strategy. The module draws from local and global examples to show how these hazards impact different communities and how the management of the hazard can be achieved.
The module will cover three themes
Practical sessions working with data build on core knowledge presented in lectures. Through a field visit, students deepen their knowledge and analysis of hydro-meteorological processes. Contact time is averages two hours per week.
This is a science-based module aimed at students wishing to develop postgraduate level knowledge about the spatial and temporal distributions and key characteristics of a variety of hazards. The aim of the module is to provide students with theoretical and practical training in how to understand, quantify, and visualise the spatial and temporal dimensions of hazards.
In this module, students work towards an independent, guided project. The first part of the module pairs lectures and computer-based practical skills sessions. Each lecture/practical block focusses on spatial and temporal characteristics common to many hazards, and explores broad concepts, methods and visualisation techniques that are widely
applied in both research and practise. In the second part of the module, students use these techniques to work with data sets in self-guided, staff-supported projects.
The module will provide applied training in the use of geographic skills and techniques with the aim of developing a range of transferable methods relevant to professional and personal development. The emphasis will be on (a) enhancing students’ existing quantitative and qualitative research skills (b) exploring issues involved in the design and conduct of working with geographic information; and (c) providing hands-on experience working with a variety of data sources and methods in a human-geography context.
This module includes a lecture and a practical session focussed on a specific method or skill each week, supported by small group tutorials to develop student projects.
This module provides an overview of the methods used in risk research and training in the generic skills that risk research requires, including risk communication and engagement.
The module focusses on:
Teaching methods and contact hours
This module is taught through weekly discussion-based lectures/seminars, complemented by small group teaching in workshops and tutorials. Students learn to write policy briefs and short, non-academic pieces.