LWMHRV-Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ms Marie Aronsson

Email: e.m.l.aronsson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
«p»This module focuses on key themes underpinning disaster management, namely hazards, risk, vulnerability and resilience. It focuses especially on these aspects from the perspective of the prevention and mitigation elements of the disaster management cycle. It considers these key themes and elements from different law and non-law disciplinary perspectives, such as disaster risk reduction (DRR) law, flooding and drought management, building/urban design, food security, humanitarian, and global health. It is framed around significant global initiatives including the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30, UN Climate Change Agreement 2015, and Sustainable Development Goals 2015, including consideration of how such global law is translated into practice. «/p»


An overarching aim of this module is to enable students to become more conversant with multi-disciplinary issues and perspectives that will better equip them for practice in the inherently multi-disciplinary arenas of crises, conflicts and disasters. More specifically, this module introduces students to the pivotal concepts and underlying premises of hazard, risk, vulnerability and resilience which underpin decision-making processes, with particular emphasis on preventing and mitigating the effects of potential disasters, e.g through effective early warning mechanisms and ‘building back better’. Each of these concepts will be examined and critiqued through different disciplinary lenses.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

•    Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the concepts of hazard, risk, vulnerability and resilience, particularly from the perspective of preventing and mitigating the (potential) effects of disasters. 

•    Demonstrate a basic understanding of different disciplinary perspectives, approaches, challenges and priority issues regarding the concepts of hazard, risk, vulnerability and resilience. In so doing, demonstrate a basic ability to be multi-disciplinary conversant.

•    Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the impact of current global priorities, especially the Sendai Framework on DRR, UN Climate Change Agreement 2015, and Sustainable Development Goals 2015 on preventing and mitigating the potential effects of disasters.

•    Demonstrate a basic understanding of the significance and role of DRR law.

Please note that not all assessable learning outcomes will apply to all assessments. Whilst some are generic, others will only be relevant to specific topics and will depend on the assessment title selected.

Additional outcomes:

Given the fact that the module is orientated towards small group teaching and independent study, this module will encourage autonomy with regard to critical analysis and debate of the issues examined. It will further assist in the development of high-level oral communication skills through the discussion and examination of important conceptual issues and their application in practice, including consideration of a range of disciplinary perspectives and sample case studies. 

These outcomes are in addition to those listed in the School's ‘core skills statement’.

Outline content:

Seminars will cover such topics as:

•    Diverse disciplinary understandings of key concepts including of ‘hazard’, ‘risk’, ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’. 

•    DRR law.

•    Human vulnerability, risk and resilience in the face of severe adversity including conflicts and disasters.

•    Global health.

•    Flood and drought management.

•    Food (in) security.

•    Building planning and construction.

•    Urban planning design.

•    Technical aspects of different forms of hazards.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:

•    A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.

•    Ten weekly seminar classes of 2 hours each. 

•    Due to the reactive and changing nature of the issues covered by this module, it may be that the content of some seminars are refocused at short notice to respond to relevant real-life recent and/or ongoing situations. 

•    A formative feedback opportunity writing a 1-2 page essay plan.   

•    Students will be given an independent research assignment in the form of a written assessment relevant to one or more topics examined during the module.


•    Where there are specialist programme lectures or events, or other University seminars, relevant to these issues, students in the module will be encouraged to attend and be given the opportunity to discuss the issues with visiting academic presenters.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

An assessed essay of 15 pages maximum (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules).

Formative assessment methods:

Students will have the opportunity to write a 1-2 page maximum essay plan on which they will be given written feedback.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

See School of Law PGT Programme handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 17 January 2018

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