KE7005 - Disaster Risk Reduction and Response

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about hazard, vulnerability, disaster and emergency paradigms in different development contexts, and the evolution of disaster management from a response focus to a risk reduction perspective. Within the context of disaster risk reduction, you will explore the role of international, national and local actors in reducing disaster risk. Within the context of disaster response, you will explore how relief is managed, the role of the Humanitarian Charter and minimum standards. To do this, we will consider a range of geophysical and hydrometeorological hazards and associated disasters, including in the context of human conflict, drawing on a range of examples that map onto the research expertise of the module’s teaching staff. The specific topics you will study include:

• The range of interpretations of disaster management in different development contexts
• The range of institutions, stakeholders and processes at various levels and the role of intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organisations with reference to disaster risk reduction and response
• The principles, practices and policies of disaster risk reduction and disaster management at various levels
• The circumstances that give rise to disaster risk or disaster resilience through case studies and the application of conceptual frameworks
• How to recognise good practice in interventions for disaster management and sustainable development

How will I learn on this module?

Interactive lectures, seminars and independent study form the primary learning and teaching methods. Some directed learning is also provided, for example, reading for seminars, research on topical disaster events for class discussion.

Lectures will be used to introduce and develop key ideas, concepts and principles across the range of topics covered on the module; in effect they will act as a framework or scaffolding to support your learning. You will then further develop and build your knowledge, understanding and expertise in smaller seminar group discussions and by engaging with online, interactive reading lists made available via the module’s electronic learning platform (eLP).

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During both lectures and seminars you will interact closely with teaching staff. Your class materials will be further supported by on-line resources available via the module eLP site. These resources include an interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles aligned to your weekly lecture programme. Support is available outside of teaching time. Staff can be contacted via e-mail where you can ask for guidance on a particular topic or arrange for a meeting where that topic can be discussed.

Teaching staff operate an ‘open door’ policy for students meaning you can approach them anytime during normal office hours, or via email, to answer questions, receive feedback and support your learning on the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: Critically evaluate the ideological interpretations, principles and practice of disaster risk reduction and response, from the local to the global, encompassing different development contexts
• MLO2: Identify, explain and evaluate the characteristics of institutions involved in disaster risk reduction and response, and policies for achieving disaster resilience

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO3: Apply and evaluate models and frameworks for understanding processes relating to disaster risk reduction and response
• MLO4: Identify good practice in interventions for disaster risk reduction and response

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Undertake advanced literature searches and reviews to conduct rigorous, concise, academically informed and appropriately referenced critical work

How will I be assessed?

The summative assessment of the module is through coursework. You will write a 4,000 word assignment that will critically evaluate disaster management and disaster risk reduction. You will choose your topic from a number that will be provided.

Formative assessment will be given via a tutorial where you will discuss with a tutor the topic you have selected and how you will structure your essay such that it provides a critical insight into disaster management and disaster risk reduction.

Summative assessment is provided by written feedback on the essay.

This meets MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.





Module abstract

This module aims to explore the contested models of disaster management and how they inform policy at various levels from the international to the local. Case studies will be used drawn upon to illustrate the subject’s breadth and the different approaches to disaster risk reduction (DRR) as practised by potential employers such as United Nations (UN) and nNon-gGovernmental oOrganisations (NGOs) such as Oxfam. The module will introduce hazard, vulnerability, disaster, and emergency paradigms, and humanitarianism in a range of developmentfirst and third world contexts. The key issues in disaster risk reduction and response will be explored in both first and third world contexts includinge health (including psycho-social impacts of disasters ):; the vulnerabilitiesy and capacitiesy of different social groups in preparing for and responding to disasters e.g.,including the role of ; gender, age, race and and class/caste and ethnicity; the governance of risk and emergency response; and the role of science in decision-making e.g., early warning systems; and the key principles of humanitarian action risk and complex emergencies. Interactive lectures and seminars, and independent study form the primary learning and teaching methods. Some directed learning is also provided, including, for example, readings for seminars and research on topical disaster events, for later class discussion.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy