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Natural Hazards and Mitigation - ENV00050H

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ed Garrett
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module aims to give students a deep understanding of natural hazards, encompassing both fundamental understanding of physical processes and knowledge of solutions that enhance mitigation and resilience.

Related modules

Pre-requisite module:

Core Skills in Physical Geography (Yr 1)

Our Dynamic Earth (Yr 1)

Ecological Principles (Yr 2)

Hydrological and Coastal Processes (Yr 2)

Glaciers, Ice Sheets and Climate Change (Yr 2)

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module explores the physical processes associated with natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods and landslides; the impacts hazards have on human populations; and current and emerging approaches to moderate their effects. We will investigate underlying theories and interrogate case studies from around the world, whilst also engaging with tools used in industry and government for policy and strategy development. Group work provides the opportunity for students to put their learning into practice and to work together to research and devise strategies to address particular hazards.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, successful students will:

  • demonstrate detailed knowledge of a range of natural hazards

  • be able to apply underlying theories to interpret the causes of particular natural hazard case studies

  • be able to critically examine and evaluate different approaches to resilience and mitigation

Additionally, students will develop the following academic and graduate skills:

  • synthesis and critical evaluation of published data

  • teamwork and collaborative skills

  • experience of writing a briefing note


Task Length % of module mark
Briefing note
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Group Presentation
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Briefing note
N/A 100

Module feedback

Seminar sessions will provide opportunities for continuous formative feedback. Written feedback will be provided on both the group presentation and the individual briefing note, timing in accordance with departmental/university policy.

Indicative reading


Bryant, E., 2005. Natural Hazards, Cambridge University Press.

Loughlin, S.C., Sparks, S., Brown, S.K., Jenkins, S.F., Vye-Brown, C. 2015. Global volcanic hazards and risk. Cambridge University Press.

Mitchell-Wallace, K., Jones, M., Hillier, J., Foote, M., 2017. Natural catastrophe risk management and modelling: A practitioner’s guide. John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, K., 2013. Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster. Routledge.


AghaKouchak, A., Chiang, F., Huning, L.S., Love, C.A., Mallakpour, I., Mazdiyasni, O., Moftakhari, H., Papalexiou, S.M., Ragno, E., Sadegh, M., 2020. Climate extremes and compound hazards in a warming world. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 48, 519–548.

Goldfinger, C., Ikeda, Y., Yeats, R.S., Ren, J., 2013. Superquakes and supercycles. Seismological Research Letters 84, 24–32.

Neumann, B., Vafeidis, A.T., Zimmermann, J., Nicholls, R.J., 2015. Future coastal population growth and exposure to sea-level rise and coastal flooding - A global assessment. PLoS ONE 10, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118571

Stein, S., Geller, R.J., Liu, M., 2012. Why earthquake hazard maps often fail and what to do about it. Tectonophysics 562–563, 1–25.

Sutanto, S.J., Vitolo, C., Di Napoli, C., D’Andrea, M., Van Lanen, H.A.J., 2020. Heatwaves, droughts, and fires: Exploring compound and cascading dry hazards at the pan-European scale. Environment International 134, 105276.

Tappin, D.R., 2017. The importance of geologists and geology in tsunami science and tsunami hazard. Geological Society Special Publication 456, 5–38.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.