UCL Department of Geography
GEOGG030 Natural Hazards
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GEOGG030 Natural Hazards

(15 credits)

Term 2 (2012)

John Twigg, Emily Wilkinson


This module draws from a range of disciplines including geography, sociology, and development studies. It looks at theories of social vulnerability and protection, sustainable development and disaster risk management, the causes and consequences of natural disasters, and decision-making processes and interventions to reduce disaster risk.


100% coursework - 1 essay.


The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and group work, the latter including discussion of case studies and a vulnerability and capacity assessment exercise.

Learning Outcomes:

·    Improved understanding of disasters, human vulnerability and disaster management
·    Knowledge and skills to deploy understanding of disaster causality and reduction in other academic and professional spheres


Preliminary readings:

Handmer J, Dovers S 2007, Handbook of Disaster & Emergency Policies & Institutions (London: Earthscan)

Hewitt K (1997) Regions of Risk: a geographical introduction to disasters (Harlow: Longman)

Pelling M ed. (2003) Natural Disasters and Development in a Globalizing World, (Routledge: London)

Smith K (2001) Environmental hazards: assessing risk and reducing disaster (London: Routledge, 3rd edn)

Twigg J (2004) Disaster Risk Reduction: mitigation and preparedness in development and emergency programming (London: Overseas Development Institute)

Wisner B et al (2004) At Risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters (London: Routledge, 2nd edn)