Specific aims of the course:
This course aims to develop a critical understanding appropriate to HE Level 6 of the major theoretical approaches to risk from a number of different disciplinary perspectives. The course aims to develop students' ability to develop a detailed knowledge of individual and social theories of risk in relation to processes of environmental risk assessment, governance, perception and communication. It enables students to develop skills in applying theoretical knowledge to the analysis and evaluation of empirical case studies in order to better understand the issues at stake in contemporary debates about environmental risk and in managing their own learning within this subject, critically evaluating theoretical and empirical material, identifying and seeking ways of approaching complex risk problems, and communicating understanding of critical issues.
At the completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of individual and social theories of environmental risk and of how theories of risk relate to processes of risk assessment, governance, perception and communication, and the related theoretical problems that arise. Apply the acquired knowledge to empirical case studies and show awareness of the limitations of such applications. Critically evaluate and reflect on the issues at stake in contemporary debates about risk. Take an informed and reasoned approach to evaluating theoretical and empirical material that they encounter during the course of study. Conceptualise complex risk problems and clearly communicate critical issues.
1. Geography, Environmental Risk and Society.
2. Risk Governance: Variety, problems and dilemmas.
3. Risk Governance Failure: Case Study.
4. Risk and Policy-making.
5. Assessing Risk: Methods and Constraints.
6. Public Perception and Communication of Environmental Risk.
7. Public Perception and Communication of Environmental Risk: Case Study.
8. Public Perception and Communication of Environmental Risk: Case Study.
9. Living in the Risk Society: Risk and social theory.
10. Environmental Risk and Society: The Future.
10 lectures, 10 seminars
Module assessment - more information
Two 2000-word essays (50% each)