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The DRRE401 course provides an introduction to disaster risk and resilience situations, theory and practices. It explores drivers of disaster risk and covers national and international frameworks for disaster risk reduction. The course allows students to undertake natural hazard risk assessments and explore resilience strategies for real life communities in high risk environments (via field trips) and utilises a number of guest lectures from leading international thinkers in this field. The course assumes no background, but progresses to advanced topics throughout the course.
DRRE401 provides an introduction to disaster risk and resilience disciplines, theories and practices. It explores drivers of disaster risk and covers national and international frameworks for disaster risk reduction. The course helps students to develop a broad understanding of the disaster risk management field, and of applications in real-world settings, including the identification of resilience strategies for communities in high-risk environments (via field trips). It utilises a number of guest lectures from leading international thinkers in the field. The course assumes no background, but progresses to advanced topics.
Students successfully completing DRRE 401 will:Have a clear understanding of the basic terminology used in disaster research contexts, particularly “hazard”, “risk,” and “disaster”Have developed a basic understanding of the broad drivers of disaster riskUnderstand some of the key challenges associated with disaster risk management and risk governance Be familiar with case studies from a variety of disaster contexts and potential disaster risk management approachesUndertake a structured approach to identifying: drivers of disaster risk; potential impacts; and appropriate disaster resilience strategiesCourse Content:The course deals with natural hazard and disaster impacts and risks – what they are, why they occur, why they are increasing and ways in which they might be reduced. The contributions to disasters made by hazard events (e.g. floods, tsunami, volcanic activity, earthquakes) and social/cultural factors (e.g. economics, institutional & governance arrangements, demographics, world-views) are studied. The focus is on the potential to reduce disaster impacts by understanding and negotiating the limitations posed by economic, institutional, social and cultural drivers of disaster risk. Case studies and exercises illustrate the points being made.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Subject to approval of the Programme Director
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Field Trip A: Saturday, 1 April - Tuesday, 4 April 2023 (Franz Josef)
Note: there is no final examination for this subject.
Disaster by choice : how our actions turn natural hazards into catastrophes
Oxford University Press, 2020.
Mileti, Dennis S;
Disasters by design : a reassessment of natural hazards in the United States
Joseph Henry Press, 1999.
There are a vast number of text books and other literature in this subject area; the recommended texts are only a sample. Mileti’s book is now aged but still relevant.Resources – ISO/NZ 31000 Risk Management– Readings for each module: to be advised.
Domestic fee $1,145.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 5 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
School of Earth and Environment