Course syllabus

Klimatsmart riskreducering
Climate Smart Risk Reduction

VRSN15, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2018/19
Decided by: PLED BI/RH
Date of Decision: 2018-03-20

General Information

Main field: Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation.
Compulsory for: MKAT1
Elective for: RH4
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English


Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must




Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is seen by many as a means not only to reduce the continued pressure on humanitarian expenditure but also to protect development investment made by the international community and national governments as well as the effects that disasters have on families, communities and countries. This is an essential element in achieving sustainable development through managing risk and thereby confronting the root causes of poverty and vulnerability.  Climate change is seen as eroding livelihoods and economic bases, along with social change, and being the cause of the shifting frequency and intensity of certain hazards, such as extreme weather systems, heavy rainfall, droughts, sea level rise, and floods, with direct implications for disaster risk. If development planning fails to integrate DRR and CCA it also fails to recognise that such integration is the only insurance policy to development investment.

However, there seems to be a prevailing confusion between what is climate adaptation and what is disaster risk reduction; which one is part of the other; are they two distinct processes dealing with different issues or should they be integrated; does climate add a multiplier and an amplifier effect to disasters or does it work on a different scale; and a whole list of questions that dominate the discourse. The course is designed with particular focus on critical thinking in relation to where climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction converge and diverge and the pathways of linkages between the two in development planning and application. The course is structured in progressive modules or blocks with lectures and seminars in each designed to introduce central concepts, questions and challenges to integrating DRR and CCA for sustainable development. The seminars follow case studies from countries with different conditions and are based on literature, movies and specific questions for reflection and debate.

To carry out an assessment of the impact of climate change and extreme events on societal safety and resilience.
During the course, the students shall report on their progress on the individual and group assignment upon which the course is assessed.
Home assignments are in the form of reading in preparation for the weekly seminars.
The objective is to learn to use climate and risk information in qualitative assessment of impact on economic sectors or social vulnerability. Working in a group, the students will draw up an articulated case of vulnerability to climate change and disasters and viable methods of adaptation

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: The course is comprised of several learning activities including lectures, literature and case study seminars, group discussions, in-class exercises and an individual assignment/paper. For a passing grade the student must: (a) have an overall passing mark on the individual assignment; (b) have an overall pass on combined group work; and (c) have participated in the mandatory sessions. Students who fail a test have the right to a re-examination. An opportunity for re-examination will be offered at the end of the course.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.

Code: 0118. Name: Individual Assignment.
Credits: 5. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: Individual Paper Contents: A 2,500-3,000 words article on a topic/questions negotiated with and approved by the course coordinator and written following peer reviewed journal articles standards.
Code: 0218. Name: Group Assignment.
Credits: 2,5. Grading scale: UG. Assessment: Group assignment Contents: Working in groups of 4, each group will produce a high quality poster depicting the complexity of the pathways to integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into development planning – i.e. climate smart risk reduction or climate smart development.


Admission requirements:

The number of participants is limited to: No
Selection: Guaranteed admission for students on the Master’s Programme in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation. Selection rules for the remaining places: priority is given to students firstly on the Programme Risk Management and Safety Engineering.
The course might be cancelled: If the number of applicants is less than 16.

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Mo Hamza,
Further information: Active participation in group work is mandatory. Each group member must be able to present and answer for the contents of the joint report. Members who do not meet the demands of active participation by the others, or disregard their obligations, can be replaced or failed by the examiner.