Discovery module overview
The aim of this module is to provide a holistic understanding of the links between environmental risk, management and communication, and how these three components have effects on environmental policy and decision-making to aid sustainable development. The objectives are to provide students the basic concepts of: the definitions of risk; risk calculation and risk assessment approaches and methods; risk perceptions; the contemporary environmental risk management strategies; and the role and technique of risk communication in decision-making.
The assessment, perception, communication and management of risk are increasingly seen as major components of environmental policy decision-making. The aim of this module is to adopt a systematic approach to explore the links of these major components, examining how environmental risks are assessed, understood, communicated and managed in a range of contexts.
Its objectives are to provide a broad understanding of: the nature of risks; the scientific perspective of risk; using scientific advice for environmental policy and decision-making; the social dimension of risk; how risk decisions are made in a range of contexts (e.g. economic considerations, institutional settings); the contemporary environmental risk management strategies; and the role and technique of risk communication in decision-making.
- - Introduction
- - What is risk?
- - Risk calculation & risk assessment: approaches and methods
- - Scientific uncertainty
- - Why different people perceive risk in different ways?
- - Risk classification schemes & risk types
- - Environmental risk management strategies
- - Trust in environmental risk decision-making
- - Communicating risk: models, principles & best practices
- - Reflection and revision
To develop scholarship and skills in the understanding of environmental risks, including aspects of environmental risk assessment, management, perception and communication; to increase critical awareness of the dichotomy of science-based and social values laden environmental risk assessment and decisions; to gain understanding of the need for balancing technical, social and economic issues in managing environmental risks; and to gain understanding of the need for communicating decisions that involve environmental risk and its uncertainty.
- - To gain analytical skills in the understanding of the role and component of environmental risk assessment (i.e. risk identification, dose-expose assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterisation);
- - To gain confidence in providing a critical evaluation of the science-based or social values laden environmental risk decision;
- - To gain understanding of the principles and techniques in communicating decisions that involve environmental risks, including the uncertainty inherent in Science.
Assessment and teaching
|Assesment type||Notes||% of formal assesment|
|Essay||Individual written essay 2,500 words||85|
|Group Project||Groupwork presentation||15|
|Total percentages (Assessment Coursework)||100|
Reading – 40 hours (4 hours per week)
Assignment preparation – 40 hours
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private Study Hours||80|
|Total Contact Hours||20|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||100|