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Unit information: Quantifying Climate Risks in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Quantifying Climate Risks
Unit code GEOGM0045
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ros Death
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)

Other mandatory units on MSc Climate Change Science and Policy

Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Unit Information

The unit will focus on quantitative evaluation of climate-driven hazards, risk assessment and adaptation policy using a variety of different datasets and methods. These may include high-latitude and polar data that arise from, for example, monitoring and/or modelling sea level rise and the use of remote sensing data or other observation-based datasets to analyse ice loss. The unit will also require students to consider dimensions of exposure and vulnerability in different regions and populations to climate-driven hazards (risk assessment) and to the potential societal opportunities arising from changing conditions (e.g. the opening up of new sea routes from melting ice). This will be then linked to local/regional adaptation policies such as coastal flood management, cultural changes, changes to fishing, managing new access rights, drawn from across the world.

Your learning on this unit

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate present and future climate impacts on polar regions using secondary climate data (observations and models)
  2. Develop the quantitative data manipulation skills required to carry out climate impact analysis at regional and global scales
  3. Analyse the relationship between hazard, exposure and vulnerability in climate change risk assessment
  4. Appraise the role of climate change adaptation planning and wider societal implications of climate change in different regions and populations

How you will learn

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • computer practical work; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements

How you will be assessed

(50%) Quantitative evaluation of a climate hazard presented as a technical report (ILOs 1-4)

(50%) 2000 word climate change risk assessment that critically evaluates climate risks for a specific region (ILOs 1-4)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOGM0045).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.