DISMGT 701 : Disaster Risk Management


2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A broad based understanding of the critical elements of risk and risk management in pre- and post-disaster scenarios. Key elements include risk identification with regard to the forms and types of risk inherent in areas prone to disasters. Risk management approaches are explored and applied to different aspects of disaster management.

Course Overview

Extreme events, such as earthquakes, wild fires, flooding, cyclones and storm surges are on the rise. Over the past two decades, natural events have affected over 4.4 billion people, causing significant human losses, damage to infrastructure and disruption to our society. Disasters and the accumulated impacts of climate change are increasingly threatening vulnerable lives and livelihoods of people in both developed and developing countries. Particularly in the context of rapid urbanisation, knowing how to reduce disaster risks is a matter of core interest to policy makers and scientists to decide appropriate mitigation strategies. On the basis of these needs, this course aims to offer knowledge and experience to help students understand disaster risks and disaster risk management to prepare them as disaster management professionals.

The paper will have a total of 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials over 12 weeks in semester 2, along with additional workshops and seminars related to the subject matter of this course. The course aims to provide research and practice-based discourse on disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction from a global as well as national context, and is designed to be enquiry-based and conversational allowing students to engage and bring their own experiences to class discussions each week. Students are expected to undertake considerable additional work per week reading and completing assignments. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Define and analyse disaster risk (Capability 1.1, 3.1 and 4.1)
  2. Identify international and national frameworks and policies governing disaster risk management, disaster risk reduction and climate change (Capability 1.1)
  3. Understand the process of disaster risk management for reducing disaster risk (Capability 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1)
  4. Evaluate and apply appropriate measures for disaster risk reduction (Capability 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 6.1)
  5. Freely integrate, selectively apply, and critically assess the concepts of resilience and climate change to disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management (Capability 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 70% Individual Coursework
Presentation 30% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorials, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 4 hours of work on assignments on average per week.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at activities including tutorials, workshops, computer labs, seminars and other scheduled activities to obtain the full experience of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings. The availability of recordings for other learning activities including tutorials, workshops, computer labs, seminars and other scheduled activities cannot be guaranteed.

The course may include live online events including lectures and tutorials depending on COVID alert levels.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Health & Safety

Students must ensure they are familiar with their Health and Safety responsibilities, as described in the university's Health and Safety policy.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Course attributes helpful to students' learning:
•    In-class discussions provided valuable insights and diverse perspectives.
•    Course tools, including software and case studies, were helpful.
•    Positive remarks on assignment structure, practical applications, and comprehensive content.
•    Effective teaching pace and engagement through class interaction.

Suggested improvements to the course:
•    Address background challenges for those without prior disaster management knowledge.
•    Adjust assignment weights and timing.
•    Allowance for creativity, practicality, and variety in assignments.
•    Reduce the frequency and emphasis on self-evaluations.
•    Clarify assignment instructions to avoid confusion.

I was very pleased with the feedback received and are using the suggested improvements to update the course in 2024. Assignment weights will be modified for more even distribution of points. Emphasis on self-evaluations will be decreased. Assignment instructions will be updated for more clarity.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.