Skip to main content


CEG8514 : Climate Change: Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Hayley Fowler
  • Lecturer: Dr Alistair Ford, Professor Oliver Heidrich, Dr Stephen Blenkinsop, Professor Richard Dawson, Professor Sean Wilkinson
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims are to:
•introduce the likely hazards (impacts) associated with climate change in a range of contexts;

develop understanding of risk, its composition in terms of hazard, exposure and vulnerability and how these can vary spatially and temporally depending on local circumstances;

apply a relevant framework for the assessment of risks and corresponding adaptations in different contexts, for example, the built environment;

develop understanding of adaptation strategies to identified risks in the context of a changing climate.

The module introduces the concept of risk in the context of natural (hydro-climatological) hazards in a changing climate. The impacts of climate change on different sectors, principally (but not exclusively) related to water are described and responses to these impacts are examined. The module demonstrates how climate information and methods introduced previously are used in practice in risk assessment frameworks to adapt to these future risks and aid decision-making.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will learn not just how climate change will impact society, but how climate interacts with other, non-climatic factors, and how we can assess risk and decide how we should respond. Students will be well equipped to create and assess sustainable adaptation strategies in a range of key settings. The module will address key concepts of impacts, hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk in the context of climate change to understand climatic risks at specific locations or in specific systems on different spatial scales. Students will use relevant climate and non-climatic information/data/models in impact studies that may be applied in risk assessment frameworks to devise adaptation (including engineering) strategies for hydro-climatic hazards, for example these could include heat, flooding, water resource, sea level rise, and their application in different settings, for example on people and/or infrastructure. These will be considered in the context of concurrent action on climate mitigation and legal and institutional frameworks for climate adaptation (and mitigation) as well as wider international contexts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion144:0044:00assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00lectures
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities21:002:00Introduction and review of guided activity
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Computer practical and group exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops33:009:00computer practicals and group exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00discussion sessions and seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study11:001:00Guided remote exercise
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study31:003:00Guided remote exercise
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study128:0028:00Background reading, practice, and study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures allow transfer of the various knowledge, methods and practices available for understanding impacts and adaptation, and in person computer-based practicals and other tutorials and workshops allow for consolidation of this knowledge prior to its application in a given problem (which is carried out as coursework). Guided independent study will comprise short recorded lectures some of which will be supported by short exercises and learning from these will be consolidated in group discussions and seminars.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2M100Individual Report (or equivalent) - 3000 words maximum
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MCanvas quiz
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessed by coursework. This allows a student's knowledge and understanding of the theory and practical methods introduced in the teaching to be monitored, applied and tested.

Assessment is :-
(a)       Coursework - which assesses understanding of the nature of risk as a function of hazards and vulnerability and how these are incorporated into the risk assessment and adaptation planning processes using climate change impacts information. Ability to appraise a range of viable adaptation responses to identified risks is assessed. Assesses knowledge outcomes 1-4 and skills outcomes 1-5.
(b)       Canvas quiz - which assesses understanding of the key terms, concepts, and processes which apply to the summative coursework.

The rationale is to assess the students’ grasp of the practical skills and understanding represented by the knowledge outcomes. The written exercise involves using a risk assessment framework for the assessment of vulnerability and risk and the development of an adaptation plan for a chosen city. It assesses skills in the use of the taught methods, available open-access tools and datasets, and ability to critique their use by identifying their limitations.

Reading Lists