Taught course


Durham University · Department of Geography

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Entry requirements

A second class degree (2:1).

Months of entry


Course content

This MA is designed for those who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. The Department of Geography is especially well-suited to examine these in relation to environmental hazards, climate vulnerability and security-related risk, but you are encouraged to develop your own thinking in relation to any aspect of risk research, including broader environmental change, disaster risk reduction, risk and insurance, risk and health, risk and migration, risk and social policy, risk and governance, borders and terrorism. This course foregrounds the existence of multiple ways of understanding risk, from risk as an objective phenomenon managed through scientific tools (e.g. in the case of environmental hazards) to risk as a social construct and a political technique (e.g. in the case of risk and security).

Dealing with risks as a function of both the natural and social environments we live in, the course responds to the growing realisation that many risks are being created through social processes bound to questions of security and vulnerability, including the ways that risk techniques are emerging and being employed as a means of securing uncertain futures.

Course Structure

You will take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:

Core modules:

  • Understanding Risk (30 credits)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 credits)
  • Risk Frontiers (15 credits)
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques (15 credits)
  • Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 credits)

Examples of elective modules include:

  • Hydro-Meteorological Hazards (30 credits)
  • Climate Risk and Society (30 credits)
  • Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazards (30 credits)
  • International Relations and Security in the Middle East (30 credits)
  • Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (30 credits)
  • European Security (30 credits)
  • Social Policy and Society (30 credits).

To view our short film on this course click here.

Fees and funding

UK students
£12,250 per year
International students
£22,790 per year

Scholarships available for 2022 entry will be determined in September 2021. Over 60 scholarships are available, each year. Some scholarships are awarded to more than one person. For further information see the course listing.


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details