Course Title: Climate Change, Design and Disasters

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Climate Change, Design and Disasters

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Judy Rogers

Course Coordinator Phone: on line

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: On line

Course Coordinator Availability: On line

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Course Description

This course is concerned with the links between climate change and disasters, and their implications for design of the built environment. You will build knowledge in anthropogenic versus natural climate change to understand how the intensity and frequency of disasters, and their impacts, have and are increasing over time. Acknowledging the global consequences, the focus is on the Asia-Pacific region.    You will explore and reflect on key ideas in the field ranging from scientific literature such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports to narratives of community-based organisations and built environment professionals working in this field. You will examine the key strategies that aim to address climate change related disaster impacts, including climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and the differences and points of convergence between these strategies.   The course will deal with the implications of climate change and disasters for the built environment from a comprehensive set of social, cultural, physical, environmental and economic aspects, as well as the various elements linked to the built environment such as buildings, infrastructure, transport and land-use.  Part of the course is field-based and includes an optional field trip. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon completion of this course you will be able to synthesise knowledge from a variety of scientific and community based streams on anthropogenic versus natural climate change and the links between climate change and disasters.

Upon completion of the course you will be able to:

-Discuss the key strategies of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and their differences and convergences;

-Interpret and analyse the implications of climate change and disasters for the built environment in the Asia-Pacific Region from diverse perspectives and sectorial linkages;

-Work Effectively with others and demonstrate social, cultural and environmental awareness;

-Communicate using diverse formats and strategies to engage with a range of stakeholders.

Overview of Learning Activities

This is a blended learning course. It begins with a series of on-line / e- learning activities as well as field investigations. You will be engaged in learning activities, involving: reading and analysis, discussions, practical activities, field interviews and observations, spatial planning exercises, and research. Learning how to analyse and comment on your own and others’ work will be achieved through individual presentations, reviews and discussions in groups.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our on-line systems including myRMIT.

Additionally, a list of recommended learning resources will be provided, including books, journal articles and web resources.  You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

The University library has extensive resources for students.  The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.  The Library also provides guides on academic referencing.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and in relation to the program learning outcomes. \Assessment will be completed individually and in teams. 

Assessment Schedule

1. Reflective Report 50% (3000 words)     2. Case study Report 50% (2000 words)  

 You will be strongly encouraged to collaborate with your peers in the course.  Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.  If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods.  You can contact the course coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.