Courses & Units

Resilience in the Face of Emergencies XBR206


In this breadth unit you will investigate how to enhance resilience in the face of an emergency. Breadth units are units that must address ‘wicked problems’. A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. The wicked problem addressed in this unit is: How can we improve the resilience of people in the face of emergencies? Currently the frequency and scale of emergencies is increasing, eroding the very resilience we need to improve. Further, improving resilience at one level (e.g., government emergency services) tends to reduce resilience at other levels (e.g., individual resilience) because we think there will always be someone there to ‘save’ us. The solutions are not straightforward. We will study this problem with respect major domains of knowledge such as physiology, psychology, sociology and community development, and business and management. You will learn how to apply this knowledge to a range of emergency events that you and other people might become involved in. We will be thinking about emergencies in a number of different domains – marine, fire, medical, floods and others. Finally, we will consider resilience at different levels of magnification – individual, community or group and organisational as these levels interact both synergistically and antagonistically in different circumstances. We will also consider the role of technology in supporting and reducing resilience. People becoming increasingly reliant on technology and on government agencies to keep them safe, however technology can fail, and government services are struggling to manage large scale response and recovery from emergency events. This all leads to the need to improve the personal resilience of individuals as well as our community and the organisations we work in and interact with at a time when that resilience is facing its greatest challenge. This unit will place students in a better position to respond to these emergencies. It will provide them with learnings that support a multi-disciplinary response to this ‘wicked problem’, and a better understanding of resilience as a broader concept that can be applied to many aspects of their student, personal and professional life. Some of the content in this unit identifies situations in which people have had their resilience challenged by emergencies. In certain circumstances that content also identifies situations that have ended in loss of life. If you feel the content might be distressing for you, please let one of the staff know, and we would encourage you to avoid that material at least until you've had an opportunity to discuss this with the School Counsellor, or another mental health care professional. There is a strong emphasis on reflection in this unit and The Learning Activities and Assessment Tasks also require some personal reflection. If any of this creates distress for you, also please let one of the staff know, and we will assist you to make alternative arrangements to meet the learning objectives.


Unit name Resilience in the Face of Emergencies
Unit code XBR206
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline Maritime and Logistics Management
Coordinator Associate Professor Benjamin Brooks
Available as student elective? Yes
Delivered By Delivered wholly by the provider


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the psychology, physiology, sociological, behavioural and organisational principles that underpin human responses to emergencies.
  • Identify factors that support individual resilience to emergencies and develop skills in applying these in preparedness for emergencies including assessment of your own responses.
  • Develop skills in critical reflection including reflection of your own resilience to emergencies and how developing resilience could be extended to other aspects of life.
  • Analyse how key concepts (e.g., safety, resilience) interact at individual, group and community levels to support social responsibility and sustainability.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
not applicable

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AssessmentCritically Appraised Topic (20%)|Assignment (40%)|Assignment|Assignment (40%)
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