COMS232-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Risk and Crisis Communication

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This applied course introduces students to a major area of the planning of communication, the management of risk. Theories of risk, crisis and the risk society are described, before the course focuses in detail on the practice of risk communication, including communication planning, crafting messages and involving communities in collective risk decision-making. Risks explored range from individuals' health and safety, disasters, reputational crises and pervasive risks such as climate change.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


15 points at 100-level in COMS.  Students without this prerequisite but with at least a B average in 60 points of relevant courses, may enter the course with the approval of the Department Co-ordinator or the Undergraduate Co-ordinator for COMS.

Course Coordinator

Kathryn Ruge


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Essay 18 Aug 2021 30% Essay 2000 words. Critically evaluate case studies (provided) based on elements introduced in Weeks 1-3. Due 18 Aug 11:59 pm
Risk Communication Plan 29 Sep 2021 40% Develop a communication plan for your chosen audience to raise awareness and/or initiate behaviour change relating to one aspect of climate change. 2500-3000 words.
Exam 30% The exam will test your ability to respond to a crisis situation and reflect on the ethics of your response. Like real life, it will be open book - you may refer to printed notes. More details will be provided in Week 9


There is no textbook for the course this year.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All COMS232 Occurrences

  • COMS232-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021
  • COMS232-21S2 (D) Semester Two 2021 (Distance)