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Understanding and Communicating Risk

National University of Singapore via edX


This course provides an introduction to how people perceive and understand risks in their everyday lives and how to communicate risk information to help people make better decisions.

Taught by an experienced team from the LRF Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk at the National University of Singapore, supplemented by interviews with leading international experts in the field, the course is designed to be accessible to professionals, practitioners, researchers and tertiary students involved or interested in risk communication.

The Understanding and Communicating Risk course makes extensive use of case studies to bring the issues to life and shows how fundamental concepts and research findings can be employed to practical challenges of risk communication. Learners on the course are given opportunities to apply their learning through engaging exercises based on real-world cases.


Week 1: Key concepts

Introduction to risk, uncertainty, cumulative risk, key metrics of risk assessment and identification of risks.

Week 2: Risk perceptions

Factors that shape public perceptions of risk.

Week 3. Risk communication

Covers the range of objectives, approaches, channels and message framings.

Week 4: Health

Risk perception and communication in the field of public health.

Week 5: Climate & environment

Risk perception and communication relating to climate change, natural hazards and environmental pollution.

Week 6: Technology

Applications of risk perceptions and communications concepts to cases of new and established technologies.

Week 7: Individual project

Taught by

Olivia Jensen, Chan Ghee Koh, Leonard Lee, Carolyn Lo, Catherine Wong and Daniel Catalan


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