Flood Week: Integrating York Strengths into a taught module for Environment and Geography Students

This session took place as part of the 2021 Conference. The presenters were Jenny Pollard, Tamsyn Kiss and Brett Sallach.


The Flood Control Course (Flood Week), a week-long interactive module in the Environment and Geography department for first year undergraduates, has been used for several years to combine employability skills with topical learning. Students work as part of a ‘company’ to develop innovative solutions to York’s flooding. Throughout the week, the scenario evolves, culminating in a presentation of their solutions to peers, module convenors, and representatives from York City Council and the Environment Agency.

In 2020, Flood Week had two firsts: Flood Week was delivered online, and York Strengths took the place of the initial ice breaking event. Students undertook the York Strengths online course to identify their key strengths and were encouraged to bring those strengths to the group work, considering whether they were authentic communicators, agile learners, or problem solvers. This was supported by daily video reminders of the skills they would be developing that day, tailored to the day’s activities and the changing scenario.

Of the 114 students who engaged with the module, 76% completed the York Strengths online course. Students who took part in the integrated York Strengths and Flood Control Course have used their identified strengths in their CVs and cover letters, in addition to using the module itself as an example of team working to complete a task. We plan to maintain the combination of Flood Week and York Strengths, building these concepts of employability skills into the student experience early to allow and encourage student growth throughout their degrees.

You can access the recording of this session at this link here: 

Flood Week: Integrating York Strengths into a taught module for Environment and Geography Students (UoY Panopto log-in required)

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