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MSc Crisis and Disaster Management

Course Description

Why take this course?

Understanding about hazards, vulnerability and the risk of disaster, underpinned by a practical awareness of the planning and logistics of an emergency, are at the core of this degree. Our internationally-recognised academics, with cross-disciplinary expertise from our School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and our Business School, will ensure you gain the ability to contribute successfully in the face of a crisis.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by experts with strong research proposals, who have extensive industrial and consultancy experience with government agencies, businesses and NGOs.

Gain experience of using disaster risk reduction techniques, plus a range of other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies

Opt to do a work placement with an emergency planning, crisis management or disaster response organisation

What opportunities might it lead to?

We will give you the knowledge and practical skills to ensure an interesting and rewarding career in the emergency planning, crisis management or disaster response sectors, both in the UK and overseas.

The Crisis and Disaster Management course is endorsed by the Emergency Planning College (EPC) of the UK Cabinet Office. If you have attended appropriate professional development short courses at the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (EPC) you may be eligible for exemption from attendance of up to two thirds of our degree programme. Accreditation of Prior Learning requires evidence of good practice in the topics of study and of applying this appropriately at your workplace. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, after enrolment on the course a personal tutor will aid you in submission of your evidence.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

contingency planning
humanitarian aid organisations
community resilience
flood management
military-civilian emergency liaison
(re)insurance and risk management


The course is a mixture of taught units and a research project, covering:

hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments; disaster risk reduction; emergency planning; crisis management; logistics and financial planning; business continuity; community resilience; and disaster management techniques, such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

The course consist of the following core units:

Disasters: Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk
Emergency Management and Planning
Disaster Management Techniques and Study Visits
Crisis Management and Governance
Research Project 

Teaching and Assessment

You will be part of a large postgraduate community in a vibrant and friendly department.The course units are delivered as a series of three-day teaching blocks, at three to four-week intervals from October to May, with all assessment by coursework assignments. Formal classes, such as lectures and seminars, enable you to gain the relevant knowledge, which is developed further through activity-based practicals, simulation exercises and study visits. The in-class teaching is supplemented by extensive use of web-based and library learning resources.

How are you assessed?

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

3000-word illustrated reports
poster and oral presentations
literature reviews and research proposals
an individual Research Project

Visit the MSc Crisis and Disaster Management page on the University of Portsmouth web site for more details!

Entry Requirements

A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent, preferably with relevant work experience. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be consideredEnglish language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

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