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Masters Degrees (Disaster Risk Reduction)

We have 40 Masters Degrees (Disaster Risk Reduction)

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All countries face a wide range of hazards, both natural and man-made, that have the potential to result in catastrophic damage. Despite actions taken… Read more

All countries face a wide range of hazards, both natural and man-made, that have the potential to result in catastrophic damage. Despite actions taken by local emergency management professionals, international trends show that the economic and social impact of disaster has increased around the world. This is especially true in the developing world, where large-scale disasters can result in enormous loss of life as well as considerable economic damage.

The MSc in International Disaster Management is designed for participants who are interested in enhancing resilience to disasters through prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from disaster events.

Within the HCRI, this will take place through multidisciplinary study focusing on the critical analysis of current trends in academic research and policies, particularly those related to international disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, and humanitarian action tools commonly used by disaster risk reduction professionals. To this end, the core curriculum brings together the realms of disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, and humanitarian action. The interdisciplinary team of researchers at the HCRI will also support the critical exploration of disaster resilience, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in order to equip students to work professionally in the fields of disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

The MSc in International Disaster Management is unique as it incorporates a wide variety of available course units from history, politics, development studies, the arts and medicine. This results in a course that is suitable as a way to develop initial skills in disaster risk reduction or support continuing education for disaster risk reduction professionals.

Aims

On completion of the course, you should be able to show a critical understanding of:

  1. Key issues and debates related to the theory and practices of disaster risk reduction. Students will show familiarity with different theoretical approaches, practical problems and an appreciation of the diversity of polices at international and national levels, including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals, 21 st Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21) and the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit.
  2. The range of environmental, health and social science topics which influence disaster risk reduction and management (including political, historical, anthropological understandings). Students will become familiar with the methodological and normative underpinnings of these disciplines.
  3. The analytical and policy literature concerning the related issues of disaster risk reduction including environmental/geological studies, emergency management structures and institutions, the role and perspectives of the state, multilateral and bilateral agencies, international and domestic NGO's and other civil institutions.
  4. An understanding of common approaches to disaster risk reduction (i.e. risk matrices, disaster typologies), including an awareness of the problems and critiques associated with disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in both industrialized and developing countries.
  5. The development of a range of academic and professional/transferable skills through both independent and group-based work.
  6. A detailed understanding of a specific conceptual and/or policy-related area of disaster risk reduction along with implications and limitations of research findings on this subject, and of how to produce an original piece of academic research. Delivered via a dissertation.

Special features

HCRI also offers bespoke training in International Disaster Management and Continuing Professional Development courses. Please contact Dr Billy Haworth (  ) for details

HCRI at The University of Manchester is inspired by the need to conduct rigorous research and to support postgraduate training on the impact and outcomes of contemporary and historical crises. Directed by Dr Rony Brauman (former President of MSF France, Associate Professor at L'Institut d'Études Politiques, Paris, and Director of Research at the MSF Foundation, Paris), HCRI is widely recognised as being a leading international research institute focusing on the study of humanitarianism, conflict response and peacebuilding.

Our work is driven by a desire to inform and support policy and decision makers, to optimise joint working between partner organisations, and to foster increased understanding and debate within the field. Bringing together the disciplines of medicine and the humanities (including international relations and political science) to achieve these goals, HCRI aims to facilitate improvements in crisis response on a global scale whilst providing a centre of excellence for all concerned with emergencies, conflicts and peace. In offering a range of postgraduate courses we embrace this opportunity to develop a scholarly and professional agenda for humanitarians and peacebuilders around the world.

Teaching and learning

Delivery of the course will be done through face-to-face teaching at the University of Manchester. This will be supported by streamed lectures, discussion boards and other e-learning elements.

Coursework and assessment

Graduation requirements will be the completion of 180 credits. A total of 120 credits of module coursework will be required for students to move on to dissertation writing. A passing dissertation will lead to the final 60 credits needed for MA completion.

Course unit details

All core modules are convened by existing HCRI staff. A small number of elective modules will be taught from the School of Environment and Development, the School of Social Sciences and the School of Nursing.

Course units may include:

  • Introduction to disaster management
  • Risk management
  • Research & evaluation methods
  • Reconstruction and development
  • Emergency humanitarian assistance
  • Water sanitation planning & policy in the developing world
  • Global health
  • Fundamentals of epidemiology
  • History of humanitarian aid
  • Climate change, poverty and disaster management

Course units may vary from year to year.

Course collaborators

A selection of elective modules are being offered from the School on Environment and Development.

Facilities

Appropriate facilities will be verified through the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. The course has been developed in close co-operation with the Faculty's e-learning team which will offer on-going support for the programme.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. Read more

Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. Academic study can underpin much needed professionalisation and application of evidence and research-based theory to this area. This MSc programme aims to meet the growing need for experts trained to analyse and provide solutions to complex risk and disaster resilience issues.

About this degree

Students will learn about and explore the characterisation, quantification, management and reduction of risk, disasters, and their associated impacts, from a broad range of scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives. Through this multidisciplinary approach, students gain expertise in analysing complex challenges, enabling them to become future leaders who drive policy change and innovation. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (to the combined value of 30 credits) and an independent research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, six core modules and two optional modules, but no independent project), full-time nine months, part-time two years, is also offered.

Core modules

All 6 core modules must be taken.

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Risk and Disaster Reduction Research Tools
  • Research Proposal and Appraisal

Optional modules

Choose two options (to the combined value of 30 credits) from a list which may include the following:

  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Post Disaster Recovery
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazards
  • Decision and Risk (Statistics)
  • Risk and Contingency Planning (Security and Crime Science)
  • Risk Power and Uncertainty (Anthropology)
  • The Variable Sun: Space Weather and You
  • Climate Risks to Hydro-Ecological Systems
  • Perspectives on Terrorism (Security and Crime Science)

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project of 10,000-12,000 words which culminates in a research project and poster presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical problem-solving exercises and a real-time disaster scenario event, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and tutorial-style dialogue between students and lecturers. Assessment is by independent and group oral presentations, written examination, coursework essays, and the independent project. Practical applications of critical and creative problem-solving will be encouraged and assessed throughout.

Fieldwork

A series of one-day UK-based field trips are available.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme provides excellent training towards careers in fields including research, public policy, business continuity, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, international development, emergency services, consultancy, and humanitarian assistance. The IRDR runs a careers and opportunities fair for students, which is attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, policy and local government bodies, and head hunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Several students have found opportunities through contacts made and positions advertised during this event.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Disaster Management Administrator, Plan International
  • Project Officer, University of Hong Kong

Employability

Whether you wish to start a new career in risk and disaster reduction or you already have experience in this sector, we are here to support you. With an MSc in Risk, Disaster and Resilience, you will have excellent academic credibility coupled with practical and analytical skills.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), where teaching for this programme is based, leads and co-ordinates multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL.

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to at least 70 academics across 12 departments and seven faculties involved in world-class research, the IRDR has established links with non-governmental organisations, industry and government departments based in and around London.

Teaching and project supervision will be provided by active researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, all of whom are leaders in their respective fields.



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Disasters are complex events with multifaceted causes and hence disaster management needs comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to deal with both complexity and change. Read more
Disasters are complex events with multifaceted causes and hence disaster management needs comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to deal with both complexity and change. Major shifts have occurred in the way in which disasters are considered, resulting from an increasing awareness of problems internationally along with an identified need for solutions. The importance of disaster risk reduction has continued to grow both within governmental and non-governmental organisations.

This Masters course is a unique programme which will provide a balanced study of environmental hazards and disaster management, pre-event mitigation, disaster risk reduction and disaster relief, along with the development of technical and interpersonal skills. It will enable you to critically assess the effectiveness of the implementation of existing techniques, in order to evaluate good practice and apply it to new situations.

The standard Master’s tuition fees apply. However, additional costs will include the Summer School fees (currently about £1000) and the costs for any optional overseas residential fieldwork. Students may be eligible for bursaries from the University for £1500 or £2000 though conditions apply.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/800-msc-disaster-management-for-environmental-hazards

What you will study

The course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and expertise. You will study a range of hazards using examples from the UK and other countries. This will provide you with the experience to assess risks and vulnerabilities from desk-based research, laboratory and field situations, consider hazard management and disaster risk reduction strategies, and critically review the concept of resilience along with techniques for its development.

You will consider the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of disasters and examine a range of aspects pertinent to the operational, political and socio-cultural issues involved in disaster relief, including aspects of international law. The course will ensure a sound working knowledge and experience with one of the mostly widely used GIS platforms, extensively used by many planning authorities, GOs and NGOs, and you will develop valuable skills in the acquisition and processing of spatial datasets with a wide variety of disaster management applications, along with the ability to visualise and depict spatial information.

You will develop interpersonal skills for effective team-working, group leadership, and organisational management including the assessment of priorities, allocation of resources and co-ordination of activities through simulation experience. This range of interpersonal skills and humanitarian core competencies will enhance your employability after graduation.

Opportunities for study on residential field courses will include the use of field simulations either in Finland or in the UK, and the option to examine environmental hazards and evaluate management strategies on overseas residential field courses. Currently, the field course takes place in southern Italy to examine volcanic, seismic, landslide and tsunami hazards.

You will study the following modules:
- Principles and Concepts in Disasters
- Management of Coastal and Hydrological Hazards
- Management of Geological and Technological Hazards
- Personal Preparedness for Disasters
- Professional Development for Disasters

Plus two of the following optional modules:
- ArcGIS Principles and Practice
- Remote Sensing
- Work Based Learning
- Professional Practice in Disasters

You will also complete a Masters Dissertation Project. The literature review work and project plans will be completed before your work placements. The Master’s dissertation will be undertaken after the placement has been completed. Preparation for the Master’s project or dissertation will commence in the Spring term.

Learning and teaching methods

The course is designed in a modular format and will be offered on a full and part time basis. Delivery will be mixed-mode, with a combination of traditional lectures, practicals and distance learning with supporting tutorials. For full time students, study will take place over 14 months, and for part time students, study may typically take two to three years.

Study will utilise a range of diverse learning approaches and activities to acknowledge the rich and diverse character and content of the body of knowledge that forms this Master’s degree course. It will include:
- Attending the Summer School.
- Lectures
- Seminars and tutorials.
- Completing work packages by distance learning through the Virtual Learning Environment.
- Actively participating in computer workshops and laboratory work.
- Undertaking a range of field based studies and data collection.
- Participating in group based activities and simulations.
- One-to-one interactions with academic staff.
- Fieldwork including community-based learning.
- Self-directed study.
- Optional field or work-placement.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

A range of study pathways are provided depending on career intentions after graduation. Options involving work, field or disaster placements are desirable for employers and will be the preferred option for students on the course. Placement settings could include:
- NGOs working on disaster risk reduction projects or disaster relief;
- Civil protection or planning authorities
- Specialist environmental consultancies
- UK or overseas research projects.

The initial arrangement of work and field placements will begin early in the course and the work/field placement will normally be expected to begin within the following Summer term. Preparation for the Master’s project or dissertation will commence in the Spring term, with literature review work and project plans to be completed before placements take place. The Master’s dissertation will be undertaken after the placement has been completed.

Assessment methods

Field trips:
Fieldwork provides unforgettable educational and social experiences, bringing to life the theory and concepts of the lecture theatre. South Wales is a fantastic study location on the edge of rural and urban environments.

Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast are all close to the University. They provide exceptional fieldwork locations that can be explored in a day. We make full use of these locations across our earth and environment courses to cover the practical aspects of our modules.

Please note: the exact locations of all overseas field trips may vary each year and is based on the area’s suitability for academic study and the overall cost of the trip.

Important Information

Please be aware of the physical demands of this course which has modules with significant fieldwork elements. If you therefore have a disability which is likely to be affected by these physical demands, please get in touch with the course leader Dr Anthony Harris, as soon as possible. We will then investigate the reasonable adjustments that we can make to ensure your Health and Safety. Please note that if any Health & Safety aspects cannot be overcome, we may not be able to offer you a place on the course of your choice.

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Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. Read more

Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. The Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes is a research-intensive programme, which aims to meet the rapidly growing need for experts trained to analyse and provide solutions to complex issues relating to risk and disasters.

About this degree

Students will learn about and explore the characterisation, quantification, management and reduction of risk and disasters, and their associated impacts, from a diverse range of scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives. They will acquire advanced levels of knowledge of empirical, theoretical and practical aspects of risk and disaster reduction, and will gain research experience and the ability to effectively communicate research findings through the independent research project.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two skills modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and an independent research project (105 credits).

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered. See separate entry for further details.

Skills modules

  • Risk and Disaster Reduction Research Tools
  • Research Appraisal and Proposal

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following modules:

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Natural and Anthropegenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Emergency and Crisis Management

Dissertation/report

All students undertake a substantial research project of 15,000 to 20,000 words, which culminates in an independent research report and oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading, practical problem-solving exercises and a real-time disaster scenario event, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and tutorial-style dialogue between students and lecturers. Assessment is through coursework, examination, essays, project reports, oral and poster presentations, and the research dissertation.

Fieldwork

There are a number of UK-based day field trips as part of the programme. These look at the multiple facets of disaster risk including the physical hazard, vulnerability of structures and communities, and mitigation measures and management.

There is also an NGO-led disaster scenario exercise.

Students are responsible for their subsistence and travel costs within London when on fieldwork. All other travel and fees will be paid for or reimbursed by the IRDR

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme provides excellent training towards careers in research, research communication, public policy, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, international development, humanitarian assistance, engineering, and many other fields. It supports the career development of professionals already working in risk and disaster reduction, as well as those who intend to go into this field, and those who wish to use this programme as a step towards a related PhD.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Employability

Examples of previous graduate students' employment within the field of risk and disaster reduction include working for an international economic consultancy based in London in the area of micro-finance, working as a consultant in disaster risk for a key player in the London insurance market and working for Rescue Global, an NGO based in London. 

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) leads and co-ordinates multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL. A Risk and Disaster Reduction PG Cert is also available (see separate entry).

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to academics across eleven faculties involved in world-class research, UCL IRDR has established links with NGOs, industry and government departments based in and around London, who contribute to teaching and project supervision.

As a student, you will be encouraged to join our active seminar series, high-profile public discussion meetings and networking events.

The IRDR careers and opportunities forum for students has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, local government and head hunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Students have found opportunities through contacts made and positions advertised during this event.



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This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. Read more

This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. The Department of Geography is especially well-suited to examine these in relation to environmental hazards, climate change and security-related risk, but students are encouraged to develop their thinking in relation to any aspect of risk research, including broader environmental change, disaster risk reduction, financial risk, risk and insurance, risk and health, risk and migration, risk and social policy, risk and governance, borders and terrorism. The MA programme foregrounds the existence of multiple ways of understanding risk, from risk as an objective phenomenon managed through scientific tools (e.g. in the case of environmental hazards) to risk as a social construct and a political technique (e.g. in the case of risk and security).

For students interested in security-related risk, the MA programme offers in-depth and advanced understanding of geo-political security challenges and politics, including the ways in which society is governed increasingly through the prism of risk. Dealing with risks as a function of both the natural and social environments we live in, the course responds to the growing realisation that many risks are being created through social processes bound to questions of security, including the ways that risk techniques are emerging and being employed as a means of securing uncertain futures.

Course Structure

Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:

Core Modules: 

  • Understanding Risk (30 Credits)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 Credits)
  • Risk Frontiers (15 Credits)
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques (15 Credits)
  • Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 Credits)

Elective Modules available in previous years include:

  • Hydrological Hazards (30 Credits)
  • Risk, Science and Communication (15 Credits)
  • Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazard (30 Credits)
  • International Relations and Security in the Middle East (15 Credits)
  • Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (15 Credits)
  • European Security (15 Credits)
  • Social Policy and Society (30 Credits). 

Course Learning and Teaching

Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.

The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk; whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. The MA supports students in developing a strong social science perspective on risk. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science, social science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.

All students will undertake a suite of core modules (150 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are: Understanding Risk, Using Geographical Skills and Techniques, Risk Frontiers, Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience, and the Dissertation.

Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 30 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:

  • international relations, geopolitics and security, and/or
  • scientific perspectives on environmental hazards
  • a combination of approaches to risk.

Electives can be selected from: Strategic Asia, European Security, International Relations in the Middle East, Social Policy and Society and Risk, Science and Communication. 

The Risk Masters (both in its MA and MSc forms) is taught jointly between Durham University’s Geography Department, the School of Government & International Affairs, and the School of Applied Social Sciences. The programme’s interdisciplinary approach encourages students to combine science and social science perspectives. Students have a broad range of modules to choose from, and in this way develop an individualized set of professional skills that, depending on the student’s preferences, speak more to either the natural sciences (e.g. via scientific modelling, GIS or science and communication) or the social sciences (e.g. via social science research methodologies and engagements with social policy and international relations). The programme is delivered in close collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), and through IHRR’s activities students get permanent exposure to both practitioner and academic perspectives at the forefront of risk thinking and practice.



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The importance of science in understanding disaster risks and the need for science-based strategies at local, national and international levels in the private, public, and third sectors are now widely recognised. Read more

The importance of science in understanding disaster risks and the need for science-based strategies at local, national and international levels in the private, public, and third sectors are now widely recognised. The Risk and Disaster Science MSc aims to meet the growing need for experts trained in disaster science in sectors ranging from finance to humanitarian response.

About this degree

In a science-led programme, students will explore the characterisation of risk from a fundamental understanding of hazard, statistical modelling, appreciation of causes of vulnerability, and quantifying exposure to the management and reduction of disaster risks. There is an emphasis on scientific analysis and statistical methods. Students will enjoy a wide range of taught modules covering scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), optional modules (to the combined value of 30 credits) and an independent research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, six core modules and two optional modules), full-time nine months, part-time two years, is also offered.

Core modules

  • Catastrophe Risk Modelling
  • Earthquake Risks
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Risk and Disaster Reduction Research Tools
  • Research Appraisal and Proposal

Optional modules

Choose options (to the combined value of 30 credits) from a list which may include the following:

  • Climate Risks to Hydro-ecological Systems
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Decision and Risk Statistics
  • Seismic Risk Assessment
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism, and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Digital Public Health: Epidemics and Emergencies in the Era of Big Data
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • The Variable Sun: Space Weather and You

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project of 10,000-12,000 words which culminates in a research project and poster presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practicals, field visits, directed reading and problem-solving exercises and a real-time disaster scenario event, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and tutorial-style dialogue between students and lecturers. Assessment is by independent and group oral presentations, written examination, coursework essays, and the independent project. Practical applications of critical and creative problem-solving will be encouraged and assessed throughout.

Fieldwork

Students are responsible for their subsistence and travel costs within London when on fieldwork. All other travel and fees will be paid for or reimbursed by the IRDR

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Risk and Disaster Science MSc

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme provides excellent training towards careers in industry and commerce, research, research communication and public policy including insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, business continuity, humanitarian assistance, engineering, electricity distribution and many other fields. It supports the career development of professionals already working in risk and disaster reduction, as well as those who intend to go into this field. 

Employability

This programme will equip students with scientific and analytical skills to better understand and assess disaster risks and to identify solutions to reduce those risks. These skills are highly sought after in the private, public and NGO sector, and in specific fields such as catastrophe modelling, risk management, and public policy.

Career destinations of IRDR graduates include: an international economic consultancy in the field of micro-finance; a consultancy role in disaster risk for an insurance company; the World Food Programme; Rescue Global – a London based NGO; and a PhD studentship. 

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), where teaching for this programme is based, leads and co-ordinates multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL.

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to academics across seven faculties involved in world-class research, UCL IRDR has established links with scientific leaders in NGOs, industry and government departments based in and around London, who contribute to teaching and project supervision.

As a student, you will be encouraged to join our active seminar series, high-profile public discussion meetings and networking events.

The IRDR runs a careers and opportunities forum for students; this has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, and headhunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction.



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The Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA, MSc course takes a social development perspective, exploring topics such as human vulnerability, response to natural and technological hazards and to hazards associated with climate change. Read more

The Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA, MSc course takes a social development perspective, exploring topics such as human vulnerability, response to natural and technological hazards and to hazards associated with climate change. You will examine disaster risk reduction and choose from a wide range of modules, enabling you to build a study pathway that can include technical specialities in GIS and remote sensing, organisational risk management, or poverty alleviation and international development. 

Key benefits

  • You will be studying innovative modules in a range of disciplines taught by staff who are recognised leaders in their fields.
  • You will have access to research and practitioners in international development and disaster risk reduction.
  • Dissertation research opportunities with international organisations.

Description

The Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA/MSc aims to equip students with an in-depth and critical awareness of the political, geographical and technological aspects of disaster risk reduction and their contribution to sustainable adaptation and disaster responses. Taking a social development perspective, the course covers issues such as human vulnerability and responses to natural and technological hazards. This course embeds training in disaster risk reduction with technical specialities in geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing, organisational risk management, or poverty alleviation and international development.

The study course is made up of optional and required modules. You must take the minimum of 180 credits to complete the course. In addition to a required dissertation, you will choose from a wide range of related modules. If you want to qualify with an MSc, you will be required to study Advanced Quantitative and Spatial Methods in Human Geography as an additional module.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will be delivered over two years. You will take a combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per 20 credit module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module, although some modules in the Geography Department may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Career prospects

The Disasters, Adaptation and Development degree aims to provide technical training and professional exposure. Both are needed to secure careers in humanitarian and development organisations. Professional exposure and networking is delivered through four mechanisms:

1. Environmental Internship. This is a stand alone module based on one to two weeks full-time equivalent working in a host organisation: usually a Humanitarian or Development NGO headquaters office in London or as part of a research team working on disaster risk within the Department of Geography. The student will undertake a defined task, typically a literature or policy review to feed into policy development work. The module is assessed by a reflective essay on the experience and lessons learned. The internship is appropriate for those wishing an introduction to professional life in the sector, some internships can turn into thesis research ideas.

2. Thesis placements. These allow students to undertake their three month research project within an international humanitarian or development NGO in the field. Current partners include the Red Cross Climate Centre, Oxfam, Save the Children, YCARE and the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute. Students propose thesis ideas and these are crafted with host organisations to make sure they meet academic criteria and policy impact goals. Typically thesis research is translated into a policy brief. Host organisation commitments vary but all local costs (translation, accommodation, transport) are covered, and often international transport costs as well. An example of a thesis internship can be found here.

3. Post-degree internships. Increasingly employers look for experience and are also prepared to offer paid internships. We only partner with internship providers providing at least basic living costs. Current internships providers are the Stockholm Environment Institute - Asia and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, both based in Bangkok. Post degree internships are three months commencing in September - think about this being a 15 month degree where you get paid for the final three months!

4. Networking events. because the Disasters, Adaptation and development programme is associated with King's Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience (CIRRR) students are encouraged to attend its seminars and social events. Monthly meetings and occasional seminars help to integrated masters students with researchers and policy actors with many opportunities to become informally involved in research and outreach.



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Building people’s resilience to disasters and conflict. One of the key development challenges of our time is the increasing number of people placed at risk of crises and disasters; people's vulnerability increases due to shocks and trends as a result of natural and man-made hazards. Read more

Building people’s resilience to disasters and conflict

One of the key development challenges of our time is the increasing number of people placed at risk of crises and disasters; people's vulnerability increases due to shocks and trends as a result of natural and man-made hazards.

The number, complexity and impact of disasters are increasing which heightens the need for better disaster management. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) has become one of the cornerstones of international development: there is urgency to reduce disaster losses and a need to minimize the impact of disasters on sustainable development. 

Disasters are, in essence, the result of poorly managed risk and human failure to introduce appropriate risk reduction measures. Effective crises and disaster responses therefore demand a shift away from reactive Emergency Relief to pro-active Disaster Risk Reduction. DRM therefore combines the concept of response and recovery (in the post-disaster phase) with the concept of prevention, mitigation and preparedness (the pre-disaster phase). 

Graduates of DRM will be better able to respond to natural and man-made disasters in increasingly complex and dynamic environments. In the context of increasing climate variability and climate change (slow-onset disasters), this specialization pays attention to linking Disaster Risk Reduction with Climate Change Adaptation. The DRM specialisation also touches on conflict, making the course also relevant for those working in tense and conflict affected regions. 

Central to the DRM specialisation is the focus on reducing the negative impacts of disasters and conflict on peoples’ lives and livelihoods and to build people’s resilience to disasters, crises and conflict.

Competences

At graduation, you will have developed the ability to:

  •  To apply disaster and conflict theories to real-life crises and disaster settings;
  • To understand the changing roles, responsibilities and modes of operations of key DRM actors;
  • To design and conduct risk and context analyses aimed to identify appropriate disaster response strategies and options;
  • To analyse and strengthen local risk governance;
  • To apply emerging good-practice integrated approaches to address crucial issues in building community resilience;
  • To address challenges faced by agencies and staff in responding to crises, including safety and security concerns; 

Career opportunities

Within an increasingly complex and dynamic context, graduates are trained and equipped to enhance community resilience of communities and reduce the impact of crises and disasters on sustainable development. 

Graduates have acquired new insights and know how to use innovative approaches, which have proved their potential to build community resilience to better manage risks as required by the nature of today’s crises and disasters. By looking through a disaster and conflict lens, graduates can make an important contribution to sustainable development.  

Scholarships

Our Master programmes are eligible for the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP), formerly the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. The Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) is targeted at professionals from selected developing countries who, after their studies in the Netherlands, will be able to further develop and strengthen the organisations at which they work.

Top rated master programme 2018

The Master's programme Management of Development received 78 out of 100 points for its agriculture and food programme in the information guide 'Keuzegids Masters 2018' and was consequently awarded top programme status (the information guide is based on the outcome of the National Student Survey of 2017)! 



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Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. Read more

Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. The Risk and Disaster Reduction Postgraduate Certificate offers students the opportunity to gain a sound grasp of the characteristics of risk and disasters and their past, present and future impacts on society.

About this degree

Students develop the ability to assess risk and disaster potential and appreciate and propose risk and disaster management and mitigation strategies. They gain the knowledge and skills required to make more effective decisions based on the creative and critical analysis of a broad spectrum of information.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of four compulsory modules (15 credits each).

Core modules

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Emergency and Crisis Management

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme

Dissertation/report

There is no independent research project for this degree.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical problem-solving exercises. Assessment is by oral and written examinations, group exercises, and assessed practicals and coursework. Practical applications of critical and creative problem-solving will be encouraged and assessed throughout.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Risk and Disaster Reduction PG Cert

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme provides excellent training towards careers in research, research communication, public policy, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, international development, humanitarian assistance, engineering, and many other fields. It supports the career development of professionals already working in risk and disaster reduction, as well as those who intend to go into this field.

Employability

Employers of previous UCL IRDR graduates include an international economic consultancy based in London in the area of micro-finance, a large London insurance firm, and London-based NGO Rescue Global. A number of MSc students have also participated in internship programmes with Rescue Global.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) leads multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching across UCL.

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field. With at least 70 academics across 12 departments and seven faculties involved in world-class research, the IRDR has established links with NGOs, industry and government departments based in and around London.

As a student, you will be encouraged to join our active seminar series, high-profile public discussion meetings and networking events.

The IRDR careers and opportunities forum for students has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, local government, academic institutions, and head hunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Students have found opportunities through contacts made and positions advertised during this event.



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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. Read more

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

Module Details

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; humanitarian emergency response, 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 (option)
Humanitarian Emergency Response and Recovery (option)
Research Project 


Programme 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.

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

Student Destinations

The vocational nature of the course will give you transferable skills such as project planning, literature and data reviewing, field mapping, report writing, meeting deadlines, team work, presentation, communication and emergency simulation exercises. It also has strong research and analytical components, providing training for those who are interested in pursuing further research at PhD level.

You will have the opportunity to complete voluntary work placements with organisations (businesses, government departments, NGOs) in the emergency planning and disaster management sector, in the UK and overseas. Jobs are largely within the following sectors: emergency planning, crisis communication, epidemiology, risk management, insurance and re-insurance, utility companies, emergency logistics, civil defence and disaster relief.

The Crisis & Disaster Management MSc course is endorsed by the Emergency Planning College of the UK Government Cabinet Office.

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Uniting emergency response, disaster risk reduction and space technology this programme is designed to prepare students to work in the fields of satellite technology and disaster response to explore the management of risk and disaster losses from a range of perspectives, focusing on emerging risks posed to modern technology by space weather and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space. Read more

Uniting emergency response, disaster risk reduction and space technology this programme is designed to prepare students to work in the fields of satellite technology and disaster response to explore the management of risk and disaster losses from a range of perspectives, focusing on emerging risks posed to modern technology by space weather and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space.

About this degree

Students will learn about a wide variety of natural hazards, how to prepare and plan for emergencies and disasters and how to respond. Students will also learn practical aspects of designing, building and operating satellites and spacecraft including the challenges and risks posed by the environment of outer space.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Research Appraisal and Proposal
  • The Variable Sun: Space Weather Risks
  • Space Science, Environment and Satellite Missions
  • Space Systems Engineering

Optional modules

Students choose two 15-credit optional modules from the following:

  • Decision and Risk Statistics
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Global Monitoring and Security
  • Mechanical Design of Spacecraft
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Risk and Disaster Research Tools
  • Space-Based Communication Systems
  • Space Instrumentation and Applications
  • Spacecraft Design - Electronic Sub-systems

Optional modules are subject to availability of places.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent project culminating in a report of between 10,000 and 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered by lectures, seminars and interactive problem sessions. Assessment is by examination, poster, presentation and written essay coursework.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme aims to prepare students for careers in space research, space and defence industries as well as most industries with risk management requirements.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The unique selling point of the programme is the direct access to key government and business drivers in the field of space weather, with invited seminars and reserch projects supported by the UK Met Office, EDF, Atkins and other institutions interested in the hazards of space. 

The natural hazard of space weather is a "new" hazard which has only recently been identified as a significant risk to human society. As the first generation of researchers, practitioners and engineers in this field, students will be at the forefront of major new issues in an expanding sector of the economy. As disaster response comes to rely on more advanced technology aid, relief and disaster response agencies require experts trained in the technological infrastructure to innovate, explain, operate and understand the limitations of these novel systems and the help they can provide before, during and after disasters.

The programme will also provide students will advanced training in many transferable skills, such as computor programming, technical writing, oral and written presentation, the use of engineering design tools and graphic visualisation software.



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From natural and human-made disasters, complex emergencies and conflict to environmental sustainability and community development, this globally-focused course explores real-world problems and how to conceptualise and address them. Read more
From natural and human-made disasters, complex emergencies and conflict to environmental sustainability and community development, this globally-focused course explores real-world problems and how to conceptualise and address them.

You will learn how to prepare for, and respond in a crisis. You will develop the planning skills to help minimise impact and avert problems where possible. You will develop advanced knowledge, project management and analytical skills whilst developing a specialism in an area of your choice.

The course is supported by the Disaster and Development Network (DDN) hosted by Northumbria University , which can lead to placements across the world. Our highly employable graduates have moved into a range of exciting careers, including in the UN, governments, development, humanitarian aid organisations, charities and local authorities.

Learn From The Best

Our MSc was the first of its kind in the world. Over the last 16 years our staff and graduates have informed policy at an international level, regularly advising and researching with the United Nations and national development organisations.

With many modules directly relating to the research expertise of teaching staff, you will learn from lecturers who lead knowledge creation in their specialist fields. Through collaborations with scholars, practitioners and senior policy makers across the world, our academics have connections with organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, national Emergency Management and Environment Agencies, as well as international and national charities and governments in a range of countries around the world.

You will benefit from our outstanding links with research groups and networks including the University-hosted Disaster Development Network (DDN) which is involved with research and enterprise activities on a global scale.

Teaching And Assessment

In this rapidly expanding field, you will learn through real scenarios and case studies, live research projects, developing your personal and professional responses to disaster and development challenges.

Guided through lectures, seminars and workshops by staff with vast experience in applying their expertise to current world issues, you will develop the knowledge and practical skills needed to prepare for, take action within, and recover from a crisis. You will develop research and methodology skills. You will also develop a specialism in an area such as health and wellbeing in disaster management, integrated emergency management, or exploring a specific thematic subject of your own choice. The course culminates in a Masters dissertation which can take the form of a traditional research dissertation or a work related project.

Assessment is designed to provide an authentic learning experience, using techniques and approaches common in professional practice and subject-based academic research and consultancy. We provide constructive ongoing and forward feedback to develop your understanding within and between modules.

Learning Environment

If you’re looking for specialist software packages or group study areas, our facilities have been developed to help you through your studies.

We also make use of technology in module delivery. Modules take a ‘virtual field study’ approach where real-world examples are brought into the classroom via video clips, podcasts and online discussions with external experts and practitioners.

Lecture materials, learning resources and assessment details are accessible on the eLearning portal (Blackboard), a university-wide system that also provides access to discussion boards where you can communicate with your fellow students and lecturers.

Module Overview
KE7001 - Approaches to Project Management (Core, 20 Credits)
KE7003 - Subject Exploration in Disaster and Development (Optional, 20 Credits)
KE7004 - Themes in Sustainable Development (Core, 20 Credits)
KE7005 - Disaster Risk Reduction and Response (Core, 20 Credits)
KE7006 - Health and Well-being in Disaster and Development (Core, 20 Credits)
KE7007 - Integrated Emergency Management (Optional, 20 Credits)
KE7015 - Research or Work Related Dissertation (Core, 60 Credits)
KE7022 - Postgraduate Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)

Research-Rich Learning

Research-led teaching and learning is used to guide you from the start to the end of the course. We embed research into lectures, seminars and workshops, drawing on staff and visiting lecturers’ research findings and consultancy.

You will be encouraged to debate key readings and actively engage in critical discussion of research strategies in interactive seminars and workshops. This is reinforced by assessments where you critically evaluate case studies, concepts, applications and research outputs.

Our research into Disaster and Development was ranked by judges representing UK Government Departments and Research Councils among the top 20 impact case studies within the Research Excellence Framework for contribution towards global development. DDN has been researching and facilitating the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies to improve community resilience in some of the world’s poorest communities since 1994, working with communities in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Northumbria is one of three Europe wide groups to represent Europe and Africa in the new Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes, and a leading member of a new UK national research network for implementing the UK research strategy for the Sendai Framework.

Our contribution is supported through the global MSc, doctoral alumni and the annual Dealing with Disasters conference.

Give Your Career An Edge

This postgraduate course is designed to support the development of those seeking to enter a career in the disaster and development fields, as well as to broaden and deepen the career options of those already working in the field. Our connections with professionals working in the sector ensure that the course content is aligned with current practice and relevant to the world, while staff research helps to inform new innovations, reflected in modules on the MSc also.

The course is supported by the Northumbria-based Disaster and Development Network (DDN) and there are also links to the Gender and Disaster Network. Connections that could lead to placements in countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Philippines, India, Nepal, Australia and a number of African countries as well as with EU and UK-based organisations.

Your Future

Our graduates are highly employable, equipped with the skills to address hazards, disasters, risks, vulnerabilities and complex emergencies, working with/in relief and development organisations, national authorities and emergency services at a local or global level.

Graduates go on to careers in a diverse range of related areas.

Our graduates work in roles, for example, as a: Emergency Planner or Emergency Planning Manager; Disaster and Development Academic and/or Researcher; Business Contingency Manager; Humanitarian and United Nations Consultant; Deputy Head of Field Officer of the Office of the United Nations for Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA); and are often working for the Environmental Agency, Local Authorities and International, National, Regional and Local Non-Governmental Offices - often at managerial level.

A number of students who already worked in the sector have subsequently progressed to senior roles in United Nations bodies, World Vision and UK Emergency Planning. Others have successfully gone on to PhD research before pursuing a career in academia in a range of countries around the world, both so-called developed and developing.

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The Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management (EEDM) MSc combines specialist structural and earthquake engineering knowledge with an advanced understanding of risk modelling for natural hazards in order to produce engineers who can deliver design holistic solutions and are able to work in engineering, catastrophe modelling and disaster management roles. Read more

The Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management (EEDM) MSc combines specialist structural and earthquake engineering knowledge with an advanced understanding of risk modelling for natural hazards in order to produce engineers who can deliver design holistic solutions and are able to work in engineering, catastrophe modelling and disaster management roles.

About this degree

Graduates will be able to:

  • determine the vulnerability of ordinary and special structures to seismic actions
  • apply both current seismic codes and novel unconventional methodologies of seismic design, repair and assessment
  • assess the adequacy, economic viability and life-saving effectiveness of pre-event risk mitigation and post-event risk management solutions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of seven core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) consisting of seven core modules (105 credits) and one optional module (15 credits) is offered.

Core modules

  • Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Introduction to Seismic Design of Structures
  • Advanced Seismic Design Structures
  • Seismic Risk Assessment
  • Seismic Loss Mitigation and Strengthening of Low-Engineered Buildings

Optional modules

  • Advanced Structural Analysis
  • Catastrophe Risk Modelling
  • Finite Element Modelling and Numerical Methods
  • Natural and Environmental Disasters
  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

Taught modules have been developed and are delivered in collaboration with experts from industry and non-governmental organisations. In addition a field trip is organised every year to an earthquake affected region.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management MSc

Careers

Students graduate with strong technical engineering skills and rarely taught knowledge of risk evaluation. They are also able to understand the wider implications of disasters and are exposed to both industry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Graduates have gone on to successful careers in the civil engineering industry, in international NGOs, in the financial sector, and in academia.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Engineer, Wuzhou Engineering Corporation Ltd.
  • Design Civil Engineer, Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture
  • ENgineer in HSE and Disaster management, MHS, Mabna Sazeh Houshmand , IRAN
  • PhD Earthquake Sciences,UCL
  • PhD Strengthening Buildings and Structure, The Cyprus University of Technology

Employability

The programme aims to create a new type of global earthquake engineer able to take a holistic approach to earthquake engineering and disaster management. Graduates of the programme will have developed the specialist skills necessary for a career in the engineering sector and other areas that require knowledge and understanding of earthquake engineering and disaster risk management/mitigation principles. The MSc is accredited by the Institute of Civil Engineers as a further learning programme that can count towards chartership.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering hosts EPICentre, a leading research centre in earthquake engineering, and provides an exciting environment in which to explore this new, multidisciplinary and constantly evolving science.

The programme has extensive links to industry through professional engineers and disaster managers who deliver lectures and seminars and support students on their research projects as industrial supervisors.

Students benefit from a voluntary field trip to the closest location of a recent major earthquake to study disaster management and the effects of the earthquake on the built environment, structural strengthening techniques and disaster management.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

60% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Why choose this course?. Develop the practical and theoretical knowledge you need to work in the fields of intelligence, security, emergency planning, crisis and disaster risk reduction and management in the UK and overseas. Read more

Why choose this course?

  • Develop the practical and theoretical knowledge you need to work in the fields of intelligence, security, emergency planning, crisis and disaster risk reduction and management in the UK and overseas
  • Combine the knowledge and skills developed in an inter-disciplinary programme where social sciences, natural sciences and public and environmental health provide real-life solutions to real-life resilience issues
  • Improve your skills as you engage with all aspects of emergency preparedness, resilience and response across a range of natural and man-made hazards, from terrorism and extreme weather events to public health and humanitarian crisis
  • Wherever you are in your career, develop your professional focus and ability in emergency preparedness, resilience or response
  • Combine theory and best practice as your learning includes practical multi-agency exercises, simulations and response structures across all emergency services.
  • At Derby you don’t just study the theory and background to resilience, through security, intelligence and planning for emergency and disaster risk reduction and response. You will take these aspects into real life situations and develop knowledge, skills and vocational attributes that will give you the necessary experience to develop or enhance career paths in these fascinating areas.

A unique combination

  • This course uniquely combines the social science disciplines of criminology and sociology with natural sciences in the field of geoscience, and through public and environmental health. This unique combination examines resilience, risk reduction and response to real world concerns associated with terrorism, extremism, radicalisation and applied intelligence studies, exploring climate, migration and natural hazard risk reduction and response through emergency and disaster management.
  • You will study at Masters level developing critical skills which bring together work-based learning approaches and innovation in the teaching of research methods using scenario building, exercises and simulations in a multi-agency environment to enhance your development, communication and planning.

Developing your skills through practice

  • You will work with emergency services first responders and local authority leads, and also benefit from the university’s relationship with the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (EPC).
  • You will also develop GIS mapping skills and benefit from opportunities to work with Derbyshire Emergency Planning Officers and volunteer teams involved in crisis management. Field trips will involve command and control visits, humanitarian aid facilities and multi-agency simulations of real world hazards.

Aligned to UK standards

  • The programme examines National Occupational Standards in the UK for Civil Contingencies (NOSCC) in support of employer demands and the Core Competencies of the Emergency Planning Society (EPS).


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What you will study. The MSc Hazard and Disaster Management course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and experience. Read more

What you will study

The MSc Hazard and Disaster Management course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and experience. You will study a range of hazards using examples from the UK and other countries. This will provide you with the experience to assess risks and vulnerabilities from desk-based research, laboratory and field situations, consider hazard management and disaster risk reduction strategies, develop emergency plans, and critically review the concept of resilience along with techniques for its development.

You will consider the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of disasters and examine a range of aspects pertinent to the operational, political and socio-cultural issues involved in disaster relief, including aspects of international law. The course will ensure a sound working knowledge and experience with one of the mostly widely used GIS platforms, extensively used by many planning authorities, GOs and NGOs, and you will develop valuable skills in the acquisition and processing of spatial datasets with a wide variety of disaster management applications, along with the ability to visualise and depict spatial information.

Opportunities for study on residential field courses will include the use of field simulations either in Finland or in the UK, and the opportunity to examine environmental hazards and evaluate management strategies on an overseas residential field course. Currently, the field course takes place in Italy or Greece, to examine volcanic, seismic, landslide and tsunami hazards.

Modules

  • Principles and Concepts in Disasters - 20 credits
  • Multi-faceted causes and consequences of disasters, nature of disasters, disaster relief and international law.

  • Management of Coastal and Hydrological Hazards - 20 credits
  • Flooding and integrated flood risk management, coastal hazards and sea level rise, storms, heat wave, coastal pollution incidents, climate change and resilience.

  • Management of Geophysical and Technological Hazards - 20 credits
  • Landslides, chemical hazards and safety, industrial and pollution hazards, volcanic hazards, volcanic ash and aviation, seismic hazards, pandemics, terrorist incidents.

  • Personal Preparedness for Disasters - 20 credits
  • Personal preparedness, leadership, survival training, victim and refugee experiences, developed from the Disaster Summer School immersive simulation week.

  • Disaster Risk Management - 20 credits
  • Field survey training, vulnerability and risk analysis, disaster risk management strategies, emergency planning, resilience, information and communication, community engagement, disaster education, personal development in disaster management.
  • Planning for Disasters and Civil Contingencies - 20 credits
  • Emergency and civil contingency planning, multi-agency response coordination and training, crisis leadership strategies and styles.

  • Remote Sensing for Environmental Management - 20 credits
  • A practical introduction to the use of Remote Sensing and G.I.S. techniques and applications in environmental resource management; appropriate practical and analytical skills in data collection and manipulation of key environmental data.

  • Masters Research Project - 40 credits
  • Each student will prepare for a detailed research project, prepare a paper as if for submission for publication in a refereed academic journal and present their research to their peers.
  • Work Based Learning Project (optional)
  • Work placement opportunities are recommended as part of the course.

Teaching

The Disaster Management course is designed in a modular format and will be offered on a full and part time basis. Delivery will be mixed-mode, with a combination of traditional lectures, practicals and distance learning with supporting tutorials. For full time students, study will take place over 14 months, and for part time students, study may typically take two to three years.

The MSc Hazard and Disaster Management begins with a two week Summer School in August, where you will meet other students, academic tutors and visiting experts. You will:

  • Develop reflective learning skills
  • Enhance communication and team working skills in an international and multicultural setting.
  • Clarify the concepts of a disaster with experts and academic tutors.
  • Undertake a field course simulation training exercise, which focuses on survival skills
  • Reflect on experiences of victims of disaster

You will undertake a field course simulation training exercise, which will focus on survival skills. You will reflect on the experiences of victims of disasters, develop decision making through active participation and it will orientate you to the type of experiences that you may encounter in a disaster field situation.

After the summer school, lectures and self-directed learning will take place in the Autumn and Spring terms. Teaching and training will also include fieldwork within the region as well as the option for overseas residential fieldwork.

Study will utilise a range of diverse learning approaches and activities to acknowledge the rich and diverse character and content of the body of knowledge that forms this Master’s degree course. It will include:

  • Attending the Summer School
  • Lectures
  • Seminars and tutorials
  • Practical and laboratory work
  • Completing work packages by distance learning through the Virtual Learning Environment
  • Actively participating in computer workshops and laboratory work
  • Undertaking a range of field based studies and data collection
  • Participating in group based activities and simulations
  • One-to-one interactions with academic staff
  • Fieldwork including community-based learning
  • Self-directed study
  • Optional field or work-placement
  • Externally-linked activities and placements

Each week, lectures and practicals will take place. This normally involves seven to 10 hours of class contact timetabled within two days of the week. In addition, through the week you will be engaged in distance learning tutorials and activities, background reading, and working on a wide range of assessments. Some weeks will also have additional field or simulation time. For a full-time course, a minimum of 37 hours of study time per week is expected.

The course will also require attendance at a Summer School (two weeks), on another overseas residential field course (about ten days), and will also provide options for other extended field- or work-placements. UK and EU students complete the Summer School at the start of their course in August and International Students complete it at the end of their course. International students therefore begin their course in September and not August. This is to allow enough time for you to get your visa.



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