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Masters Degrees (Humanitarian Assistance)

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Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. Read more

About the course

Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. International agencies, governments and NGOs are working more intensely than ever before to deliver appropriate policies and interventions.

Anthropology has played a key role in the emergence of new perspectives on humanitarian assistance and the livelihoods of populations caught up in extreme circumstances such as famines, natural disasters and wars.

On the one hand, this has led to a radical re-thinking of what has been happening, but on the other hand, it has led to anthropologists sometimes playing controversial roles in agendas associated with the "war on terror".

This course examines these contemporary issues and debates, and explores their implications. It also sets them in the context of anthropology as a discipline.

The course will appeal to graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, geography, law and development studies. It is suited for those interested in critically assessing the policies and practices of international development and humanitarian assistance to war-affected regions from an anthropological perspective.

It will provide the necessary training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs (such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund), international agencies (such as the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme) and the civil service (such as the UK Department for International Development).

It will also provide a useful stepping stone for those seeking to undertake doctoral research in international development.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

You will discover how the apparent insights and skills of anthropologists have a long history associated with ethnographic work on economics, education, health, deprivation and conceptions of suffering dating back to the origins of the discipline.

Course Content

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Anthropology of International Development
Dissertation in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War

Optional

Dept. of Social Sciences, Media and Communications (Anthropology)
The Anthropology of Childhood
The Anthropology of Youth
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
Dept of Politics, History and Law
Globalisation
Dept of Clinical Sciences
Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation
Young Lives in the Global South
International Development, Children and Youth
Brunel Law School
Minority and Indigenous Rights
The United Nations Human Rights Regime
Theory and Practice of Human Rights
The Migrant, the State and the Law
Brunel Business School
International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance

Part-time

Year 1

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Anthropology of International Development
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory

Year 2

Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Dissertation in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War

Special Features

While its approach is anthropological, this degree offers genuine multi-disciplinary possibilities by drawing on modules from Politics, Health Sciences, Law and Business.

Students will have the opportunity to explore the multiplicity of issues arising from critical shifts in global policy across the following key themes:

The ways in which economic anthropologists have enhanced our understandings of livelihoods in ways that are dramatically different to dominant approaches in economics.
The hazards and limitations of relying solely upon biomedical interventions to alleviate suffering and sickness.
The ostensibly positive relationship between education and development, and the role of education as a vehicle for eradicating illiteracy and lowering fertility and mortality rates.

An exploration of such themes together will make it possible for students to think and engage in new and critical ways about the relationship between anthropology and development.

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to a 15,000 word dissertation.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching

You will be taught via a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and film.

Assessment

Assessment is variously by essay and practical assignment (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise). A final dissertation of approximately 15,000 words based on fieldwork in the UK or abroad, is also required. There are no examinations.

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Postgraduate Loans are now Open for Home/EU students. -. https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/how-to-apply. Scholarships & Discounts available. Read more

Postgraduate Loans are now Open for Home/EU students - https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/how-to-apply

Scholarships & Discounts available

This programme aims to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to provide leadership and technical support in public health in middle and low income countries. It covers a wide range of topics in public and global health, including key disciplinary skills in epidemiology and social science and applied topics such as disease control and programme management. The programme has a specialist focus on humanitarian assistance, examining current policies and practice in the field and exploring approaches to responding to the challenges of contemporary humanitarian problems. Following the taught component, participants complete a dissertation including a period of applied research either overseas or in Liverpool.

AIMS

LSTM education courses are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future. 

This course aims to: 

Provide a critical understanding of a range of health policies and strategies in a variety of social, epidemiological, cultural, economic and political settings in middle- and low- income countries.

Enable students to analyse critically, evaluate and conduct responsive, public health-related research and apply evidence to everyday practice.

Produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles in order to promote improved health and well-being in middle and low income countries.

Facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.

Develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.

Provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding of humanitarian issues needed to practise at a senior level in organisations involved in the prevention of and response to humanitarian crises.

CAREERS

There are many career opportunities within the field of Public Health throughout the world. Public Health, and in particular our response to humanitarian crises, has been highlighted by the recent War in Syria, the refugee camps and mass migration from the area, natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunami’s worldwide, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, H5N1 Avian Influenza, Zika Virus, and MERS. People with public health skills and a knowledge of the humanitarian sector are highly sought after. Past alumni of this course typically go and work for health ministries, health departments, national or international NGO’s, UN Agencies, aid organisations, or universities. The international research project allows you to ‘prove’ yourself in the sector by working with an NGO for your research in a mutually beneficial manner.



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This distinctive masters in Disaster Healthcare is the only course of its kind and is aimed at experienced healthcare professionals working in the humanitarian field, or those who aspire to do so. Read more
This distinctive masters in Disaster Healthcare is the only course of its kind and is aimed at experienced healthcare professionals working in the humanitarian field, or those who aspire to do so.

A key element of this disaster healthcare degree is its strong international and trans-cultural focus. This degree involves studying via distance learning, plus an annual two-week residential Summer School at the beginning of the course.

You will study the key areas of theory and practice that are relevant to healthcare in complex humanitarian disasters, from resilience and response to mitigation and recovery. The course will prepare you to provide high quality care to vulnerable populations in conflict zones, and disaster emergencies through humanitarian assistance. You will also develop your knowledge on how to reduce disaster risks and improve public health.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/319-msc-disaster-healthcare-online-delivery

What you will study

Modules

Year One:
- Summer School (14 days attendance required).
- Personal Preparation for Disasters
- Principles and Concepts in Disasters
- Protecting Public Health in Disasters

You can exit the course in year one with a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert).

Year Two:
- Professional Development for Disaster
- Evidence-based Practice in Disasters
- Promoting Public Health

You can exit the course in year two with a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip).

Year Three:
- Professional Practice in Disasters
- Researching and Evaluating Disasters

Learning and teaching methods

Each year begins with a two week residential summer school in either the UK or in Finland. Summer School includes a week of simulation exercises in the field followed by a week of classes to introduce the forthcoming modules.

The remainder of the year involves studying online learning materials, engagement in online discussions and exercises, and self-directed study.

The final year includes a 12 week placement in either disaster response, humanitarian assistance of disaster risk reduction.

You will be taught by an international teaching faculty from a range of backgrounds with field expertise in disaster and emergency response, public health, and humanitarian assistance.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

Graduates find work with national healthcare providers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and inter-government organisations.

Some of our graduates have taken up key posts with the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department of Health, the armed forces and with NGOs in Sudan, Iraq, Angola and Afghanistan.

Assessment methods

Modules will be assessed throughout the course using essays, research proposals and field work study. Field placements scheduled for August/ September form a central and compulsory feature of the course structure.

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About the MSc programme. This unique, multidisciplinary programme is concerned with the ways in which women and gender are understood in relation to, and affected by, regional, national and global peace and security processes in conflict and post-conflict settings. Read more

About the MSc programme

This unique, multidisciplinary programme is concerned with the ways in which women and gender are understood in relation to, and affected by, regional, national and global peace and security processes in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Located in the Centre for Women Peace and Security and administered through the LSE Gender Institute, you will fully participate in its cross-sectoral community of scholars, activists and practitioners from around the world. In addition to regular lectures, you will benefit from guest practitioner seminars, workshops and classes led by experts in the field – Visiting Fellows and Professors, Activists in Residence and other members of the Centre, as well as by faculty from other departments at LSE. The programme will make use of empirical material and case studies that are national and transnational in scope, and will incorporate interdisciplinary texts and perspectives from theory, policy, and practice.

This programme will be suitable for mid-career professionals working in conflict and post-conflict settings; in humanitarian assistance; UN field offices; and peace governance roles. It will also be suitable for early-career students who would like to work in the field, in any number of roles.

Graduate destinations

We expect the degree to assist our students to advance their careers in conflict and post-conflict settings; in humanitarian assistance; UN field offices; and peace governance roles. 



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Why Study with Us?. Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback. Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff. Read more

Why Study with Us?

  • Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback.
  • Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff.
  • Access a wide range of online resources such as e-books, digital lectures and podcasts, discussion boards and video-conference tools all within a dedicated e-learning platform.
  • Develop and improve your employability, professional and academic skills and gain extensive hands-on practice with key software.
  • Obtain free student copies of GIS, remote sensing and statistical software.
  • Be assessed entirely by coursework – there are no formal examinations.
  • Pay your fees by instalments.
  • With a fully online course, you can study from almost anywhere and there is no need to travel to classes.
  • You can enrol to study part-time or full-time and choose the times you study each week to suit yourself.
  • Substantial relevant work experience may be accepted in place of standard entry requirements.
  • Study for a Master’s degree, a PG Diploma, PG Certificate or enrol for individual modules.

Why Study GIS?

The benefits of GIS are increasingly recognised within government, business, education and the voluntary sector, and the applications of geospatial data technologies are steadily growing. Using GIS, it is possible to combine data from a broad range of sources and in a variety of formats, such as paper and digital maps, routinely collected administrative data, censuses and population surveys, satellite imagery, aerial photography, GPS tracking and surveys, LiDAR and crowd-sourcing. The uses of GIS are very diverse, and include mapping, spatial analysis, planning and decision-making within a wide range of disciplines and sectors – common examples include environmental management and conservation, resource management, emergency service planning and humanitarian assistance, health care provision, land use planning and urban development, the utilities, transport, geo-demographics, mineral extraction and retail analysis. Increasing uptake of GIS and associated techniques and technologies means that there is a growing demand for qualified personnel who have the skills to manage spatial data effectively. Strong industry links help ensure that our course is relevant to the needs of employers.

Course Summary

The course is designed to help people gain understanding and experience of GIS concepts, functionality and applications. Content focuses on the representation, acquisition, management, manipulation and analysis of spatial data. It also includes modules on remote sensing, spatial databases, web-GIS and GIS in the commercial environment. Additional optional modules include GIS work experience, spatial analysis and modelling, GIS for environmental management, and Customising GIS.

In addition to acquiring substantial theoretical knowledge of the subject, you will gain extensive practical experience using a variety of software, focusing primarily on ArcGIS but also including ERDAS Imagine, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, MySQL, OpenLayers, Geoserver, QGIS, Excel, SPSS and a number of GIS extensions and plug-ins. One of the core modules provides experience of web-based programming languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, whilst an optional module in customising GIS applications introduces Esri’s ModelBuilder and the Python programming language.

After successfully completing the PgDip modules, you may transfer to the Masters part of the programme. This requires the completion of a substantial independent research project, written in the form of a research journal article (which may, with agreement of your supervisor, be submitted for publication).

As part of the course resources, you will be provided with a free copy of ArcGIS, the remote sensing package ERDAS Imagine, and the data analysis package SPSS.

Work placement / study abroad

Gaining experience in the workplace and being able to apply academic learning within that context is very beneficial for students preparing to enter the workplace, so we offer the option of undertaking a GIS Work Experience module to full-time students. This entails working within an organisation for 2.5 days per week over a six-week period. Placements (which are unpaid) may be in the public sector, private companies, charities or education. Students who take this module find it extremely helpful for both their professional and personal development and refer particularly to benefits such as broadening their technical skills, gaining experience of team-working and of independent problem-solving, improved confidence and of learning about the geospatial industry and employment through exposure to real-world applications of GIS.

Part-time students who are in GI-related employment may opt to undertake the GIS Workplace Project.

Career options

GIS and geospatial technologies underpin a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and are becoming increasingly mainstream within both the public and private sectors, resulting in a need for graduates who have a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Graduates of this course have secured employment in a variety of GIS-related roles worldwide, in GIS positions including technicians, analysts, scientists, surveyors, data specialists, mapping officers, consultants, project managers, development, sales and marketing, customer support, GIS training, lecturing and research (including funded PhD projects). The breadth of potential uses of GIS ensures a great diversity of job opportunities; for example, our graduates have found employment with mapping agencies, GIS and SatNav companies, environmental consultancies, ecological and marine resource management and environmental agencies, renewable energy companies, forestry, fisheries, town planning departments, heritage agencies, health and emergency services, housing authorities, local government, aid agencies, countryside recreation, rural development, retail analysis, utilities and infrastructure, Further and Higher Education, mining and mineral exploitation and the oil industry, among others. Knowledge and understanding of geo-spatial data is also increasingly required in a variety of jobs outside of the GI profession, making a GIS qualification a valuable asset enhancing employability in a range of fields.



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This MA is ideal for those considering employment in the field of humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction. It is also relevant to practitioners wishing to study the politics of aid. Read more

This MA is ideal for those considering employment in the field of humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction. It is also relevant to practitioners wishing to study the politics of aid. The programme builds on critical policy research and consultancy that has been completed for a wide range of international organisations.

It addresses the increasing overlap between ‘development’ and ‘security’ and explores the significance of globalisation for the emergence of internal, regionalised and networked forms of conflict and instability.

This analysis will broaden your understanding of the present crisis in global security as you go on to study the recent and current responses in humanitarian, developmental and security terms, particularly the links between aid and politics.

Core Modules

• Theorising Security and War

• Theory and Method in Postgraduate Studies

• Dissertation



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The last three decades have seen a substantial rise in the number and frequency of disasters. Global warming, together with its associated extreme weather events make it likely to see this trend continue. Read more
The last three decades have seen a substantial rise in the number and frequency of disasters. Global warming, together with its associated extreme weather events make it likely to see this trend continue.

It is becoming increasingly important to foster resilience and a capacity to withstand disaster events, as a part of reducing and managing risk within a broader context of sustainable development.

The course aims to provide students with the research skills, knowledge and management expertise to deal with future crises, emergencies and disasters in the developed and developing world.

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

Courses in disaster management have been offered at Coventry University for over ten years.
-Provides an understanding of theory and practice and their application within local, national and international contexts
-Designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary for successful disaster intervention in the UK, and elsewhere across the globe
-Emphasis on academic content and on application of theory and principles
-Uses case studies to ensure that applied and theoretical knowledge complement each other
-Appropriate for professionals who wish to further their careers in the areas of disaster management, risk assessment, community development, humanitarian assistance and capacity building
-Staff teaching on the course have a wide range of practice based and research skills and form a cohesive multi-disciplinary team with a strong commitment to advancing disaster management research and practice

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

The course covers a range of subject areas, such as:
-Disaster risk reduction and development
-Humanitarian theory and practice in disasters
-Communities - approaches to resilience and engagement
-Risk, Crisis, and continuity management
-Management of natural and environmental hazards
-Technology for disaster and emergency management
-Research design and methods
-Dissertation

HOW WILL THIS COURSE ENHANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS?

Qualified disaster professionals are in high demand. Our part-time students are often sponsored by their employers and our graduates are much sought after by a range of organisations, including, governments, NGOs and private sector organisations.

The Programme’s goal is to enhance graduates’ employability by giving students the knowledge and skills necessary to critically evaluate and apply key elements of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, including the ability to conduct assessments of hazards, risks, vulnerability and capacity. Also, through providing students with an understanding of approaches that may be used internationally to reduce and manage risk, the Programme aims to prepare students for employment in a wide range of careers focused on disaster intervention.

GLOBAL LEADERS PROGRAMME

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

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The MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy (ISD) programme is designed for those engaged in, or planning to embark upon, a professional career requiring international expertise in government, not-for-profit, corporate or academic environments. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy (ISD) programme is designed for those engaged in, or planning to embark upon, a professional career requiring international expertise in government, not-for-profit, corporate or academic environments.

ISD aims to prepare students for a variety of roles, such as working within a Foreign Service or other government department; international civil service (such as the United Nations or European Union); international NGOs (working in fields such as development, humanitarian assistance and conflict resolution); multinational corporations and international media. The programme also suits those engaged in or considering research roles within a policy think tank, risk analysis organisation or doctoral programme and seeking to deepen their academic and practical understanding of international affairs and contemporary diplomatic practice.

The programme has a multi-disciplinary structure and draws on the teaching and research strengths of CISD and of the SOAS departments of International Politics, Law, Economics and area studies (especially of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as a wide range of languages. Students choose a combination of modules to meet their specific professional needs and personal interests.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour of Geneva.

Programme Objectives

- Excellent inter-disciplinary understanding of key concepts, theories and debates in the study of international affairs

- Excellent knowledge of international policy debates and principle issues from perspectives of both the global North and South

- Ability to undertake critical analysis of contemporary international policy issues and challenges

- Development of module specific practical skills such as policy analysis and policy advocacy, negotiation, mediation, communication and media relations.

We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds; however, it is not necessary to have a first degree in a discipline directly related to the programme.

Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/mapgdipisd/

Duration: MA: One calendar year (full time). Two or three years (part time). PGDip: One academic year (full time). Two academic years (part time).

Structure

Students take taught modules to the value of 3 full units plus 10,000 word dissertation

1. One unit (or two half units) from A
2. One unit (or two half units) from A or B
3. One unit (or two half units) from A, B or C
4. Dissertation (compulsory) on a topic related to the programme’s core themes

Postgraduate Diploma candidates take modules as the MA, excluding the dissertation.

A). International Studies and Diplomacy Modules
General Diplomatic Studies and Practice
International Politics of Transitional Justice
International Relations 1; Foundations of World Politics
International Relations 2; Contemporary World Politics
International Law 1; Foundation
International Economics
International Security
Sport and Diplomacy: "More than a Game"
History and Future of the United Nations
Global Advocacy

B). Additional modules available within CISD
Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific
Global Energy and Climate Policy
Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising world – Economic and Legal Perspectives

C). Electives
Please note that acceptance onto an elective module is subject to availability of places, timetabling, and the approval of the convenor of that course.

Suggested electives for International Studies and Diplomacy students
Full Unit modules (1.0):
China and International Politics
Chinese Commercial Law
Comparative Politics of the Middle East
Economic Development of South East Asia
Economic Dynamics of the Asia-Pacific Region
Economic Problems and Policies in Modern China
Government and Politics in Africa
Government and Politics of Modern South Asia
Government and Politics of Modern South East Asia
International Politics of East Asia
Modern Chinese Law and Human Rights
State and Society in the Chinese Political Process
Taiwan's Politics and Cross-Strait Relations
Theory, Policy and Practice of Development

Half-Unit modules (0.5):
Economic Development of Modern Taiwan
International Political Communication
Japanese Modernity I
Japanese Modernity II
Power in World Politics
The Making of the Contemporary World
The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use
Topics in the Chinese Economy

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 234kb) (http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/mapgdipisd/file80889.pdf)

Teaching & Learning

The programme may be taken in one year (full time) or in two or three years part time (MA only), with the schedule designed to allow participation by those in full-time employment. Participants may choose a combination of modules to meet their professional needs and personal interests. The programme is convened on a multi-disciplinary basis, and teaching is through lectures, tutorials and workshops conducted by SOAS faculty and visiting specialists.

The Centre endeavours to make as many of the modules for International Studies and Diplomacy (ISD) accessible to part-time students. Where possible the majority of CISD lectures are at 18.00; however, lecture times will be rotated on a yearly basis for some modules (between evening and daytime slots) so that part-time students will have access to as many modules as possible over the duration of their degree. Associated tutorials are repeated in hourly slots with the latest taking place at 20.00. Students sign up for tutorial groups at the start of term and stay in the same group throughout the academic year. There is a minimum of two and a half hours formal teaching a week (lecture and tutorial) for each ISD module taken. Practical exercises may take place at weekends.

Teaching includes:
- Wide range of modules: Diplomatic Studies and Practice, International Relations, International Economics, International Law, and International Security
- Wide choice of electives: Global Energy and Climate Policy, Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World or a module offered by other SOAS departments (e.g. Development Studies, Politics, Economics, Law, Languages)
- Interaction with diplomats, policy makers, NGO officials and other international practitioners.
- Training in negotiation, policy analysis, policy advocacy, communication and media and other skills through practical exercises including strategy, communication and media workshops, moots courts, and negotiation and mediation workshops.

Further activities:
Included in the degree programme:

- Week long study trip to United Nations organisations in Geneva
- Media and communication skills training by current and former BBC staff
- Guest lectures by leading scholars and senior practitioners, and policy conferences (visit the CISD website to listen to the podcasts)
- Opportunities to actively participate in Centre research programmes (http://www.cisd.soas.ac.uk/pg/research)

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Why Surrey?. Our programme gives you the opportunity to delve into one of three specialist areas of International Relations. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our programme gives you the opportunity to delve into one of three specialist areas of International Relations.

You will master key skills in political science that enable you to explore the links between local, national and international structures, and critically evaluate key contemporary debates in the field of international relations.

Programme overview

The MSc International Relations programme is offered via two pathways. The International Relations pathway examines key issues in the contemporary international system and processes of global governance.

Secondly, the innovative International Intervention pathway deepens your understanding of this complex area and includes a placement option, allowing you to spend three months working in international politics.

There are a set of common compulsory modules for all pathways, in addition to two compulsory modules for your chosen pathway, and three optional modules from a range of international or European politics topics.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year, until a total of eight is reached. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation or placement.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Career prospects

Our MSc programme in International Relations is a great stepping stone in your career development, whatever your plans.

Through its assessed, three-month placement, the International Intervention pathway offers an excellent opportunity to enhance a wide range of transferable skills and build personal networks which will significantly enhance your employment opportunities upon graduation.

Students from the School have gone on to a wide range of employment choices. These include working for international organisations, national and local government, lobby groups and non-governmental organisations, as well as private businesses and media organisations.

We also offer doctoral supervision in a wide range of political subjects for talented students who wish to continue their studies.

Educational aims of the programme

The programme aims to:

  • Enable students to understand and evaluate contemporary debates in the study of international relations, concerning global governance and/or terrorism and security and international intervention
  • Deepen students’ knowledge of theoretical aspects of international relations, including theoretical developments in the sub-fields of terrorism and security and international intervention
  • Enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding in at least three sub-fields of international politics: students take three programme compulsory modules, two pathway compulsory modules specific to their pathway (International Relations, International Intervention), and two further modules from a list of optional modules particular to their pathway
  • Provide students, with the opportunity, through the International Intervention pathway, to spend three months working in a field related to their degree (this will not only provide students with new insights into International Intervention but will also develop a broad array of transferable skills – such skills include self-management and development; managing tasks; communicating effectively and clearly; working with and relating to others; the application of specialist knowledge; the application of initiative and reflecting on one’s own learning outcomes)

Programme learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Upon completion of the programme, students will have:

  • Critical knowledge of contemporary debates in the study of international politics, particularly in relation to the international system and global governance, differing forms of intervention in response to poverty, humanitarian crisis, abuses of human rights, state failure and armed conflict
  • In-depth understanding of international structures of governance and their impact on regional, national and local structures; and of theories of international relations
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding within at least two sub-fields of international politics, for example development and humanitarian assistance; peace-making; peace-keeping and peace- building; use of international legal institutions and processes; and coercive military intervention to secure regime change
  • Understanding of processes of knowledge creation and contestation within international politics
  • Understanding of techniques of research and enquiry and their application to the study of politics

Intellectual / cognitive skills

Students will be able to:

  • Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources
  • Analyse and synthesise a wide range of material in verbal and numerical formats
  • Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively
  • Make sound judgements on the basis of incomplete evidence
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in solving problems and analysing evidence
  • Construct reasoned argument
  • Apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis

Professional practical skills

Students will gain the ability to:

  • Make appropriate use of information and communications technology
  • Carry out an advanced literature search
  • Form effective arguments
  • Organise own workload to meet deadlines
  • Formulate research questions
  • Design and conduct a research project, selecting appropriate methods of data collection and analysis
  • Design and pilot questionnaires
  • Design and conduct interviews
  • Use software packages to analyse qualitative and quantitative data
  • Present research findings orally and in writing

Key / transferable skills

Students will have the skills to:

  • Communicate and present ideas effectively
  • Reason critically
  • Use information and communication technology for the retrieval and presentation of material
  • Organise and plan their own work
  • Adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals
  • Deploy a range of relevant research skills
  • Make decisions in complex situations
  • Take responsibility for their own learning

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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Why Study with Us?. Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback. Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff. Read more

Why Study with Us?

  • Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback.
  • Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff.
  • Access a wide range of online resources such as e-books, digital lectures and podcasts, discussion boards and video-conference tools all within a dedicated e-learning platform.
  • Develop and improve your employability, professional and academic skills and gain extensive hands-on practice with key software.
  • Obtain free student copies of GIS, remote sensing and statistical software.
  • Be assessed entirely by coursework – there are no formal examinations.
  • Pay your fees by instalments.
  • With a fully online course, you can study from almost anywhere and there is no need to travel to classes.
  • You can enrol to study part-time or full-time and choose the times you study each week to suit yourself.
  • Substantial relevant work experience may be accepted in place of standard entry requirements.
  • Study for a Master’s degree, a PG Diploma, PG Certificate or enrol for individual modules.

Why Study GIS?

The benefits of GIS are increasingly recognised within government, business, education and the voluntary sector, and the applications of geospatial data technologies are steadily growing. Using GIS, it is possible to combine data from a broad range of sources and in a variety of formats, such as paper and digital maps, routinely collected administrative data, censuses and population surveys, satellite imagery, aerial photography, GPS tracking and surveys, LiDAR and crowd-sourcing. The uses of GIS are very diverse, and include mapping, spatial analysis, planning and decision-making within a wide range of disciplines and sectors – common examples include environmental management and conservation, resource management, emergency service planning and humanitarian assistance, health care provision, land use planning and urban development, the utilities, transport, geo-demographics, mineral extraction and retail analysis. Increasing uptake of GIS and associated techniques and technologies means that there is a growing demand for qualified personnel who have the skills to manage spatial data effectively. Strong industry links help ensure that our course is relevant to the needs of employers.

Course Summary

The course is designed to help people gain understanding and experience of GIS concepts, functionality and applications. Content focuses on the representation, acquisition, management, manipulation and analysis of spatial data. It also includes modules on remote sensing, spatial databases, web-GIS and GIS in the commercial environment. Additional optional modules include GIS work experience, spatial analysis and modelling, GIS for environmental management, and Customising GIS.

In addition to acquiring substantial theoretical knowledge of the subject, you will gain extensive practical experience using a variety of software, focusing primarily on ArcGIS but also including ERDAS Imagine, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, MySQL, OpenLayers, Geoserver, QGIS, Excel, SPSS and a number of GIS extensions and plug-ins. One of the core modules provides experience of web-based programming languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, whilst an optional module in customising GIS applications introduces Esri’s ModelBuilder and the Python programming language.

After successfully completing the PgDip modules, you may transfer to the Masters part of the programme. This requires the completion of a substantial independent research project, written in the form of a research journal article (which may, with agreement of your supervisor, be submitted for publication).

As part of the course resources, you will be provided with a free copy of ArcGIS, the remote sensing package ERDAS Imagine, and the data analysis package SPSS.

Work placement / study abroad

Gaining experience in the workplace and being able to apply academic learning within that context is very beneficial for students preparing to enter the workplace, so we offer the option of undertaking a GIS Work Experience module to full-time students. This entails working within an organisation for 2.5 days per week over a six-week period. Placements (which are unpaid) may be in the public sector, private companies, charities or education. Students who take this module find it extremely helpful for both their professional and personal development and refer particularly to benefits such as broadening their technical skills, gaining experience of team-working and of independent problem-solving, improved confidence and of learning about the geospatial industry and employment through exposure to real-world applications of GIS.

Part-time students who are in GI-related employment may opt to undertake the GIS Workplace Project.

Career options

GIS and geospatial technologies underpin a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and are becoming increasingly mainstream within both the public and private sectors, resulting in a need for graduates who have a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Graduates of this course have secured employment in a variety of GIS-related roles worldwide, in GIS positions including technicians, analysts, scientists, surveyors, data specialists, mapping officers, consultants, project managers, development, sales and marketing, customer support, GIS training, lecturing and research (including funded PhD projects). The breadth of potential uses of GIS ensures a great diversity of job opportunities; for example, our graduates have found employment with mapping agencies, GIS and SatNav companies, environmental consultancies, ecological and marine resource management and environmental agencies, renewable energy companies, forestry, fisheries, town planning departments, heritage agencies, health and emergency services, housing authorities, local government, aid agencies, countryside recreation, rural development, retail analysis, utilities and infrastructure, Further and Higher Education, mining and mineral exploitation and the oil industry, among others. Knowledge and understanding of geo-spatial data is also increasingly required in a variety of jobs outside of the GI profession, making a GIS qualification a valuable asset enhancing employability in a range of fields.



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Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. Since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live. Read more

About the course

Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. Since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live.

In short, Medical Anthropology can be described as the study of cultural beliefs and practices associated with the origin, recognition and management of health and illness in different social and cultural groups.

Literally hundreds of students – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and other medical professionals among them – can testify to the quality of our programme, having used it either to enhance their professional practice, to change career or to develop their research interests for future studies.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

The degree aims to equip students with a broad, general understanding of anthropology and how it might be applied to medical and health-related problems.

You will develop a deeper understanding of how people’s ideas about the world, as well as the structural constraints within which they find themselves, have an impact on their understanding and experience of health, sickness and disease.

You’ll achieve this through close study of key texts in medical anthropology, the original fieldwork experiences of your lecturers, and through designing and undertaking your own research project.

If you’ve wondered about some or all of the questions below – all of which are addressed in the degree – this could be the course for you:

How does poverty contribute to the profiles of diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis?
Why are some diseases, such as leprosy or AIDS/HIV, feared and stigmatized?
Why do some biomedical interventions seeking to control infectious and non-infectious diseases work, and others fail?
What might stop some patients seeking conventional treatments for cancers and other conditions – even when they are offered for free – despite the apparent efficacy of the medicines available?
How does one make the distinction between the healthy and the pathological? Is being ‘disabled’, for example, always a negative state, or might some consider it just another, equally valid, way of being?
What are the effects of political, economic and other social conditions on people’s experiences of what, from a biomedical perspective, might be considered the same diseases?
How and why is it appropriate to combine insights emerging from clinical and epidemiological research with ethnographic understandings of health, illness and disease?

The Brunel Medical Anthropology MSc addresses these issues and more in a lively and challenging way, through a programme of lectures, class discussions, and your own – personally directed – final dissertation research project.

Course Content

The main objectives of the course are to provide a rigorous grounding in key topics and perspectives in medical anthropology, and to equip candidates with a range of research skills to enable them to complete research successfully.

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Dissertation in Medical Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the Arena of Global Health
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings

Optional modules:

The Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War
Ethnicity, Culture and Identity

Part-time

Year 1

Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the Arena of Global Health

Year 2

Dissertation in Medical Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essay, practical assignments (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise) and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. This dissertation is based upon fieldwork undertaken by the candidate. There are no examinations.

Special Features

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to up to a 15,000 word dissertation.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

Special scholarships

Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund
Set up to honour the life and work of leading light in international medical anthropology Professor Cecil Helman (1944-2009), the Doctor Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund provides fieldwork support for between two and four students on our MSc Medical Anthropology course.

Dr Helman taught at Brunel University London from 1990, and became a Professor of Social Sciences in 2005. In 2004, he was awarded the American Anthropological Association’s career achievement award, and the following year he won the Royal Anthropological Institute's Lucy Mair medal.

As well as leading the way in Medical Anthropology, Dr Helman exercised his artistic talents through his paintings, poems, fables, and short fiction – all of which revolved around a theme of the human side of medicine and the narratives that surrounded the doctor-patient relationship.

Scholarship
The Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund offers between two and four students up to £1,000 to help them to complete field research for their dissertations.

Selection
The scholarship will be awarded to MSc Medical Anthropology students who demonstrate excellent academic performance and the ability to undertake an original field research project.

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The Social Anthropology MRes is a taught postgraduate degree that provides high quality training in anthropology and anthropological research. Read more

About the course

The Social Anthropology MRes is a taught postgraduate degree that provides high quality training in anthropology and anthropological research.

The course is of particular relevance for those who wish to use such training as a foundation for PhD study or who are keen to enhance their careers through the acquisition of advanced knowledge and research skills. Accordingly, the MRes can be completed as a qualification in itself, or as the first stage in a four-year PhD programme.

For students with no previous anthropological training, it can also act as a conversion course to anthropology.

A unique feature of this programme is that students can design, in collaboration with academic staff, Guided Study Modules to focus on their particular areas of research interest.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

The MRes/MPhil/PhD programme marries the best aspects of the traditional apprenticeship system of anthropology - students work with a leading anthropologist in their geographical area of interest and undertake a formal training programme concerned with developing broader anthropological skills in the context of social science as a whole.

Our students have been or are being funded by the British Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, the World Health Organization, national and local governments as well as NGOs.

Course Content

The MRes consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory modules:

Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Dissertation in Social Anthropology Research

Optional modules:

The Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Anthropology of International Development
Kinship, Sex and Gender
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology
The Anthropology of Childhood
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War
The Anthropology of Youth
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning
Guided Study Module
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings

Part-time

Year 1

Option modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essays, practical assignments (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise) and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. This dissertation is based on fieldwork undertaken by the candidate. There are no examinations.

Special Features

Our course team has worked in countries across the globe including South, West and East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to a final dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

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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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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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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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