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Global Crisis, Conflict, and Disaster Management PGCert

Course content

The number, intensity, and impact of crises, emergencies, conflicts and disasters are increasing. During the past ten years alone, an estimated 1.5 billion people have been affected by some form of disaster or conflict-related event.

This new and innovative multidisciplinary postgraduate taught programme examines the role of global law, policy and practice across the spectrum of possible crises, conflicts, and disasters. You will consider the complete disaster cycle of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and explore all types of crisis and conflict (civil, international, post-conflict peace-building, and terrorism) as well as disasters, both man-made (pollution and contamination) and natural (earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, health pandemics).

The programme reflects on current and changing global priorities such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30; progressing the outputs of the UN Climate Change Conference 2015; UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015; and the World Humanitarian Summit 2016.

The aim of this programme is to equip you with many of the substantive, professional, practical, and personal transferable skills and knowledge necessary to operate effectively in inherently multidisciplinary crisis, conflict and/or disaster environments.

A number of schools will collaborate on the delivery of this programme: Law; Agriculture, Policy and Development; Politics, Economics and International Relations; Archaeology, Geography, and Environmental Science. There will also be input from other disciplinary perspectives too, together with practitioners drawn from across the conflict, humanitarian and disasters sectors.

As well as Law graduates, this programme will appeal to early to mid-career professionals working in roles dealing with different types of crises, conflicts and/or disasters, particularly governmental, intergovernmental, private/corporate, civil society/non-governmental who wish to broaden and deepen their existing areas of expertise. It will be also be suitable for recent graduates of any subject, those on career breaks, and career changers.

It is possible to take either an LLM or MSc pathway on the PGCert. Both are framed around the global architecture of crisis, conflict and disaster management with embedded multidisciplinarity. The key distinction is that an LLM route takes more optional law modules, whereas optional modules for the MSc are more multidisciplinary in nature.

What will you study?

Planned Law modules include:

  • Global Architecture of Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Management
  • Human Rights Law, Policy, and Practice
  • Disaster Management
  • Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience
  • Public International Law
  • International Refugee Law
  • International Law and the Regulation of Armed Conflict  
  • International Criminal Justice and Post-Conflict Peace-building
  • Climate Change Disasters
  • Technologies and Weaponry

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

Practical training opportunities

A series of non-assessed, employability orientated, practical training events, inside and outside the classroom, will take place throughout the programme aimed at consolidating and applying substantive knowledge learnt as well as developing transferable professional and personal skills. This will include the opportunity to undertake a fantastic and unique practical ‘fragile/hostile environment training’ package delivered by external professional trainers.

What career can you have?

The skills gained by undertaking a postgraduate Law programme are in great demand from both legal and non-legal employers. As with any postgraduate taught Law programme, completion of the various entry points will be an asset for students seeking employment in international courts and tribunals, United Nations agencies, legal practice and advocacy in the international law field, international NGOs, the public service (in the areas of foreign relations, international development, etc), law reform agencies, the media (journalism and broadcasting), and academia (with further postgraduate study).

Graduates of this programme will be uniquely positioned and clearly distinguishable to prospective employers. In addition to acquiring knowledge of the key principles and topics associated with a traditional Public International Law and Human Rights related LLM programmes or a master's degree in crisis, conflict and/or disaster management issues, graduates of this programme will also develop a unique understanding of cutting edge law and policy, become more multidisciplinary conversant and therefore better equipped to work in inherently multidisciplinary environments.

The flexible nature of this programme allows students to select the degree qualification which best suits their background or area of expertise.


Visit the Global Crisis, Conflict, and Disaster Management PGCert page on the University of Reading website for more details!

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