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Disaster Management and Sustainable Development - MSc


Course Description

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.

Visit the Disaster Management and Sustainable Development - MSc page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree in an appropriate subject (i.e. geography, environmental management/studies, economics, sociology) or appropriate professional experience and/or qualifications.

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