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Specialization certificate in the assessment and management of geological and climate related risk

  • Main organization:Centre d'étude des risques géologiques (CERG) ; University of Geneva (UNIGE). Department of Earth Sciences
  • Type:Continuing education
  • Level:Certificate/Diploma
  • Degree/Diploma/Certificate:Postgraduate certificate for 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System)
  • Geographical coverage:Global
  • Location:Switzerland (Geneva)
  • Contact:CERG-C coordination: University of Geneva, Section of Earth and environmental sciences

    13 Rue des Maraîchers
    1205 Geneva, Switzerland
    Tel:+41 22 379 66 02
    Fax:+ 41 22 379 36 01
    Email: cerg@unige.ch
  • Frequency:Annual
  • Language:English
  • Duration:14 Apr - 13 Jun 2014

Programme Website



The basic teaching is held at the University of Geneva, Switzerland each year, from April to June. The lectures are given in English. The training is made up of two parts: an intensive 7 weeks of lectures (including field immersion) and 2 weeks of validation, plus a personal dissertation based on a research or on an internship within national or international organizations.

The practical aspect of the training is organized over two weeks dedicated to interdisciplinary field work in regions with a potential risk such as the island of Vulcano in the southern part of Italy (volcanic eruption), flooding and landslide aspects are studied in Switzerland. For this part in the field, applicants must be in a good physical health as they will climb on the top of a volcano (from sea level to about 400 m a.s.l), be exposed to gas emissions (e.g. SO2) and walk in the altitude of the Swiss Alps.

The dissertation, which is the result of a personal work showing the aptitude of the candidate to solve a given problem, is to be completed within 8 months following the course. However, a first draft should reach the CERG 6 months after the end of the exams.


CERG in a nutshell: 5 modules: risk management, hazards related to floods and climate change, seismic hazards, landslide hazards, volcanic hazards

Schedule: 7 weeks of lectures (including field work), 2 weeks of exams, 4 weeks of research (including potential internships) for the compilation of the final Memoir

Teaching team: 22 international experts in the field of geological risk


  • Risk Management
  • Volcanic Risk
  • Seismic Risk
  • Terrain Instabilities
  • Hydro-Meteorogical Risk


The final project can consist of a comprehensive Mémoire describing a specific geological risk, including data processing and analyses and application of management strategies. You can choose to carry out your project in Switzerland (at your own expenses) within the month following the CERG-C course using the facilities provided by the University of Geneva (Computer Lab, University Library) and benefiting from the interaction with a supervisor expert in the topic you have chosen. You can also decide to carry out the project in your home country still benefiting from the “remote” supervision of an expert in the field.

The final project can also consist of a project carried out as part of an internship with an NGO, with a National or International organization or with a private institution. The timing and structure of the internship will depend on the specific organization and the specific project. Your personal contribution to the project will have to be described and then confirmed by the head of the project.

Admission Requirement

To register for the CERG-C, you need to have already a master degree or a diploma of 5 years from your University.

Application Procedure

The following documents must be submitted via email with the completed and signed application form, found below:

  • a short Curriculum Vitae (max 2 pages)
  • a letter of motivation
  • copies of certificates and diplomas, copies of official transcript of grades
  • a short proposal of your potential research project for the CERG-C Mémoire (max 1 page)
  • a digital copy of an ID picture
  • copy of your passport
  • proof of your competences in English language
  • two recent letters of recommendation with name, address, phone number, fax number and academic/professional relationship letter from your Employer or Supervisor authorizing your CERG-C application

Incomplete application packages will not be considered.


Financial support may be offered to participants who are unable to meet the total cost of enrollment, living and travel expenses. However, we also encourage CERG-C candidates to investigate alternative options in their own countries.

Tuition and Cost

Tuition and Cost Complete training (including university fees, course material and field work): CHF 4400.— Living costs (i.e. accommodation, meals, insurance, public transport): CHF 4350.—

Deadline for application

Application deadline for visa and/or fellowship: 30 September 2013
Deadline for all other applicants: 1 February 2014



  • Themes:Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management, Risk Identification & Assessment
  • Hazards:Earthquake, Flood, Volcano
  • Countries/Regions:Switzerland

  • Short URL:http://preventionweb.net/go/11624

Last updated

31 Jul 2013

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