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MSc International Disaster Management

Main organization(s): University of Manchester


Masters in International Disaster Management


The MA in International Disaster Management is designed for participants who want to increase both theoretical and practical management skills in preparation, response and recovery from natural and man-made disaster events. This course is unique due to its focus on international humanitarian actions for disaster and the wide variety of available course units from history, politics, development studies, the arts and medicine. This results in a course that is suitable as a way to development initial skills in disaster management or support continuing education for disaster management professionals.

Intended learning outcomes of the programme

Students should be able to show a critical understanding of:

1. Key issues and debates related to the theory and practices of disaster risk reduction. Students will show familiarity with different theoretical approaches, practical problems and an appreciation of the diversity of polices at international and national levels, including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals, 21 st Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21) and the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit.

2. The range of environmental, health and social science topics which influence disaster risk reduction and management (including political, historical, anthropological understandings). Students will become familiar with the methodological and normative underpinnings of these disciplines.

3. The analytical and policy literature concerning the related issues of disaster risk reduction including environmental/geological studies, emergency management structures and institutions, the role and perspectives of the state, multilateral and bilateral agencies, international and domestic NGO's and other civil institutions.

4. An understanding of common approaches to disaster risk reduction (i.e. risk matrices, disaster typologies), including an awareness of the problems and critiques associated with disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in both industrialized and developing countries.

5. The development of a range of academic and professional/transferable skills through both independent and group-based work.

6. A detailed understanding of a specific conceptual and/or policy-related area of disaster risk reduction along with implications and limitations of research findings on this subject, and of how to produce an original piece of academic research. Delivered via a dissertation.

Career Opportunities
Students completing this programme may consider a wide range of career choices, including careers with

  • Civil Service (working within various government ministries, including the foreign office, international development office and local resilience forums)
  • International Institutions (such as the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Department of Peacekeeping Operations and regional bodies such as the European Union, African Union, Organization of American States)
  • NGO's (local and international) working on peacebuilding initiatives
  • Academia/Research Institutes/Think-Tank

Subject areas

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

Admission Requirement

  • A Second Class Bachelor's degree or the overseas equivalent although each application is judged on its own merits and exceptions to this entry requirement may be made.
  • We will consider graduates from all disciplines as the programme is interdisciplinary.
  • English language.
  • An overall grade of 6.5 in IELTS (with a minimum writing score of 6.5) is required or 93+ in the iTOEFL with a minimum writing score of 23.

Please contact if you are unsure if you have taken what The University of Manchester considers to be a Standard English Language Test.



Geographical coverage



Period of study: 12 Months full-time; 27 months part-time
Entry points: September

Application procedure

Apply online

Tuition & cost

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

MA (full-time)

  • UK/EU students (per annum): £9,000
  • International students (per annum): £17,000


PG Taught Admissions

+ 44 (0)161 275 0322


Last updated

07 Nov 2016

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  • Type University programme
  • Level Masters
  • Location(s) United Kingdom (Manchester)
  • Language English

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