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  • MSc in Disaster Management and Resilience

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MSc in Disaster Management and Resilience

Main organization(s): Coventry University


Course Detail

Coventry University’s Disaster Management and Resilience MSc could develop the existing skills to help the student managing risk, mitigate/prepare and respond to disasters, food insecurity and conflict.

If the interest is in a career focused on disaster intervention or are a current practitioner seeking to update the knowledge in disaster management, humanitarian assistance, capacity building and disaster risk reduction, this specialist master’s course encompasses up-to-date thinking in disaster theory, management policy, strategy and practice.

Disaster management has been taught at Coventry for over 20 years and this postgraduate course covers the advanced research skills, knowledge and management expertise needed to deal effectively with future disasters, encouraging to adopt a strategic and holistic perspective. It aims to develop expertise and capacity to identify, analyse, interpret and manage risk and disaster issues successfully, focusing on less economically developed contexts across the world, focusing on sustainable solutions and building community resilience. 

Course Information 

This programme is designed to provide the students with the opportunity to develop knowledge and practical skills needed to identify, critically analyse, assess and successfully manage increasingly complex disasters, operating confidently in policy development, strategy implementation and response management.

The overall aim is to provide the ability to contribute to the strengthening of community, professional, organisational, national and international capacity to deal with complex multifactorial disasters in the future, developing strategies which could increase the resilience to risks and threats to both economies and societies.

Upon successful completion of the course, a solid understanding of the key theories within the areas of humanitarian practice, development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction will be offered, so that the student should be able to better evaluate the activities of NGOs, government organisations, multilateral agencies and institutions and undertake risk and vulnerability assessments at an appropriate level of seniority, including important developments in the field of humanitarian relief and operations.

This course will explore the knowledge of the legal and political framework of international humanitarian and disaster risk reduction sectors, taking account of the social, ethical and environmental contexts of disaster management. The student will also be required to carry out an independent piece of research, intended to enable the development of skills in personal organisation, research and critical thinking, as well as advancing the knowledge in the subject area.

Why choose this course? 

The world in recent years has witnessed a steady rise in the social and economic cost of weather-related and geological natural hazards turning into disasters. More significantly, as the in-country capacity of many nations is developed to deal with disasters, international agencies are left to deal with the most complex and protracted emergencies resulting in food insecurity, famine and conflict in case study locations such as Yemen in Africa.

Increasingly, an integrated global disaster response is called for, spanning multiple agencies and often many nations and governments. Responding agencies and their staff are facing new levels of complexity when trying to deal effectively with the management of large-scale, cross-country disasters.

This master’s course aims to reflect the growing need for disaster managers to have practical solutions and be responsive and innovative in identifying, assessing and managing risks, hazards, emergencies and disasters. Broadly-based, it covers a range of relevant topics within the interdisciplinary field of disaster management. Focusing on the theoretical, policy and operational aspects of disaster management, it aims to use international case studies, guest speakers and workshops to illustrate how applied and theoretical knowledge complement each other.


  • Optional opportunities to participate in exercises and site visits (may be subject to additional costs and limited availability).

  • The student will be taught by experienced and qualified academics.

  • Opportunity to take part in training exercises in a Crisis Simulation Centre to develop skills in responding to emergencies in ‘real-time’.

  • Extensive network of alumni, grown over more than 20 years and where possible returning to provide guest talks, advice and employment opportunities.

  • Teaching staff have experience in preparedness, development and response; evaluation of the long-term sustainability of post-disaster housing reconstruction, advising on the formulation of a National Community Resilience Framework and on policy and strategies for warning and informing the public.

  • Strong portfolio of industry-related research in disaster, risk and management with a range of partners.

On completion 

On successful completion of this course, you will have knowledge of:

  • A comprehensive evaluation of risk, its components and influencing factors, approaches to assessment, and prioritisation and organisational role in planning, managing and recovering from humanitarian crises and disasters.

  • A detailed knowledge of policy and approaches for mitigating, preparing for, managing and recovering from crises, conflict and disasters for responding agencies, organisations and affected communities.

  • A thorough comprehension of approaches to assessing complexity and interaction and developing, monitoring and evaluating resilience in processes, systems, organisations and communities at risk from known and emergent threats in a sustainable way.

  • A detailed analysis of multi-stakeholder engagement, communication, co-operation and governance in all aspects of policy and strategy development, implementation and management, at all scales in disaster contexts.

  • An ability to manage information, evaluate uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity in knowledge, method and management and to make appropriate and defensible decisions for managing complex disaster situations.

  • A critical awareness of issues and challenges at the forefront of research and practice in disasters and resilience.

  • An ability to evaluate and use appropriate methods of enquiry and analysis, and to progress good practice in the discipline over the course of their career.

  • The skills demanded to research, evaluate high level material in order to produce an independent working paper that meets ethical requirements of the university, synthesises both academic and sector perspectives and presents findings and recommendations in a professional way.

Teaching and contact hours

Modules are taught as one-week ‘face-to-face teaching’ at the University, along with several weeks of directed and self-directed study, which may be undertaken off-campus. In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 25-30 ‘contact’ hours of teaching.

International experience opportunities 

This course focuses on disaster management within an international context, drawing on case studies and the experience of agencies working across the world. In the past practitioners from a range of NGOs such as Practical Action, Oxfam, Helpage International, Islamic Relief, have led a free-to-attend workshop, sharing some of the activities and approaches they are employing.

International, EU and UK students take classes together where possible, participating in discussion-based seminars and workshops, so all students have the opportunity to benefit from the personal experiences of other students, as well as staff, from other parts of the world.

Many students travel internationally to undertake international research fieldwork (reviewed on a case by case basis and subject to ethical clearance of the research project).

To apply to receive financial support click here.

International research field work and trips may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting required visa requirements.

Admission Requirement

To enter this course the student should have a first or second class honours degree in a relevant discipline.

Applicants with a lower class of degree and/or with a qualification in other subject areas will be individually considered and will usually be interviewed prior to being offered a place on the course. Applicants without a first degree, but who have considerable relevant work experience and/or a relevant professional development qualification, will also be considered for admission to the Programme, on merit. Such applicants will be interviewed and may be required to provide supportive evidence of their career to date.

Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director. For information regarding what might amount to a ‘relevant discipline’ and ‘relevant work experience/relevant professional development qualification’ please write here.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required. 

For more detail visit the international students hub. 



Geographical coverage



1 year full-time, 2-3 years part-time.

Application procedure

For application information, click here. 


UK/EU Postgraduate Academic Excellence Scholarship**

This is a cash scholarship worth up to £2,000 and available to all UK/EU students applying for a full-time postgraduate programme at Coventry University and achieved a first class degree.

Students will be automatically identified for the PGT Academic Excellence scholarship. Eligible students will be notified by email. Coventry request the bank details. A cash payment will then be made directly into the UK bank account.

**The total incentive, scholarship or discount a student can receive is capped at 30% of the published course fees. Any other award may be reduced in value if the students qualifies for an Alumni discount (Coventry University alumni students only). The Alumni discount will be applied to the course fees as the primary discount. Where a student receives a combination of incentives, scholarships or discounts, the offerings may be reduced in value due to this cap.

International Scholarships

Coventry has a wide range of scholarships available to students from different nationalities and areas of interest to help enrich the talents of people from all over the world, as well as those locally. Scholarships are worth upto £5,000 and could be given regardless the country of origin.

To see elegibility, please visit international scholarships web page.

Tuition & cost

Coventry offers competitive tuition fees which it reviews on an annual basis and offers a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and aims for total financial transparency.

Deadline for application

For January 2020 entry point - deadline 31st December 2019.

For May 2020 entry point - deadline 1st May 2020.


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321

Last updated

11 Nov 2019

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

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