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Bournemouth University

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Bournemouth University

Disaster Management

We are one of the leading providers of Disaster Management training and education both in the UK and overseas.  

This MSc in Disaster Management seeks to recognise both the extent and diversity of the numerous areas of expertise and activity that comprise what is commonly described as disaster management.  

Our aim is to develop the knowledge and skills required for existing and future leaders from a broad range of organisations (such as government agencies, national and international industries, emergency, military and medical services, academia, small to medium sized industries, faith based and local community organisations and media).

Your studies will include risk reduction and resilience strategies including mitigating hazards and reducing vulnerability and you will also examine integrated planning between relevant civilian and military organisations as well as community groups. You will learn how to develop major incident management systems that respond to, and help recover from, a range of disasters when they occur.

You will examine the roles and responsibilities of external agencies involved in disaster management and develop your personal communication and simulation skills to exploit and implement lessons identified from previous disaster events.

In a world in which both public and private sectors are increasingly aware of the risks to their reputation and business survival when disaster strikes, your studies will prepare you to be able to promote disaster management planning within wider security and sustainable development strategies in such a way that they are fully integrated, practised and exercised.

Entry requirements

A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:2 or above, or equivalent. Professional experience is also considered. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 (Academic) or above.

Course modules

Each taught unit is delivered via one week of block teaching at Bournemouth University. This is followed by eight weeks of online developmental work and assignment submission that students can complete from anywhere in the world.

Core units

  • Developing Policies and Plans: You will be introduced to the importance of sound disaster management plans and frameworks. Internationally, many nations still do not have developed disaster management plans, and this unit has been developed over several years and in multiple countries to assist national governments and their agencies to address this vital issue. The principles of this unit underpin each of the subsequent units.
  • Management of Communications and Learning: Teaches you how to communicate learning in effective and attractive ways; gaining the interest of audiences, drawing upon audience experience and knowledge, winning audience cooperation for greater integrated activities, and creating relevant participatory exercises from academic and practical-based literature to help turn lessons identified into lessons learned.
  • Dissertation: An opportunity to study a subject in-depth, showing your understanding of it. The dissertation is the conclusion of your learning experience, where you'll carry out a research project. You'll use appropriate research methodology to collect and analyse data and present your findings. Your dissertation will be 15,000 words, and you'll be taught about research methods.

Option units (choose four)

  • Management of Technological, Social & Intentional Disasters: This unit focusses on the nature and types of man-made (human instigated) hazards, including those on land, air and sea alongside such issues as crowd safety and industrial accidents. Taking a case study approach, you will evaluate the lessons learned from recent reports and complete a strategic level multi-hazard planning and response exercise as part of a group.
  • Management of Natural Disasters: You will examine the complexities of natural hazards which could affect your country. You will learn to evaluate the management issues associated with such hazards, and how these can be applied to major incident management, risk reduction and recovery and national planning.
  • Management of Wider Stakeholders – Travel and Tourism: You will develop an understanding of the unique needs and critical resources of the Travel and Tourism sectors and consider the management issues associated with integrating Travel and Tourism into a national disaster management framework including risk reduction, response and recovery.
  • Management of External Assistance: Introduces you to the challenges that arise when external assistance is offered to, or received by another country. Using a developing set of scenarios, students explore the issues as a deployed team offering external assistance to a country faced with a number of natural hazards. The unit concludes by then applying those lessons identified to the home national plan.
  • Public Health Resilience & Response: Throughout this unit you will examine public health resilience and response strategies, within the context of disaster management. Looking at current national and international best practice drawn from a combination of academic and professional practitioner approaches to healthcare resilience, you will learn methods for establishing effective healthcare emergency preparedness, resilience and response systems.
  • Foreign Policy Analysis & Crisis Management: This unit focusses on the concepts and theories of foreign policy analysis relevant to disaster management. You will consider the diplomatic dimensions of international disaster and crisis management and evaluate key issues and challenges shaping the formulation and implementation of foreign policy in relation to crises and disasters.
  • Disaster Management for Business Professionals: You will gain a detailed appreciation of the concepts, theories, challenges and practices of the private sector when preparing for, responding to and recovering from crises and disasters. The unit has a particular focus on how international disaster management contributes to business resilience in both theory and practice. 


Plus £800 for the dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
MSc Part-time £ 6,800 (Whole course) Home/EU 5 Years
MSc Part-time £ 8,600 (Whole course) International 5 Years
MSc Part-time £ 1,000 (Module) Home/EU
MSc Part-time £ 1,300 (Module) International

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