Crisis and Disaster Management MSc
MSc Crisis and Disaster Management
See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.
Are you calm under pressure, capable of lead others in the face of a crisis, and ready for an interesting, rewarding career where you can make a difference? If that sounds like you, our MSc Crisis and Disaster Management degree course could be just what you're looking for.
On this course, you'll learn about topics such as hazards, vulnerability and the risk of disaster, crisis management and humanitarian responses, all underpinned by the practical aspects of an emergency situation, including planning and logistics.
You'll graduate with the skills you need for a successful career in the emergency planning and disaster management sector, either in the UK or overseas. You'll also get transferable skills in project planning, data reviewing and communication, putting you in a strong position to pursue a career in other industries.
MSc Crisis and Disaster Management Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent, preferably with some relevant work experience in the emergency services or humanitarian sectors. Applicants with relevant professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Learn new skills including disaster risk reduction techniques, and mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
- Be supported by expert staff and researchers who are active in the field, with extensive industrial and consultancy experience working for government agencies, businesses and NGOs
- Have the opportunity to complete a work placement with an emergency planning, crisis management or disaster response organisation and complete a personal project based on your work experience
- Take part in study visits and field training with UK emergency services, the military and NGOs
- Gain transferable skills such as project planning, data reviewing, report writing, team work and presentation
Dr Carmen Solana, course leader for MSc Crisis and Disaster Management, talks about the benefits of studying the course at the University of Portsmouth.
Dr Carmen Solana: We thought it would be great to provide a course that will give tools to the students to be able to deal with all these problems that the world is showing.
We really want to give hands-on experience to the students and to do that we have two practical courses. One called the Heat Course and the Simex - Simulation Exercise. We coordinate with the key regional bodies, so for example, with Search and Rescue from the Fire Service, the Police, Ambulance, to produce this simulation in which the students have to respond to an emergency. This is the biggest in Europe.
We have had earthquakes and floods and we mix it with humanitarian situations. We use our drama students and they're really very realistic. It will train them for the future in reality. The University of Portsmouth offers this unique variety of experts, of practitioners, of academics, of even the students that contribute to the course. Because of that, it is a real special course. We're unique in that.
Careers and opportunities
When you graduate, you'll have the knowledge and practical skills needed for a career in the emergency planning, crisis management or disaster response sectors, both in the UK and overseas. Opportunities exist within sectors including:
- Humanitarian agencies and NGOs
- Emergency management
- Emergency logistics and contingency planning
- Flood management
- Military-civilian emergency liaisons
- (Re)insurance and risk management
- Utility companies
- Civil defence
- Disaster relief
The MSc Crisis and Disaster Management degree course also features research and analytical components, ideal if you are interested in pursuing further research at PhD level.
We'll give you as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
You'll get the opportunity to undertake voluntary work placements within emergency planning or disaster management organisations in the UK or overseas. In most cases these placements will form the basis of your research project. This will be beneficial to your studies, but it’s also a great way to gain valuable work experience.
Many students have undertaken their research project abroad, in destinations including the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Montserrat, Sierra Leone, Tenerife, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the USA.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the field of crisis and disaster management, or elsewhere.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
What you'll study on this MSc Crisis and Disaster Management degree course
Core units in this year include:
- Disasters: Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk
- Emergency Management and Planning
- Disaster Management Techniques and Study Visits
- Research Project
Optional units in this year include:
- Crisis Management and Governance
- Humanitarian Emergency Response and Recovery
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- 3,000 word illustrated reports
- poster and oral presentations
- literature reviews and research proposals
- individual research project
Teaching methods on this course include:
- practical sessions
- simulation exercises
- study visits
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is taught from September to May over monthly 3-day teaching blocks.
Assessment periods take place in the form of assignments carried out between each teaching block and cumulating in a dissertation at the end of the course between June and September.
You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £7,950
- EU students – £7,950 (including Transition Scholarship)
- International students – £16,300
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £3,980
- EU students – £3,980 (including Transition Scholarship)
- International students – £8,200
Fees are subject to annual increase.
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you'll need to pay for meals and other costs.
Compulsory project work is normally carried out in the UK, and you'll be required to contribute to travel, accommodation and meals, usually in the region of £50 - £500 depending on the nature of the project.
You'll be provided with essential safety equipment for fieldwork and site visits (hard hat and reflective jacket). If you require additional field equipment you'll have to purchase these items. Total costs will be in the region of £145.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
International students may also be eligible for the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences (SEGG) Scholarship. Visit our page to find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.