Emergencies and disasters throughout the world – acts of terrorism, violence, public disorder, natural disasters and industrial accidents – are on the rise. So too is the demand for the professionals who can best manage or mitigate their impact, reflected by our 100% graduate employability.
Time matters in a crisis. Thorough planning, multi-agency coordination and clear communication can save lives, limit disruption and reduce the long-term economic effects of disasters. This course blends academic study with experiential learning – best practice, real-life case studies, fieldtrips and crises simulations – to equip you with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage disaster relief and response, as well as advance prevention and preparedness.
Disaster management has been taught at Coventry for over 20 years. Our curriculum is systematically mapped against the current National Occupational Standards for Civil Contingencies, developed by UK Skills for Justice in association with largest professional society, The Emergency Planning Society. Our courses also benefit from a longstanding partnership with the Outreach Organisation, whose specialist training and facilities focus on rope and water rescue technical skills, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Casualty Management and Search Management for the emergency services.
Both of our Disaster Management degrees are designed to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge to identify, critically analyse, assess and successfully manage a growing range of crisis, emergency and potential disaster situations and to operate confidently in policy and management sectors.
They clearly reflect today’s focus on community-practitioner engagement, sustainability, disaster risk reduction and resilience.
Why choose this course?
Local, regional, national and international organisations are all involved in mounting a humanitarian response to disasters; each will have a prepared disaster management plan, covering prevention, preparedness, relief and recovery. Additionally, in the UK, most major public and private organisations – educational establishments, the National Health Service (NHS), emergency services, local and central government, HM Armed Forces – have a crisis management or major incident plan, covering appropriate risk assessment and emergency responses. They all need professionals to manage these plans and, more importantly, execute them when required.
This course aims to give you the knowledge to pursue such a career in emergency planning and management. You will have the opportunity to examine theory and practice in a range of countries, benchmarking approaches in the UK and the ramifications of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 with, for example, those in mainland Europe, Asia and North America, together with relevant international legislation.
Successful students have been given the opportunity to develop the skills needed to manage the response to: civil emergencies, such as the Hillsborough football stadium disaster; technological incidents, like the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill; major transport accidents, such as MV Sewol; and natural disasters, for example, the Tohoku earthquake and Ebola outbreak.
Coventry was the first UK University to offer courses in disaster management back in 1994 and has an excellent reputation with the leading professional organisations for the provision of academic undergraduate courses in the areas of disaster management and emergency planning. Our two undergraduate courses – the BSc Disaster Management and BSc Disaster Management and Emergency Planning – both share a common first year, enabling you to choose either course in later years.
International experience opportunities
All students are given the opportunity to complete an overseas field course as part of their studies. In recent years we have visited China, Taiwan and Italy to observe and evaluate emergency management approaches. For example, in Italy, we will investigate how earthquakes are monitored at Friuli, the epicentre of a M6.5 quake in 1976 in which up to 978 people were killed, 2,400 injured and 157,000 were left homeless.
We also have Online International Learning (OIL) projects set up with a leading Dutch University, which has seen our students collaborate on projects to improve intercultural competence, and exchange ideas on emergency planning and Security Management.
Our blend of academic and practical study seeks to provide you with a specialist understanding of all aspects of disaster management, as well as the specific emergency planning and management skills needed to prepare you for employment in this sector.
The course aims to develop your skills in problem-solving, teamwork and leadership, project management and communication, all of which are qualities employers demand. We strive to produce graduates who can make difficult decisions whilst being culturally sensitive, ethical and compassionate, the capabilities required by international relief and development organisations, private sector consultancies, national government, local authorities and United Nations agencies operating around the world.
We have an outstanding track record in employability with 100% of Disaster Management and Emergency Planning graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15), 94% of those employed in professional level roles
Our award-winning Faculty careers service, EEC Futures, which won the ‘Best Placement Service in the UK’ award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in 2015 and 2016, will help you in finding work experience while you study and employment on graduation. Choosing to undertake a work placement should improve your chances of finding graduate employment.
Our graduates have secured employment in the public or private sector working for organisations, including the Red Cross UK and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and security consultancies, industrial and aviation companies, local and regional emergency services, the uniformed services, NHS and the Environment Agency.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.