Disaster and Emergency Management BSc (Hons) is designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge to identify, critically analyse, assess, respond to and recover from a growing range of crisis, emergency and disaster situations and to operate confidently in practitioner, policy and management sectors.
- Disaster and emergency management professionals play a critical role in lessening the impact of human, technological and environmental catastrophes. Professionals work with numerous partners to quickly and accurately assess situations and communities affected, advising on all aspects of response and recovery, as well as future prevention or management strategies.
- Upon successful completion of this course, you could be involved in dealing with a broad range of situations including environmental disasters (floods, hurricanes, earthquakes); technological disasters (industrial accidents, large-scale fires, transport disruption); complex emergencies (conflict, pandemics) or business continuity and risk.
- This course clearly reflects today’s focus on community-practitioner engagement, sustainability, disaster risk reduction and resilience.
Why you should study this course
Multidisciplinary in nature, this course draws on aspects of technology, physical science, engineering, sociology and human geography. We also place considerable emphasis on the acquisition of practical skills – from table-top or virtual emergency response scenarios, to laboratory exercises and field-based management of disaster, both in the UK (with Outreach Rescue) and overseas through two mandatory international field trip modules*. You will have the opportunity to examine theory and practice in a range of countries, benchmarking approaches in the UK with, for example, those in mainland Europe, Asia and North America, together with relevant international legislation.
- Coventry University was the first UK university to establish courses in disaster management and emergency planning over 20 years ago (Hulse & Moseley 1998). Since introducing these first courses, we have continued to develop and adapt courses as the sector, and the wider world within which we work, has evolved.
- This course is mapped against the UK National Resilience Standards, National Occupational Standards in Civil Contingencies and Charter for Humanitarian Standards.
How you’ll learn
We firmly believe in learning by doing, so you will regularly undertake fieldwork. There is usually fieldwork included at every level of study, through a long-standing partnership with Outreach Rescue training centre in Wales in your first year (costs included in course fees), and then through two international field trips in subsequent years* (locations are regularly reviewed, students have had the opportunity to visit various locations in Turkey).
We regularly host expert guest speakers (subject to availability) from industry who talk about their experience and current issues in disaster preparedness and response, humanitarian actions, sustainable development and more.
We encourage you to join one of our student societies, such as the International Disaster Concern Society (membership fees applicable), which may provide further opportunities to gain real experience of working in the humanitarian sector*. In the past, the Society has organised trips to Tanzania, and to large-scale emergency exercises, as well as organising additional guest speakers. Please note that these activities and any associated additional costs are student-led and independent of the disaster and emergency management course.
Actual teaching contact hours will vary depending on the level of study and the requirements of a particular semester. In a typical week your contact hours will be divided amongst:
- Personal tutorials and small group teaching
- Medium group teaching (seminars, tutorial sessions, lab sessions and workshops)
- Large group teaching (lectures)
In addition, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study each week depending on the demands of individual modules. The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 13-14 contact hours per week in the first and second year, dropping to around 11 contact hours per week in the final year as you become a more independent learner.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include coursework reports, essays, practical assessments, presentations, posters, formal examinations, and project work.
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes.
On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:
- Critically analyse a range of historical events, conceptual perspectives, models of, and factors which, influence hazard, vulnerability and risk. Apply these and related terms appropriately in various disaster, emergency and crisis related contexts.
- Analyse the benefits and limitations of a range of approaches to risk assessment and utilise them appropriately.
- Evaluate the benefits and challenges of implementing effective risk mitigation.
- Critique approaches to managing residual risks via preparedness systems and emergency planning and propose good practice approaches.
- Assess the need for organisational resilience and good governance in effective disaster, emergency and crisis management.
- Evaluate and apply community centred frameworks for resilience, sustainability and development.
- Have the ability to work effectively with others within the context of multidisciplinary, multiagency teams, respecting inputs from fellow professionals, beneficiaries and other stakeholders and to reflect on one’s own performance and role within the team.
- Develop and apply technical and analytical skills to develop practical solutions to challenges faced in disaster and development contexts
- Become an independent learner, demonstrating high level communication, ethics, research and evaluation skills.
International experience opportunities
Disasters and emergencies occur all over the world, as such the field as a whole is international in outlook in many ways. Even if you intend to practice in the UK, there are lessons that can be learned from consideration of international case studies and comparing them to practice in the UK. Successful completion of this course will equip you to work in a range of related careers either nationally or internationally.
International fieldwork is a key component in the second and final years of the course*. These locations are regularly reviewed and recently students have had the opportunity to visit various locations around Turkey.
Additionally, many of our students choose to take a placement in industry in-between their second and final years*. In recent years, students have undertaken placements in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Malta and numerous locations around the UK to name but a few.
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