Between 2005-2014, 700,000 people lost their lives in disasters affecting 1.7 billion people and causing $1.4 trillion worth of damage, according to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNSDR).
The main types of disaster include: natural disasters, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; technological disasters including industrial accidents, often involving the production, use or transportation of hazardous material; complex emergencies, such as the ongoing refugee crisis civil unrest and conflict; and pandemic emergencies, the sudden onset of contagious disease.
Why choose this course?
Disaster management professionals play a critical role in lessening the impact of human and environmental catastrophes. Astute practitioners, they work with numerous partners to quickly and accurately assess situations and the communities affected, advising on all aspects of recovery, as well as future prevention or management strategies.
Coventry University was the first UK University to offer courses in disaster management 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.
Multidisciplinary in nature, our courses draw 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, developed through modules delivered by Outreach Rescue. You may also have the chance to spend a year on professional training with, for example, a national agency or humanitarian or training organisation, such as World Mission or Petrofac (subject to application and availability).
You will have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the disaster cycle, how to prepare, mitigate the impact, respond and then assist with recovery, together with some of the key management principles of planning, organising, coordinating and leading, so that you can develop into the role of a disaster management professional.
We have an outstanding track record for graduate employability (DLHE 2014/15) and recent graduates have gone on to work for Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, RedR India, Oxfam GB, Halcrow Group Ltd, All Hands, Lloyds Register, the Catholic Overseas Development Agency (CAFOD) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
International experience opportunities
We encourage our students, where it is most appropriate for them to undertake a placement year between the second and third years of the course. We feel this is of great benefit to the students and it enables them to put into practice skills and theories they have learnt about on the course. A number of our students will undertake their placements with international organisations. EC futures provide assistance to students looking to secure placements.
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 have the chance to investigate how earthquakes are monitored at Friuli, the epicenter 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 have Online International Learning (OIL) projects set up with a leading Dutch University, which has seen our students collaborate on intercultural exchange around disasters. You also have the option of spending your sandwich year studying abroad and some students have previously chosen to study in Barcelona, Vienna and Enschede, for example.
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. We aim to equip our graduates with the skills to work for international relief and development organisations, private sector consultancies, national government, local authorities and United Nations agencies operating around the world.
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, can 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.
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.