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Hazards & Disaster Management Masters (MSc)

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2018
Full time 2 years including professional placement September 2018
Part time 2 years September 2018

Choose Kingston's Hazards and Disaster Management MSc

The course takes an interdisciplinary approach, recognising that understanding disasters requires an appreciation of the physical processes of the hazard, the social structures that shape the impacts and the disaster/emergency management arrangements put in place to mitigate the problem. A critical approach is taken to explore this rapidly developing and exciting field, investigating key concepts, examining their use in policy and considering how this shapes the implementation of disaster or emergency management in the UK and beyond. This multi perspective method enables the development of a wide range of skills (including GIS) and the ability to understand disasters from a number of different perspectives.

What will you study?

  • This course is ideal if you want to start or advance a career in hazard or risk management, environmental monitoring, emergency planning or catastrophe-related mitigation.
  • Small student numbers allow us to modify the emphasis of the course content from year to year to cater to individual needs. Students are also encouraged to explore countries and topics of their own choosing.
  • Our approach explores the physical science, the social science and the practice of emergency planning make graduates of this course highly employable.
  • The independent research project gives you the chance to specialise further by studying an area of interest in greater depth and gaining valuable research skills. Our students often find this an excellent selling point when looking for a job or promotion.
  • We have strong links with practitioners in the emergency and disaster management field, including: County Council Contingency Planning and Resilience Departments; the Fire Service; Kingston Hospital Emergency Preparedness Team; and Public Health England.

Assessment

Assessment is via coursework and examinations. There are a wide range of coursework assessment types, such as: scenario-based hazard management exercises; ICT-based and paper-based practical exercises; role-play exercises; oral presentations; field reports; and essays.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses is split into two stages. The standard course fee is payable in year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2017 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,070 in September 2018. Students commencing the course in September 2018 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2019 (provisionally £1,230).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Fieldwork is an essential part of the Hazard and Disaster Management MSc. You will undertake a supervised week-long visit to a European field destination affected by multi-hazards (usually to Tenerife in June). You will conduct hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment of the area and evaluate existing hazard management strategies by the regional/local authorities. Find out more...

Course structure

You will study the underpinning scientific principles of both natural hazards (e.g. hurricanes, flooding, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and radon gas emissions) and human-induced disasters (e.g. terrorism, explosions and oil tanker accidents).

You will explore key concepts such as vulnerability, resilience and risk that underpin our understanding of disasters and their management. As well as gaining an academic understanding of these complex and evolving ideas, we consider how they shape and are incorporated into policy and practice.

You will also investigate modern disaster management strategies and planning techniques for the mitigation (e.g. structural measures and education), preparation (e.g. early warning), response (e.g. search and rescue) and recovery (e.g. insurance) phases.

You will undertake active research in one or more of your chosen hazard areas.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules

  • This module builds upon prior knowledge of the physical science underpinning tectonic, geomorphic and atmospheric hazards. Scientific techniques for hazard monitoring and assessment are introduced and exemplified using a case study and problem-based learning approach. The crucial issue of effectively communicating risk to the public is introduced and the relationship between hazards and people is examined in a global context and from a human geography perspective.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Explain the occurrence and development of key geophysical hazards, with specific reference to tectonic hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis) and radon gas emission.
    • Evaluate the use of geoscientific monitoring techniques in the management of tectonic hazards, including interpretation of field and desk-based datasets.
    • Discuss the data needed to make informed assessments of the nature and possible impacts of any specific natural hazard (atmospheric and geomorphological), and the uncertainties and potential consequences associated with insufficient or unobtainable data/information.
    • Evaluate the potential effectiveness of engineering or construction design strategies (including technology-based warning systems) for minimising the potential impacts from different types of severe weather hazard and mass movement.
    • Explain how factors such as poverty, gender, age, ethnicity and geographic location affect societies' ability to deal with hazards and demonstrate how factors relate to specific hazards.
    • Discuss strategies for mitigation, relief and rehabilitation of hazards and critically evaluate readings to contribute to seminar discussions.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module examines the various phases of disaster management: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. This module also explores in details the fundamental concepts of managing risk of environmental hazards. A variety of management approaches for natural and human-induced hazards in both developing and developed countries are introduced.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe and discuss the components of disaster management – namely, preparedness, prevention, response and recovery.
    • Identify the range of risk management options.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of insurance in managing risk of environmental hazards.
    • Various calculation methods of hazard risk in business application.
    • Assess the range of management options available to the disaster manager such as land planning, early warning system, public awareness and education.
    • Identify and discuss the issues that complicate disaster management in practice such as gender, education, religion and politics.

    Read full module description

     
  • Thismodule aims to ensure a broad and basic knowledge of GIS theory and applications to both modeling anthropogenic and natural hazardous phenomena and the use of geospatial and communication technologies for emergency response. Emergency planning, hazard mitigation and geospatial approaches to search and rescue are explored. The techniques and technology of search and rescue, which have strong parallels with models of transportation, satellite data, spatial algorithms, communications technology and the use and communication of geographic information all play important roles in this module.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Understand concepts underpinning GIS and remote sensing, and relate them to hazards applications, making effective use of key datasets and tools.
    • Evaluate GIS and geographic analysis techniques for determining risk.
    • Develop an understanding of geospatial techniques for emergency planning and search and rescue.
    • Be familiar with communications systems for emergency response and hazards mitigation.
    • Discuss the current state of the art in Hazard modeling using GIS.
    • Be capable of identifying the appropriate techniques, acquiring appropriate data and undertaking various approaches (eg mixed methods) to modeling hazardous conditions with a GIS.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module provides basic skills in research methods and techniques, including geographical information system (GIS) for data storage, manipulation and display. It initially develops GIS skills by introducing GIS concepts, sources for geographical information and outlines basic spatial concepts. Subsequently the module encompasses the theoretical underpinnings to research methods and techniques, including sampling schemes, measurements, quality control issues, and data collection, manipulation and analysis. This together with practical elements of designing research proposals and data testing enables the necessary skills for carrying out independent research work.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Evaluate the use of GIS in the capture, storage and handling, manipulation and analysis of geographical information.
    • Critically discuss what a GIS is and develop an understanding of its relevance to key application areas.
    • Apply the latest developments in geographical database technology to geographical database case studies.
    • Synthesise the literature on a specific topic and identify key researchable issues relating to the literature review.
    • With respect to one researchable issue, develop aims and objectives and relevant research methodologies for a specific research project to enable them to meet their aims and objectives.
    • Manipulate data using a computer and select, execute and interpret results of appropriate data analytical methods.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module provides experience of planning, designing and executing a sustained piece of independent research. It involves formulating a testable hypothesis; designing a programme of data collection to test it; critically evaluating and interpreting your own data in the light of current research; and summarising and reviewing in a clear and professional manner.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Plan, design and execute a sustained piece of independent research.
    • Formulate a testable hypothesis and design a programme of data collection aimed at testing it.
    • Demonstrate enhanced and improved data collection skills.
    • Critically evaluate and interpret their own data in the light of current research.
    • Summarise and critically review their own work in a clear and concise manner.
    • Engage in full professional and academic communication with their peers.

    Read full module description

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team

*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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Norman CheungRead an article on typhoon disaster management written by course director, Norman Cheung.

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