From flooding, effects of climate change, terrorist incidents or complex emergencies, to volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes and landslides, disasters are becoming more frequent all over the world. The need to manage the risks associated with these are becoming increasingly important.
This unique, four-year Disaster Management course combines Bachelors and Masters level study in one integrated package. It will prepare you for a career relating to environmental hazard management, emergency planning or disaster risk management. You’ll study a range of topics associated with hazard and disaster management, including pre-event mitigation, disaster risk reduction, emergency planning, business continuity planning, multiagency response co-ordination, resilience development, disaster relief and crisis management. The specialist nature of the Disaster Management course also means you’ll gain a greater breadth and depth of practical, technical and interpersonal skills to impress future employers – giving you the best chance of moving into a related career or further research after graduation.
The first year provides a broad introduction to elements of geography, earth science and emergency planning to provide a foundation for hazard analysis and management strategies from Year Two onwards.
You will study a range of hazards using examples from the UK and other countries. This will provide you with the experience to assess risks and vulnerabilities from desk-based research, laboratory and field situations, consider hazard management and disaster risk reduction strategies, develop emergency plans, and critically review the concept of resilience along with techniques for its development.
You will consider the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of disasters and examine a range of aspects pertinent to the operational, political and socio-cultural issues involved in disaster relief, including aspects of international law. The course will ensure a sound working knowledge and experience with widely used GIS platforms, extensively used by many planning authorities, GOs and NGOs, and you will develop valuable skills in the acquisition and processing of spatial datasets with a wide variety of disaster management applications, along with the ability to visualise and depict spatial information.
The Hazard and Disaster Management course provides a balanced study of environmental hazards and disaster management, pre-event mitigation, emergency planning, multi-agency disaster response, and disaster relief, along with the development of technical and interpersonal skills. It will enable you to critically assess the effectiveness of existing disaster risk management techniques, in order to evaluate good practice and apply it to new situations.
In addition, the Hazard and Disaster Management course will develop knowledge and experience in emergency planning and in the co-ordination of multi-agency response to critical incidents. Students on the Hazard and Disaster Management course will develop real project experience in emergency planning or community resilience development, by working with these emergency planning practitioners/tutors from Local Authority Emergency Planning Units. For example, experiences have included writing new Local Authority emergency plans, working as part of emergency response training teams in flooding and industrial hazard simulations, or developing community resilience plans. These real experiences will also enhance employability prospects within civil protection organisations.
The Hazard and Disaster Management programme will enhance employability by developing a wide range of core competencies necessary in civil contingency and managerial positions, and in humanitarian work. The simulation week will develop your personal management skills, and those skills will give you an edge when applying for jobs afterwards. These include the enhancement of communication and team working skills in an international and multicultural setting, and the development of necessary skills in reflective learning that will help in the development of professional competencies. These include managing yourself (resilience, integrity, time management, self awareness), working with others (teamwork, cultural sensitivity, accountability, communication, building trust, leadership), achieving results (assessing needs and priorities, managing projects, problem solving, decision making, risk management, promoting protection), and using resources (allocation, co-ordination, negotiating and managing partnerships).
The fourth year of study will provide opportunity for extended work placements and applied and externally-linked research projects that will develop additional experience and focus, while providing and developing experience so that you can demonstrate competence and leadership abilities.
Each week, lectures and practicals will take place. This normally involves about 12 hours of class contact. In addition, through the week you will be engaged in on-line learning tutorials and activities, background reading, and working on a wide range of assessments. Some weeks will also have additional field or simulation time. For a full-time course, a minimum of 37 hours of study time per week is expected.
We use a wide range of learning strategies including, for example, lectures, seminars, practical and laboratory work, fieldwork, community-based learning, participation in group-based activities and simulations, use of the Hydra Minerva simulation suite, self-directed study, and distance learning with supporting tutorials. In addition, learning experiences will be developed through externally-linked activities and placements.
You will have the opportunity to develop real project experience in emergency planning or community resilience development by working with emergency planning practitioners/tutors from local authority Emergency Planning Units.
The Hazard and Disaster Management programme is assessed through a mixture of coursework and examinations. The coursework elements will include a wide range of different assessment methods, not all of which are traditional. These may include the production of emergency or resilience plans; written field, laboratory and technical reports; numerical and modelling examples; geographical information systems analyses; other computer literacy elements; oral and/or poster presentations for a variety of audiences, including seminars; investigative library exercises, mini-reviews, and essays; employment-related reflective reports; and a final thesis.
You will be required to undertake residential fieldwork each year, including overseas locations, along with a two week Disaster Management Summer School, ensuring a degree rich in experience.
Field work provides useful training in a range of different survey techniques, including multi-hazard risk assessments and practice in a range of vulnerability and capacity assessments used by governmental or non-governmental organisations. You will also consider disaster risk management strategies and solutions including evacuation and emergency planning.
Extended placements are a crucially important way to further develop real skills and experiences. Following discussion with the course tutors and depending on type and location, these are arranged by either tutors or the students. Placements and research projects have included the development of community-based disaster risk reduction projects in Uganda; earthquake preparedness in Jamaica; flood risk assessments with environmental consultancies; on civil protection projects with Local Authorities in the UK; and on internships with placements, for example in Afghanistan and Yemen. Some of the overseas placements have allowed students to lead and develop their own projects, providing experiences which have been invaluable in gaining related employment afterwards. Dissertation research projects are also developed in the UK or overseas.
If you have a disability that is likely to be affected by physical demands, please get in touch with the course leader Dr Anthony Harris as soon as possible. work placement module also include extended overseas placements, for example in Uganda.
As well as making use of the great outdoors you will work in modern laboratories and classrooms. Our new George Knox laboratories are part of a £15m investment in science for the University, meaning you will be taught in new and well-equipped spaces. These join the Grade II listed Alfred Russel Wallace building, which is also used for teaching. Our students use a variety of fully equipped geographical information systems (GIS), media editing and IT laboratories, each carrying industry-standard research and specialist software including earth science teaching laboratories and smaller analytical and research laboratories for student project use. In addition to these excellent teaching and learning resources, the new facilities include welcoming social learning spaces and spacious seminar rooms, providing a friendly and sociable atmosphere for study with a warm and relaxed community feel.
You will be trained to use the latest technologies including specialist hardware and software. The computing facilities include new high-specification research machines with industry standard and specialist software.
The teaching team includes emergency planning practitioners and tutors that form part of the Wales Resilience Forum. Expertise is also drawn from experienced practitioners from government and nongovernment organisations (NGOs).
BBC to include a Science such as Geography or Mathematics but to exclude General Studies
Grade C and BB at A Level to include a Science such as Geography or Mathematics but to exclude General Studies
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant Science subject
30 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include Higher Level Geography grade 6 or Mathematics grade 6.
Maths, Science or Engineering Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
The number and frequency of disasters are increasing and disaster risk reduction strategies are becoming increasingly important in the UK and overseas. The Hazard and Disaster Management course will enhance employment within governmental organisations, civil protection agencies, non-governmental organisations, industry, insurance companies, and specialist consultancies. It could include disaster and emergency planning, flood planning, disaster management and intervention, humanitarian aid and relief work, logistics, community development and capacity building, hazard and risk assessment, environmental monitoring, teaching or further academic research.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.