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The experiences of recent major disasters, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and the massive earthquake in Pakistan, and the discouraging trend of disasters around the world have made it clear that a holistic approach to Disaster Management is needed to substantially reduce disaster losses.
It is not only the response to deal with the consequences of disasters that has to be more effective andprofessional, but even more so the efforts to assess and reduce risks beforehand and to recover after.
These three main processes of Disaster Management - Disaster Risk Reduction, Response and Recovery - all have distinctive objectives and are equally important and overlap each other, and will have to be incorporated in all Disaster Management decisions. Further should Disaster Management decisions be based on a socially, politically, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable foundation.
In order to meet these needs for a more holistic approach to Disaster Management, the University of Copenhagen and Lund University are offering their joint multidisciplinary expertise in the form of a master programme, based on the above philosophy - a Master of Disaster Management.
The Master programme is designed to offer students the opportunity to take advantage of over 870 years of research and experience of the two leading Scandinavian universities.
The aim of the Master of Disaster Management is to provide national and international aid workers, government officials and other professionals interested in any or all parts of Disaster Management with a solid and holistic interdisciplinary background so that they can respect and understand the complex context of acting and working before, during and after a disaster.
The Master of Disaster Management is relevant for all professions (doctors, engineers, military officers, social scientists, nurses, logisticians, risk managers, decision makers etc) working with Disaster Management. This means a broad array of people working in national authorities, international organisations (UN, Red Cross/Crescent Movement, EU etc), public services (health, energy, water) and relief/aid organisations.
The Master of Disaster Management consists of 60 ECTS earned through six intensive courses and a thesis. The programme starts in September and ends in August the following year. The courses from September through February are mandatory. The two elective courses will typically be followed between March and June.
The two first mandatory courses of the Master of Disaster Management is designed around the three main processes of Disaster Management and will introduce the student to all disciplines involved in Disaster Management.
This first of them - Introduction to Disaster Management Theories and Risk Reduction - consists of a general introduction, student team building and personal safety, qualitative and quantitative research methods, disaster management theories and history of disaster studies. It also introduces the students to risk analysis and evaluation (including hazard analysis and vulnerability analysis), risk reduction (prevention and mitigation) and preparedness.
The second mandatory course - Introduction to Disaster Response and Recovery - will introduce the students to themes such as basic relief needs, food, water, sanitation, health, hygiene and shelter. It also touches upon issues of coordination, field assessment and evaluation, and reconstruction and sustainable development.
The third mandatory course is the Research Design course in January, which will kick-start your thesis writing process.
The last mandatory course will follow up on the Introduction to Disaster Response and Recovery with a focus on coordination aspects of Disaster Management.
Below is a list of the elective courses offered as part of the Master of Disaster Management. Each Master of Disaster Management student must choose two elective courses (for a total of 10 ECTS).
Risk Assessment Methods
Geo Information in Disaster Situations
Health in Emergencies and Refugee Health
Water Supply and Sanitation in Emergencies
Shelter and Settlements in Disasters
Courses from other institutions
The elective courses may be chosen among those offered at the University of Copenhagen and Lund University, as well as courses offered by other accredited academic international institutions (subject to review by the Master of Disaster Management study board).
As a student of the Master of Disaster Management programme, you are required to submit a final thesis in order to be awarded a Masters degree. The thesis will be graded by your supervisor and an external examiner.
The thesis process consists of the following components:
1. Draft Thesis Proposal (submitted before the programme starts)
3. Research Proposal
4. Data Collection
Your Masters thesis should demonstrate that you are able to address complex problems/issues, which demand the integration of empirical data, theory and rigorous methods. The thesis may be based on primary or secondary data and material.
The thesis must:
* be based on a clearly formulated research question;
* have specific objectives;
* be based on relevant and clearly-described materials and methods;
* present clear findings;
* present a balanced and critical discussion of materials, methods and findings, relating these to other relevant literature within the field;
* fulfil the formal requirements for scientific presentations and include a front page, an abstract, a table of contents, references, etc.
On completion of the thesis project, the student should be able to:
* transform an international health/disaster management issue into a research question, identifying the nature of the problem, as well as the process needed to solve it;
* choose appropriate research methods;
* collect necessary data/information and critically analyse, review and interpret one's own research and the relevant literature;
* draw conclusions as to the nature of the problem and how to solve it;
* present well-argued and referenced recommendations as to future practice(s) in the given field;
* manage and plan the thesis writing process within the given timeframe;
* where relevant, include feedback and practical policy implications for local authorities (if research is based on local data) to contribute to improvements at the local level
* give a short thesis presentation, highlighting aims, main findings, conclusion and possible recommendations - as well as discussing critical questions and remarks regarding the findings and conclusions;
* provide critical and constructive feedback to fellow students on their theses.