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Wreckage following a natural disaster
BSc International Disaster Management & Humanitarian Response
Develop knowledge about resilience and recovery relating to current disaster management.

BSc International Disaster Management & Humanitarian Response / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Catriona Spence

Disasters are so prominent in the media at the moment. I can study issues that are happening presently - one of my assignments was on the Grenfell fire.

I feel as if my work and the research done by the department is very important. If you're interested in making the world a better place, then take this great opportunity.

Catriona Spence / BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response

As demand grows around a strategic global response to the ever-changing and increasing risks, shocks and stresses arising from natural and anthropogenic hazards, it is increasingly important that we build an understanding of the root causes of vulnerability to disasters as a pathway to developing resilient communities.

The International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response programme is a multidisciplinary course designed to enhance collaboration amongst natural and social sciences, medicine and the arts in exploring disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response.

This programme seeks to bridge the divide between development and humanitarian action - bringing together cross disciplines including development planners, and climate scientists, on the intersection of disaster risk reduction.

As a student you will explore methods for improvement in building the disaster resilience of communities - both globally and locally in the UK. Through the course you can expect to build research expertise, practical knowledge and management skills in disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in order to reduce negative impacts on health, social, economic and environmental spheres.

Our course content is truly multidisciplinary and core units demonstrate the links across disaster risk management, climate change, sustainable development and humanitarian action. We offer strengths in humanitarian and conflict response underpinned by history, politics, medicine, geography and development studies. This will provide you with a breadth of optional units alongside a thorough grounding in humanitarianism and disaster management.

You'll benefit from optional work placement and fieldwork opportunities and we'll encourage you to develop an informed attitude towards ethical issues impacting humanitarianism, including actions taken by government and non-government organisations in reaction to both natural and man-made disasters.

Flexible Honours may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject. Find out more here

Language options: Up to a third of your degree can comprise of language study, such as French, Arabic, German, or Russian. This option addresses the demand for language-speakers from employers in the humanitarian sector, and would give you a great foundation for making use of your degree overseas. Many of our languages are available to study from beginner's level.

Aims

  • Provide a critical insight into destabilising events and develop an understanding and appreciation of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response.
  • Develop knowledge and understating of key issues which inform the debates on disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response.
  • Develop practical expertise in risk and vulnerability analyses, disaster preparedness and response and the integration of development and humanitarian action.
  • Foster an informed attitude on ethical issues related to humanitarianism, including international actions taken by governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations in response to disasters of both natural and human origins.
  • Develop strategic research methodologies and techniques, including data gathering, collation, analysis and dissemination of results in disaster risk management and humanitarian action contexts.

Special features

Fieldwork

You'll have the opportunity to undertake field study - either here in the UK or overseas - where you'll learn how your knowledge of disaster management and humanitarian response might be applied in the context of real-life hazards and vulnerabilities.

Work placements

Work placements with key partner humanitarian organisations, such as Rethink Rebuild Society, Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) and Mines Advisory Group (MAG), will allow you to gain valuable professional experience.

You can also apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Industry partnerships

Our pioneering partnerships with specific national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) shape the real-world focus of our teaching, as well as offering strong industry links to key career destinations for graduates. Partners include Save the Children, International Alert, Médecins Sans Frontières, The Overseas Development Institute, ALNAP, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). HCRI is also a World Health Organization collaboration centre. 

Teaching and learning

Teaching takes place in a variety of formats, including lectures, seminars, small group tutorials and virtual web-based seminars. We'll encourage you to undertake independent research at every level of the course.

Seminars provide opportunities to develop research and presentation skills including researching sources, planning, public speaking and the use of audio-visual media. You'll explore lecture themes in more detail via individual and group readings and presentations.

In your second year, you'll have the opportunity to work directly with local/regional humanitarian organisations through a 10-day Professional Experience Project. This real-world project, typically proposed by the external organisation, will offer you the chance to explore humanitarianism in action - providing insight and valuable professional experience from organisations such as Rethink Rebuild Society, Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) and Mines Advisory Group (MAG). You'll also develop key transferrable skills required in a workplace.

Your learning will be supplemented by field study - either here in the UK or overseas - where you'll learn how your knowledge of disaster management and humanitarian response might be applied in the context of real-life hazards and vulnerabilities.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment varies from course unit to course unit, but we aim to offer a good balance of formal examinations, essays and project work.

The culmination of your studies will be a dissertation, allowing you to focus on a specific area of interest and to apply the knowledge you've gained throughout your university study. By tailoring your research topic to meet your career objectives and personal interests, you can make your final semester here truly your own.

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Humanitarianism HCRI10202 20 Mandatory
Key Concepts in International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response HCRI11021 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Disaster Management HCRI11032 20 Mandatory
Disaster Management and humanitarian response in Scholarship and Practice HCRI11071 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Conflict Analysis HCRI10002 20 Optional
Institutions and Governance HCRI11081 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Everyday Peace Building and Security HCRI20001 20 Mandatory
Disasters and Development HCRI20012 20 Mandatory
Rethinking Crisis HCRI20022 20 Mandatory
Emergency Humanitarian Assistance HCRI20211 20 Mandatory
Children in war and displacement in the 20th and 21st centuries HCRI20031 20 Optional
Professional Experience Project HCRI20220 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation and Research Methods HCRI30000 40 Mandatory
Introduction to Global Health HCRI30021 20 Optional
War, Migration and Health HCRI30031 20 Optional
Practical Approaches to Researching Disasters and Conflict HCRI30112 20 Optional
Geographic Information Systems and Disasters HCRI30211 20 Optional
Living Interventions HCRI30411 20 Optional
Vichy, Paris, Algiers: engaging with past and present violence HCRI30512 20 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer five International Excellence Scholarships of £3,000 each per year for high performing international undergraduate students. Scholarships are renewed for each year of full-time study at the University, up to a maximum of three years, and are subject to sustained academic performance. For more information about eligibility criteria and how to apply visit: www.hcri.manchester.ac.uk/study/fees-and-funding

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk