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Coventry University

Disaster Management and Emergency Planning

UCAS Code: N901

Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons)

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About this course

This course has alternative study modes. Contact the university to find out how the information below might vary.

Course option


Full-time | 2020

Other options

4.0 years | Sandwich | 2020


Emergency and disaster management

Emergencies and disasters throughout the world – acts of terrorism, violence, public disorder, natural disasters and industrial accidents – are on the rise. So too is the demand for the professionals who can best manage or mitigate their impact, reflected by our 100% graduate employability.
Time matters in a crisis. Thorough planning, multi-agency coordination and clear communication can save lives, limit disruption and reduce the long-term economic effects of disasters. This course blends academic study with experiential learning – best practice, real-life case studies, fieldtrips and crises simulations – to equip you with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage disaster relief and response, as well as advance prevention and preparedness.

Disaster management has been taught at Coventry for over 20 years. Our curriculum is systematically mapped against the current National Occupational Standards for Civil Contingencies, developed by UK Skills for Justice in association with largest professional society, The Emergency Planning Society. Our courses also benefit from a longstanding partnership with the Outreach Organisation, whose specialist training and facilities focus on rope and water rescue technical skills, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Casualty Management and Search Management for the emergency services.

**Year 1**
During a common first year, you will start by developing an understanding of the causes of disasters, their impacts on people and critical infrastructure through the analysis of real case studies and the role of emergency management. As part of these studies you will be introduced to environmental systems, humanitarian operations and organisational management.

Study of disaster is the study of real world phenomena and, as such, is complemented with contemporary case studies, for example, the recent Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean and the Amatrice earthquakes in Italy.

**Year 2**
In your second year, you will form a deeper understanding of emergency response and crises management in the UK.

We will examine the various methods and tools for managing risk and study emergency plan development and response strategy, business continuity and crisis management in public and private sectors organisation. We explore a range of crises, such as the 2008 ‘Credit Crunch’ and the Johnson and Johnson Tylenol scandal. You will develop practical skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), best practice in crisis communications and methods to assess disaster interventions.

**Optional Placement Year**
Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution.

**Final Year**
In the final year, you will learn how to design and implement training exercises as a key part of a disaster mitigation strategy. You will have the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of contemporary issues in disaster management and emergency planning in the UK and internationally, such as complex emergencies and dynamic training methods.

You will also have the opportunity to carry out an independent piece of research of your choosing. For example, past students have looked at the use of social media in disaster, old and new terrorism, and evaluated crisis management frameworks used in industry.


**Study Themes**

* **Introduction to disasters:**
Provides an overview of the nature of disasters and an understanding of natural and human-made phenomena that may pose a threat to people, as well as to the natural and built environments. We will study the distinct approaches to disaster and emergency intervention in developed and less developed countries. We will also look at how emergencies are managed in the UK, focusing on the statutory duties, statutory and non-statutory guidance arising from the UK and European legislative framework for emergencies, in particular, The Civil Contingencies Act. You will become familiar with the processes necessary for integrated emergency management, with an opportunity to practise implementing these processes, in particular, the preparation of emergency plans, exercises and training programmes.

* **Risk assessment and warning:**
Mankind no longer faces only natural disasters and war, but a whole range of manmade industrial, economic and environmental threats. Within this context, you will be introduced to the theoretical principles, tools and techniques which underpin risk management, how to use quantitative and empirical analysis to predict and assess risk, along with wider discussions of governance and ethical practice.

* **Humanitarian relief and interventions:**
In studying humanitarian operations, we will examine the organisation and management of humanitarian agencies, their changing roles internationally and the processes used to identify and then target resources that support humanitarian operations. We focus on key issues relating to humanitarian action and the effectiveness of various interventions in increasingly complex global contexts. We will consider the ethical challenges inherent in humanitarian operations, as well as issues such as sustainability.

* **Incident, crisis and continuity management:**
We will examine the principles, practices, terminologies and theories associated with incident command, business continuity and crisis management. Incidents, disruptions and crises cause varying degrees of problems within the normal functioning of everyday processes, systems and activities. Effective planning and response requires appropriate decision making, good communications, finely tuned stakeholder management, adaptive management practices, and responsive governance systems. Critical incidents can spill over into political, economic, social, technical, legal and environmental domains. However, they can have a positive impact, if managed well, on the operational, financial, brand, share price, reputations and trust in public, private and not for profit organisations.

* **Post disaster reconstruction:**
We look at the issues associated with the transition from recovery to development in a post-disaster context. You will develop your knowledge and skills with regards reconstruction of housing, infrastructure, alternative energy sources and critical scientific, managerial and social considerations for interventions in the cycle of pre-disaster, post-disaster and development, within a risk-reduction framework. Particular emphasis will be placed on sustainability and sustainable development concepts.

The Uni

Course location:

Coventry University


School of Energy, Construction and Environment

TEF rating:

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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

Emergency and disaster management

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Management studies

Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

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What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
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What do graduate employment figures really tell you?

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Emergency and disaster management

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Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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