Disaster Risk and Resilience PG Cert 2021/22 entry

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

How to Apply

Coventry University


September 2021
January 2022


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information


The fields of humanitarian action, disaster risk reduction, community resilience, climate change adaptation and sustainability increasingly overlap. Professionals working with those most vulnerable to the impacts of conflict and disaster must have an integrated understanding of policy and practice across these themes to ensure a holistic approach.

This course could be for you if you a looking to start your career in disaster management and humanitarian action or currently work in a local or national government disaster management agency, an NGO or civil society organisation and need to further your career. The course comprises four modules which aim to provide you with the essential high-level knowledge needed for successful future careers in these areas.

The course is open to EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status who would not require a visa to study.


Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.


The University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Course information

Disaster management has been taught at Coventry for over 20 years. Recently reviewed and revised through consultation with the sector, this postgraduate course is designed to provide you with the essential high-level knowledge and skills needed to demonstrate your credibility in the sector.

Our goal is to advance your skills in evaluating risks, vulnerabilities and capacity in complex socio-economic and political situations. The sector appropriate module content and assignments provide you with opportunities to evaluate current policy and practice and make recommendations for improvement in humanitarian response, community participatory approaches, accountability and organisational change. There will be opportunities to take part in simulated disaster response scenarios in our state-of-the art, immersive Simulation Centre.

Upon successful completion of the course, you should have an understanding of concepts, theories, policy and practice within the areas of risk, humanitarian practice, development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation so that you are better able to evaluate the activities of NGOs, government organisations, multilateral agencies and institutions and drive necessary transformation.



All modules are offered on a rolling basis, at least once every eight months, ensuring they can be approached flexibly and fitted around the demands of full-time employment. Full time study is one year and part-time study is normally up to two years. All modules on this course are mandatory.


  • Disaster Risk, Resilience, Adaption and Sustainability

    Provides students with an understanding of the concepts and interrelationship between the concepts of disaster risk, resilience, adaptation, development and sustainability from the perspective of historical and current international events, strategy and policy drivers. An understanding of the disaster-development continuum is critical to those working or intending to work in international development, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and emergency practice in increasingly complex environments.

    The module takes an enquiring approach to theories and their impact on the field of practice at a programme, agency, country and global scale. It will demand a thorough and critical exploration and evaluation of the aims, areas of activity and programmes of NGOs, multilateral agencies and institutions. Thus, upon completion of this module, the student will be able to recognise the inseparable link between sustainability, development, DRR, resilience and humanitarian practice.
    (15 credits)

  • Humanitarian Principles, Preparedness and Response

    This module equips students with an understanding of the contemporary theoretical perspectives of humanitarian action and management approaches to disaster preparedness and humanitarian response. This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the organisational architecture, drivers and standards in humanitarian response as well as current challenges and changes for organisations operating in the humanitarian response sector.

    This module takes a “humanitarian response agency” perspective; the community perspective being covered in a sister module. The relationship between relief, risk reduction and sustainable development being covered in a third module. Good practice in intervention management, monitoring and evaluation are covered in a fourth.
    (15 credits)

  • Community Preparedness, Recovery and Resilience

    Despite the recent popularity and frequent use of the community resilience concept in emergency and disaster management research and policy programmes, there is a confusing range of theoretical interpretations and an equally broad range of operational interpretations. This module aims to provide students with a high-level conceptual understanding of resilience and its relationship with preparedness and recovery activities done by and on behalf of communities.

    Through analysis of UK and international case studies, students will evaluate determinants of resilience and the role of professionals and communities in preparedness, recovery and resilience. Methods for engagement with community groups and the role of public service providers/NGOs will be critically assessed. Issues pertaining to sustainable approaches and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of resilience interventions will be emphasized.
    (15 credits)

  • Disaster Interventions, Evaluation and Learning

    This module reviews a good governance approaches to mainstreaming effective and sustainable disaster interventions and reviews the links between international policy and local projects. Thereafter the module focuses on analyse of traditional emerging approaches to disaster interventions in order to evaluate opportunities and good practice perspectives for Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL).

    Case studies from response and DRR context will be used in order to bring together an understanding of the importance of undertaking an integrated approach where MEAL activities and results are shared between disaster phases, projects, programme and agencies to maximise learning benefits, impact of interventions, resilience and sustainability.
    (15 credits)

  • Supporting Transition to Postgraduate Study

    These online sessions will assist and prepare you in the transition to postgraduate education by developing your academic skills, in order to improve and enhance your personal effectiveness as a learner. It is particularly useful if you are new to Higher Education or have been away from study for some time. We will look at areas such as critical reading, academic writing and referencing skills.

    Throughout the module, you are encouraged to reflect on your learning in order to deepen your understanding and effectiveness as a quality independent learner. We set out clearly what we expect of students at postgraduate level and equip you with the resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment. This academic skill set is transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context, but also for continuing professional development. There is no assessment for this module.

In more detail...

  • Optional opportunities to participate in exercises and site visits (may be subject to additional costs and limited availability)
  • Be supported by expert staff, researchers and our wide-ranging alumni network who are currently active in the field, with extensive industrial and consultancy experience working for Category 1 and 2 responders, government agencies, businesses and NGOs.
  • Choose or switch to study either full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Please see the course specification for further information.
  • Option to progress from the Postgraduate Certificate to the full MSc, taking into account the credits already achieved. Please see the course specification for further information.
  • Learn from guest speakers (subject to availability) who are experts in their field, providing insight into real-life scenarios.
  • Access to our award winning Simulation Centre with its 10m curved-screen immersive virtual training environment with XVR Simulation platform. Eight break-out rooms connected with audio and CCTV to the control room for operational, tactical and strategic simulations.
  • Enhance your career prospects and extend your professional network by studying with international development, disaster risk reduction, health and humanitarian practitioners from across the world.

Further develop your knowledge of relevant policy sectors - disaster risk, resilience, adaptation and sustainability, evaluate and apply humanitarian and human rights, principles and law.

Develop organisational preparedness and coordination capacity for humanitarian response to regions likely to experience acute disaster impacts or rapid deteriorations in stability.

Design, develop, implement and manage appropriate disaster risk interventions, undertake effective monitoring and evaluation for accountability and learning. Develop a portfolio of skills and knowledge for working effectively with communities to develop resilience and ensure sustainable programmes.

Modules are delivered as 4.5 day face-to-face events that provide the depth and rigour required for development, reflection and networking in this sector. Campus delivery is supported by our innovative online social learning platform, allowing you to undertake substantial parts of your study at home where you can revisit classroom content and find additional materials. You also have access to our library's electronic resources 24/7, including thousands of books, ejournals and newspapers.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods

On this course you will be taught via:

1. seminars and discussion
2. practical sessions and workshops
3. simulation exercises
4. study visits*

Please note that if you are an international ‘Tier 4’ student, you will be required to take the course on a full-time basis. You must attend academic skills seminars during intervening weeks to fulfil UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. For more information, visit our page on Tier 4 compliance.

* May be subject to availability, limited places and additional travel costs.

Assessment for all modules is by 100% coursework.

This course is be assessed using a variety of sector-appropriate methods which vary depending upon the module. All written assignments are submitted online and presentations can be recorded. Assessment methods include reports, proposals and business cases, presentations, posters etc. There are no exams.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes.

On successful completion of this course, you will have knowledge of:

  • Risk, its components and influencing factors, approaches to assessment, and prioritisation and organisational role in planning, managing and recovering from humanitarian crises and disasters.
  • Policy and approaches for mitigating, preparing for, managing and recovering from crises, conflict and disasters for responding agencies, organisations and affected communities.
  • Approaches to assessing complexity and interaction and developing, monitoring and evaluating resilience in processes, systems, organisations and communities at risk from known and emergent threats in a sustainable way.
  • Stakeholder analysis and multi-stakeholder engagement, communication, co-operation and governance in all aspects of policy and strategy development, implementation and management, at all scales in disaster contexts.
  • Challenges and approaches for information management, evaluating uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity in knowledge, appropriate and defensible decisions for managing complex disaster situations.
  • Issues and challenges at the forefront of research and practice in disasters and resilience.

This course focuses on emergency management within a global context, drawing on case studies and the experience of agencies working in the UK, Europe, US, Canada and Australia.

International, EU and UK students (dependant in intake of students each year) take classes together, participating in discussion-based seminars and workshops, so all students have the opportunity to benefit from the personal experiences of other students, as well as staff, from other parts of the world.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2018/19, we were able to provide a total of 5,469 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

International experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni 2016/17


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2018/19


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally since 2016


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

Relevant work experience and/or a professional development qualification.

A 2:2 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Applicants with a lower class of degree and/or professional experience only will be individually considered and will usually be interviewed prior to being offered a place on the course.

Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director. For information regarding specific entry requirements, please request information.

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.



September 2021

£3,466 (per year)

January 2022

£3,466 (per year)

UK Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, which could include (but is not limited to) travel, accommodation and activities. This course may incur additional costs associated with any equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire.

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2020/21 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Career prospects

Graduate Immigration Route visa

Based on current information from the UK Government, international students whose study extends beyond summer 2021 may be eligible for a visa under the UK Government’s Graduate Immigration Route, which will enable students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to two (2) years. Check the most up to date guidance available to check your eligibility and any updates from the UK Government before making an application or enrolment decision.

Our part-time students are often sponsored by their employers. Successful completion of this postgraduate level qualification should provide the credibility needed to progress in your organisation and career.

When you graduate, you can pursue or further a career in sectors including national and local government, NGO’s, UN organisations and other regional organisations, healthcare or consultancy.

Our current teaching staff and the university’s Talent Team can support your search for employment in the UK or overseas by making use of our 25 years of alumni network industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates have gone to work in the UK and in countries all over the world, including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, UAE, the United States and Canada. Some have taken up roles as international humanitarian coordinator, country officers; DRR specialists, risk analysts and deployable response managers, policy developers and analysts, public administration or pursued research and lecturing within education.

Employers of our previous graduates have included: UNICEF, UNEP, WFP, Action Centre La Faim (Toronto, Canada), the Institute for Risk Management and Climate Change (Bogota, Colombia), WWF, Danish Refugee Council, Deutsche Bahn, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai, India), United Nations Population Fund (Jakarta, Indonesia), the British and German Red Cross, The Netherlands Institute for Safety, Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Military.

Opportunities exist globally within:
• Non-Governmental Organisations
• Multi-lateral organisations
• National and Local government
• Health services and epidemiology
• the Military
• (Re)insurance and risk management
• City resilience
• Risk and resilience consultancy
• Security and safety sector
• Research and further study


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.