Crowded Places and Public Safety Management MSc/PGCert

Study level: Postgraduate
aerial view of a crowd marching holding placards

From international sporting events and concerts to world-class retail and transport hubs, mass gatherings can be large and complex to manage.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)
100% online study

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Course code

MSc: On campus EECT031
Online EECT154
PGCert: On campus - EECT032
Online - EECT155

Start date

September 2024
January 2025
May 2025

Course overview

In the current global environment, the challenges of keeping people safe are greater than ever – whether that’s planning for international mega events or managing regional entertainment venues.

With the flexibility to study either 100% on campus, 100% online or as a blend of both, these courses aim to provide you with the academic underpinning to analyse the features that make for best-practice planning, policy and process, so that you can go on to devise effective crowded places arrangements of your own.

  • The programmes cover important legal and socio-political frameworks within crowd safety and emergency management, as well as investigating emerging technological solutions, and the contemporary safety and threat environments that impact on the sector.
  • You will examine how these issues may be addressed in practice, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of crowd safety management and organisational resilience.
  • The part-time route allows those already employed in crowd safety, health and safety, and security management to balance their studies with other commitments, and apply academic rigour to their practical experience.
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Why you should study this course

  • You should advance your skills in evaluating complex situations, developing creative and innovative solutions, and implementing lessons learnt. If you study on campus, there will be opportunities to take part in training and exercises through simulated emergency scenarios in our immersive Simulation Centre4.
  • Course content is broad-based to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the subject. For example, as well as being taught current and evolving techniques and tactics used to prevent, plan, prepare or respond to crowded places emergencies, we will also cover and critically appraise relevant technical data and information, best practice in emergency planning and crisis management.
  • Students will have the chance to learn about behavioural theory and leadership at an organisational and individual level, providing an opportunity to develop a range of interpersonal skills to help develop and execute appropriate training initiatives and coordinate the work of broad-ranging teams.
  • Members of our current teaching team have practical experience and have carried out employment, consultancy and research in crowd safety management and allied professions. This includes emergency planning for managing mass gathering events, risk mapping, the preparation of response frameworks for mass evacuation, command and control design, and the design and management of simulated emergency exercises (staff subject to change).
  • There is dedicated support available for those who are new to Higher Education, or returning after a long break. The Centre For Academic Writing’s programme of online and in-person tutorials are available to all students.
  • MSc students will have the further opportunity to carry out an independent piece of research of their choosing, producing an industry-facing working paper which should be of publishable quality.

Accreditation and professional recognition


Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

As part of this course, you will undertake a professional development module which is currently accredited by the Chartered Management Institute for the 2024-25 intake. Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Further details can be found under the modules and on the Professional Development module web page. Please visit the CMI website for full details on the CMI accreditation. Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems.

What you'll study

MSc modules encompass the full cycle of crowd safety risk management processes, using this to inform planning; anticipating and assessing the risk of crowded places emergencies; putting in place management plans; creating business continuity plans to ensure critical functions continue in the event of an emergency; developing communications plans to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency; and approaches to leadership, sharing information and co-operating with emergency responders.

PGCert modules utilise core MSc modules and focus on the subject areas of evolving methods in crowd science and technology, the management of risk, leading in complex situations and managing emergencies. 

All modules are offered on a rolling basis, at least once every eight months, ensuring that for part-time students, they can be approached flexibly and fitted around the demands of full-time employment.


  • The aim of this module is to provide you with a critical understanding of the concepts, issues, processes and structures relevant to the development of effective strategies required in preparation for responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters. You will engage with approaches to construct, implement, test and evaluate a range of emergency and disaster preparedness arrangements across a broad scope of natural, social and technological hazards. The module will also highlight how to apply them specifically to work for public safety in crowded places.


  • This module will facilitate a detailed understanding of crowded places and the influences upon their formation, design and management, considering them as socio-technical, psychological, geographical and temporal phenomena, complex in nature and vulnerable to emerging properties. Taking a risk-based approach, the module will provide insight into the impacts of complexity on crowded places, examining theoretical approaches to complexity, and applying them to the understanding of, and subsequent planning for and management of, crowded places. In doing so, it will consider the application of tools such as planning, crowd science, command and control, coordination and communication, and information and technology systems.


  • This module will help you to undertake structured threat assessments to appraise the challenges facing the management of public safety and security within both organisations and the wider environment. It will then show you how to use analytical tools which are necessary to diagnose the underlying causation of such problems - be they organisational or malicious, and how to design organisations that are fit to manage such challenges.


  • This module aims to develop an in-depth understanding of a range of risk interpretations, and explore non-technical skills, minimisation techniques and leadership models that can be applied during incidents and crises. It will use models, and theories to critically evaluate the challenges for leadership and decision-making within the constraints of command –and-control practice. Incidents are recognised as vital opportunities for learning lessons, but there are usually challenges to facilitating and leading the implementation of change; you will investigate ways in which these barriers and challenges can be overcome.


  • This module will facilitate your competence to plan, design and manage an exercise and exercise programme in the context of disaster, crisis and emergency management. The module will place exercises in the wider context of preparedness and organisational resilience, examining theories and approaches to training and exercising. In addition, the module will aim to help you critically assess and evaluate generic principles of training and apply them to training needs for disaster, crisis and emergency management. Approaches to the evaluation of exercises and associated learning will be developed, and the project management requirements for managing and organising exercises are also examined.


  • In this module we explore strategies for the development of long-term planning in a world of change and uncertainty. Very often planning looks 5 -10 years into the future, however with developing global trends, such a social justice, climate change and political transition, this is insufficient. Techniques for predicting and then planning future actions have evolved and now need to be capable of addressing complex and interconnected issues. This module explores the processes that provide clear pathways, exploring approaches such as systems and strategic thinking, in the context of the changing needs and expectations of stakeholders.


  • This module is designed to equip you with the required skills in systematic critical evaluation, research design and data collection relevant to assessing practice and policy in disciplines aligned to emergencies and crises. The module content will review processes and principles for conducting research. You will explore intensive and extensive research designs and be introduced to the principal methods of conducting extensive research, including social surveys, documentary, archival and census evidence, and quantitative analysis. The module also explores more intensive forms of investigation, including interviewing, ethnography and other forms of qualitative analysis. Issues of research dissemination and research ethics will also be considered.


  • This module will aim to provide you with the necessary evaluative skills to assess internal and external risk contexts and apply appropriate approaches for managing risks within organisations. The impacts of incidents can quickly become a serious threat to both the internal and external operating environment for organisations. Traditionally, business continuity and crisis management techniques have been applied to manage these risks. Increasingly risks are unknown, complex and dynamic requiring more adaptive management practices and responsive governance systems. Critical incidents can spill over into political, economic, social, technical, legal and environmental domains requiring effective assessment, communications and media management to limit impacts and losses.


  • This online weekly module will assist and prepare you in your transition to postgraduate education, by developing your academic skills 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. The module will look at areas such as critical reading, academic writing and referencing skills.


  • The aim of this module is to support you in defining a need or critical issue within the crowded places sector and exploring potential solutions for that problem through the practical application of theoretical approaches. Working with a supervisor, you will develop an industry-facing paper that researches and evaluates the evidence and makes recommendations for change and overcoming expected barriers to that change at team, institutional and national level as appropriate.


  • This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategically diverse and inclusive way. You will be given the opportunity to develop strategic priorities for leadership, equality, diversity and inclusion.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

Modules can be studied 100% on campus, 100% online or as blend of both. However you choose to study with us all of our modules are designed to provide both the depth and rigour required for development, reflection and networking in this sector.

Delivery is supported by our innovative online social learning platform Aula (subject to change), allowing you to undertake substantial parts of your study at home whether you are studying on campus or online so 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.

Study on campus

Teaching and learning methods may include:

  • Seminars and discussion
  • Practical sessions and workshops
  • Simulation exercises
  • Study visits2

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Study 100% online

You will have timetabled classes, online tutorials, and seminars, with all your learning activities available on-demand so that you can learn at the best time and location for you. We record all sessions and provide alternative work for those who cannot attend in person.

This course can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Please request information about studying this course part-time.

How online learning works

Teaching contact hours

Each 15-credit module will consist of 150 hours of activities with typically about 30 hours of contact time associated. The activity time will be made up of a mixture of guided and self-guided study. Taught modules are normally delivered across a ten-week period and can be studied 100% on-campus, 100% online or as a blend of both. The contact hours for this course will include a combination of face-to-face teaching such as lectures, group sessions, workshops, online classes and support sessions.

Students will have access to an experienced team of tutors and lecturers who will support their studies. Each module will have dedicated online content to support the learning.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

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.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Reports
  • Proposals and business cases
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual Assignments

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

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

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.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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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.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 (MSc) | £3,733 (PGCert) in total Request fee information
EU £11,200 (MSc) | £3,733 (PGCert) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 (MSc) | £6,200 (PGCert) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 (MSc) | £6,200 (PGCert) in total Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page and see the university's Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will have:

  • A comprehensive evaluation of risk, its components and influencing factors, approaches to assessment, prioritisation and role in planning and managing crowded places.
  • An in-depth knowledge of policy and approaches for mitigating, preparing for and managing crowded places for the private sector, responding agencies and organisations and other affected stakeholders.
  • A thorough comprehension of approaches to assessing complexity and interaction, and developing, monitoring and evaluating processes, systems and organisations within the sector from known and emergent threats in a sustainable way.
  • A detailed analysis of multi-stakeholder engagement, communication, co-operation and governance in all aspects of policy and strategy, implementation and management at all scales.
  • An ability to manage information, evaluate uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity in knowledge, method and management, and make appropriate and defensible decisions.
  • A critical awareness of issues and challenges at the forefront of research and practice in crowded places and public safety.
  • An ability to evaluate and use appropriate methods of enquiry and analysis, and progress good practice in the discipline over the course of their career.
  • The skills demanded to research, evaluate high level material to produce an independent working paper that meets ethical requirements of the university, synthesises both academic and sector perspectives and presents findings and recommendations in a professional way.

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

Successful graduates could work in a range of organisations with crowded places duties, including venue and stadia management, the uniformed services, private security management, and the live events, transport and retail sectors.

The course aims to support the development of your skills in problem-solving, teamwork and leadership, project management and communication, all of which are qualities employers demand. We strive to produce graduates who can make difficult decisions whilst being culturally sensitive, ethical and compassionate.

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 alumni network, industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice (all subject to availability).

Where our graduates work

Opportunities exist globally within:

  • Crowd Management and Public Safety
  • Emergency Services
  • Security and safety sector
  • Multi-lateral organisations
  • National and Local government
  • Risk and resilience consultancy
  • Research and further study

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University 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.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    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 current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website. 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.