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Duration2 years full-time or part-time equivalent up to 6 years maximum.
Accelerated options available
2 years full-time.Accelerated options available
Mode of deliveryFace to Face, Online
Start datesTrimester 1 (25 Jan 2021), Trimester 2 (10 May 2021), Trimester 3 (23 Aug 2021), Trimester 1 (25 Jan 2021), Trimester 2 (10 May 2021), Trimester 3 (23 Aug 2021), Trimester 1 (25 Jan 2021), Trimester 2 (10 May 2021), Trimester 3 (23 Aug 2021), Trimester 1 (25 Jan 2021), Trimester 2 (10 May 2021), Trimester 3 (23 Aug 2021),
FeesFind information about indicative course and program fees.
English proficiencyIELTS overall minimum - 6.5, IELTS section minimum - 6.0 Find out more about IELTS.
CRICOS CodeCRICOS code: 095159B
Program Code40115

Study Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development

This program is delivered through CIFAL Newcastle, a United Nations training centre with a focus on disaster resilience and sustainable development, which is hosted at the University of Newcastle. The United Nations has partnered with the University to develop the Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development. Students in this program develop the best practice knowledge and skills needed to implement the new UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development equips people from diverse backgrounds to understand resilience and sustainable development principles, and systematically apply them to avoid disasters, operate through extreme events and emerge better placed to face the future.

Organisations around the world are realising that by championing sustainable development, they can not only save lives and revenue, but also achieve a competitive advantage and lead the way within their industry. They seek to become more resilient in the face of disasters by mitigating risks and reducing their impact. If your role involves identifying, mitigating and managing business, safety or environmental risks – or if you aspire to such a position – this program will place you at the forefront of your field

Why study with us?

  • Receive UN co-certification – complete courses that are co-certified by both the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
  • Direct engagement with UNISDR resources - receive training aligned with the Sendai Framework – the United Nation’s global strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Be recognised internationally - our School of Architecture and Built Environment is in the top 150 in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject list (2021).
  • Flexible study options – our advanced online learning system, together with that of UNITAR provides you with the flexibility and support to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study.
  • 95.7% of postgraduate students in our Agriculture and Environmental Studies find employment within four months of graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017–2019).
World Top 150 ? for Architecture and the Built Environment
UN co-certified ? by UNITAR and UNDRR
No.1 in Australia ? for overall graduate satisfaction

What you will study

This the first and only degree to contain UN co-certification in the use of tools and frameworks central to resilience building and achieving sustainable development.

It contains core elements related to disaster resilience and sustainable development that are underpinned by a practical grounding and application of the UN-SDGs and Sendai Framework and the development of disaster risk reduction and management skills.

Core courses include:

  • Theory and Practice of Disaster Management
  • Policy and Social Considerations in Disaster Management
  • Disaster Management Economics
  • Government Approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Private Sector Approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Sustainable Development and the 2030 Development Agenda
  • Professional Practice in Disaster Management
  • Professional Practice Research Project

Depending on your entry level, you will also complete between one and eight courses from a list of directed courses. These include courses in community development, sustainable development, and related areas of:

  • project management
  • law
  • business management
  • property
  • environmental management
  • social sciences
  • social work

Entry options and duration

This program recognises prior learning. Admission is available to applicants who can demonstrate a suitable combination of education, professional experience and industry qualifications.

The tables below outline the number of years experience required, depending on your previous educational qualifications.

Educational Qualification

Number of years relevant industry experience

Units required to complete Masters

A three year bachelor degree

One

120: 80 units core courses + 40 units directed

Educational Qualification

Number of years relevant industry experience

Units required to complete Masters

A three year bachelor degree

Five

80 of core courses

A four year bachelor (hons) degree

Zero

80 of core courses

A three year bachelor degree plus a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma

Zero

80 of core courses

Educational Qualification

Number of years relevant industry experience

Units required to complete Masters

A three year bachelor degree PLUS the UON Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction

Zero

80 units: 40 units of core courses + 40 units directed courses

A four year bachelor (hons) degree PLUS the UON Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction

Zero

80 units: 40 units of core courses + 40 units directed courses

Educational Qualification

Number of years relevant industry experience

Units required to complete Masters

Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree

Five

160 units: 80 units of core courses + 80 units of directed courses

A three year bachelor degree

Zero

160 units: 80 units of core courses + 80 units of directed courses

Educational Qualification

Units required to complete Masters

Applicants holding an advanced diploma or associate degree which is not accompanied by employment in a disaster-relevant role or work experience are eligible for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction. Upon completion of the graduate certificate, students will be eligible for admission to the Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development with 40 units credit

160 units: 40 units core courses + 80 units directed courses + 40 units credit from Graduate Certificate

Program plans

Download a program plan for further details on your degree's structure and what courses you will study.

These program plans are applicable to new students. Current students should refer to the program handbook to access the plan relevant to the year they commenced.

Additional documents

View the full course list

Career

Career opportunities

The Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development is designed to appeal to those in management positions in private and public sector organisations, as well as those in NGOs and civil society, whose work involves resilience-building through the mitigation of impacts arising out of extreme events, which can be as varied as natural disasters, data breaches, political instability, terror attacks or health epidemics.

The term 'Resilience Officer' is being increasingly used by organisations to describe this role, though many have yet to embrace the terminology. Nevertheless, elements of this job role will be familiar to those who work in local government, planning and implementing strategies for town planning, urban and rural development, community safety and service continuity in times of emergency.

In the private sector this is mirrored by business continuity, environmental protection, risk management, disaster recovery planning, emergency and crisis management and workplace health and safety functions. Given the financial implications posed by risk, this program is also highly relevant to those managing and minimising risk and insurance cover.

There is also clear alignment between those employed in the emergency services and the planning and implementation of risk mitigation programs, and this is mirrored in the NGO and voluntary sectors including community-based organisations.

Following the recent disasters in Australia and globally, the need for expanded professional roles to support resilience building has become important and this program prepares graduates for such roles.

How to apply

Applying for Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development

I am a prospective
student, looking to study at

Before you get started

To ensure that the process goes smoothly for you, you should complete the following steps before applying:

  1. Review the program that you wish to apply for. Note the admission criteria, admission instructions, requirements & structure and any additional information listed.
  2. Review the program fees and costs.
  3. Check whether your postgraduate program has a Semester or a Trimester closing date. Please view the application closing date.
  4. If you are from a non-English-speaking background, you need to satisfy the University's English language requirements and ensure that you can provide evidence of your English proficiency if required.

You will be considered for entry based on criteria such as your undergraduate studies and/or equivalent prior learning and/or relevant work experience.

Postgraduate application process

Other things to consider

Make sure you double check the special entry requirements, assumed knowledge or recommended studies for the degree:

There are four pathways into the Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development (MDRSD) program:

1. Direct entry into the MDRSD program (120 units) is available for applicants who have:

  • a three year bachelor degree and a minimum of one year of work experience in a role that is deemed to be disaster-relevant

2. Direct entry into the MDRSD program (80 units) is available for applicants who have:

  • a three year bachelor degree and five years' work experience in a role that is deemed to be disaster-relevant; or
  • a four year honours bachelor degree, or a three year bachelor degree plus a relevant graduate certificate or graduate diploma

3. Direct entry into the MDRSD program (80 units) is available for applicants who have:

  • a three year bachelor degree and five years' work experience in a role that is deemed to be disaster-relevant plus the UON Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction
  • a four year honours bachelor degree, or a three year bachelor degree plus the UON Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction

4. Direct entry into the MDRSD program (160 units) is available for applicants who have:

  • an advanced diploma or associate degree and five years' work experience in a role that is deemed to be disaster-relevant; or
  • a three year bachelor degree which is not accompanied by employment in a disaster-relevant role or work experience

5. Indirect entry into the MDRSD program via the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction (GCDRR). Upon completion of the GCDRR, students would be eligible for admission into the MDRSD program (160 units) with 40 units of credit. This entry path is available for applicants who have:

  • an advanced diploma or associate degree which is not accompanied by employment in a disaster-relevant role or work experience.

Relevant work experience will be assessed using the following information:

  • An applicant statement detailing current role and work experience that is disaster-related
  • A statement of service relating to disaster-related employment
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae

All Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the University’s English proficiency requirement. Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found at the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy here.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.