A leading academic and research centre for disaster risk reduction on the African continent.

The African Centre for Disaster Studies (ACDS) was established in January 2002 at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (now North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. The ACDS forms part of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Click here to read more


View the team behind the African Centre for Disaster studies along with all its role players and members


Beside the core ACDS staff, the ACDS has a number of NWU Faculty, national and international associates. These members play a vital role in the operation and sustainability of the centre, and ensuring the quality of education, research and projects the ACDS undertakes. The ACDS included the following subsections of members:

  • Core Centre Staff
  • Faculty Associates
  • National Associates
  • International Associates
  • Ph.D Candidates
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Leading centre for new research and journal publications relating to the field of study

All research staff of the ACDS is linked to the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management under the sub-programme Disaster Resilience Science.

The ACDS team are actively pursuing a research agenda in the following areas:

  • Resilience and anticipation;
  • Climate and Beliefs;
  • Climate change adaptation;
  • Gender and disaster risk reduction;
  • Drought and veld fires in the South African context;
  • Eco-disaster risk reduction; and
  • Governance of disaster risk reduction.


View news, reports and information related to our projects

The African Centre for Disaster Studies has always strived to provide unparalleled level of knowledge. We have extended this field of knowledge into various project that have been undertaken by ACDS.


Find out more about the various formal and short learning courses offered by the ACDS.

The main objective of all the short learning programmes presented by the ACDS is to provide teaching and learning to practice.  The ACDS strives to customise our short learning programmes to address our client’s needs…


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This programme aims to be an entry point for the postgraduate student to the field of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The Diploma aims to equip students with knowledge and professional management skills to make significant contributions to a fast changing world.


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The ACDS offers a full research M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences with Disaster Risk Science (N801P). The qualification aims to build capacity through research in transdisciplinary disaster risk management (including vulnerability reduction) in Africa. It advances critical thinking skills in disaster reduction and the integration thereof into development and other planning.


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Our Ph.D programme in Science with Disaster Risk Science (N901P) is a Ph.D by research only. This transdisciplinary qualification is open for students from various disciplines.


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