The heightened international focus on disaster risk reduction through the Hyogo Framework for Action, the African Regional Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the increased emphasis on mainstreaming disaster reduction into development practices, places an increased demand on high-level skills for disaster risk management in the public and non-governmental sector. In order to address the need, the African Centre for Disaster Studies at the North-West University offers a trans-disciplinary Masters degree in Sustainable Development with an emphasis on Disaster Studies.
This qualification emphasises the multi-sector and multi-disciplinary nature of disaster risk reduction. Individuals with an interest in addressing issues of disaster risk through a developmental focus should apply. It is ideally suited for early to mid-career individuals including:
- Functionaries in disaster risk management centres;
- International humanitarian organisations
- NGOs and CBOs;
- Town planners;
- Development planners;
- Environmental/natural resource managers;
- Social/community workers;
- Public health professionals;
- Educators and communicators;
- Meteorologists; and
- Disaster information technology specialists.
The qualification aims to build capacity in multi-disciplinary disaster risk management (including vulnerability reduction) in Africa. It aims to advance critical thinking skills in disaster reduction and the integration thereof into development and other planning.:
Minimum admission requirements are any Honnours degree or National Higher Technicon Diploma and appropriate work experience. The number of admissions is limited and the programme committee will evaluate all applications on academic merit. Access to the Internet and e-mail is compulsory. Admissions end November of each year.
The course duration is a maximum of two years. Students are required to complete eight modules (six compulsory and two electives) and one mini-dissertation. Titles of mini-dissertations must be registered five months after the completion of all first-year modules (i.e. by April of the second year of study).:
The programme follows a semi-distance learning model. Students are required to attend two sessions per semester. Examinations can be written at our decentralised centres
- Contextualise the concept of sustainable development in Africa and the globe.
- Analyse, interpret and apply the philosophical grounding of sustainable development.
- Apply the most relevant and specialist theoretical frameworks and methodologies within an integrated development setting.
- Manage own research and projects with acquired management competencies.
- Understand, critically judge and choose the correct course of action regarding the ethical questions within the development context.
- Interpret, analyse and critically evaluate the dynamics of Disaster Risk Reduction within the African as well as international context.
- Implement strategically orientated disaster risk reduction within the context of continuing development.
- Apply the principles of Disaster Risk Management on any level/sphere of government and development.
- Determine disaster risk by means of a multi-disciplinary process and to strategically integrate Disaster Risk Reduction within the sphere of development.