Joint Centre for Disaster Research

Success from a thousand little moments

  • Program Type

The Joint Centre for Disaster Research is an international center for research and teaching in disaster risk and emergency management.

Disaster Research Summer Institute

The Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University, Wellington New Zealand hosts research programs and education around Natural or Human disasters, and how to best learn from and prepare for them.

Course Offerings

Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management

Introduced in 2012, the Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management is the first step for students wanting to learn about emergency management. The Graduate Certificate provides a broader introduction to theory and concepts of contemporary emergency management and incident command systems.

Graduate Diploma in Emergency Management

This qualification has been the flagship emergency management qualification for Massey University and the Centre. It started in 1990, and in 2012 it was revised to focus solely on undergraduate papers. This makes it an ideal extension program for those already holding the Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and who do not wish to proceed to the postgraduate level. It is also for those who require further papers to improve their academic record for entry into postgraduate studies in emergency management. The Graduate Diploma has a wider choice of electives and it is a very flexible qualification for students.

Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management

The Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management is an advanced coursework-based degree. It builds on core emergency management knowledge attained through industry experience and the prerequisite qualifications. It is aimed at mid to senior-level emergency managers who are interested in expanding their emergency management competencies.

Master of Emergency Management

The recently revised Master of Emergency Management offers a new and innovative way to study emergency management and presents two options. The first is a coursework option that involves 120 credits of compulsory papers and 60 credits from a list of elective papers. There is also the research option that involves 90 credits of compulsory papers and a 90 credit thesis in emergency management.

Doctor of Philosophy (Emergency Management) PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) qualification has an endorsement in emergency management. Located within the Centre, students have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in emergency management supervised by a range of leading academics.

Minor in Emergency Management (Bachelor of Arts) and Endorsement in Emergency Management (Diploma in Arts)

The minor specialization and endorsement in emergency management allow Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Arts students to gain knowledge about emergency management. The specialization considers global and local disaster risk reduction, the history and evolution of how communities respond to disasters, and how they might best respond to situations of serious vulnerability and emergency. This qualification contains five, 15 credit courses.

Professional Development

We also offer a range of short emergency management professional development workshops and courses. These attendance-based learning events cover a diverse range of topics without the demands of pre or post-event activities or assessments. Delivered using a mixture of leading academics and seasoned practitioners, these events are ideal for new and experienced emergency managers.

Summer Institute

The Emergency Management Summer Institute is a very popular short course program that has been run every March for the past seven years. It was developed to provide a theoretical and practical introduction to selected topics relating to emergency management. Since 2015 the Summer Institute has also been a part of the postgraduate level 30 credit course, 130.706 Emergency Management in Practice

National Expedition and Internship

This course provides a unique opportunity for international students to gain knowledge of disaster risk and emergency management by going on an expedition to the varied and beautiful hazard-scape of New Zealand. Students learn about disaster risk analysis, risk reduction, resilience, readiness, response, and recovery in real-world contexts. They complete a month-long internship gaining first-hand experience in aspects of disaster risk and emergency management with government, community, commercial, or non-government organizations.

Emergency Management Massive Online Open Course (MOOC)

In 2013 the Centre developed an Emergency Management massive open online course (MOOC), in partnership with Open2Study. It covers the origins of risk management in the ancient world, new hazards and risk management approaches of the industrial era, command, and control models, and more contemporary ‘all-hazards’ and ‘risk management approaches. The course aims to provide an innovative and accessible approach to emergency management education with a global reach for diverse audiences. Over 10,000 individuals from across the globe have participated in MOOC since it was introduced in December 2013.

Future Phases

Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


Let’s Get Started.

To apply or join the program, please submit an application.