Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction

Learn specialist skills in disaster management & preparation

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In recent years, an increase in natural and human created disasters have adversely impacted the local communities and nations as a whole. Some disasters have international impacts requiring international intervention. Constructing a disaster resilient system involves interventions in the preparedness, emergency response and redevelopment phases of the disaster management cycle. Effective management of disasters involves numerous stakeholders including governments (local, state and federal), non-governmental organisations (not for profit and for profit) and communities (local, national and international) working together.

This program applies recognised disaster management practices, providing graduates with the unique ability to work on approaches to building disaster resilience in context specific situations. The professional application of disaster management skills and techniques for preparing and responding to post disaster situations will develop graduates who are a valuable resource for local government bodies, non-governmental organisations, and national and international organisations/business involved or seeking to be involved in disaster management.

Throughout this program you will develop unique and specialised strategic and operational disaster management skills that can be applied in the event of a disaster. As one of the only universities to offer this disaster management degree accommodating multiple discipline backgrounds, the University of Newcastle educates graduates to be immediately valuable to multiple disaster management stakeholder groups.

Our advanced online learning system provides you with the flexibility and support to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study. You can achieve your Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction at a time that suits you.

Explore this page and find out if the Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction is for you, what you will study and the career opportunities it can provide you.

Is it for you?

Hazards, natural or man-made, can create disaster events that leave communities in distress. Preparing for disasters require multiple stakeholder engagement and effective management of the goals. The pressure to urgently address complex and difficult disaster management decisions can result in reactive policies that may increase long-term risks and vulnerability of affected populations. Regardless of cause or blame, rebuilding the communities and infrastructure promptly and strategically with appropriately devised short-term and long term planning is paramount. Disaster preparedness and reconstruction involves primarily disaster risk reduction and building a resilient system, from a technical, economic, socio cultural and policy perspectives.

Therefore, the management of situations resulting from disasters requires diverse knowledge, skills and approaches but it will essentially draw on fundamental theories and practices form multiple disciplines. In the Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction you will learn the theory and practice of disaster management, from both disaster preparedness and post disaster reconstruction perspectives.

This program, created by experienced professionals, will prepare you with the skills and knowledge to engage in the appropriate disaster management practices accommodating short and long term considerations aimed at building a resilient system. You will engage in practice and form the policies based on informed situational/critical analysis.

If you would gain satisfaction from playing a key role in protecting and rebuilding communities from and after traumatic disasters, then the Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction could be for you.

To find out more about what you will study, visit the 'Study' tab.


The Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction is distinctive in its purpose and content. The key focus of your learning will be disaster preparedness (i.e disaster risk mitigation) and post disaster redevelopment. You will explore and understand the conceptual approaches and operational processes in the context of building disaster resilience. Advancing on the fundamental principles of disaster management, the program will develop necessary skills and knowledge for you to engage in diverse disaster situations.

The course is comprised of six core courses and one elective (direct entry into the Masters):

  • Post-disaster Project Management
  • Disaster Mitigation and Sustainable Re-development
  • Professional Practice for Disaster Management
  • Economics of and for Disaster Management
  • Social and Policy Considerations for Disaster Management and
  • Disaster Management Research Project (on a topic of your choice to support your career goals).

You need to choose one electives from an comprehensive list of directed courses that focus on construction project management, business management, environmental management and social change and capacity building.
Throughout the program you will learn to critically analyse and apply relevant theories and practices to multiple disaster management scenarios.  Managing disaster requires a certain level of sensitivity that is unique to the circumstances. The sense of social responsibility and ethical decision-making is critical in disaster management.

To find out more about where the Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction can lead you, visit the 'Careers' tab.


The current trend in disaster events and created a significant domestic and international interest in the disaster management trained professionals. This program specifically address the niche and relatively new market encompassing professionals in government, for profit and not for profit sectors, who engage in or planning to engage in disaster management without a formal qualification in disaster management.

With a Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction you will have unique and specialised disaster management skills to be applied in the disaster management process. As one of the only universities to offer this disaster management degree accomodating multiple disipline backgrounds, the University of Newcastle educates graduates to be immediately valuable to multiple disaster management stakeholder groups including:

  • State, federal and local government
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs); and
  • private contracting organisations.

As a newly developed program, the University of Newcastle will be seeking endorsement by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) and Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors in 2016. With this accreditation graduates will have an industry recognised qualification, supporting the relevance of the program’s content.

For more detailed information on eligibility, courses and requirements of the Master of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction, visit the 'Details' tab.

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Having undertaken this program, I’d say it has an excellent theory component on post disaster reconstruction, but I would like to suggest that it have a longer study duration with more practical activities.
Natural hazards and the management of anticipated risks requires practical learning experiences

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