Master of Hazard and Disaster Management*


* Not open to new enrolments in 2017. UC is now offering a Master of Disaster, Risk and Resilience and a Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal.

This qualification will prepare students for a professional career in disaster management, with an emphasis on industry practice. As well as learning conventional methods, students will be challenged to think about new disaster risk mitigation strategies and focus on future-relevant concepts, ensuring this knowledge can be put into practice in disaster management situations worldwide.

Graduates of the Master of Hazard and Disaster Management will be able to:

  • understand the natural and societal causes of disasters
  • gain experience in analysing the causes of specific disasters
  • analyse and critique strategies for disaster mitigation
  • apply these learnings to specific disaster-mitigation-related situations.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

Qualification specific requirements

Every candidate for the degree of MHDM shall have:

  • qualified for a relevant university degree, normally with a B+ average or higher in the final year, and
  • normally at least 90 points/ 0.75 EFTS from 300-level courses in the schedule to the Bachelor of Science regulations; these courses to have been passed with a grade average that meets the approval of the Programme Director (the normal requirement is at least a B grade average), and
  • 15 points/0.125 EFTS from STAT 100-level courses or equivalent (Note: this prerequisite may be waived by the Head of Department if the student can demonstrate an existing suitably high level of ability in Mathematics and/or Statistics).

Students planning to complete a Master of Hazard and Disaster Management must apply for special admission to the degree programme. Applications for admission must be received by the Department of Geological Sciences on the prescribed form no later than 30 January in the year of desired entry.

There is a limitation of entry of 18 to this programme (this total includes enrolments in the Master of Science in Hazard and Disaster Management).

For more information on entry requirements, see the Regulations for the Master of Hazard and Disaster Management or use the admission requirements checker

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

The MHDM comprises eight courses taught over two semesters plus a dissertation. 


A candidate enrolling full-time shall normally follow a course of study for not less than 12 months of full-time study. A candidate enrolling part-time must normally complete the degree within 24 months of first enrolment.

Subjects and courses

Four of the courses are compulsory:

With the remaining 60 points taken from 400-level courses in which the student has specific interests and a 0.5 EFTS dissertation.

The course HAZM691 Dissertation comprises an individual investigation in the field of Hazard and Disaster Management and is carried out by the student under the supervision of a staff member (with input from industry), and is designed to achieve specific learning objectives.

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful information:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Hazard and Disaster Management.

For study planning help contact the Department of Geography or the College of Science:

College of Science
University of Canterbury
Okeover House
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand
Callum Margetts

Callum Margetts

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Lina Le

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