Emergency Management Teaching Programme

Emergency Management (also known as Civil Defence or Disaster Management) is an exciting and growing global profession.

When the devastating Canterbury earthquake struck on February 22, 2011 it was Massey University emergency management alumni, students and faculty that deployed to New Zealand’s worst disaster in close to 80 years.

From key roles in the emergency operations centre, to front line search and rescue, our Massey whanau (family) responded and their application of our emergency management teaching and research programmes made a difference.

Since its inception in the early 1990s, Massey University’s emergency management programme has produced over 100 graduates making us most popular university level emergency management education provider in New Zealand.

Over the past few years we have made some significant changes to our qualifications to better equip graduates for the rapidly evolving profession of emergency management, including the enhancement of digital learning technologies. We see ourselves as an important part of developing community disaster resilience through providing a challenging and quality graduate teaching and research programme to both New Zealand and students worldwide.


  • Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management (GradCertEmergMgt)
    For most students embarking on emergency management studies, the Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management will be their first step. The Graduate Certificate provides an introduction to emergency management concepts and incident command systems.

  • Graduate Diploma in Emergency Management (GradDipEmergMgt)
    This qualification has been the flagship of Massey University’s emergency management programme for over a decade. Recently it has been revised to focus solely on undergraduate courses, making it an ideal extension programme for recent graduates with an interest in emergency management, those already holding the Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management who do not wish to proceed to the postgraduate level, or those who require further courses to improve their academic record for entry into the postgraduate programme. The GradDipEmergMgt has an even wider choice of electives than the GradCertEmergMgt, making it a very flexible qualification for students.

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management (PGDipEmergMgt)
    The PGDipEmergMgt provides an advanced course work degree that builds on core emergency management knowledge attained through industry experience and the prerequisite qualifications. It is aimed at the mid to senior level emergency manager, who is interested in expanding his or her general or emergency management competencies.

  • Master of Emergency Management (MEmergMgt)
    There is an increasing expectation that senior emergency managers demonstrate their academic competence through attaining a masters level qualification in emergency management or a related field. The new MEmergMgt offers two options: A Research Option (requiring the completion of a 120 credit thesis in emergency management) or an Applied Option that requires a combination of advanced coursework in leadership, a 30 credit research report and additional coursework to meet the requirements. Students considering a career in emergency management research should consider the research option. However those considering a senior leadership or practitioner role should choose the applied option.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)
    The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest supervised degree offered by Massey University. It is awarded for a thesis which has an integrated and coherent report that demonstrates a candidate’s ability to carry out independent research and analysis at an advanced level in a particular field of study.
    Massey University is the only university in Australasia to offer a PhD endorsed in emergency management and as the programme is hosted within the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, students can be assured their research careers are starting with the leading research centre for emergency management in New Zealand.

  • Minor in Emergency Management (BA)
    Endorsement in Emergency Management (DipArts)
    The minor specialisation and endorsement in emergency management allow Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Arts students to gain knowledge about emergency management. The specialisation 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.

In partnership with the Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) service, Massey University also offers 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. A certificate of attendance is issued which will assist with professional certification requirements such as the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®). Customised workshops can also be developed for clients upon request and can be delivered world wide.

We have world class faculty including international renowned researchers and practitioners, with real life disaster experience. All of our faculty have international experience ranging from researching the effects from volcanic eruptions, assessing the psychosocial impact on disaster survivors to working for the United Nations managing disaster response operations – making sure your qualification is taught with the right balance of academia and practice.

Massey is New Zealand’s leading distance education and multi-campus university and the recipient of more tertiary teaching excellence awards than any other university in New Zealand. We have campuses in Auckland, Palmerston North, and Wellington – and of course, we also have a broad range of distance study options including emergency management that you can study from anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in any of these programmes or need more information please contact Raj Prasanna as detailed below.:


Raj Prasanna
Phone +64 6 801-5799 Ext 62167
NZ Free Phone 0800 MASSEY (0800 627 739)
Email R.Prasanna@massey.ac.nz


If you seek further information on emergency management as a career option, visit the NZ Career Service website.

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