Disaster Management – Master of Sustainable Development Goals

Massey’s Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Disaster Management) will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice, and application of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to disaster management.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Specialise in Disaster Management for your Master of Sustainable Development Goals at Massey

The Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Disaster Management) is a 180-credit taught degree focusing on the theory and practice of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The qualification addresses the most pressing issue facing humanity and the planet: sustainability. This degree is unique in Australia and New Zealand.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The SDGs are the UN’s ambitious macro-level plan for humankind’s development and sustainability. The goals address global challenges including those related to poverty and inequality, climate and environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

Follow your interests

You’ll take two core courses in sustainable development. The first will introduce you to theories of sustainable development and the SDGs. The second will focus on multi-disciplinary frameworks. You’ll examine how to measure progress against the SDGs, as well as the paradigms of indigenous knowledge and practice in the field of sustainability.

Then, you’ll move on to your subject of disaster management. Courses cover topics such as:

  • coping with disasters 
  • emergency management
  • emergency management in practice, and
  • natural hazards. 

Real-world research

The final 60-credit component of your degree is a research practicum. You’ll identify an organisation with which to work towards policies or practices guided by the SDG framework in disaster management. You’ll then conduct research on, and analyse the disaster management work, undertaken by that organisation.

A Master of Sustainable Development Goals in Disaster Management is a good fit if you:

  • want to address sustainability problems 
  • seek skills in helping communities to prepare for and recover from disasters
  • are interested in alternatives to the dominant Western paradigm.

Planning information

The Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Disaster Management) is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

Part One is coursework and Part Two is a research practicum.

For progression from Part One to Part Two, you must achieve a Grade Average of at least a B over the 120 credits of the Part One courses.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Master of Sustainable Development Goals

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Master of Sustainable Development Goals core courses

Disaster Management courses

Part One Subject courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 130701 Natural Hazards 30 credits

A study of natural hazards and their effects. Specific attention will be paid to earthquakes, windstorms, flooding, volcanicity, tsunamis and landslips and their impact on people and the environment. Hazards particularly relevant to New Zealand will be emphasised.

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Course code: 130702 Coping with Disasters 30 credits

Study of the human issues and problems involved in preparing for and coping with disasters. Attitudes towards disaster preparation are studied together with the nature of disasters and their effects on human beings. The organisation and control of human behaviour during disasters will be studied together with rehabilitation interventions, particularly for the alleviation of stress for those involved.

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Course code: 130705 Emergency Management 30 credits

An examination of the social, psychological, community and organisational aspects of disaster management in New Zealand. Emphasis is on the development and implementation of an all-hazards, comprehensive and integrated approach to emergency management. Selected readings and case studies will be used to facilitate the development of an effective response to social, psychological, community and organisational issues.

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Course code: 130706 Emergency Management in Practice 30 credits

This course studies the practical application of current emergency management theory. The emphasis is on examining a specific topic area, analysing current trends and discussing practices that will enhance reduction, readiness, response and recovery efforts in managing disasters and emergencies.

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Course code: 132751 Natural Hazards and Resilient Communities 30 credits

A study of natural hazards and the role of planning in building sustainable and disaster resilient communities. Develop and apply planning processes and tools to assess hazard vulnerability, reduce hazard risks, improve disaster readiness, develop effective response capabilities, and facilitate recovery.

View full course details

Part Two

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 131810 Sustainable Development Goals Practicum 60 credits

Advanced study in the application of the Sustainable Development Goals, involving 320 hours of professional work in an approved agency. As an integral part of the course, students will critically analyse how this work can be understood in relation to current literature on the SDGs and sustainable development.

Prerequisites: 131704, 131709

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Disaster Management) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a grade average of at least B in the highest level courses.

You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

There is strong demand in the global marketplace for workers with the skills to translate, implement, monitor and report on the SDGs.

The SDGs are already facing challenges. How are the goals’ macro-level aspirations, collected through multiple rounds of global consultation, translated into everyday community settings such as:

  • the health sector
  • education
  • the workplace.

Employees with these skills are in demand in both public and private organisations.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Psychology

Massey is ranked in the world's top 300 universities for psychology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

Learn more

QS Ranking - Development Studies

Massey is ranked 30th in the world for development studies in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

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