Skip to main content

Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA/MSc



The programnme takes a social development perspective and includes human vulnerability and response to natural and technological hazards and to hazards associated with climate change. It embeds training in disaster risk reduction with access to a broad range of modules that enable the student to craft a degree that can include technical specialties in GIS and remote sensing, organisational risk management, or poverty alleviation and international development.

It aims to enable students to develop the skills required to engage with both cutting edge academic literature and policy work so that they can participate in this dynamic and contested arena. These aims are achieved by the unique combination of theoretical and practical modules that draw on the expertise of the staff and internships with participating humanitarian and development organisations.

Key benefits

  • Unrivalled location allows access to an international hub for research and practitioners in international development and disaster risk reduction.
  • Professional internship provides career development.
  • Regular seminars and high-quality student body enable learning beyond formal contact time.
  • Opportunities for placement with international organizations for conduct of overseas MA dissertation research. 

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 20 FT/PT approximately.

Course leaders Professor Mark Pelling (

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Postgraduate Officer, Centre for Arts & Sciences Admissions (CASA) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7429 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Geography


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

2:1 undergraduate degree (or international equivalent, e.g. GPA of 3.3 from a US University).

Candidates who do not achieve a 2:1 but have professional or voluntary experience will also be considered. Mature candidates will be considered favourably.

Application procedure

We run a rolling admissions system. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide a personal statement that shows how your own interests are linked to the programme. In this statement please describe your academic background, your reasons for applying for this programme and what you hope to gain from it, including any relevant experience, strengths, ambitions or research interests.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


The Disasters, Adaptation & Development programme takes a social development perspective and includes human vulnerability and response to natural and technological hazards and to climate change. Access to a broad range of modules. Leads to careers in research and policy development on disaster risk management and development programming for adaptation.

Course purpose

The MA Disasters, Adaptation & Development aims to provide students with an in-depth and critical awareness of the politics and geographies of disaster risk reduction and its contribution to sustainable adaptation and disaster response. It is appropriate for practitioners wishing to formalise their knowledge as well as those wanting an entry qualification into research on disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change.

Course format and assessment

Specialist taught modules assessed by essay, presentation, lab work and occasionally by examination. The three-month dissertation is compulsory and can be taken overseas or in the UK.


Career prospects

Research and policy development on disaster risk management and development programming for adaptation. Destination organisations include government agencies, international and national nongovernmental organisations and academic research institutes.



Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 20 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 (2016) Please note that this fee is for year 1 only of this two-year part-time degree.

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 (2016) Please note that this fee is for year 1 only of this two-year part-time degree.

Varied including Research Councils, University of London Scholarships, departmental bursaries and career development loans. For overseas students Chevening Scholarships are available from the British Council. Overseas students can also apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme (CSSS). For further information on funding, including conditions of eligibility, please consult the Postgraduate Funding Page on the Masters section of the Geography Department's website -

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

Upcoming events

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide View online

Apply now

Start your academic journey at King's College London.


Explore King’s

AccommodationTake a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student lifeArt, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricularDiscover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London livingWith four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.