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Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA/MSc

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The Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA, MSc course takes a social development perspective, exploring topics such as human vulnerability, response to natural and technological hazards and to hazards associated with climate change. You will examine disaster risk reduction and choose from a wide range of modules, enabling you to build a study pathway that can include technical specialities in GIS and remote sensing, organisational risk management, or poverty alleviation and international development.


 Key benefits

  • You will be studying innovative modules in a range of disciplines taught by staff who are recognised leaders in their fields.
  • You will have access to research and practitioners in international development and disaster risk reduction.
  • Dissertation research opportunities with international organisations.

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 Dr Daanish Mustafa

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/enquiry-form.aspx

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Geography

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Course detail

Description

The Disasters, Adaptation & Development MA/MSc aims to equip students with an in-depth and critical awareness of the political, geographical and technological aspects of disaster risk reduction and their contribution to sustainable adaptation and disaster responses. Taking a social development perspective, the course covers issues such as human vulnerability and responses to natural and technological hazards. This course embeds training in disaster risk reduction with technical specialities in geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing, organisational risk management, or poverty alleviation and international development.

The study course is made up of optional and required modules. You must take the minimum of 180 credits to complete the course. In addition to a required dissertation, you will choose from a wide range of related modules. If you want to qualify with an MSc, you will be required to study Advanced Quantitative and Spatial Methods in Human Geography as an additional module.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will be delivered over two years. You will take a combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.

Course format and assessment

Teaching
We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per 20 credit module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module, although some modules in the Geography Department may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Structure

Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take:
  • MSc – modules totalling at least 180 credits
  • MA – modules totalling at least 180 credits

Please note that there are a limited number of spaces available on each optional module. You will have the opportunity to discuss your choices with your personal tutor.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on this course page for updates.

Required Modules
You are required to take the following modules:
Additional required modules for the MSc pathway:
Optional Modules
In addition, you are required to take enough credits to bring your total for the course to a minimum of 180 from a wide range of optional modules that may include:

Entry requirements & how to apply

Disasters, Adaption & Develp Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

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

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. 

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £60 applies.

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.

Please note that as part of the evaluation process of your application you may be required to undertake a Skype interview.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Supporting Document Yes

Please provide a writing sample of around 500 words, answering the following questions. Please note this an essential requirement and supporting statements which do not answer the questions below will not be assessed as part of your application. 

Why you are applying for this specific programme, and how does it fit in with your future plans? (max 250 words)

How does your experience and education make you a suitable candidate for this programme? (max 250 words)

Please write these questions as separate answers, with a clear title for your answer to each question. Documents where your answers are not clearly titled and separated will not be accepted

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application

 

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline is the 29 March 2019.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. 

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £9,990 per year (2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £21,300 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,995 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time overseas fees: £10,650 per year (2019/20)

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Deposit

When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2019, payment is due by 27th April 2019.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2019 and 31st July 2019, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2019, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs
  • Some modules include the option to undertake other short day-trip fieldwork. These fieldwork options will enhance the modules, but they are not assessed as part of the module. The additional costs for short day-trip fieldwork would typically not exceed £50 per year. 
  • Costs may be incurred for dissertation work if fieldwork and/or laboratory materials are needed for the chosen study topic, but such work is not mandatory and would not impact academic success if an alternative approach to dissertation research is taken.

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

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

 

The Disasters, Adaptation and Development degree aims to provide technical training and professional exposure. Both are needed to secure careers in humanitarian and development organisations. Professional exposure and networking is delivered through four mechanisms:

1. Environmental Internship. This is a stand alone module based on one to two weeks full-time equivalent working in a host organisation: usually a Humanitarian or Development NGO headquaters office in London or as part of a research team working on disaster risk within the Department of Geography. The student will undertake a defined task, typically a literature or policy review to feed into policy development work. The module is assessed by a reflective essay on the experience and lessons learned. The internship is appropriate for those wishing an introduction to professional life in the sector, some internships can turn into thesis research ideas.

2. Thesis placements. These allow students to undertake their three month research project within an international humanitarian or development NGO in the field. Current partners include the Red Cross Climate Centre, Oxfam, Save the Children, YCARE and the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute. Students propose thesis ideas and these are crafted with host organisations to make sure they meet academic criteria and policy impact goals. Typically thesis research is translated into a policy brief. Host organisation commitments vary but all local costs (translation, accommodation, transport) are covered, and often international transport costs as well.  An example of a thesis internship can be found here.

3. Post-degree internships. Increasingly employers look for experience and are also prepared to offer paid internships. We only partner with internship providers providing at least basic living costs. Current internships providers are the Stockholm Environment Institute - Asia and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, both based in Bangkok. Post degree internships are three months commencing in September - think about this being a 15 month degree where you get paid for the final three months!

4. Networking events. because the Disasters, Adaptation and development programme is associated with King's Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience (CIRRR) students are encouraged to attend its seminars and social events. Monthly meetings and occasional seminars help to integrated masters students with researchers and policy actors with many opportunities to become informally involved in research and outreach.

 

Career destinations

Many of our graduates have gone on to undertake further research as well as secure careers in policy development, disaster risk management and development programming for adaptation. There are good career opportunities with government agencies, international and national nongovernmental organisations and academic research institutes.

Testimonials

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

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

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