Master of Disaster Risk Management and Development

Gain the skills to tackle increasingly complex disaster risks, both now and in the future, and research a topic of your interest.

Develop advanced disaster risk management knowledge and skills to reduce disaster risks, build community resilience, and manage disaster response and recovery.

The Master of Disaster Risk Management and Development aligns with global and national best practice, and is ideal if you’re passionate about sustainable development, community resilience or humanitarian response. It’s also a good fit if you’re already working in the field and need a tertiary-level qualification.

Download programme guides

Minimum entry requirements

Completed one of the following; or equivalent:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a B grade or higher in courses at a level 7 or equivalent
  • In exceptional circumstances an applicant who does not meet the requirements above, but who has an appropriate combination of academic and professional experience, may be considered for admission

International student entry requirements

Other requirements

  • Submit evidence of ability to study at postgraduate level in this field
  • Provide evidence of current professional practice
  • May be required to complete relevant prerequisite courses as specified by the Board of Studies

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with no band less than 6.0

English language requirements

Explore topics like disasters and development, environmental change and humanitarian action, building community resilience, and communications in emergency and disaster.

You also research a topic of your interest and complete either a thesis, or a dissertation or practice project.

The programme focuses on diverse themes like socially and culturally appropriate approaches to disaster risk management, resilience-building in the face of climate change, as well as improved building codes and better ecosystem protection to reduce disaster risk and support sustainable development.

All courses are offered via flexible learning, which involves block course on campus and online, or blended learning.

Complete the following courses

Semester 1 course

Semester 2 courses

And complete one research methods course

Semester 1 courses

Semester 2 courses

And choose one of the following

Option A

Complete either a practice project or dissertation (60 points)

And 60 points from

Semester 1 courses

Semester 2 courses

Summer Semester

Option B

Complete a thesis

And 30 points from

Semester 1 courses

Semester 2 courses

Other relevant optional courses may be available, with the approval of the programme leader. Optional courses may be selected from other relevant subject areas.

Skills you will develop in the Master of Disaster Risk Management and Development

The outcomes for graduates of the Master of Disaster Risk Management and Development are outlined in the Graduate Profile below.

Graduate Profile

Practice as a health professional in New Zealand is governed by legislation and a number of ‘Responsible Authorities’ (such as the NZ Psychologist Board, Physiotherapy Board and the Nursing Council who register practitioners). Overseas qualified health professionals who wish to practise in New Zealand should communicate directly with the relevant Responsible Authority. Qualifications recognised for professional registration at AUT are undergraduate; study at postgraduate level is not considered equivalent recognition for NZ Board certification.

Quick facts
Programme code:
1.5 years full-time / part-time available
South Campus *
* Courses are offered via flexible learning, which involves on-campus block courses and online learning.
15 Jul 2024
3 Mar 2025
21 Jul 2025

Key semester dates
$10,607 (for 120 points)
($9,461 tuition fees + $1146 student services levy)
$43,046 (for 120 points)
($41,900 tuition fees + $1146 student services levy)
  • Fees shown are based on a full-time workload for the points indicated next to the fee. The exact fee charged will depend on which courses you select at the time of enrolment.
  • Fees are subject to change year to year. If you are planning for study beyond the current year, fees may vary from those stated.
  • There may also be other fees and charges you need to pay.
  • International students' tuition fees reflect the full cost of tuition. Domestic students' tuition fees are less due to a proportion of the tuition fees being funded by the New Zealand Government.


The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.