Disaster Medicine (EMDM), M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #201 ,
The main aim of the Master in Disaster Medicine is to improve the competence in disaster medicine and the disaster medical competencies for health professionals in order to form high-level professionals qualified to work as academics, staff members or field workers for international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


The main aim of the Master in Disaster Medicine is to improve the competence in disaster medicine and the disaster medical competencies for health professionals in order to form high-level professionals qualified to work as academics, staff members or field workers for international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations.

The management of the medical effects of a disaster is one of the most difficult tasks to be performed by medical personnel. It requires specific knowledge, the ability to plan and organize a health system, adapted to the disaster situation and the professional skill to provide medical care of high quality in an austere environment. Many recurring difficulties or problems that plague the medical response in disasters are due to insufficient education and training of the involved personnel, poor understanding of the medical disaster plans, procedures and protocols and low levels of skill and experience.

Therefore, an appropriate education and training in all aspects of disaster medicine are essential for planners, key personnel and all actors involved in the disaster medical and health response. This will necessitate the educational involvement of academic authorities in association with qualified professionals in disaster medicine and disaster management.

The learning outcomes of this master are:

  • to assess the epidemiological and health risks in disaster situations
  • to participate in the medical preparedness and planning for disasters
  • to direct the medical response in disaster situations
  • to master the medical managerial and care aspects of specific disasters
  • to organize and manage the psychological support of disaster victims and rescuers
  • to organize and manage evaluation and debriefing sessions
  • to organize education and training in disaster medicine and disaster medical management
  • to master the medical managerial aspects in complex humanitarian emergencies
  • to understand the legal and ethical aspects in disaster management and
  • to supervise, develop and conduct research on the medical aspects of disasters

Career opportunities

As a graduate of the Master in Disaster Medicine you can be assigned to following positions:

  • Advisor and/or manager of disaster medical management in local, regional and federal administrations

  • Officer responsible for the hospital disaster management

  • Advisor and/or manager of disaster medical management in international organizations (UN, WHO, OCHA....)

  • Executive officer in non-governmental organizations responsible for disaster medical management

  • Responsible staff member for education in disaster medicine in medical schools

  • Researcher in the medical aspects of disasters in academic centres


The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a dynamic and modern university with two parkland campuses in the Brussels Capital Region: the main campus in Etterbeek is home to seven faculties. In Jette you can find the medical campus and the University Hospital.

High quality education and research are central issues. Our research teams are internationally recognised in many disciplines of fundamental and applied research.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is the largest Dutch-speaking employer in the Brussels Region. Centrally situated in the capital of Europe, our university takes up its role as an ambassador for Flanders and Brussels, in a spirit of active pluralism and open mindness.

We offer a quality education to more than 9000 students. Add to that the almost 4500 students of our partner, the Erasmus Hogeschool Brussels; the 400 students at the English-speaking Vesalius College; the 5000 students at the Centre for Adult Education that shares our campus, and the more than 150 research teams working on both our campuses, and you get one of the biggest centres of knowledge in the capital of Europe. Thanks to this expertise and its strategic location, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is your ideal partner for prestigious research and education with an outlook on Europe and the world.

Programme Structure

Didactic Concept

The master consists of different parts that you must complete successfully:

  1. A structured, self-directed study under faculty guidance on competence-based didactic activities, integrated in an e-learning curriculum and provided on the EMDM website. The educational materials are reinforced by discussion forums and complemented by electronic simulation exercises
  2. A two-week residential session, during which you meet the faculty and interact in debates and exercises, assessing your ability to apply an integrated knowledge base, meant for solving problems in disaster situations
  3. A thesis related to a topic of disaster medicine or disaster medical management, under the supervision of a local tutor and a faculty member
  4. A final online examination provided on the Internet, composed of an electronic simulation exercise and a multiple choice questionnaire


  • Introduction to Disaster Medicine
  • Research in Disaster Medicine
  • General Medical Disaster Management
  • Introduction to distance learning
  • Specific Medical Disaster Management
  • Disaster Mental Health
  • Education and Training in Disaster Medicine
  • Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Legal, Ethical and Moral Aspects of Disasters
  • Master Thesis Disaster Medicine

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    60 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
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English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade B): 193

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score: 550

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 80

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Academic requirements

The course is of interest to all those involved in the medical preparedness and response in disaster situations at local, national and international level. Applicants must hold an approved master degree in a subject of health care or health management. Practical experience in disaster preparedness or management is welcome.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 5532 International
  • EUR 5532 EU/EEA


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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