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Key facts

Natural hazards like bushfires, floods, cyclones and pandemics can cause social and economic disaster in any city or region across the globe. UNE’s Master of Planning and Management of Natural Hazards offers a multidisciplinary, high-level exploration of natural hazards — through coursework and your supervised dissertation — to prepare leaders in the field of hazard mitigation and disaster reduction. You will learn advanced skills for researching and responding to natural hazards, the disasters they cause, the contexts in which they occur, and methods of disaster reduction. You will build critical-thinking and problem-solving capacities through robust coursework and guided, independent research. These skills are in demand across a range of professions and will assist in future proofing your career.

  • 1.5 years full-time
  • Up to 6 years part-time
  • Trimester 1 - Mar 2021
  • Trimester 2 - Jun 2021
  • Trimester 3 - Oct 2021
  • On Campus
  • Online
  • Armidale Campus
Entry requirements
  • Guaranteed ATAR: Not applicable
View full entry requirements
  • Commonwealth Supported Place (quotas apply)
    Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) (Quotas Apply)

    An Australian Government subsidised university place, only granted where Commonwealth Supported Places are still available. UNE has a cap on the number of CSP places that can be granted for certain course types and bands.

  • Full Fee
    Full Fee

    Tuition fees for domestic students not admitted to a Commonwealth Supported Place (i.e. no available government subsidy).

  • International

    Tuition fees for international students, i.e. those not Australian or New Zealand citizens or residents.

View more fees information
  • 080080K
UNE Course Code

Course information

UNE student crouches in outdoor setting next to hazard sign

Why study the Master of Planning and Management of Natural Hazards with UNE?

Gain expertise in the field of natural hazard mitigation, in Australian and international contexts, at a time when skills in disaster reduction are particularly vital. Through a comprehensive coursework program plus your supervised dissertation, you will gain practical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed as leader in the field of natural hazard mitigation.

The coursework program within the Master of Planning and Management of Natural Hazards includes four core units plus four elective units in special interest areas.

 The core units cover topic areas that are fundamental to planning and managing natural hazards:

  • environmental factors that combine to produce natural hazards
  • the ecological, social and economic consequences of natural hazards and disasters
  • methods relevant to studying aspects of natural hazards and disasters
  • mitigation strategies
  • challenges and opportunities for policy development in the natural hazards field
  • future trends in planning for and managing natural hazards.

Choose three electives from a comprehensive, multidisciplinary suite of units. This is your opportunity to focus special interest areas from options that include (but not limited to) the environment, economics, population, public policy, globalisation and sustainability.

Your research dissertation, in a topic that you choose in consultation with your supervisor, will enable your professional expertise. Plus, this is an opportunity to gain advanced skills in academic research.

What makes our course different?

UNE's Master of Planning and Management of Natural Hazards is designed to enable high-level understanding of natural hazards and disasters and their mitigation through planning and policy. Through this course you have the opportunity to:

  • Gain a postgraduate qualification to enable you as an industry leader with expert knowledge and skills in natural hazard mitigation.
  • Build critical-thinking and problem-solving capacities through robust coursework and guided, independent research.
  • Enable specialised knowledge via your supervised dissertation, and by choosing specialist elective units from the extensive range of multidisciplinary options.
  • Study flexibly either on campus or online and complete your course in either 1.5 years (full time) or up to six years (part time).

UNE has been the leading innovator of flexible study for over 60 years. We are committed to helping busy adults to study from anywhere.

Study online

Most of our students choose to study online across three study periods with 24/7 tutor support* and fit study around work and family commitments. Uniquely, our online students are mostly over 30 and bring valuable experience with them. They form a community of adults juggling the same challenges and priorities and who bring their life and work experience together to build real world networks for the future.

Study on campus

Many of our students choose to take advantage of the on-campus lifestyle in Armidale, in the beautiful New England region, with access to unparalleled support, accommodation and sporting facilities. These students are often starting their first degree and have left school recently. Through access to academic and career support they get a fantastic start to their careers.

* 24/7 tutor support includes: essay feedback (within 24 hours); live chat 24/7 for generic feedback on academic writing; and subject-specific help at a foundation or first-year level for subjects including mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, business, accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics. There are also a wide range of workshops, resources and courses available in academic skills support to assist you and help you to succeed.


Admission periodMode/location
Trimester 1On Campus, Armidale Campus
Trimester 1Online
Trimester 2On Campus, Armidale Campus
Trimester 2Online
Trimester 3Online

Entry requirements

A candidate shall:
(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor degree from a recognised university in a related field of study, for example, Urban and Regional Planning, Geography or Environmental Science; or
(b) hold an AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in Planning and Management of Natural Hazards from UNE and attained at least a Credit point average in 24 credit points; or
(c) hold an AQF Level 8 Graduate Diploma in Planning and Management of Natural Hazards from UNE and attained at least a Credit point average in 48 credit points.

Students must meet the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

Advanced standing is not granted for units taken to meet course admission requirements (except for an approved articulation in the course). The maximum advanced standing shall be for units counting 36 credit points which are deemed to be equivalent to units offered by the University and approved for the course.

Candidates admitted under Rule (b) shall be granted advanced standing for GEPL407, GEPL409, GEPL415 and GEPL490.

Candidates admitted under Rule (c) shall be granted advanced standing for GEPL407, GEPL409, GEPL415 and GEPL490 and 18 credit points of Listed Units (including at least 6 cp at 500 level) as specified in the Graduate Diploma in Planning and Management of Natural Hazards.

No advanced standing will be granted for the Dissertation unit GEPL500.

Fees and scholarships

How much will it cost?

Estimated fees for your first year of study in this course are:

Fee typeCost
Full Fee$24,408*
Commonwealth Supported Place (quotas apply)$11,200*
*The costs will depend on the units you choose to study as the cost of individual units vary. “Estimated fees” are provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking a study load of 48 credit points in the first year of this course. For courses that require less than 48 credit points the fees indicated are based on the total credit points required for completion of that course. For more information, please see fees and costs.


UNE scholarships are open for all to apply and offer financial help while you are studying. If you are commencing your university studies or if you are already a student at UNE, there are a number of scholarships to help you throughout your studies. There are UNE scholarships for students:

  • with high academic achievement
  • from rural areas
  • studying specific degrees
  • in disadvantaged groups
  • who excel at sport
  • living in a UNE residential college.

UNE scholarship applications are free and confidential. You may apply for more than one scholarship.

Course structure

To qualify for the award a candidate must pass units to the value of 72 credit points, including 24 credit points at 400 level, not more than 12 credit points at 300 level and 36 credit points at 500 level.

72 credit points

For candidates admitted under Rule (a)

54 credit points

Complete the following units:

18 credit points

Complete 18 credit points including a minimum of 6 credit points at 500 level and not more than 12 credit points at 300 level from the following units:

72 credit points

For candidates admitted under Rule (b)

24 credit points

24 credit points advanced standing granted for the completion of the UNE Graduate Certificate in Planning and Management of Natural Hazards.

30 credit points

Complete the following units:

18 credit points

Complete 18 credit points including a minimum of 6 credit points at 500-level and a maximum of 12 credit points at 300-level from the following units:

72 credit points

For candidates admitted under Rule (c)

42 credit points

42 credit points advanced standing granted for the completion of the UNE Graduate Diploma in Planning and Management of Natural Hazards.

Up to18 credit points, with a minimum of 6 credit points at 500 level, from Listed Units.

30 credit points

Complete the following units:

See UNE Handbook for more details. The Handbook contains detailed course information designed for enrolled students, including course plans, intensive schools, and work placement requirements.

Course outcomes

To provide graduates with a multidisciplinary knowledge of Natural Hazards and how these can be best planned for and managed from a resilience perspective.
  1. demonstrate a body of knowledge in relation to natural hazards and their planning contexts, including historical backgrounds and contemporary perspectives, in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region;
  2. demonstrate a body of knowledge concerning the role of planning systems and policy in the mitigation of natural hazards, including a critical appreciation of contemporary developments in the field;
  3. demonstrate a body of knowledge relating to the environmental, economic and social contexts of natural hazards, including different disciplinary perspectives; and
  4. demonstrate the ability to independently undertake original research in the field of natural hazards; to answer a research question competently and ethically using appropriate research principles and methods; present a critically coherent argument based on current research; and to communicate the problem, approach, results and conclusions effectively.
Knowledge of a Discipline

Graduates will develop an advanced understanding of current paradigms in natural hazard and disaster planning and management in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as relevant practices from a variety of international contexts. The course expores a wide range of approaches to building resilience to natural hazards in various Australian and international contexts. Exposure to varied research and policy approaches will expand the graduate's skills in hazard planning and management in various situations.

Communication Skills

Graduates will be able to communicate effectively to a range of audiences in the areas of natural hazard planning and management. Through participation in the course, students will hone their online communication skills (online students), their oral skills through discussion and presentations (on-campus students) and their written skills through assessment tasks such as essays (all students). Independent research undertaken during the course will also provide graduates advanced skills in academic communication.

Problem Solving

Graduates will have advanced skills in analysing natural hazard situations from a planning and management perspective. Graduates will develop high-level capabilities in solving problems relating to the planning and management of natural hazards, and in applying logical, critical and creative thinking to various hazard and disaster scenarios. Graduates will also have specialist skills to apply advanced resarch methods to identified problems in natural hazards planning and management contexts.

Information Literacy

Through the research component of the course, students will develop advanced skills in procuring, organising and reporting upon a wide range of sophisticated information relevant to the planning and management of hazards. All units in the course are delivered online, and students are both directed to a wide range of best practice sources and encouraged to use those sources to inform unit-based discussions and tasks.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

The successful development of systems for appropriate planning of, preparation for, response to and recovery from natural hazards and disasters must involve all sectors of society. The course will prepare students to act in an ethical and socially responsible manner in the wider social contexts of hazard planning and management. Graduates will also have an advanced awareness of ethical practice in independent research.

Lifelong Learning

The course will provide advanced knowledge and skills that can be utilised and built upon in a range of forums. Skills in policy analysis and plan-making acquired through the course will underpin ongoing learning in professional contexts. These skills will be flexible and diverse, and will have multiple applications in a range of contexts and situations.

Independence and Collaboration

Graduates of the course will have highly-developed capacities to undertake independent research. Graduates will have an independent capacity to analyse hazard contexts, and competency in procedures for addressing hazard situations. Students will also learn principles and skills relating to stakeholder engagement and collaboration crucial to planning and management activities. Students will have opportunities to work collaboratively to solve problems in some units.

A five-star experience

Teaching Quality
Teaching Quality NSW
Good Universities Guide 2021
#1 in Australia Postgraduate Teaching Quality
Postgraduate Teaching Quality
Good Universities Guide 2021
Student Support
Undergraduate Student Support
Good Universities Guide 2021
Overall Experience
Overall Experience
Good Universities Guide 2021
Woman studying online at home

Studying online

At UNE we know it takes more than just being online to be a great online university. It takes time and experience. We pioneered distance education for working adults back in the 1950s, so we’ve been doing this longer than any other Australian university.

We understand the challenges faced by busy adults studying at home. We know that a vital part of online study is your engagement with the learning community. Communication with your classmates, teaching staff and university support staff will enhance your study experience and ensure that your skills extend beyond the subject matter. UNE’s teaching staff are experts in their field which is why UNE consistently receives five stars from students for teaching quality, support and overall experience.*

*The Good Universities Guide

Your career

Career outcomes

By completing the Master of Planning and Management of Natural Hazards, you will be on track to being an industry leader and expert to work in:

  • environmental and town planning
  • urban and regional planning
  • natural resource management
  • emergency management
  • disaster mitigation.
Other career information

Along with your specific expertise in hazard and disaster relief management, your skills in planning systems management, and policy and research will be transferrable across a range of industry contexts. Your critical-thinking skills and capacity to problem solve are in demand across a range of professions and workplaces — so you will be effectively future proofing your career.

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Why study with us?

I chose UNE based on the overall academic environment and, more importantly, the support I could get as an international student.

Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning graduate Shili Wang in pink jacket at homeShili Wang, Strategic Planner, Armidale Regional Council

What happens next?

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1. Decide on your course

Got any questions about a course you would like to study? Don’t hesitate to contact us, our Future Student team is standing by to help.

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2. Apply

2021 applications are now open. The application process only takes 20 minutes to complete. Don’t delay, apply now!

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3. Receive an offer, enrol and start studying

Your start date is based on the study period you choose to apply for.