Disaster Medicine (EMDM)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

12 months
8032 EUR/year
8032 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The interuniversity advanced Master’s programme in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) provides health professionals with the know-how to provide high-quality medical care in austere environments. 


The European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is dedicated 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.

Intense international cooperation and support

The European Master in Disaster Management is organized in cooperation with the Università del Piemonte Orientale (Novara, Italy). Co-organizing insititutions are the Katastrofmedicinskt Centrum (Linköping, Sweden), University of Calfornia (Irvine, US) and the Université de Genève et Hôpitaux Univeritaires de Genève (Switzerland).

The EMDM is supported by international organizations and scientific societies with interest in disaster medicine and humanitarian health: the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and the European Society for Emergency Medicine.

The European Master in Disaster Management consists of a one-year e-learning course, a two-week residential course in Novara (Italy) and a final online examination. The writing and defense of a Master's thesis based on a research study, concludes the programme.

Aim of the study

Managing 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.

How does it work?

This master provides a clear picture of current concepts and developments in the strategic and tactical management of the medical aspects of disasters.

It provides you with a number of skills which are important in the pursuance of disaster management:

  • leadership
  • decision making
  • communication
  • coordination skills
  • stress management
  • working in multidisciplinary teams
  • the use of information technology

Job 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 administrationsOfficer responsible for the hospital disaster managementAdvisor and/or manager of disaster medical management in international organizations (UN, WHO, OCHA.)Executive officer in non-governmental organizations responsible for disaster medical managementResponsible staff member for education in disaster medicine in medical schoolsResearcher in the medical aspects of disasters in academic centres

Programme Structure

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

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

The minimum admission requirement is a degree in medicine (at least 300 ECTS), or a Bachelor’s + Master’s Degree in a health-related subject (equivalent to at least 300 ECTS) from any University across the world. Applications from students holding a Master’s Degree in different subjects will be evaluated case-by-case by the Strategic Management Board.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8032 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8032 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    8032 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8032 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.


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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Disaster Medicine (EMDM)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)