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Disaster Medicine (EMDM), M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
University rank #195 (QS) ,
The EMDM, Master of Science in Disaster Medicine, is a level-two master programme jointly organised by CRIMEDIM, the Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine of the Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO) and ReGEDiM, the Research Group on Emergency and Disaster Medicine of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). 


When disaster strikes, being able to gather specific people, knowledge and material resources at the right places at the right times can make all the difference. The organisation of these resources requires a specific set of knowledge, insight and skills – neither of which is hardly ‘exclusively medical.’  The interuniversity advanced master’s programme in Disaster Medicine provides health professionals with the know-how to provide high-quality medical care in austere environments.

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:

  • 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
  • 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
  • A thesis related to a topic of disaster medicine or disaster medical management, under the supervision of a local tutor and a faculty member
  • A final online examination provided on the Internet, composed of an electronic simulation exercise and a multiple choice questionnaire

  • Audience

    The course is aimed at all health professionals involved in the medical disaster management and humanitarian health response at local, national and international level.

    Detailed Programme Facts

    • Programme intensity Full-time
      • Full-time duration 12 months
    • Credits
      60 ECTS
    • Languages
      • English
    • Delivery mode

    English Language Requirements

    • Minimum required score:


      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.

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    • Minimum required score:


      The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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      The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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    General Requirements

    To start the programme, you need to have a university master degree in a subject of health care, health management, or public health.

    In order to be admitted, you need to be proficient in English.

    Tuition Fee

    • International

      7032 EUR/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 7032 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
    • EU/EEA

      7032 EUR/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 7032 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
    We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

    Living costs for Brussels

    • 885 - 1310 EUR/month
      Living Costs

    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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