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April 2014 Overview: MA Disaster & Emergency Management

The MA in Disaster and Emergency Management program explores the theoretical foundations of disaster and emergency management as a growing field of practice and study.

For more information on course names and descriptions within this program, read the Spring 2014 Course Outline.

Delivery Model


Building upon Royal Roads' expertise in blended learning and online course delivery, the MA in Disaster and Emergency Management program features two three-week mandatory residencies, interactive online courses, cohort and team-based learning projects, applied assignments, and a major research project. Because the program is designed for working professionals, students can pursue their studies while still continuing to work full-time. Students attend three-week residencies each year. Between residencies they complete four online courses, including a practicum. Students can expect to work hard during the residency period. The normal classroom schedule is Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Team meetings, homework, and readings are completed outside of these hours. In addition to the educational activities, there are a number of planned recreational events.


Normally, students take one distance course at a time, for a period of approximately 12 weeks each. The practicum is also 12 weeks in length and the Major Research Project is 48 weeks. Prior to beginning each course, students are provided with a list of texts and/or readings. A variety of different delivery methods including textbooks, articles, case studies, videos, and DVDs are used for course delivery.

Online Learning

After the first residency period, students continue to work in teams using the Online Learning Platform. At their own convenience, students work through the requirements of each course (although there are "real time" deadlines for assignments, exams, etc.). Each course requires a level of effort of approximately 14 hours per week. Following the second residency, students work independently to complete a theoretical or applied research project, either at their place of employment or with another agency of their choice. Students are required to successfully complete 36 academic credits.

As much as possible, the readings are available to students online at no charge.  However, students may need to purchase the texts and/or readings that are not available online, through other means such as our bookstore.

Completion Options

The program design incorporates both individual and team-based learning strategies, and in the first year, offers students an applied skills course. In the second year of studies students conduct an applied research project on a topic of personal interest.

The Major Research Project is a sustained, creative, independent and original piece of scholarship that is intended to demonstrate both the mastery of good research practices and the theoretical content of the program of study as a whole, including the choice of concentration. The overall purpose of the Major Research Project is to serve as a capstone for the graduating candidate to demonstrate theoretical knowledge of the field and the ability to apply that knowledge to the subject matter.