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Master in Preparedness and Crisis Management

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Programme description

This programme in Preparedness and Emergency Management is an experienced-based master’s degree programme comprising 90 ECTS and lasting for three years.

It aims to provide the candidates with substantial theoretical knowledge in preparedness and emergency management at both tactical, operational and strategic level and to develop the leadership and critical thinking skills required to choose the most effective strategies, tools and methods in emergency response operations. The programme provides knowledge about different types of threats and crises, the organizations and the operational tools established to meet these threats. Different types of management support and decision-making tools are presented. Knowledge on how to facilitate competence development within preparedness organizations is highlighted, with a special focus on training and exercises. The programme provides knowledge on media and communication strategies, and on how digital technologies can support preparedness management. The programme also cover themes related to the crisis staff management and the human and technological factors that affect the organizations' ability to handle crises, including safety and preparedness in the cyber domain.

Some of the sessions will take place in the emergency and preparedness management laboratory at Nord University NORDLAB. The laboratory has simulators that provide opportunity for exercises and skills training through playing out various emergency scenarios. The students will also take part in a large-scale exercise Nord together with both civilian and military resources.

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Teaching sessions

There are three organized sessions per semester. In addition there are written school exams in some courses.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the programme, the candidate:


  • Has thorough knowledge of how public and private preparedness systems are organized and advanced knowledge of critical factors influencing preparedness and crisis response in private and public organizations
  • Has thorough knowledge of and may apply theories of preparedness and emergency management
  • Has thorough knowledge about organizational learning and strategic competence development , and how emergency prepredness exercises can enhance organizations' crisis management competences
  • Has knowledge of strategic communication and media management
  • Has knowledge about digital threats and preparedness



  • Can analyse existing theories, methods and principles of preparedness and emergency management and convert this knowledge into practical work with preparedness efforts development in his or her own organization
  • Can critically reflect upon the preparedness strategies of an organization
  • Can work with strategies for competence development in preparedness management
  • Can analyse research problems in the field of preparedness and emergency management and can conduct an independent R&D project under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics
  • Has understanding how IT-based management support tools are used in preparedness organisations


General Competence

  • Can analyse relevant research-based knowledge of management at strategic, operational and tactical level in emergency preparedness organizations
  • Can discuss relevant academic issues based on his or her own experience
  • Can acquire competence development knowledge within the field of emergency preparedness management and communicate this within his or her own organization
  • Can contribute with new creative solutions and to a more innovative preparedness and emergency response system

Admission requirements

Higher Education Entrance Qualification English language proficiency View general admission and documentation requirements This programme is mainly taught in Norwegian. The programme requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree or an equivalent education of 180 credits, as well as two years of relevant work experience following graduation.

Career possibilities

The programme provides knowledge, skills and competences required for management positions related to preparedness and emergency management both in civilian and government companies and institutions, as well as in the emergency response agencies. The master program has a management perspective and is relevant for students who have management experience or other relevant professional experience in the field, and who wish to strengthen their academic skills.

Further education

Experience-based master's degree is not eligible for direct entry to a PhD program. Candidates will normally have to take additional specialized courses within the field of the study in order to be considered for an admission to a PhD program. 

Study abroad

Students may take exchange studies during the third semester. Nord University has a bilateral agreement with Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland at the experience-based master programme Global Health and Crisis Management

The study program is a part of CONRIS – Cooperation Network for Risk & Security Studies


No tuition fees. Costs for semester registration and course literature apply.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning

For entering master programs, candidates must fulfil the admission requirements. Candidates may apply for recognition of experience-based competence relevant to the field of study only for entering bachelor/undergraduate programs.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

Exams and course assignments are assessed and graded based on the Norwegian system using letters A to F, in which A is the best/highest grade and F equals fail or not passed. Obligatory course work is assessed based on an approved/not approved basis.

Assessment methods

Home exams, written assignments and task assessments.

Graduation requirements

The final graduation examination for the study programme is the master thesis.

Programme evaluation

The programme is evaluated via student questionnaire, as well as by the Programme Coordinator. The evaluations form a part of the university's quality assurance system.

Qualifications requirements and regulations

Please refer to the applicable legislation, regulations and related guidelines at the university webpage.

Progression requirements

The students must have complete all courses before starting the master's thesis. In additon progression requirement according to Regulations relating to studies and examinations at Nord University apply. 
ECTS Credits 90 Study level Exp-based master's degree (1.5-2 years) Teaching language
Nord University Business School
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