DSMG28001 - Foundations of Emergency and Disaster Management

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This is a foundational unit that introduces the fundamental concepts and frameworks that underpin the effective management of emergencies and disasters. You will gain a basic understanding of the nature of hazards and disasters and will Introduce the key stakeholders involved with emergency and disaster management, explore the historic and contemporary principles, policies, and legal frameworks guiding the field of practice. The unit will explore local and global concepts of emergency and disaster management and the models, systems and processes required to effectively mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from various disasters.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

Term 3 - 2023 Profile
Term 1 - 2024 Profile
Term 3 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Presentation 40%
2. Written Assessment 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 86.21% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 21.74% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Feedback from students
Use of video conferencing to connect Melbourne, Sydney, and online tutorial groups was ineffective due to technological problems and situation on the ground in different campuses.
In future terms, on-campus and distance tutorials should be at different times to minimise the possibility of technology-related disruption and better meet the needs of different student sub-groups.
Action Taken
There are now two separate tutorials on different days - one video conference tutorial for Melbourne and Sydney and one Zoom tutorial for distance students. This structure will be maintained in future teaching terms.
Source: Discussion with students and other Emergency and Disaster Management staff
Structure of learning materials is for an on-campus class (modified from MPH classes) and does not reflect the "one-stop" nature of some online students' engagement.
For the next time the unit is taught, the learning materials can be converted to a Moodle learning book format which can be easily used by both on-campus and online students, as well as being more consistent with other DSMG classes.
Action Taken
The learning materials are now in Moodle learning book format as of T3 2022 and incorporate some additional Moodle format material. This structure will be maintained in future teaching terms.
Source: Discussions with students, discipline area staff.
To support students in other emergency and disaster management units, introduce the CQU seven-step search strategy into DSMG28001 to assist with academic literacy and assessment writing.
The assessment instructions will include the CQU seven-step search strategy to assist student learning.
Action Taken
Source: Feedback from students, discussions with discipline area staff
The unit's contextual examples focus on types of issues which do not always give a complete view of the Australian disaster management administrative situation, especially arrangements and policies made by the states and territories.
Beginning in T3 2023, the unit material will be adjusted to include a more in-depth discussion of the disaster management policy and arrangements at the state and territory level.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the characteristics of natural and human-caused hazards and vulnerabilities particular to global, regional and national emergency and disaster contexts
  2. Explain the principles of Emergency and Disaster Management using the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR) model
  3. Analyse how environmental, political and social vulnerability differs from traditional approaches to disasters and emergency management
  4. Conduct a social vulnerability analysis relevant to the emergency and disaster management context
  5. Identify limitations and opportunities that promote or restrict strategies for addressing vulnerability in the context of the United Nations' Sendai framework and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Presentation
2 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8