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Master of Disaster Health Care

In an Australian first, Flinders University - in partnership with the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) - has introduced a new postgraduate degree, the Master of Disaster Health Care, offering disaster relief professionals an opportunity to upgrade their qualifications.

Nurses, doctors, paramedics and other health care professionals can now apply for the fully online program to obtain tertiary level education in disaster relief and health care.

Designed for domestic and international students with a bachelor degree in a health profession, it is aimed at those looking to expand their knowledge, preparedness and response capability for local, national and international disaster events. 

Program Head, Professor Paul Arbon – also the Dean of the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a highly experienced practitioner in disaster relief and recovery - says students can choose either a course work or research pathway in a multi-level program with exit points at graduate certificate and graduate diploma levels. 

“This program is unique in that it is the first program in the country which provides health care professionals an operational focus to disaster response at a tertiary level,” Professor Arbon said. 

“The program fills an important gap nationally because Australia and the region are increasingly impacted by disaster events which cause substantial human and economic damage.

“As a nation, Australia is very active in disaster relief both overseas and within our own borders, and the newly introduced Master of Disaster Health Care will give more health professionals adequate qualifications to deliver first class aid in times of crises.

“We understand that most health professionals interested in this course are qualified people with jobs and other commitments, which is why we made sure the entire  course can be completed online, allowing a flexible approach to studying where people can’t commit to attending classess and lectures,” he said.

Applicants must hold an approved bachelor-level degree or equivalent qualification in a health profession from an approved tertiary institution and have no less than two years’ professional experience in the health care sector following completion of the degree or equivalent qualification.

Additional requirements are:

•    Completed NCCTRC-approved MIMMS (Major Incident Medical Management and Support) Commander course within the past two years, and;

•    Completed NCCTRC-endorsed AusMAT / NZMAT Team Member Training Course within the past two years, or;

 •    Previous deployment to a declared disaster area as part of an Australian government team (or approved equivalent) within the past two years.

Enrolments for the Master of Disaster Health Care close on 29 June prior to its 27 July start date.

More information is available at  or email Dr Julian Grant, Senior Lecturer Nursing at