Courses of the Disaster Studies Group

Wageningen Disaster Studies offers courses and thesis possibilities at the BSc, MSc and PhD levels. Our courses are open to students of Wageningen University, other universities or colleges, as well as to professionals from the fields of development, conflict or disaster response. The language of instruction is English.

General Info

Thesis track Master International Development Studies

As of September 2007 it will be possible to do a thesis track in Disaster Studies within the Master in International Development Studies (MID). Students need to enroll in the specialization Sociology of Rural Development and can then opt to do their major thesis with Disaster Studies. The program comprises a compulsory specialization course (Sociology in Development) and a thesis preparation course (Conflict, Development and Disaster). Optional courses are Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction, Natural Hazards and Disasters and Property Rights, Natural Resources and Conflict. The program also includes an MSc thesis in Disaster Studies, if desired in combination with an internship.

MSc students from other specializations and programs are also welcome to take our courses and to do a thesis or internship with Disaster Studies. In coordination with the study advisor the student may opt for combining several courses to an MSc Minor in Disaster Studies.

The MSc thesis in Disaster Studies will typically comprise fieldwork in a (post) emergency affected area. Because of the special considerations of doing research in these conditions, students are referred to the manual of Fieldwork in Hazardous Areas (PDF, 1.7 mb).

It is also possible to do the internship with Disaster Studies, if desired in combination with the thesis. To explore thesis or internship possibilities you may contact Gemma van der Haar ( or your intended supervisor.

Disaster Studies participates in the Research Masters of African Studies, which is co-ordinated by the African Studies Centre.

BSc students

Disaster Studies takes part in two BSc Minors: Disaster and Recovery (PDF, 72,2 kb) (WUDIR) and Freedom from Hunger (PDF< 81,6 kb) (WUFFH). BSc students of different backgrounds who are in their third year are also welcome to the course Natural Hazards and Disasters. They may also opt for the BSc Thesis Sociology of Development, with the specialization Disaster Studies, which is based on literature study. This BSc thesis forms a part of the Bachelors International Development Studies-A.

Disaster Studies also takes part in the course Analysis of a Problem Situation (YSS 10906).

PhD candidates

Disaster Studies welcomes PhD candidates interested to work on research in one of the research themes, or to work on the crossroads between several themes. Most PhD projects are implemented in collaboration with research partners among implementing agencies and/or other academic institutions.

General information, conditions and possible sources of funding can be found at the PhD programme of Wageningen University.


Conflict, Development and Disaster (MSc level)
  • RDS-34036; 6 ECTS; 5th period
  • Examiner: Prof dr ir Georg Frerks
  • course outline; study handbook
Natural Hazards and Disasters (BSc3/MSc level)
  • RDS-35306; 6 ECTS; 5th period
  • Examiner: Prof dr ir Han van Dijk, Dr ir Jeroen Warner
  • course outline; study handbook
Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction (MSc level)
  • RDS-34806; 6 ECTS; 1st period
  • Examiner: Prof dr ir Thea Hilhorst and Dr ir Gemma van der Haar
  • course outline; study handbook

Fieldwork in conflict and post-conflict settings (MSc level)RDS-51306; 6 ECTS; 2nd period

Property rights, natural resources and conflict (MSc level)
  • LAW-31306; 6 ECTS, 3rd period
  • Examiner: Dr Dik Roth
  • course outline; study handbook
Sociology in Development: towards a critical perspective (MSc level)
  • RDS-32806; 6 ECTS, 3rd period
  • Examiners: Dr ir Moniek Nuijten, Prof dr ir Thea Hilhorst, dr ir P Oosterveer, dr ir D. Roep
  • Course outline; study handbook
Analysis of a Problem Situation (BSc level)
  • YSS 10906; 6 ECTS, 6th period
  • Examiner: Dr ir Gerard Verschoor
  • Lecturer: Dr ir Jeroen Warner
  • course outline: study handbook
Food Crisis: the Big Picture (BSc level)
  • RDS 51806; 6 ECTS, 1st period
  • Examiner: Prof dr ir Thea Hilhorst
  • course outline;  study handbook
Institutions, Recovery and Resilience (BSc level)
  • RDS-52306; 6 ECTS, 6th period
  • Examiners: Prof dr ir Thea Hilhorst, Dr ir Gemma van der Haar
  • course outline; study handbook